On a Minnesota farm in 1944, life isn't easy for Abigail Stahl. Her mother is dead, but one will talk about her. A father she can't remember dictates her behavior via scathing letters from overseas while deflecting her pleas for the truth. Circumstances beyond her control thrust Abby into the clutches of a patriarchal uncle who demands unquestioning obedience. In the midst of the turmoil, Abby determines to solve the mystery of her mother's death. Aided by her scheming cousin, Darrell, she discovers tantalizing clues--unsigned love letters, a faded photograph of a man aiming a gun, a safari dress with a bullet hole. Enigmatic entries in her father's journal serve to deepen the mystery. As a young woman, a spirited and persevering Abby begins a journey of revelation when she travels to Africa to seek closure. Even there, ambiguity prevails. Was Ellen Stahl's death an accident? Or murder? As Abby manipulates a final confrontation between two brothers to expose the realities of the past, she discovers that love, acceptance, and reconciliation can transcend everything--even the truth.
Linda Audrey Kantor grew up near the small town of Comfrey, Minnesota, in the 1950s. She reveled in the wealth of experiences readily available--a slough to explore, a grove to hide in, cousins to fight and dream with, and stories overheard. Relatives often lapsed into German when the stories turned too salacious for young ears. She learned early that a small town, while perpetuating its secrets, also protects its own. That same rural community provided tales of terror and bravado recounted by then-young World War II veterans, which spurred in her a lifelong interest in that era. As an adult, she interviewed numerous war veterans and published their stories in their hometown newspapers before memories faded and heroism remained unsung. Her newest book, Emil's Story: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot, resulted from one of those many interviews. In it, she focuses the war at a personal level--how it was to grow up on an isolated farm during Prohibition, to be drafted first in Koochiching County, to leave a sweetheart behind, to be winnowed like grain through various training schools, to be selected to pilot a B-24 bomber, and finally to fly thirty-five missions over the dangerous skies of Nazi Europe, facing death daily from flak, enemy fighters, accidents, and sheer incompetence. In the 1990s she fulfilled a childhood dream by traveling extensively in Africa. Again, she relished the stories recounted by game guides, locals, and fellow travelers. Her own hunting adventures were well documented in Hunter's Quest, Game Trails, and Safari magazines. The Enigma Journal, her first fiction novel, combines the author's diverse interests. She is presently writing the prequel to Enigma, taking the adult characters of James, Jack, and Annie and backing up the story to 1931. A sequel is planned. Each will be a stand-alone book with its own unique storyline. She lives in Texas with her husband. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.