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DRA front cover FINAL

Published in association with the

Historical Society of Forest Park.

Forest Park, Illinois is home to four major cemeteries and has been the final resting place for both the famous and not-so-famous since the early 1870s. The village was once recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for its ratio of over thirty dead to every live resident.

 Notable permanent residents of Forest Park’s hallowed grounds include the parents of Ernest Hemingway; serial killer Belle Gunness; Emma Goldman and other important members of the anarchist movement; evangelist Billy Sunday; Elizabeth Taylor’s husband Mike Todd; as well as victims of the Eastland disaster, the Iroquois Theater fire, and the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus train wreck.

 Inspired by Edgar Lee Masters’s classic 1915 work, Spoon River Anthology, the Historical Society of Forest Park invited local authors, playwrights, journalists, and historians to pen individual narratives of those buried within Forest Park, in the style of the original work. Jay Bonansinga, a New York Times bestselling author (The Walking Dead); noted local historians Robert Loerzel and Richard Lindberg; Chicago-area novelists Michael A. Black, Frances McNamara, and Stephanie Kuehnert; and playwright Amy Binns-Calvey are just a few of those whose work is included in this volume.

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POETRY / Anthologies

5.5″ x 8.5″

116 pages



BYHC prepub front cover RGB mediumTHRILLER

The search for elusive goals consumes three men…

McKinney, a forensic scientist, struggles with his deep, personal need to find the truth behind the evidence he investigates, even while the system shuts him out. Can he get justice for a wrongfully accused man while juggling life with a new girlfriend and a precocious teenage daughter?

Delroy gives up the hard-scrabble life on his family’s Kentucky farm and ventures to the rough-and-tumble world of 1930s Chicago. Unable to find work, he reluctantly throws his hat in with the bank-robbing gangsters Alvin Karpis and Freddie Barker. Can he provide for his fiery young wife without risking his own life?

Gilbert is obsessed with the search for a cache of gold, hidden for nearly eighty years. As his hunt escalates he finds himself willing to use ever more extreme measures to attain his goal…including kidnapping, torture and murder. Can he find the one person still left who will lead him to the glittering treasure? And will the trail of corpses he leaves behind include McKinney?

Part contemporary thriller, part historical novel, and part love story, Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold masterfully weaves a tale of conflicted scientific ethics, economic hardship, and criminal frenzy, tempered with the redemption of family love.




Praise for Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold

“Chapman…blends his expertise in analyzing evidence with a cunning plot. [He] obviously knows his stuff, from what happens at the bench in the lab through what happens in court, a stark contrast to many mystery writers who just skirt along the edges of forensics…[He] also knows his history and vividly brings to life the old Karpis/Barker bank-robbing gang of the 1930s…McKinney is a complicated hero, absolutely at home fighting the system. An intriguing and enlightening read.” — Booklist

“Combining historical fiction with an investigative whodunit, and yielding surprisingly satisfying results…There’s a real heart behind the building mayhem…Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold has a unique crime story to tell, keeps it gripping, and makes one wonder what Mr. Chapman has up his sleeve for the next novel.” — ForeWord Reviews

“This beautifully structured first novel reads like the work of a seasoned pro, with three separate storylines leading to a stunning conclusion…Ostensibly, the hero of this tale is Sean McKinney, the forensic scientist…But it is Delroy who is the heart of this multi-level thriller. Delroy’s experiences in the Depression’s hobo jungles contrast great hardship with great compassion, and the pages describing the camps’ desperate inhabitants are reminiscent of Steinbeck… A story this complex is hard to pull off, but author Chapman has the right stuff. A former forensic scientist himself, he knows that in a good novel crimes aren’t committed by cardboard characters, and they aren’t solved by them, either. The best fiction reveals great truths, and there are plenty to be had in Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold.” — Mystery Scene

Chapman brings scientific realism and very human passions to work in his
first novel, a thoroughly engaging thriller.” — Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine


Trade Paperback ♦ ISBN 978-0-9831938-9-0 ♦ $14.99

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FICTION/ Thrillers

5.5″ x 8.5″

222 pages

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Fifteen-year-old Sarah, the daughter of Jewish immigrants, wants nothing more than to become an artist. But as she spreads her wings she must come to terms with the secrets that her family is only beginning to share with her.

Replete with historical details that vividly evoke Chicago in the 1890s, this moving coming-of-age story is set against the backdrop of a vibrant, turbulent city. Sarah moves between two very different worlds—the colorful immigrant neighborhood surrounding Hull House and the sophisticated, elegant World’s Columbian Exposition.

This novel eloquently captures the struggles of a young girl as she experiences the timeless emotions of friendship, family turmoil, loss…and first love.


Silver award winner in the Young Adult Fiction – Historical/Cultural category of the Moonbeam Children’s Books Awards

Finalist for the Midwest Book Awards in the YA Fiction category

Winner of the IBPA Ben Franklin Award for Teen Fiction



A companion guide for this book (which includes photographs, discussion questions, read-alikes, and resources for further exploration) can be found by clicking here.


Praise for Her Mother’s Secret

“Very well-written and a quick read. It would appeal to young women who like to read coming-of-age stories, and fans of historical fiction…Prejudice against Jewish Americans, the death of young children, and strains within the family are woven eloquently throughout the book.” — VOYA

“Features a 15-year-old heroine, but you don’t have to be a teenager to appreciate the detail-rich environment the author creates…Although the historical and cultural backdrop are presented with well-rendered specificity, many of the problems that Sarah and her family deal with are universal.” — Reading the Past

“The background is beautifully realized and captures readers’ fascination for the period. The author shapes Sarah’s character most skillfully of all, illustrating the optimism of youth…A treat written by a fine storyteller.” — Historical Novels Review


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JUVENILE FICTION/Historical/United States/19th Century

5.5″ x 8.5″

178 pages

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Even a good man may feel driven to sign on with the devil.

Paul Clark is a Catholic priest who’s been on the fast track to becoming a bishop. But he suddenly faces a heart-wrenching problem, when choices he made as a young man come roaring back into his life. A mysterious woman, who claims to be with “an agency of the federal government,” offers to solve his problem. But there’s a price to pay—Father Clark must undertake some very un-priestly actions.

An attack in a Chicago alley…a daring escape from a Mexican jail…and a fight to the death in a Guyanese jungle…all these, and more, must be survived in order to protect someone he loves.

This priest is about to learn how much easier it is to preach love than to live it.


Winner of the 2013 Lovey Award for Best Thriller


Praise for Company Orders

“A real knuckle-whitener” — Booklist

“Another powerful, character-driven tale…Every character is magnificently realized, yet Father Paul, with his soul-searching struggle couched in subtle humor throughout, is unforgettable…[Walker's] eclectic experience…helps inject realism into his prose.”

— Lawrence Kane, ForeWord Reviews

“Walker vividly paints the temptations and fears crushing a priest who finds himself in the midst of murder and international intrigue, who feels his connections to his God fraying and stretching, and who learns just what he will sacrifice to protect someone for whom he feels responsible.The title, Company Orders, is itself a hint of the conflicts that will face Father Paul. Will he take more seriously the ‘company orders’ of a secretive government agency or the ‘holy orders’ of his priesthood? Walker’s novel is well worth the time to find out, and a compelling argument for taking a look at some of his previous work if you haven’t already read his Wild Onion series or Mal Foley series.”

—Sharon P. Lynn, Windy City Reviews


Trade Paperback ♦ ISBN 978-0-9831938-5-2 ♦ $16.99

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6″ x 9″

324 pages

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Exhausted after the tumult of the Pullman Strike of 1894, Emily Cabot is looking forward to a restful summer visit to Cape Cod. She has plans to collect “beasties” for the Marine Biological Laboratory, alongside other visiting scientists from the University of Chicago.

She also hopes to enjoy romantic clambakes with Dr. Stephen Chapman, although they must keep an important secret from their friends.

But her summer takes a dramatic turn when she finds a dead man floating in a fish tank. In order to solve his murder she must first deal with dueling scientists, a testy local sheriff, the theft of a fortune, and uncooperative weather.

The Emily Cabot Mysteries series will continue to delight history buffs and mystery lovers alike.


Finalist, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award in the Mystery category


Praise for Death at Woods Hole

“McNamara, a librarian at the University of Chicago, proves, if anyone was asking, that librarians make great historical mystery writers. She captures the tension of the times between the male and female scientists, both professionally and personally…Also so accurately portrayed is that small-town-in-summer feeling, when towns are overtaken by visitors, who coexist uneasily with locals. This was my first Emily Cabot mystery, and as a fellow Chicagoan, I was initially disappointed this was set outside the city, but that feeling didn’t last long. I’d follow Emily to any location.”

— Ellen Keith, Historical Novels Review

“This is a fun, satisfying read for a summer afternoon à la hammock or back porch.”

The Barnstable Patriot


Trade Paperback ♦ ISBN 978-0-9831938-3-8 ♦ $14.99

Ebook ♦ ISBN 978-0-9831938-4-5 ♦ $4.99

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FICTION/Mystery & Detective /Historical

5.5″ x 8.5″

220 pages

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Readers will also enjoy the other books in the series: Death at the Fair, Death at Hull House, and Death at Pullman.