Murder Takes A Road Trip to Sutton’s Bay

by University of Michigan Press on July 27, 2009

by Mardi Link, author of the forthcoming Isadore’s Secret and bestseller When Evil Came to Good Hart

Mlinktourauthors Thursday night the Murder Takes A Road Trip book tour rolled into Suttons Bay, pages a’blazin’.

If the photo above appears a little blurry, chalk it up to road dust. That’s Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli on the left, Aaron Stander in the middle, and me on the right. No cookies at the library, but a great crowd and even a nod this morning on Facebook. Plus, a stroll afterwards over to Brilliant Books to sign and chat.

For a complete schedule of Mardi’s upcoming events, click here.

As the SUV drives, there are 13.7 miles between the site of Sister Janina’s murder and the Suttons Bay-Bingham District Library. As the crow flies, the distance is probably half that. As the clock ticks, 102 years have passed, and yet as I was researching Isadore’s Secret, the forthcoming book about her murder and disappearance, it was almost as if no time at all had gone by. The church, the cemetery, and the convent all look the same, and many of the surnames printed on mailboxes back then, still appear on mailboxes at the same addresses today.

And that’s what struck me at our book talk last night. Where unsolved, high profile crimes are concerned, the mystery attached almost seems to stop time.

Many people who came to hear the three of us speak had some personal connection to either the murder of Sister Janina or of the Robison family, the subject of my first true crime book.  Either they went to school at Holy Rosary years after Sister Janina taught there, or they married into an Isadore family and had heard the story, a legend now, told over the years, or they read about the Robisons in the newspaper and followed the case, or they knew someone connected to the investigation.

Tragic crimes like these create a story that lasts years, and sometimes even a century or more. Books satisfy what I’m beginning to think is almost a universal hunger reflected in the mantra of  every first year journalism student: Who, What, When, Where, Why & How. Of course, it’s the “Why?” that makes for compelling writing. And reading.

Next stop on the Road Trip is Horizon Books in Petoskey. We’ll be there this Saturday, July 25 from 1-3, pens a’blazin. For a peek at our method of transport, see below:Mlinkcar

This entry was originally posted on Mardi Link’s blog at:

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