Susan Van Kirk



From my blog

Reviewing “The Woman in the Water”

I read the first Charles Lenox mystery, A Beautiful Blue Death, in 2007. Browsing through the new library books, I plucked it from the shelf, read it too quickly, and enjoyed it immensely. Charles Finch, the author, has now written thirteen books in the series, and I...

Holiday Gift Shopping

If you’re looking for a gift for that reader on your list, you might consider the Endurance Mysteries. They’re available locally at Stone Alley Books (Galesburg, Illinois) or Buchanan Center for the Arts, the OSF Holy Family Gift Shop, or the Warren County Historical Society (Monmouth, Illinois.)  I’ll be at the Holiday Open House at the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, Il,  on December 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., signing books with a personal message for that reader on your list. Stop in and see all the wonderful gifts the Buchanan Center has to offer for the many people on your Christmas List.



Waterline Writers Reading/Booksigning on September 17 in Batavia, Illinois

Authors Joan Colby, Linda Heuring, Ed Piotrowski, Christine Swanberg and Susan Van Kirk will be featured at the next Waterline Writers event on Sunday, September 17th at 7 pm.

Ed Piotrowski reads A Fishy Encounter in the Retail Garden of Eden from his memoir, A Life Well Fished; Susan Van Kirk reads Rockin’ Out from her memoir, The Education of a Teacher (Including Dirty Books and Pointed Looks); Linda Heuring reads Nibbling at the Bloodstains from her short story collection, A Woman Walked into a Bar; Christine Swanberg reads from her new poetry collection Wild Fruition; and Joan Colby reads Carnival and Sideshow poems from Carnival, one of her recent poetry collections.

Admission is $5/$3 students, and each event gives you the opportunity to purchase an author’s book, a hand-tooled pen from Wooden Writers, beer from Solemn Oath Brewery or wine from Bright Angel Wines. We also feature food from The Market at Gaetano’s!

Writers may bring a 5-minute piece to share at our 8:30 Open Mic or visit and follow our Submission Guidelines to be considered as a future featured writer, but everyone is welcome to come just to listen and enjoy Waterline Writers, 3rd Sundays at 7 pm, September to May, in the newly ADA-accessible art gallery at Water Street Studios 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL. Contact us on Facebook or at

Recent News

Susan Van Kirk Reading from The Education of a Teacher (Including Dirty Books and Pointed Looks)

      recorded at Waterline Writers in Batavia, Illinois.

Malice Domestic Book Conference Spring 2017

I’ll be attending Malice Domestic, a book conference in Bethesda, Maryland, for mystery writers and mystery lovers. You can see the website here. The last time I went to this conference, I interviewed Hallie Ephron, author of several books on mystery writing, as well as several award-winning mysteries. I also met my wonderful freelance editor, Lourdes Venard, face-to-face. This year I look forward to seeing other writers from the Midwest chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Great fun! [That is Lori Rader-Day of Chicago next to me on the panel in 2015. She is the president of the Midwest chapter of MWA. Her mysteries have gone on to win wonderful awards!]

Kindle Now Available

If you live locally, the Warren County Public Library now has a Kindle you may check out just like a book. My novella, The Locket: From the Casebook of TJ Sweeney, is already preloaded so you can read it if you don’t have your own Kindle. This service begins on May 10, 2016.

On the Road Again …

Having done a number of signings in bookstores and libraries all over the local area, I’m now heading out with fellow author, Jim Jacobs, [ author of No Ordinary Season], to set up signings in Peoria, the Quad Cities, and eventually, Chicago. I’m also talking with book clubs and groups such as Rotary or PEO about my Endurance series. See events on this website under “Events” tab. I can be reached through this website under “Contact” for any events you may have in mind.

 “My Book” Essay in Mystery Scene Magazine

Mystery Scene Magazine has put an essay about my second Endurance novel, Marry in Haste, online. You can read about it at   You’ll see a shout out to my home town of Galesburg, Illinois, and my current town of Monmouth, Illinois.





Purchase Books

About Me

Susan Van Kirk is a writer of short stories, mysteries, and a creative, non-fiction memoir about teaching. Her first mystery, "Three May Keep a Secret," was published by Five Star/Cengage in the fall of 2014. A novella about her detective, "The Locket: From the Casebook of TJ Sweeney," released in spring, 2016, only as an ebook. Five Star published the second novel in the series, "Marry in Haste," in the fall of 2016. The last novel of the trilogy, "Death Takes No Bribes," came out the following spring. A high school and college teacher for forty-four years, she has always been interested in mysteries since she read the entire Sherlock Holmes series at an early age. It was love at first murder, and yes, her parents were worried.

Currently, she is writing a new book which should be finished in the fall of 2017, and she spends her time between the small town of Monmouth, Illinois, and the large city of Phoenix, Arizona, where her three children and nine grandchildren live.

Subscribe to Blog through Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow me:


Mystery Writers of America

Pin It on Pinterest