Susan Van Kirk has deep roots in the Midwest. The rich history of the Galesburg-Monmouth area has influenced her sense of place in her Endurance Mysteries, however, she never dreamed of becoming a writer. Instead, her passion was teaching, and she taught on the high school and college level for forty-four years. Her first book, The Education of a Teacher (Including Dirty Books and Pointed Looks), was inspired by a college student’s suggestion that she publish one of her teaching stories. Teacher Magazine bought that first story, and Van Kirk decided she enjoyed writing and should pursue it.

She wrote her creative nonfiction memoir and added fourteen more stories to her original short story. She published the collection in 2010, and it has been a best-selling gift for teachers, future teachers, retired teachers, and people who simply want to read good human interest stories. It is filled with laughter, poignancy, drama, comedy, and hope, all descriptive of a career in teaching. It has never been out of print, and continues to sell every quarter of every year.

After she retired from teaching in 2011, Van Kirk began writing her Endurance Mysteries. In order, they are Three May Keep a Secret; The Locket: From the Casebook of TJ Sweeney (an e-book novella from Amazon Kindle); Marry in Haste; and Death Takes No Bribes. Most were published by Five Star Publishing, an imprint of Gale/Cengage. Filled with suspense, mystery, romance, and Midwest history, they tell the story of Grace Kimball, retired teacher in the small town of Endurance, Illinois. The mysteries are filled with humor and suspense, and a reader can read each by itself or read them chronologically. Endurance is a town layered with secrets, lies, and mysteries. Van Kirk’s books can be found in the BCA Artisan Gift Shop.

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