Ann Turner Cook’s face may be as familiar to you as that of your own children. A charcoal sketch of 5-months old Ann has been the trademark of Gerber Baby Food since 1928, adorning uncounted millions of jars of strained peas and every other baby product produced by Gerber. Her cherubic face has been described as the most recognized trademark in the world.
Pleased as she is to be associated with babies, Ann Cook long ago established her own professional credentials. After a 26-year career teaching literature and writing to high school students, she has become an author herself. Her first novels weave her interest in Florida history into the intricate plotting of murder mystery.
An eerie beauty settles over Tiger Tail Island, a wild refuge along Florida’s Gulf Coast. But treachery and violence are woven throughout the island’s blood history. The latest death is that of treasure hunter Timothy Hart, who discovered, then took to his grave, Tiger Tail Island’s most extraordinary secret.
Newspaper reporter and crime buff Brandy O’Bannon has come to the quaint town of Homosassa to make a decision that will alter the course of her life. But she is soon drawn deeply into a web of intrigue as she seeks to unravel the mystery of Hart’s murder. Brandy encounters a strange mix of characters more interested in Hart’s discovery than in his death.
Concealed by the roaring winds of a savage hurricane, a brutal murder is committed in Cedar Key, and a young child disappears into the storm. Two decades later, three people arrive in the quiet Gulf Coast village looking for answers. One of them is Brandy O’Bannon, a reporter with an affinity for ghosts and a knack for unraveling mysteries. In Ann Turner Cook’s second mystery, set in Florida’s historic Cedar Key, Brandy discovers a town that keeps its secrets.
The plot takes many twists and turns, but the biggest surprise of all may be the author of Shadow over Cedar Key: she’s the world-famous Gerber Baby.
In Trace Their Shadows, the first of the Brandy O’Bannon series, a deadly mystery swirls around an aging Florida mansion, and the curious young reporter finds more than she bargained for as she seeks to unravel the strange tale. Brandy is intrigued by rumors of a ghost haunting an isolated old mansion. One things leads to another, and Brandy stumbles on a 45-year old skeleton and a murder, but also finds unexpected romance. She encounters some eccentric characters as she works to solve the puzzle and to save the marvelous century-old house from developers.
Anyone who shares Cook’s interest in Florida history and architecture will be captivated by her tales. And the mysterious skeletons certainly spices up the stories. The novels are set in the small, historic towns of Tavares, Cedar Key, and Homosassa, Florida.
“Trace Their Shadows is an entertaining mystery and ghost story that can’t help but please. The plot is first-rate; the characters are people who are easy to relate to and care about; the action is nonstop; and the denouement is excellent.”
– Midwest Review
“Ann Turner Cook writes beautifully detailed descriptions of the lush surroundings of Cedar Key, and relies on quirky, distinctive dialogue, rather than mere dialect, to enlarge her secondary characters. The minor characters are not just set pieces or plot devices plugged into convenient places in the story. In all, Shadow over Cedar Key is a great read and will entertain all from the mystery buff to the casual reader.”
– CREATIVE CLASS – March 17 issue
“Ann Turner Cook writes quite a colorful story for someone with such an angelic face. Her writing is of high caliber, clear and full of action. She allows the reader to savor the story, yet become totally enmeshed in the action. Shadow over Cedar Key is a high action, suspenseful, and yet tragic tale that is sure to pull at the reader’s heartstrings. Brandy O’Bannon is a wonderful example of a young person trying to find her place in the world and yet keep her marriage from crumbling. Her own tale is a love story most haunting, as Poirot would say. An excellent read from a talented and insightful author.”
– Midwest Review
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