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Shadow Notes

Laurel S. Peterson

You can go home again, but should you?

Clara Montague didn’t want to go home to Connecticut for Christmas. Her mother Constance never seemed to like her — or her intuitive dreams about the people she loved. Clara tried to warn her mother that her father was about to have a heart attack, but Constance wouldn’t listen — and her father died.

Now living in Europe, Clara dreams her mother is in terrible danger, and can’t ignore it. Shortly after she returns, her mother’s therapist (and former lover) Hugh Woodward is murdered — and Constance is jailed for the crime.

Frantically seeking clues to her mother’s hidden past, Clara uncovers the file of “shadow notes” that Hugh maintained to document his sessions with her mother, but they are snatched from her hands before she can read them.

As Clara gets closer to the truth about Hugh’s murder and its connection to her mother’s past, threats against her own life escalate. Can Clara’s intuition help her peel back years of high-stakes secrets to identify the real murderer?

"I enjoyed reading Shadow Notes for a whole bunch of reasons, one of which is that it’s a great mystery novel. It’s an exciting story with some of my favorite elements: a complicated mother/daughter relationship, and a satisfyingly troubled and complex main character who returns to her home after a long time away and tries to fit back in. It’s such a fun read—a very satisfying mystery, and it offers the promise of another book in the series."

-Rebecca Hussey, Of Books & Bicycles review blog

About the Author

Laurel S. Peterson is a Professor of English at Norwalk Community College and served as poet laureate of Norwalk, CT from 2016 to 2019. Her poetry has been published in many small literary journals. She has two poetry chapbooks: That’s the Way the Music Sounds, from Finishing Line Press (2009) and Talking to the Mirror from The Last Automat Press (2010). A full length collection of poetry, Do You Expect Your Art to Answer You? was released by Futurecycle Press (2017). She also co-edited a collection of essays on women’s justice titled (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience (2009). Her mystery novel, Shadow Notes, was released by Woodhall Press (May 2021). Learn more at

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