[Peter E. Abresch photo]
Photo by Donna Wallmark
    Word Spinner
With Your help
I can spin words
into gold,
weld word chains
strong enough
to drag mountains to the sea,
plant word gardens so real
birds sing and flowers bloom
and jasmine floats on the air.
Without Your touch,
I cannot even
say my name.
                        Peter E. Abresch
                        July 14, 1998

Welcome to my homepage! If you'd like to check out my Biography, it's short, and probably boring, click on my photo. Otherwise, scroll down and click on the book covers to read the first chapter of each and the book's review. You'll find Name Games the latest mystery and the bottom of the list. Scroll down or [click here] click here. You can view [announcements], and links further on down the page. Click here for [Readers comments on Elderhostel Mysteries] or you may click on [BookMarc], adventures in fiction writing techniques, which is no longer on this web site. Don't worry, there's a link back.

The page updated August 24, 2008

Special Price for novels while they last
    I've come into some extra copies of my books and so I'm selling all the Elderhostel® Mysteries at a special price. Prince listed on the books below was the original price, but I'll sell them now for $8 each plus $2.50 for mailing. And I'll sell the complete set of four, for $25 plus $7 for mailing. The price for mailing doesn't quite cover it, but I'll eat the rest. So that's $10.50/book, or $32/set of four which includes mailing. And an autograph if you wish. Just give me an idea if you would just like the signature, or plus date, or plus something personalized. Send a check to: Sidewalk Books, Box, 548, Prince Frederick, MD 20678-0548.

[Elderhostel Mysteries & Fiction Writing Techniques]
[Bloody Bonsai cover]
Cover by Gail Cross

Click on cover to read prologue, first chapter & reviews. Bloody Bonsai may be purchased or ordered at all major bookstores although it may be going out of print. A copy can be purchased through the author.
Bloody Bonsai
ISBN: 1-885173-34-2, by Peter E. Abresch
Write Way Publishing -- $ 21.95
see special announcement below, or click on new [Elderhostel Coordinators' comments]

    The first of the James Dandy ELDERHOSTEL® Mysteries weaves adventure and romance into a tale of blood, bonsai and murder. Write Way has gone bankrupt and this book may temporally be hard to find other than with the author.

    When everyone pushed widower, James Dandy, into going on a senior citizen ELDERHOSTEL, romance was the last thing on his mind. No. The last thing on his mind was to find a busboy with a bonsai tree sticking out of his chest. No. The last thing was to be read his rights for killing the sleazy little man. Nor did it help that his new romance, widow Dodee Swisher, wanted them to track down the real killer themselves. Then again, maybe it did.

[E-mail Peter E. Abresch]
Drop me a line.
[Elderhostel Mysteries & Fiction Writing Techniques]
Killing Thyme
ISBN: 1-885173-68-7, by Peter E. Abresch
Write Way Publishing -- $ 23.95
see special announcement below, or click on new [Elderhostel Coordinators' comments]

    The second in the ELDERHOSTEL® Mysteries reunites Jim Dandy and Dodee Swisher at the Chef's Culinary College of Baltimore, where the recipe of the day is murder. Write Way has gone bankrupt and this book may temporally be hard to find other than with the author.

    The only reason Jim Dandy went on the Flavors of the Mediterranean ELDERHOSTEL was to meet Dodee Swisher again. And he took it in stride when he found out a Chef's Round Robin had been substituted for the morning program. After all, the art of cuisine was supposed to be a fun bonus. And it was, until a couple of the chefs expired on the spot from things they ate. It took some of the fun out of eating. Oh yeah. Then things got interesting when a fellow Elderhosteler ended up under a bus. Oh yeah. And was he happy that Dodee got him wrapped in solving the mystery? Ooooh yeah.

    Killing Thyme was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier award

[E-mail Peter E. Abresch]
Drop me a line.
[Killing Thyme cover]
Cover by Gail Cross

Click on cover to read chapter one. Killing Thyme is now out and in the stores. Personally autographed copies may be purchased through the author - see special announcement below.
[Elderhostel Mysteries & Fiction Writing Techniques]

[TIP A CANOE cover]
Cover by Gail Cross

Click on cover to read the first chapter & reviews. Tip A Canoe may be purchased at all major bookstores. Autographed copies may be purchased through the author - see special announcement below.
Tip A Canoe
ISBN: 1-885173-92-X, by Peter E. Abresch
Write Way Publishing -- $ 23.95
see special announcement below, or click on new [Elderhostel Coordinators' comments]

    In this third novel of the ELDERHOSTEL® Mysteries, Jim Dandy and Dodee Swisher again set off on an adventure looking for colorful birds, but keep turning up black vultures. Write Way has gone bankrupt and this book may temporally be hard to find other than with the author.

    Dodee Swisher was the main reason Jim Dandy attended an Elderhostel in South Carolina. And it sounded like fun. What trouble could they find canoeing in a swamp? Then they stumble across a body among the cypress knees. Then the sheriff finds an empty dynamite box. Then a retired FBI guy links it with a plot to blow up a dam. And perhaps there's a connection to a an old Spanish galleon found off the coast. How could Jim squelch Dodee's curiosity after that? But what really haunted Jim's mind was the ogre lurking in their relationship, the growing specter of the 'L' word.

[E-mail Peter E. Abresch]
Drop me a line.
[Elderhostel Mysteries & Fiction Writing Techniques]
See special offer under announcements below.
Painted Lady
ISBN: 1-890768-47-2, by Peter E. Abresch
Intrigue Press -- 1-800-996-9783 $ 24.95
click here to see new [Elderhostel Coordinators' comments] on the mystery series.

    Painted Lady made the IMBA BEST SELLER list. The intrepid Jim Dandy and Dodee Swisher meet again for the fourth ELDERHOSTEL® Mystery in Denver to embark on the old Santa Fe Trail.

    Did watching a woman jump to her death sound like a fun way to start an Elderhostel? Not to Jim Dandy. Not when it piqued the curiosity of his lady love, artist Dodee Swisher. So it was good they motored off to explore the Santa Fe Trail. But then it turned out the dead woman was an Indian shaman. And had been murdered. And, worse, she kept turning up unbidden in Dodee's paintings. Then they got stranded on a dark and frigid night in downtown Cimarron's ghost hotel. Talk about oooOOOooo.

PHOTOS PHOTOS: I've also posted pictures of the Sante Fe Trail Elderhostel and you can check these out by clicking [right here] now or after reading chapter one.

[E-mail Peter E. Abresch]
Drop me a line.
[Painted Lady cover]
Cover by Margaret McCullough

[Painted Lady cover]

Paperback April 04 IMBA Best Seller. Click on either to read chapter one.

[Deadly Morsels cover]
Click on cover to read the first chapter of Sheep in Wolf's Clothing. Deadly Morsels is an anthology the came out April 03. Unfortunately it quickly sold out and as of now is not being reprinted.
Sheep in Wolf's Clothing
part of the anthology Deadly Morsels
ISBN: 0-373-26452-6, by Peter E. Abresch
Worldwide Mystery, Paperback, 384 pages
$ 6.99 US/$ 8.50 Can
Click to see new [Elderhostel Coordinators' comments] on the mystery series.

    This novella, part of an anthology which also includes novellas by Takis & Judy Iakovou, Steven Havill, and Jane Rubino, continues the ELDERHOSTEL® adventures of Jim Dandy and Dodee Swisher, once again a cooking Elderhostel, this time on the outer banks of North Carolina.

    All Dodee Swisher and Jim Dandy planned for was a quiet weekend Elderhostel, learning how to make some new culinary delights. Finding a body washed up on a NC beach squelched that. Especially when it was dressed in a clerical collar. Especially when the identification of a missing Catholic priest turned up in the pocket. And especially when the body turned out to be that of a woman. Yeah, buddy.

[E-mail Peter E. Abresch]
Drop me a line.

[Elderhostel Mysteries & Fiction Writing Techniques]
Name Games
by Peter E. Abresch
Sidewalk Books

    This is the fifth of the ELDERHOSTEL® Mysteries--not counting the above anthology--and reunites Jim Dandy and Dodee Swisher in North Carolina on a hiking and whitewater rafting Elderhostel. Jim's not too crazy about either, but with Dodee's proclivity for turning up bodies, he welcomes the woods and rafting as a respite from murder and mayhem and getting entangled with the cops. Of course, woods and rafting doesn't stop this romantic couple from stumbling over a body or two. Would you expect anything else?

    If you'd like to read the first chapter, please click on the book cover, or [right here], and you'll also find a quick link to purchase it.

[E-mail Peter E. Abresch]
Drop me a line.
[Name Games book cover]
Cover by Peter Abresch

[BookMarc] and [Easy Reading Writing]
click on either to if you wish to lean more about fiction writing and sign up for a fiction writing newsletter. It will take you to easyreadingwriting web-sire. There is an easy return.

    Elderhostel® is a federally registered trademark of Elderhostel, Inc.     Elderhostel, Inc. has granted the Author permission to use its trademark solely for use in these fictional publications having an Elderhostel setting. To learn more about Elderhostel Adventures in Learning, please click on the pennant.
What exactly is an ... Elderhostel????
(Click on the Elderhostel pennant above to find out.)
New Announcements
Updated 12/12/07

Table of contents:(clickable)

[Book Annoucements]
[ELDERHOSTEL COORDINATOR comments on Elderhostel Mysteries]
[Readers comments on Elderhostel Mysteries]
[Links to Other Sites]

        PHOTOS, PHOTOS: I've posted a page of photos of our last Elderhostel, Hiking and White Water Rafting, on which the latest mystery, Name Games, is based. Click [right here] if you'd like to see them. Or for photos of the Santa Fe Trail Elderhostel on which Painted Lady is based, click here[PL Photos].

        We went on a new Elderhostel in the fall of 04 in Washington State, called Adventures in Tall Ships, sailing in the Puget Sound. This was a fantastic adventure and will be the next Jim Dandy book if I sell enough Name Games to make it worth while. I'll have some pictures of that up before long. Following that I think I have a juicy little murder in Maine where I taught fiction writing at an Elderhostel in Eastport. Providing, of course, we get a new publisher sometime in the not too distant future.

Special Price on Elderhostel® Mysteries
There is a special price for Elderhostel® Mysteries while they last. Please check it out [here.]

Sidewalk Books
    The only new book announcement I have is a humorous, fast paced new action/mystery thriller, with a touch of romance, that takes place rushing around Washington, DC, and hiding out from federal agencies aboard a houseboat on the Potomac River. This is the first of my stand-alone Sidewalk Books called by the irreverent name, [IF THEY ASK FOR A HAND, ONLY GIVE THEM A FINGER]. To find out about it and why it's called Sidewalk Books, click on the title and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Please take a look. Don't worry, there's an easy return.

Other Stuff
    Also, FYI, I taught a class called Writing Good Fiction for the Smithsonian Institution in June of 2003, and in April 2004 I tought a couple of classes at the Maryland Writer's Association conference. In September of the same year I taught at an Elderhostel in Maine.

    My editor from Write Way Press, Dorrie O'Brien, is now doing freelance editor. I recommend her if you're seeking one. She lives in Texas and her email is dorrie@peakpeak.com

    I would be glad to autograph and personalize any of the hardcovers. Also, if you already have a copy, hardcover or paperback, you may send it along with enough for return postage and I'll autograph it. Contact me by one of the e-mail thingies.

    Think that's it.

Elderhostel Coordinator's comments on the Elderhostel Mysteries

    Put aside your stereotypes of elder life and savor the essence of a society of elders. Peter Abresch takes us into a delightful world where age disappears and is replaced by the ageless values of humor, romance, adventure, and wisdom. Jim Olson, former editor the Elderhostel Notebook, independent hosteler e-zine

    Tip a Canoe captured the flavor and camaraderie of the Elderhostels here at the Robert M. Cooper 4-H Leadership Center, except, of course, we haven't found any bodies lurking in the swamps. Not yet anyway. Pam Ardern, Elderhostel Coordinator, Youth Learning Institute at Clemson University.

    Peter Abresch's Elderhostel mysteries are always intriguing. Jim and Dodee start off like normal Elderhostel participants, then the bodies start piling up. Who will be the first to go in his newest book, Painted Lady? Surely not the knowledgeable leader or the bus driver!! The Santa Fe Trail of Colorado and New Mexico holds many surprises. Lets hope murder is not among them--but you always know the Elderhostel mysteries are filled with adventure and the unexpected twists and turns!!!!
Wayne Sundberg, Elderhostel Coordinator, Colorado State University

    When/where can we get the book? (Name Games) I cannot wait! I put all you books in our Mountain library displayed on a shelf (not just shelved), and when I tour the group I point them out. Most have never heard of your books, but I tell them how much fun they are, and someone picks them up because I have to get them re-displayed each week. Hopefully, the word will spread for you.
Susan Smith, Elderhostel Coordinator, The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, Highlands N.C.

    Peter Abresch really attends Elderhostel programs so he knows what he writes about. Not only is he a good writer, and getting better with each book, but he is a great promoter of Elderhostel. Glad to have him among us.
Joy Rising, Elderhostel Coordinator and Hosteler, Eastport, Maine.

    While Peter was aboard Adventuress, he not only spent a great deal of time researching the details of the setting and ship, but had us all on edge as to which one of us would be "killed off" by the end of the trip. His background and stories provided us with a unique perspective during our program, and I can't wait to see what role the ship will play in his next Elderhostel Mystery!
Bob Porto, Director of Education, Sound Experience
Elderhostel Coordinator during the cruise of the 103 foot sailing vessel, Adventuress. www.soundexp.org

Reader's Comments on Elderhostel Mysteries

    Peter:     You must be Jim Dandy in person! Jim and Dodee are so very real. I have read 'Tip A Canoe' and 'Painted Lady'. I am in the middle of 'Bloody Bonsai' with 'Killing Thyme' waiting on top of my to-red pile.
    Jim and Dodee are a most entertaining and level-headed and hearted couple. I love them.
    I really enjoyed the 'Painted Lady'. My family and I lived in Colorado for a long time - those places were so familiar, so fondly remembered. I enjoyed the pictures on your web site, too.
    I think going on an Elderhostel might be just the ticket for me. When will you be doing another writing workshop for them?
    Keep writing. I will keep spreading the word about your wonderful mysteries. Thank you, Virginia Fitzmaurice 10/04 Virginia.Fitzmaurice@duke.edu

    Hi Peter,
    I met you at "Book 'Em" in Waynesboro. I enjoyed "Killing Thyme" and have already passed it on to my friend, Sue, who is addicted to tours. When I described the fat guy in the red and white polka dotted cap, she immediately recognized him.
    I LOVED "Tip A Canoe". It's so nice to read about people who are my age. Most of the books on the market have protagonists who are in their thirties, can leap high walls with a single bound and can't imagine folks over sixty falling in love or enjoying sex.
    By the way, I've signed up to receive Elderhostel materials and hope to take one of their classes next spring or summer.
    Thanks! Agnes Hagen, 11/04 agneshagen@juno.com

    My husband and I have gone to 13 and 11 Elderhostels, respectively, in the last 6 years, with another one to come next month and two applied for next year. We recently found out about Peter Abresch's Elderhostel-based mysteries, and have read all three. They are delightful and certainly show Elderhostel in a good light.
        Mary Zelle, zelle@vei.net

    I wanted to let you know that I just finished reading "Killing Thyme" and loved it. I will be going out as soon as possible and looking for "Bloody Bonsai". I know I'll be reading them out of order but I wasn't aware of your books until I got one in the Mystery Book Club.
    The characters are very amusing and the plot had me going. I thought I had it figured out but was wrong about Morgan Wren being one of the killers. I did catch on to the bodies in the olive oil though.(smile)
    I'm looking forward to your next book that will be taking place in the swamps of South Carolina. When will that be out?
        A new fan, Ruth Ebner, Rebner@prodigy.net

    Thank you for the response to my e-mail!
    I have promoted your books many times - our church (Unitarian) has a "55 & Better" luncheon the third Wednesday of the month, and I have recommended your books for reading!! No bloody violence, no filthy language - just good entertainment!!!
        Ruthann Heineken amitor@teleport.com

    Dearest Peter,
    Mother and I have already read your wonderful books. We're eagerly awaiting Jim and Dodee's next adventure. You've made me curious about Elderhostel. I think that may be the ticket for my husband and me. A pleasure to hear from you.
        Adrian thelegends@onemain.com

    Thank you, Peter. I received my copy of Killing Thyme on Saturday and read it in one big gulp. I like your cast of characters, your choice of names, Jim and Dodee. The restaurant scenes were fun to read, the food described so well I ate three apples this afternoon because you made me hungry.
    The typo gremlins hopped in twice, once on page 43 where it says ..."has someone talked to about the limitiations of our bus?" and on page 79 where Calvin Goodnight's name is spelled Goonknight.
    That being said, on page 121 you use the phrase "whisper kiss," which made me stop and smile. Loverly.
    What all authors need is a pedantic, stuffy, fussy old bat like me to proof their books for them. I'm going to buy Bloody Bonsai, wait for the third book and check into Elderhostel. Well done!
        Jeri Bates jbates@bc1.com

    I've just read Tip A Canoe and enjoyed it so very much. I wanted to write and let you know it was a fun book to read. I have been reading a lot of "hardboiled" mysteries lately and Tip A Canoe was a most welcome change. I have read Killing Thyme and Bloody Bonsai and I think I have already written and told you I enjoyed them. I feel like Jim and Dodee are old friends.
    I am a retired lady in her sixties and really enjoyed the "bug spray" exchanges in the first few pages of the book. I love the way you write. The characters are sooooo real.
    Thanks so much for a delightful book. I hope there is another one out there for me to read. I love your books.
    Leslie Connell

Links to Other Sites
(Click on the appropriate "busy writer" for linkage to other side, but be forewarned, these were last updated in 2004 and may now longer be valid.)

Elderhostel Inc. Home Page
[Elderhostel Notebook]
EH Notebook (not officially associated with Elderhostel Inc.)
[Mystery Vault Archives]
The Mystery Vault Archives
[poetry journal]
m.e.stubbs poetry journal
[Mystery Writers of America]
Mystery Writers of America home pagee
[Writer Todd Hays]
Writer Todd Hays' web-site
Whitestone Author Resource
[Romance Reader]
The Romance and Mystery Reader Site
[Writer Todd Hays]
Writer Radine Trees Nehring's web-site
[Mountain Photos]>
[NovelHost Web Hosting & Design]
Some images on this website are © 1999 - 2004 by J. Alec West.
Some images on this website are © 1999 - 2004 by Elderhostel, Inc.
Some images on this website are © 1999 - 2004 by Peter E. Abresch.
Some images on this website are © 1999 - 2002 by Write Way Publishing which are no longer in business.
Some images on this website are © 1999 - 2004 by Gail Cross, Donna Wallmark, or Roswita Case.