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My Works | Mystery Novels, Biography, and Memoir

Save the Last Dance for Death

When Marge moves into a retirement community in Southern California after the death of her husband, she is befriended by Relda, who shows her how to enjoy life at Laurel Pines by avoiding the rules and attending Friday night dances with Valentino. Valentino is the talented, suave dance instructor from a nearby studio who visits every week to dance with the ladies. Handsome and extremely popular, he is adored by the women, many of whom long to be his favorite partner, the one who is picked for the coveted last dance of the evening. With Relda's help, Marge gets ready for her first dance, but the mood shifts after Valentino's last partner of the evening drops dead later that night. Despite the shock, the residents chalk the incident up to old age and life goes on. Marge and Relda befriend Albert and Gerald, and the foursome settle into the rhythm of retirement. But when another dance partner turns up dead, Marge suspects foul play and pays a visit to the local police precinct to share her theory. After yet another resident collapses and dies on the dance floor, it becomes clear there is a murderer on the loose. Can Marge and her three friends catch the killer before the killer catches them?

A Kid from Pittsburgh

The American army has just gotten into WWII in North Africa, and Morris Rosen lies his age to enlist at 17. After radio school and basic training, Rosen is on a troop train lumbering across North Africa to Tunisia. Probably the greenest of many green recruits, he is taunted as “The Kid” or “Jew Boy” in his outfit.

Without the benefit of infantry backup, Rosen and his Ninth Division Artillery set out to prevent a German invasion of Eisenhower’s headquarters and the American supply depot. The mission has suicide written all over it, but the Ninth is the only unit available to prevent the enemy from looting the American stockpiles of fuel and ammunition.

Rosen’s job as a forward observer takes him into enemy territory to radio back and direct artillery fire. His buddy is killed just inches away from him by a Stuka bomber. The Germans greatly outnumber the Allies, and the battle at Thala is horrendous, but because of a miscalculation on Rommel’s part, the German army retreats. To everyone’s surprise, the Ninth Division Artillery pulls off the first actual land victory in WWII.

Rosen travels through North Africa with his unit. While investigating what appears to be a deserted ravine, Rosen finds a box of abandoned Italian hand grenades. Like any 18 year-old kid, he’s fascinated and lobs live grenades into the ravine. About 100 Italian soldiers covered in dust slowly emerge from the ravine waving white handkerchiefs. He single-handedly shepherds them to an MP, only to find the Ninth has moved on without him. He walks 30 miles to catch up, but instead of applauding his actions, the captain wants him shot for desertion. Rosen has so many mishaps of this sort that he’s dubbed a chronic screw-up and he’s finally drummed out of the Ninth.
The story is interlaced with Rosen’s unhappy memories of his childhood with his tyrant of a father. He remembers how he’d been forced to leave school after the 8th grade because his father caused him to do time in a reform school. He’s determined to make something of himself, and he gradually proceeds from the soldier who couldn’t seem to get anything right to one who serves his country well.

After receiving his first Purple Heart in Sicily, he’s transferred to the Third Division. He serves as a forward observer in dangerous situations in Salerno, Mignano, Cassino, and Anzio.

At Anzio, Rosen directs ship to shore artillery fire with two other men as a German tank emerges from the fog. Rosen is the only one who survives. He receives his second Purple Heart Medal for a machine gun bullet that shatters his knee. He is told his leg will have to be amputated, but by chance, a volunteer tells the surgeon the British have a new drug. He is one of the first to receive penicillin and his leg is saved. He recovers in an army hospital and is soon sent directly back to Anzio while still limping and walking with a cane.

After five months at Anzio, the Allies finally break out of their entrapment. Rosen is transferred to 7th Army Headquarters where among many other tasks, he is sent to assist in the liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany. At the tender age of 20, Rosen witnesses firsthand the madness of Hitler’s ruthless treatment of the Jews. Rosen interprets the Yiddish spoken by the Jewish prisoners to the rescue workers.

Morris Rosen faced almost unbelievable experiences during the war, but this story does not deal with battle tactics or the viewpoint of a general or world leader. It is, instead, the story of one soldier, a boy actually, who grew up while doing what was right during a time that was wrong.

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

Diagnosed with breast cancer in December 1995, and then ovarian cancer just four months later, Marion Rosen employed many positive strategies to ward off the silent killers that had invaded her life.

Joining and becoming an active member of a weekly support group at The Wellness Community helped her to focus on getting well. Now that she's a seasoned survivor, Rosen logs in many hours as a Wellness Community volunteer, helping the newly diagnosed to understand that they, too, can regain control of their lives and face down the paralyzing fear that accompanies the alien territory of cancer treatment. Feeling extremely grateful that she has survived her own battle with cancer, Marion Rosen does her utmost to help others in any way she can.

Writing this book is one way she chose to share the joys—yes joys—that resulted from her cancer. Rosen gives the reader hope and a chance to learn that even cancer has positive fringe benefits and many hidden blessings.

Death By Education

Work is never dull at the Los Angeles public high school where Greta Gallagher acts as teacher, counselor, and confidante to hundreds of teenage students.

But Greta's job gets even livelier—and deadlier—when one of her star students, a lovely and gifted cheerleader, is found murdered on the school grounds. While the police suspect the girl's ex-boyfriend, Greta is convinced that someone else is to blame—but who? The surly young janitor with a bad attitude and a worse alibi? The nerdy, lecherous math teacher, whose persistent leers make all the girls laugh? Or is it Greta's new love, the handsome principal, left a wealthy widower after the puzzling accidental death of his wife?

When another girl is brutally murdered, Greta, along with her best friend Maxine from the art department, must act fast to find the killer before he teaches them a fatal lesson.

Don't Speak to Strangers

Ten-year-old Jonathan Grady has been warned not to speak to strangers. But when a man in a battered van tells Jonathan that his house has burned down and his parents are dead, the boy is scared and confused. And when the man introduces himself as Leon, a friend of his father, and offers to take him to the safety of his grandmother's house, Jonathan climbs into the van . . . and enters the insane world of a child abductor.

Jonathan arrives at Leon's farm in a deserted countryside and finds another child, Maria, has also been "rescued" by Leon. Jonathan soon senses the full extent of the danger he and Maria are facing.

Now, as the twisted kidnapper grows crazier and more desperate, time is running out—for a young boy, fighting to stay alive; for his devastated parents, fighting the one war every parent dreads; and for FBI Special Agent Kira Thomasian, fighting the most harrowing battle of her career.