The King of Hearts

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By Gwen Beaudean Thoma, EdD

About the Book

Format Dimensions Pages
Softcover 6x9 124

In 1963, Angelina Harper was fifteen and a half years old. She was just entering her sophomore year of high school and was looking forward to driving and beginning to date. Her high school years take a dramatic turn when the king of hearts playing card begin to appear wherever Angelina goes. She slowly begins to realize she is being stalked. Horror fills her life as she discovers that each boy that she goes out with is savagely murdered, and king of hearts playing cards are left at each murder scene. The day after each murder, she receives a sympathy card with a king of hearts playing card in the mail. The police are baffled by these crimes. Clues are few and nonyielding as police try to catch this criminal. The saga of the king of hearts continues throughout Angelina’s high school days. She lives in fear and realizes that whoever she goes out with will be murdered. Finally, this saga takes a dramatic turn as the killer finally makes a mistake that helps police solve the case and frees Angelina from this serial killer in 1966. I hope that each reader of this exciting thriller enjoys the mystery as it unfolds.

About the Author

Gwen Beaudean Thoma, EdD was born and raised in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, a small college town along the Mississippi River. She attended the local college and graduated in 1969 with her basic nursing degree. Gwen was a registered professional nurse for 42 years at Southeast Missouri Hospital. During that time she continued her education receiving her bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in administration at Southeast Missouri State University. In 1999 Gwen graduated from the University of Memphis with her Doctorate in Education. Dr. Thoma loves to write and published her first book in 2016 entitled “No More Biting”. It is a children’s book written for parents, grandparents and teachers who have children who bite. It was written originally for her grandson in 2001. He had trouble with biting his friends at school. After retiring in 2011, Dr. Thoma decided to have it published. Events in Dr. Thoma’s life entangled her in 5 murders in Cape Girardeau. These murders changed her life forever and followed her for 30 years. Thus in 2015, Gwen wrote this book entitled “Living with Murder for Thirty Years”. Her love for writing is like a second career and even though the differences between children’s books and murder mysteries is huge, Dr. Thoma believes one should never limit possibilities in writing and authorship. Dr. Thoma’s third book entitled “The Cat Named Bud” is another children’s book meant for lower elementary age children who are beginning readers. Children love their pets and can relate to the story of this pet. Dr. Thoma’s forth book, “Whatever Happened to Sara” is a work of fiction about a 23 year old elementary teacher who is murdered on a deserted road in 1953. Writing fiction is particularly challenging because it requires more creativity to come up with a plot and the characters. The only thing real in this book is the location of the crime in Farrar, Missouri. Dr. Thoma believes this story is intriguing and suspenseful from the very first chapter until the very end. This book, “The King of Hearts” is a fictional murder mystery about a teenage girl in high school who has her world turned upside down by a serial killer who stalks her over a three and a half year period. Each boyfriend that Angelina Harper goes out with is murdered. The King of Hearts leaves king of hearts playing cards where ever Angelina goes and sends her sympathy cards after each murder. It appears he knows her every move and wants her for his very own. This thrilling murder mystery will catch hold of the reader and draw them in to the story from beginning to the dramatic end.