To visit Susan Cronk's author page at Amazon.com, click any of the book title links below.
In her first book, Hezekiah Rasco: Child of Woe -- Man of Sorrow, the author recounts the true story of Hezekiah Rasco, a Missouri farm boy accused of and tried for the brutal murder of Katy Baumli, a near neighbor, wife, and mother of two small children. Hez Rasco, who was fifteen at the time of the murder, was not initially suspected of the crime. Within a week, shortly following his sixteenth birthday, he would confess to her murder and be placed on trial, eventually sentenced to ten years in The Walls, the state penitentiary at Jefferson City, Missouri. Years later, after returning home following his release from a second prison sentence for horse theft, Rasco would again shock the Northwest Missouri community with a brutal crime unequaled in the county's history to that time. Hez's story is a sorrowful tale, but also serves as a tale of caution. "Every unpunished murder takes away something from the security of every man's life."
The author's second book, Brothers Such As These, also published in 2013, is a work of fiction. It tells the story of five men of faith, Christians, who face the challenges that are common to many people's lives. Throughout the joys and difficulties they encounter, their faith is a central force that keeps them grounded, secure, and hopeful.
The Oppressor Project is a Kindle e-book novella. It was published in 2013 and it is the author's second work of fiction. It tells the story of a young woman who is seeking out the "Phishermen," a international network of scam artists who use their knowledge of computers to scam unsuspecting people out of their money. When they target the main character's grandmother and rob of her of her security, following the death of her husband, her granddaughter sets out to avenge her grandmother and others who have been wronged. What she discovers is the plan the Phishermen have for creating worldwide chaos.
The author's first work of fiction for 2014 was The Sheltering Country, a story of suspense. Mariette Holmes is a young, freelance editor living in Chicago. Several years after testifying in a trial against an embezzler, she decides to start her life over by buying an aging farmhouse in Missouri where she hopes to continue her career and live a peaceable life. What she doesn't realize is that the past rarely stays buried. Her recovered sense of security is soon shattered by a mystery involving the farm she has purchased. As she tries to work out the mystery, an old enemy comes looking for her to settle accounts. Along her journey, Mariette makes new friends, discovers a faith long-since abandoned, and is reunited with a friend from her past.
Where in the World is Arkoe Missouri? Read and discover the history of a rural Northwest Missouri community that once played an important role in the development and prosperity of Nodaway County. Susan Cronk's fourth book, a work of nonfiction, tells the story of Arkoe, founded in 1874 by Dr. Perry Talbott and Scott K. Snively, well-respected professional men, businessmen, legislators, and veterans of the Civil War. They gave the town a solid beginning by acting on their vision. Although it changed significantly over the following 140 years, it remains a nice place to live.
Author Susan Cronk has published her fourth work of fiction for 2015. Tryst Twist is a novella-length who-done-it that will keep readers guessing until the last few pages. When a rural housewife, Julia Hoyle, is found dead in her bed on a quiet spring morning, Dr. Merryman, the county coroner, is called in to investigate. Aiding him in his efforts is his part-time nurse, Miss Jaymes, a woman with a penchant for asking questions and ferreting out answers. The small community of Gainesville, Missouri will be shocked by what their investigation unearths.
Ailis Belle Beaumont, Jaimin Aiton, and Gideon "Highshine" Brown are the three main characters in this fictional work by Susan Cronk. Overwhelmed by the death of her mother, and the previous loss of her father, Belle Beaumont decides to flee the cruelty of the life that surrounds her in Kansas City. Knowing that she cannot provide an adequate life for her younger brother, Adelio, she puts her trust in a local preacher to find an adoptive home for him. Belle makes her way to New Orleans, the ancestral home of her parents, where her life takes many twists and turns. Along the way, she is befriended by Highshine, a wandering trumpet player who is headed to New Orleans to make a name for himself in the jazz clubs. But, 1930s New Orleans is a rough place to try to build a life, as they both soon learn. With the help of Jaimin Aiton, a young preacher assigned to minister to the lost souls of New Orleans, Belle and Highshine eventually take to the road once again, with uncertain futures before them.
A work of biographical fiction, this book details some of the events in the life of "Maggie," the first-born of many children to a Missouri couple, who eventually move west to Wyoming. Maggie's young life is one of abuse, neglect, and despair brought on by the cruel behavior of her mother. To save Maggie's life, her father sends her to Missouri to live with her maternal grandparents where she finds a place of safety and rest from her troubles . . . for a short time. Throughout her more than 100 years of life, Maggie weathers the sorrows and uncertainties of life, and experiences the joy of being loved. This book is based upon true-life events recounted to the author between 2007 and 2014.
In 2016, Susan Cronk and Don Nothstine co-authored an anthology of infamous crimes that occurred within Nodaway County, Missouri between 1872 and 1931.
The book, Justice in Nodaway County: 1872-1931, includes ten essays detailing the accounts of those crimes and their final dispositions for the accused perpetrator.
Nodaway County, like nearly every other county in every state in America and nearly every city and village in countries around the world, has experienced more than a fair share of heinous crimes. Where people of varied beliefs, different moral codes (or the lack there of) and personal ambitions coexist there's no doubt that clashes will occur. Unfortunately, in some of those clashes people ended up severely disabled or dead.
The outcomes of these ten cases vary from one to the next and were very much dependent on the viciousness of the crime and the emotional scarring inflicted upon the social order. In some cases vigilante justice was applied. In others the accused went to trial, sometimes more than once, and faced either legal execution, incarceration, or acquittal.
Justice in Nodaway County is Don's first work of nonfiction and Susan Cronk's third. Readers of true crime will, no doubt, find the book interesting and may just find themselves trying the cases over and again in their own minds.