The Gone Fishing Trilogy is the story of Ethel Koontz O’Connor. Beginning in 1973, The Hook finds Ethel graduating from college and ready to take on the world of journalism in Boston. Her father, who raised her, since her mother died in childbirth, has other ideas for her to stay in comfort of Piney Bluffs. Her decision to stay shapes future in ways that she had never imagined. She learns about her mother in bits and pieces as her father, Eddy, opens the painful story of her mother Stephanie. Uncovering a con artist who tries to dupe these lovely characters out of their homes, is just Ethel’s first adventure. In The Line, Ethel continues to search for more information about her mother’s family. Her search leads her to uncover a murder that may have imprisoned the wrong man for more than forty years. As Ethel reveals her mother’s past, she and her father are faced with the harsh reality of an untold secret. The Sinker will end Ethel’s search for the family that yearned for. She will find that family is not just by blood relation. These stories will have the reader guessing at every turn of the plot as they are led through the phases of discovery, the price of silence and at last forgiveness.
Gone Fishing: The Hook
In 1973, Ethel Koontz is impatient to begin a career as a newspaper reporter far away from her tiny fishing village of Piney Bluffs, Maine. Raised by her father, Eddy, since her mother died in childbirth, Ethel always wondered if she inherited her independent spirit from the mother she never knew. She strains against the warm confines of her father, Miss Ruthie and her confection-filled bakery, Andy the creator of blue plate specials at the diner, and Caleb, the editor of the Piney Bluffs Bugle who dangles the bait of a job to make her stay in town.
None of these lures can hook Ethel until a faraway stranger arrives for her best friend's wedding and makes Piney Bluffs his home and Ethel his wife. She resigns herself to the job at The Bugle but, with her investigative nature, nets a local story worthy of big-time journalism, one that threatens to change the very character of the town.
She strips the facade of fishing celebrity Norman Williams to reveal his predator motives. It will take all the people of Piney Bluffs and a host of others to reel in Norman to justice and restore peace to Piney Bluffs.
Gone Fishing: The Line
In Gone Fishing The Line, part two of the Gone Fishing trilogy, it is the fall of 1980, Ethel O’Connor finds that silence surrounds the mystery of her mother’s past. The letters and pictures in Momma’s box will lead Ethel from the quiet town of Oxford, Maine to the Maine State Prison and back to Piney Bluffs. Who is Joseph, the boy in the picture with Momma? What is the hidden meaning in the letters from him? Is there more than meets the eye as Ethel learns about the untimely drowning of her mother’s best friend? Was it murder or was it an accident? The pages of her mother’s journal give Ethel a glimpse into part of her mother’s life. This is finally the knowledge that Ethel has thirsted for.
As Ethel searches for the truth, she’ll meet a variety of new characters and discover that line still connects all of those involved. The Oxford town clerk Henry Blake, who knows more than he lets on. The assistant warden Mr. Osgood, a weaselly devious man. A prison inmate Andre St. Pierre, who has been jailed for the drowning. To compound Ethel’s anxiety, she and Charlie are trying to find an answer as to why their son EC isn’t walking. The doctors are trying to be optimistic, but Ethel isn’t convinced.
The warm colorful characters of Piney Bluffs, Caleb, Sadie, Miss Ruthie, Big Beulah and the rest, are always present to remind Ethel that she is exactly where she needs to be, to do the things she was meant to do.
Gone Fishing: The Sinker
On the eve of 1981, the drama continues to unfold in this, the third and final installment of the Gone Fishing trilogy, Gone Fishing The Sinker. In this stunning finish, we follow Ethel as she endeavors to discover the identity of the other woman in the pictures with her mother. This picture is the las unexplained item in a cherished collection of Ethel's mother's things. Will this unknown woman know the whereabouts of Ethel's half sister? Will Ethel ever understand the circumstances that brought her mother to take a vow of silence? And who was in that terrible accident on that snowy evening? A world of adoption and a home for unwed mother's reveals to Ethel the true price her mother paid, as Ethel and her husband Charlie, travel throughout New England to find the answers.
And through it all, the colorful characters of Piney Bluffs, beginning with Ethel's father, Eddy, and on to Caleb, Sadie, Miss Ruthie, Big Beulah, Ginny and the rest, remind Ethel of the goodness of small-town Maine that surrounds her as she follows her heart to the truth. This truth will give a voice to the silence of her mother's past. Piney Bluffs, and its spirit, creativity and Yankee ingenuity, is a blueprint for all small New England towns to embrace.