BOOKS BY D.A. SPRUZEN - Available on Amazon!
Long in the Tooth tries to show the sense of loss in the aging process, as well as the humor and wisdom that nevertheless prevail. Although I also write fiction, I find that poetry works best for me when I want to cast an intense light on these moments of clarity—or uncertainty..
In Crossroads, Sophie and five other characters attend a reunion at Julian’s ancient inn near the Cevennes mountains in France. Sophie and three of the men had crossed paths at an army hospital in Hastings, England, during World War II where Sophie nursed the men as they recuperated from their wounds. An act of cowardice and deceit all those years before precipitates a cascade of tragic events.
Mousetrap is the story of a newly widowed woman in her 40's who, on the face of it, has been emotionally abused by the men in her life—first her father, then her husband. The story opens the day after her husband's funeral. At times, the lines between reality and fantasy become almost as blurred for the reader as for the protagonist.
Lily Takes the Field, the second book in the Flower Lady series, is a story of redemption set in Toronto, Canada.
Lily Porter answers an ad for a room to rent in the home of Hilda, an elderly British widow, telling her she is a widow recently arrived from Manitoba. Hilda and her best friend Magaly become fond of Lily, and—to her surprise—she of them. Lily enjoys exploring Toronto, but her newfound contentment is short-lived. A pedophile is abducting and killing little girls and Lily, now working in a local bookstore, suspects that one of her co-workers might be the culprit. When the child of another employee, is abducted, Lily knows she must act; given Lily’s background and proclivities, one almost feels sorry for him! Other complications ensue as some aspects of Lily’s former life come back to haunt her.
Rose, a widow and mother of three adult children, is a founding member of the Salton Symphony and one of a group of seven volunteers who call themselves the “Symphony Slaves.” As the story opens, she is in the hospital recovering from a concussion after being found unconscious outside her friend Judy’s house. Rose cannot remember how she got there, although she remembers finding Judy bludgeoned to death. This is only the first of several murders that rock the normally dull Salton, a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C.
Alternate chapters comprise segments of the killer’s journal in which she recalls her childhood and reveals the warped logic that enables her to eliminate those who threaten her hard-won lifestyle. She overcame her destitution with the single-minded ruthlessness that drives her to kill again and again when things go wrong. The journal converges with the narrative as the story progresses and shows the terrible fallout that can result from child abuse; but it also suggests that it is not inevitable—her sister is not a killer, after all. This woman’s intelligence and drive have worked for her and against her.
This psychological suspense, the first of a trilogy, focuses on the characters’ inner lives and the social constraints that bind them. Each Symphony Slave changes as her complacency is shaken by dark events she never imagined could touch a community like Salton. And the way it all ends . . . pleases no one..
The Blitz Business opens in London's East End on December 29, 1940, when the Blitz is at its worst. Jamie is almost 15, has mild retardation, and lives with his grandmother and cousin Roy as a virtual shut-in. He wanders away from home and soon finds himself in the midst of circumstances beyond his comprehension. He survives many harrowing predicaments, including one that tests his courage when someone he loves is in mortal danger. He feels hope and despair in turn as he struggles to make his way after a confusing evacuation to the Hampshire countryside.
In spite of a life of deprivation, Jamie learns and grows over the next year, endearing himself to just about everyone he meets, some of whom will fight for his right to lead a normal life. But the authorities have their own ideas about his proper place, and his past is still not entirely behind him. When a German spy's mission intrudes, things get out of hand. His life careens between catastrophe and hope as Jamie fights to make the best of situations he cannot control.
The Blitz Business is an extremely ambitious novel, about big issues and big events, with a large and compelling cast of characters and a complexity that evolves to a wonderfully satisfying resolution. This is an outstanding debut that gives us a whole new angle on the last great war while offering richly imagined characters who are real from the first page to the last.
Author of Christiania and In the Middle of All This
Deeply moving and endlessly surprising, Blitz Business brings heart and unexpected light to the darkest corners of war-torn London. In Spruzen's capable hands, a vulnerable young man's search for a forever home becomes an irresistible journey filled with indelible characters and real danger. A novel of striking wisdom limned with a gritty historical edge.
—Laura Benedict, author of the Bliss House trilogy