Fort Wayne authors and sisters Johnine Brown and Margaret Yoder are Margarite St. John. The pen name is a combination of the two first names with the added panache of the strong mass market sounding moniker. For over three years, they have collaborated to write a steady stream of murder mystery novels, a how-to book for aspiring authors of popular genre novels and a holiday-themed book, Postcards from a Tuscan Christmas.
Born in Iowa, the sisters eventually landed in Fort Wayne, which is good fortune for their reading public. Their stories emanate that hometown feeling for a medium-sized Midwestern city, with references to locations and enterprises that either are called by name or mirror places you know by another name.
There is slightly more than a 15-year age difference between the two, but they write as one in their fast-paced, edgy thrillers. The older sibling, Brown, is a retired attorney with advanced law degrees. She also has another career path which is handy if you plan on writing novels, as she was an assistant professor in Chicago State University’s English Department with a masters in English lit and a doctorate in English language and lit. Yoder is also well-educated and has degrees in education and a medical background. Between her work experience and her surgeon husband, she rounds out the team with medical expertise.
Although the recurring characters interspersed in the novels create a series feel, all of the books stand alone as individual titles, so you won’t feel let down if you happen to read any of their seven books out of sequence.
Margarite St. John books are a kind of a combination of Agatha Christie meets Danielle Steel. They generally stick to the ever-popular murder mystery plot lines and make them endearing by including humor, innuendos and unexpected twists.
Their work ethic, something these ladies do very well, has gotten them to the point they are today with their literary ambitions. They work very hard at the craft and don’t let any grass grow under their feet while pining for success from a single book. Any successful author will agree that more is definitely better, and you can be sure not everyone is going to love every book you write. If you have several to choose from, the odds are much greater that one of your books will spark interest from readers who will have a favorite but will still be interested in other offerings. This also helps grow exposure and sales.
If you enjoy a good murder mystery or suspense thriller, you will appreciate the time and talent these two authors have devoted to the Margarite St. John brand.
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