An award-winning novel, set in San Diego, spanning three generations of a family’s history. Buompensiero’s work was inspired by a true story―her own!
Sumerland traces a family’s devastating history and the ghosts who haunt the present, seeking to right the wrongs of the past.
A lyrical harmony of mystery, romance, and the webwork of family, M. Lee Buompensiero’s Sumerland is a true page turner. It’s deeply human and lovingly written.
—Richard Lederer, Best-selling author of Anguished English; Columnist, San Diego Union Tribune
What if the “not so dearly departed” could return from the other side of the grave to right the wrongs they committed while alive? How would that impact the living? The main character in Sumerland is about to find out. Take a self-assured young heiress, a psychic best friend, a stray dog, a young veterinarian, an old mansion, and a couple of dispirited spirits with an axe to grind—mix them up—and you have Sumerland.
When Kate Post inherits the old Liebersohn mansion—her estranged mother's bizarre bequest to the daughter she rarely saw and barely knew—Kate doesn't want it, but an odd inscription etched in concrete beside a garden pathway haunts her dreams. Convinced that a period restoration will result in a quick sale, she begins renovating. But Kate's plans and the resident ghosts' scheme are about to collide. The result will unhinge Kate's world, uncover haunting family secrets, and set her on a mission to undo the wrongs that only she can set aright.
“Sumerland is a story of a family divided—literally split in two—for generations. Neither side knowing about the existence of the other. Sumerland is based on another family story—mine. Like the family in Sumerland, we were two sides split by generations. Finding each other was pure dumb luck. A real miracle and maybe something else. Did the unseen hands of our long-dead ancestors play a part in reuniting us? We’ll never know. Sumerland’s ghosts take us to their world to experience their life-altering events. We see how their misguided passions changed their lives and sealed their fates. Sumerland reveals how trust can be destroyed by betrayal—and, how it can be redeemed by love. Sumerland is a love letter from the past to the future.”
—M. Lee Buompensiero
Best Published Mystery
San Diego Book Awards
Fatal Little Lies
Theo discovers that her mother, Dena Hunter, who disappeared 30 years ago, was involved in a U.S. Congressman’s assassination attempt in which two people died. Theo believes Dena is still alive and in hiding. Theo and an ace computer hacker head to San Francisco to retrace her mother’s steps. When she uncovers Dena’s extremist ties and bloody past, a key witness is killed. Theo becomes the hunted and the end game is sudden death.
When the grisly discovery of a friend’s body becomes a police cover-up led by her ex-fiancé, Theo Hunter vows to discover the truth. Her meddling exposes a political scandal involving organized crime that threatens to topple the city’s powerful kingpins. Uncovering corruption at a high level of government comes with a price. Unprotected and on her own, Theo becomes the target of a ruthless killer
Deadly Little Secrets
All hell just broke loose in San Diego—investigative reporter Theo Hunter is caught in the middle of it. The slaying of a retired priest is shrouded in secrets, lies, and cover-up. Was the old man the innocent victim of a deranged killer? Or a pervert who deserved what he got? Theo is hell-bent to find out. When three members of San Diego’s social and political elite—her prime suspects—are murdered, only one fact is clear: the killer will strike again. Armed with nothing but a madman’s cryptic notes, Theo scrambles to decipher the clues while the killer lurks in the shadows, poised to silence her for good.
2014 Finalist San Diego Book Awards Best Unpublished Mystery
"Highly recommended, good read"
- The San Diego Writers and Editors Guild
A lucky poker hand wins Benjamin Harrison Johnson a ramshackle homestead, the Six Bar Ranch in California. There’s a big problem—a young lad, Joseph, comes with the property. Something BHJ wasn’t prepared to deal with but accepts the challenge. Discovering oil, having his house burned to the ground by outlaws, and other wild west adventures, set in motion a fast-paced saga covering three generations of the Johnson dynasty. Over the decades, many diverse and interesting characters will put their mark on the Six Bar Ranch and its descendants. But amid the misadventures and tragedies, in the end, it is the Six Bar Ranch that helps them heal and thrive. Benjamin Harrison Johnson could never have imagined how a winning poker hand would change his life forever.