25 years ago today by Stacy Juba

Twenty- Five Years Ago Today

Author: Stacy Juba

Publisher: Mainly Murder Press

ISBNN: 978-0-615-29011.

Newspaper reporters are supposed to do research and print information in their articles that is not only factual but accurate too. But, that is not always the case when looking to increase readership and sales of the paper. All too often when murder is involved the reporters use tactics involving sensationalism, invasion of privacy of the families of the victims and more in order to get their story on page one of their paper and possibly a banner headline. This brings me to my review of Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba.

Starting a job as an editorial assistant, Kris Langley learns more than just the inner workings of a local newspaper as the story enfolds. Writing obits, wedding announcements, and compiling events to write in her column,”25 Years Ago Today,” she stumbles upon an unsolved murder that occurred 25 years ago and decides to launch her own private investigation and find the killer. The Fremont Daily News is the paper that hired her and Diana Ferguson is   young cocktail waitress who was murdered 25 years ago and from the information she finds reading the microfilm on the case she is determined to find justice for Diana and bring closure for her family. But, what she is about to find out will haunt not only the reader but bring up memories from the past that haunt Kris and might destroy her future.

Haunting Kris is the senseless murder of her cousin Nicole Jordan who was killed 14 years ago and whose murderer was brought to justice, but Kris blames herself for what happened and her nightmares about the incident and more are what drives her to try and solve the Diana’s murder.

Diana Ferguson was an artist who loved to paint pictures about Greek and Roman mythology. She even painted one of Pandora’s jar, not box. The picture depicts Pandora opening the jar and all of the evils and plagues of the world poured out, except HOPE. She was able to reclose the lid and keep HOPE safely inside. Which is one of the reasons Kris was determined to find out who killed her and at the same time prove herself as an investigative reporter.

Kris’s sister and mother are both doctors and feel that working in news and reporting it is beneath her and pays poorly. They put her down every chance they get and try to convince her that her life would have been better doing something else.

But, using her intuition, intelligence and creative ideas, our author paints a different picture of Kris and lets the reader know that she is definitely a force to be reckoned with and will stop at nothing to find the answers she seeks. With the help of Diana’s mother, sister, and nephew she learns a lot about the night she was killed and more about those who might be guilty. But, at what expense and at who’s?

Her boss Dexter, the managing editor Jacqueline are at definite odds and although Dexter is a great editor, she is trying to force him out and so is everyone else on staff at the paper. But why?

Getting close to Diana’s nephew Eric, who opposed her every step of the way at first, they venture into Diana’s world and soon have a list of suspects to interview and suspect. Two ex-boyfriends, one ex-boss and one jealous wife who was in the same History Club and classmate, several others who claimed that she had a reputation for dating too many men and more, lead Kris and Eric on a quest that take them back to ancient Rome and Greece and the key to the answers they need.

With the help of Diana’s college professor Kris learns about the History Club she belonged to and the many cultures that influenced Diana’s paintings. Diana Ferguson painted many pictures based on many of the myths in both Greek and Roman mythology. Many of her paintings were inspired by these myths of gods whose lives were filled with human agony, as hers must have been and no one knew. But there a more secrets to unfold based on her paintings and the link between Kris’s obsession to solve this murder and to come to grips with what happened to her cousin Nicole in order to start living her life without her feelings of guilt.

The events that unfold will astound the reader and cause Kris to come face to face with a murderer and possibly destroy the world she is trying to build a family’s hope for justice too. But, sometimes the best intentions are misunderstood and the managing editor of her paper decides that she is detrimental and what happens next is not only unfair but also vengeful.

Threats to her life and phone calls to call off her investigation spur Kris and Eric on in order to find out who this murderer is and the reasons behind the killing. All too often what is evident is right in front of us and we wear blinders in order to hide the truth and not let the light in from the sun to illuminate what we need to see. Kris’s father, her mother and sister live in their own world of what they feel life and reality is. Her sister, Holly in a career she was programmed by her mother to enter. Kris, strong willed and determined to find her own way but guilt-ridden over the death of her cousin which she blames on herself and will not discuss or share with anyone.

Finding out the truth and admitting it are often the same things. Kris finally bears her to Eric about what really happened the day Nicole died. Then, she finally blurts it out to her mother and sister who still remain judgmental and the rift between then gets wider. Not wanting to give up on the Diana Ferguson case she delves deeper into the meaning of a painting that she had done before she dies and realizes the connection to the mythical Furies and their beliefs.  What link do the beliefs of these avenging goddesses have to do with the real murderer? What do Diana’s studying and painting of Greek and Roman mythology have to do with the surprise ending? You will have to read this well crafted, well-researched and outstanding first novel of the newest mystery writer on the block, Stacy Juba.  To the great mystery writers of the 21st century, make room for the author of this great book.

One mistake can forever change the destiny of two people and the lives of a family forever. What really happened to Diana and who was responsible? I will not reveal the twists, turns, lies and deceptions that the reader will have to figure out for him/herself to learn the true identity of what really happened 25 years ago to Diana. Is lady justice served for Diana? You decide for yourself.

Do you know where you were 25 years ago? Look back and find out you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find out or not.