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Professor Launches Mystery/Thriller Book Series

David CarlsonCoffeetown Press will release “Enter by the Narrow Gate,” the first book in a riveting new mystery/thriller series by David Carlson, Franklin College professor of philosophy and religion, on Nov. 1, 2016.

The series features a cerebral and troubled Detroit police detective, Christopher Worthy, and his friend, Father Fortis, a garrulous Orthodox monk. A teenage girl has vanished in Santa Fe. Nearby, in the Trappist monastery of St. Mary of the Snows, a beautiful young nun is stabbed to death. Father Fortis is on sabbatical at St. Mary’s, and when Lieutenant Worthy is flown in to help find the missing teenager, the Orthodox monk asks his friend to delve into the nun’s murder as well. The two men make a perfect team: the monk’s gregarious manner opens hearts and the detective’s keen intuition infiltrates psyches.

“Enter by the Narrow Gate” is Carlson’s first novel.  His insights into how faith can enhance existence but also be lost and distorted help give his book psychological complexity.  Set in New Mexico’s high desert, Carlson vividly depicts the beauty and ominous solitude of the landscape.

“Father Fortis is the opposite of what most people expect of a monk, and his creation for this series gives me a chance not only to put this character into interesting situations and see what happens, but also to educate the public about the Orthodox Church, a branch of Christianity that is more widespread than most people realize,” said Carlson.  “I thought Christopher Worthy, with his cerebral approach and personal demons, would make a perfect foil for this jovial, warm-hearted monk. Add to that the setting of New Mexico, a place I love for its rare beauty and deep spiritual currents. Doing research for this story was great fun.”

The cover art for the book was designed by Carlson’s wife, Kathy.  She taught at Franklin College for 36 years as an English professor, retiring in 2015.  She has studied watercolor painting at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisc., in the summers since 1998 and has even taught watercolor painting at Franklin.

“Enter by the Narrow Gate” is currently available for preorder on Amazon.com. After Nov. 1, it will also be for sale in eBook and 6×9 trade paperback editions on BN.com, Amazon.com, the European Amazons and Amazon Japan.

Carlson’s first work of nonfiction, “Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World,” was selected as one of the Best Books of 2011 in the area of Spiritual Living by Library Journal.  His second book on religious terrorism, “Countering Religious Extremism: The Healing Power of Spiritual Friendships,” will be released by New City Press in 2017.

Carlson has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Wheaton College (Ill.), a Master of Arts degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West (biblical theology) and a doctorate from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (New Testament studies). He has taught at Franklin College the past thirty-eight years. For more information, please visit www.davidccarlson.org. 

Coffeetown Press is based in Seattle, Wash., and has been publishing the finest fiction and nonfiction since 2005.

For more information, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at (317) 738-8185.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential, liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus, spanning 207 acres, including athletic fields and a 31-acre biology woodland. Students enjoy the comfort and safety of suburban living, while also experiencing the many opportunities Indianapolis has to offer with a short 20-minute drive to downtown. The college prepares students to think independently, to lead responsibly and to serve with integrity in their professions, their communities and the world.  The college offers its more than 1,000 students Bachelor of Arts degrees in 51 majors from 25 academic disciplines, 42 minors, 11 pre-professional programs and five cooperative programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation.  Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA.  For more information, visit www.FranklinCollege.edu.  Find Franklin College on Facebook and follow @FranklinCollege on Twitter.

(Posted July 25, 2016)

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