Stuyck, Karen Hanson
Stuyck, Karen Hanson
Married; children: one son.
Cry for Help (mystery novel), Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1995.
Held Accountable (mystery novel), Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1996.
Lethal Lessons (mystery novel), Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1997.
Fit to Die (mystery novel), Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2006.
Contributor of short stories to periodicals such as Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and Woman's World.
Karen Hanson Stuyck is a novelist and short-story writer whose works fall within the mystery genre. Her 2006 novel revolves around familiar elements. Middle-aged and overweight Lauren Prescott has just been dumped by her dentist-husband, who not only scorned her size but also emptied their bank account, absconded with their household goods, and may have run off with his gorgeous new receptionist. Desperately low on resources and with no immediate way to make a living, Lauren looks for work at a local magazine. Her tryout assignment is to write a profile of deceased fitness expert Stan Harris, who died while jogging. As Lauren looks deeper into Harris's life and career, his death sounds more and more suspicious, until Lauren concludes that he was murdered. Her simultaneous search for her estranged husband also turns up murders, including his office manager and the office manager's mother, leading to suspicions that her husband had deep criminal connections she knew nothing about. Lauren and daughters Katie and Em are left wondering whether the missing dentist had it in him to kill and whether there are other parties involved. Worse, there seems to be a connection between these murders and Harris's death. Exercise can be murder, but Lauren has to find out where fitness and crime fit together while she deals with her fledgling journalism career and her own physical issues. A Kirkus Reviews critic concluded that the novel is "chatty and endearing in a Susan Isaacs sort of way, although the plot of Stuyck's debut ultimately falls apart." Booklist reviewer David Pitt, however, commented: "Despite its generally familiar air, the novel is stylishly written and genuinely suspenseful."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2006, David Pitt, review of Fit to Die, p. 70.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2005, review of Fit to Die, p. 1303.