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Queen of the Valley: The Days of XYZ

Henry F. Stocek, Jr.

Pages: 316
ISBN: 978-145752-834-7
List Price: 16.95
Category: Fiction
Available: July 2014
Edition: Perfectbound

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The Deep River Savings bank was attacked in December, 1899, by four members of a robbery syndicate. They didn’t know Cap Tyler was on duty inside. On the counting room table was his Winchester Riot-Control Model 97—a twelve gauge sawed-off shotgun that Tyler would be forced to use. A true tale, this historical dramatization, based on recorded facts and contemporary accounts, is meant to bring the reader back to that time when McKinley was in the White House. In a little Connecticut town, the name of the man being lowered into a four by six foot hole was unknown. Also unknown was the name of the Lady in Black who arrived soon after to leave lilies and coins in memory—on a robber’s grave. The little boy viewed it from the Post War years. In 1951, Harry Truman was President. The Korean War was tearing lives and hopes from a Post War recovery mired in losses still tender from Europe and the Pacifi c. The last of the Victorians were departing as the fi nal threads holding to the nineteenth century ripped away. People said the Lady in Black was dead by then. The little boy wished he knew for sure.

Henry Stocek, known as Hank from school years, is a Deep River boy—born and bred. After high school, he was accepted by Trinity College in Hartford and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Trying to make a living doing artwork led to one or two “hard candy” Christmases. Such famine ended when he took a temporary teaching job. After earning a Master’s Degree from Drury College in Springfi eld, Missouri, teaching became a permanent career. To keep his students engaged, he developed his story-telling skills. Many of these were about growing up on the Connecticut River. Stocek, now retired, lives in Vermont with a wife, two dogs, and a runty, but reliable, cat. Four children and a stepchild lead gainful lives scattered across the country.