Sorority Sisters Mysteries

Cabin 12 by Pamela Dehnke

Cabin 12

A Sorority Sisters Mystery

The year is 1941. Four Michigan University sorority sisters team up to find a missing friend. Vesta wants nothing more than to be a Vogue model. Dawn, an undergraduate student, has her sights set on becoming a physician. Dots is a baseball player studying to be a mathematician. Margie, a novelist, is working on her master’s degree in English Literature. All their skills come into play as they battle time to find their friend before she becomes the killer’s next victim.

They’ve just finished final exams and have planned a fun-filled weekend at a spa. Bags are packed, the car is loaded, but when their sorority sister Patsy fails to show up, the others are thrown into a search for her that leads them to Lakeside Vacation Cabins on the shores of Lake Michigan. What became of Patsy? What clues will Cabin 12 reveal? Before the week is over, the sorority sisters will come face-to-face with danger, heartbreak, and a villain.


The characters in Cabin 12 are loosely based on my mother and her sorority sisters. A few years ago, the daughter of one of Mother’s sorority sisters got in touch with me. At the time, I was working on the second book in my Court Reporter mystery series, set in Santa Monica, California, in 1996, and featuring Addie Henkey, court reporter.

The Court Reporter series features two of the sorority sisters later in life. Vesta is a seventy-two-year-old retired Vogue model. Dawn enters in Book 2 as a retired medical examiner and joins forces with Vesta and Addie in solving a murder mystery.

 I enjoyed writing Dawn and Vesta so much, I gave them their own series, along with Dots and Margie, the Sorority Sisters mysteries. Cabin 12 is the first in this series and is set at Michigan University in 1941, just a few months before the United States entered into WWII.

My mother was a model, and though she never had her sights set on being a Vogue model, Vesta does. Dawn, who is British, is determined to have a career as a physician. Dots loves baseball and math, and, while studying to be a mathematician, she is seldom seen without her baseball cap, bat and ball. Margie is a novelist, who must use her initials so her publisher will think she’s a man, otherwise, she would not be published. She is working on her master’s degree in English Literature.

While I was writing Cabin 12, I dug out a box of letters my mom had saved through the years, including letters from her sorority sisters. I found a letter from Dawn to Mom written in 1967, telling Mother about the death of one of their sorority sisters, who was shot in a cabin on Lake Michigan. It was thought the killer was her deranged husband, but I changed the murderer and the circumstances, and Cabin 12 came to life.

I’m a huge fan of classic movies. One of my favorites is the 1938 film The Mad Miss Manton, starring Barbara Stanwyck and James Stewart, in which Miss Manton stumbles upon a body, but when she brings the police back to the scene, the body has disappeared. The police think she’s playing a prank, give her a warning, and storm off. Miss Manton, determined to solve the case of the missing body, gets her society girlfriends together to help her find the dead man. When I first saw this film, I thought it would be fun to read a mystery series featuring a group of society friends or sorority sisters who solve mysteries, so I wrote one. I hope you enjoy reading Cabin 12 as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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