Story by The Forum about Gerald Anderson, MSUM European history teacher.
By: John Lamb, INFORUM
David Samson / The Forum. Gerald Anderson is a mild-mannered history teacher by day, but away from campus, he writes murder-mysteries. His featured sleuth, Ottertail Sheriff Palmer Knutson, is modeled after the author, and Palmer’s wife, Ellie, after Anderson’s own late wife, Barbara Thill Anderson. She was an accomplished artist, and her painting entitled “River of the Sun,” background, is one of Gerald's favorites.
FARGO – Gerald Anderson follows an old adage for authors: Write what you know.
Well, sort of.
He admits he doesn’t know much about murder – a key element to his murder-mysteries.
What adds intrigue to his mysteries, however, is that Anderson, a teacher of European history at Minnesota State University Moorhead, incorporates history lessons into each of his page-turners.
“I like to have a theme to educate the reader, whether they want it or not,” he says with a smile.
Anderson’s latest, “The Unicorn Murder or Victoria’s Revenge,” examines the history of the British crown as the royal bloodline is called into question.
His other books examine to increasing impact of casinos on Indian reservations (“Murder in Bemidji or Paul’s Bloody Trousers”), environmentalism (“Pecked to Death or Murder under the Prairie Chicken”), the fallout from 1960s radicalism (“Murder under the Loon”) and campus politics (“Death Before Dinner”).
Perfectly polite, Anderson explains he doesn’t glorify violence and only uses it to further a story along. With the exception of one book, there is only one murder in each of his thrillers.
“It has more to do with character development and a puzzle than it does violence,” he says. Read the rest of this entry →