Coming in May 2021

Soft Hearts: A Rett Swinson Mystery

Harriett “Rett” Swinson is trying to rebuild her life after a failed marriage when a group of Halloween trick-or-treaters discovers her neighbor, retired English professor and poet Wanda Hightower, dead on her porch, stabbed in the back and through the heart. Was her killer a random psychopath in search of blood on All Hallow’s Eve—or one of the neighbors who helped with her lawn’s makeover gone wrong? Wanda claimed to have dirt on nearly everyone in their Downtown Raleigh neighborhood, so the list of suspects is long.

Finding the killer will require Rett to reconstruct Wanda’s turbulent past while weighing her growing attraction for Homicide Detective Darryl Schmidt against a desperate need for independence—and a growing feeling that an innocent man is being singled out by the police for the murder.

The first installment in the Rett Swinson Mystery Series, Soft Hearts explores how the fragile vulnerability of human beings can become their greatest strength.

meet the Author

Eric Lodin

Author Eric Lodin has been playing with words on paper since the third grade. Over the years he has tinkered with several novels and screenplays, trying to improve his craft one sentence at a time. A fan of slapstick comedy, long runs, and most anything British, he lives in Raleigh, N.C., with his wife, children, and a mischievous Havanese named Duke. Soft Hearts: A Rett Swinson Mystery is his first mystery novel. 

      What Advance Readers are Saying About Soft Hearts

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A mystery with substance!

– C.E.

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An easy read and moves along logically to an entertaining climax. Your writing and your story are strong and engaging. It kept me turning the pages.

– E.S.

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Enthralling. Ingenious. Thrilling. I look forward to reading more Rett Swinson installments.

– C.S.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Eric Lodin’s first novel. Soft Hearts has all the ingredients mystery fans love: a solid plot with ample suspects, vividly portrayed characters who feel both familiar and fresh, just enough hints of romance to make the reader want more, and a conclusion that is satisfying in multiple ways. But most of all, Soft Hearts has Rett Swinson, an outstanding leading lady with intelligence, humor, and zero tolerance for injustice. She’s spent a few months wondering what to do with her future after her husband deserted her for a girl half his age. But when the nastiest woman in the neighborhood is murdered and homicide cop Daryll Schmidt recruits Rett to ferret out local secrets, she throws herself into the task with a new purpose. Readers will cheer for Rett as she solves a murder while discovering her own strength and independence, and they will want to see her in action again and again.

Sandra Parshall,

Agatha and Daphne award-winning author

of the Rachel Goddard mysteries

Author Blog

What Took You So Long?

What Took You So Long?

I’ve known since a very young age that I wanted to write books. In fact, it was probably more than forty years ago that I decided I would like to do the thing that Donald J. Sobol did with Encyclopedia Brown, or what Franklin W. Dixon’s ghostwriters created with the Hardy Boys. It wasn’t just detective stories.

No Surprises, Please.

No Surprises, Please.

The little local TV station in the Alabama town where I grew up in the 1970s and ‘80s ran tape year-round from the previous Christmas season in which area children tentatively approached the throne of the station’s official Santa Claus.

For No Apparent Reason

For No Apparent Reason

The other day my son and I were riding our bikes along Lake Crabtree when we came across a sculpture of a goat looking down from the exquisite arc of a metal mountain. The name of the sculpture: “For No Apparent Reason.”