Laura Stewart Schmidt is a lifelong reader who was inspired by “good books for bad children” such as Harriet the Spy and Otis Spofford. Some of her earliest influences include Agatha Christie, Phyllis Whitney and Joan Aiken. She has a degree in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Laura worked for several years as a community education coordinator, encouraging parents to read to their children and setting up reading clubs for middle-school students.
Laura spent two years as a family court advocate for at-risk youth and parents suffering from substance addiction. She also worked for several years at an agency offering one-on-one support for children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.
Her published novels are:
SWEETER THAN LIFE, a young adult contemporary. Originally published in 2015, re-released in 2021.
Like pancakes and garlic—and 17-year-old Wendy’s family—some things aren’t meant to be blended. Wendy’s father refuses to help her cope with her special-needs stepbrother, and the situation at her mother’s house isn’t any better. Desperate to find a place where she feels safe and welcome, she gets a job at the local rec center. There she meets Sam and falls in love for the first time. Sam becomes Wendy’s refuge, until she discovers he has been keeping a dangerous secret. Wendy learns that sometimes your refuge is no better than what you’ve been running from, and sometimes it’s much worse.
UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT, a young adult mystery. Published by Black Rose Writing, October 2018.
No one knows who started a fire that killed the Spriggs family fifty years ago. Alison’s grandmother was blamed for it and has spent her life under a cloud of suspicion. Alison has less than two weeks to prove her grandmother’s innocence before the Spriggs’ house is torn down, taking its secrets with it. But she soon learns that someone is desperate to keep her from learning the truth.
DON’T FEAR, MY DARLING, a suspense novel in the tradition of Hallie Ephron’s THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN. Published by Black Opal Books, May 2019.
Louisa is grieving her cherished grandfather’s death and stumbling through a series of demeaning jobs when she finds the perfect position–a live-in secretary to an elderly author, Marguerite Roberts. Louisa’s Native American heritage teaches respect of elders, and she is puzzled and upset that the wheelchair-bound Marguerite is shunned by her family and trapped on the second floor. But Louisa quickly realizes there is much more to the job than she expected. Something in the Roberts’ house is not quite right, and Louisa begins to fear for Marguerite’s life–and her own.
The Sins of the Fathers. Historical mystery.
Ellen learns her family’s prosperous small-town business was almost ruined twenty years ago, when a young employee–and five thousand dollars of the store’s money–vanished, never to be seen again. She joins forces with the investigating officer who has reopened the case, only to learn her family has secrets they don’t want revealed and will do anything to keep buried.
The Write Way to Die. A cozy mystery.
Melanie would be thrilled at the chance to volunteer at her first writing conference and work with a big-name agent–except that Brandon is the Agent From Hell. When he turns up dead, no one is heartbroken. Melanie suspects foul play. She sets out to discover who had the best reason to want Brandon dead–and the answer is, everyone.
Laura lives near St. Louis with her husband and two dogs. She is a member of Sisters in Crime http://www.sistersincrime.org, the St. Louis Writers Guild https://www.stlwritersguild.org/, the International Thriller Writers, Inc. http://thrillerwriters.org/ , and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) https://www.scbwi.org/.