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Former resident pens a ‘golden years’ novel

ANKENY — Author Robert Kerr, formerly of Marshalltown and now residing in Ankeny, has written his second novel entitled “Legion Lake.”

A retired school psychologist, Kerr lived in Marshalltown from 1976-2007. The book, classified as a mystery with a good dose of humor, follows the adventures of Lester and Shirley Pierce.

“I tried to capture life of retired Iowa people living in a lake community, trying to enjoy life in spite of things that come up,” Kerr said. “The big thing is a person that has property on the lake announces he will start a hog confinement operation and people are up in arms about it ruining the lake.”

Lester recruits a University of Iowa biology student to help save the lake, but when the student disappears, the Pierces have to solve the mystery, with the help of fellow retirees in the community.

The book’s premise is based on “One Last Trip,” a prize-winning short story Kerr penned in 2010. Because of the appeal of the story, he was encouraged to expand the concept and turn it into a book.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Author Robert Kerr, formerly of Marshalltown, now residing in Ankeny, has written his second novel entitled “Legion Lake.” The book, classified as a mystery with a good dose of humor, follows the adventures of Lester and Shirley Pierce.

“I wouldn’t call it a hard core mystery. There’s considerable humor in it, and as much as anything it’s kind of a revelation of some of the things that go into living within those retirement years,” he said.

Kerr dedicated the book to his late friend David Hutchison, whom Kerr said isn’t here to enjoy the “golden years” with him down the road.

His first book, a science fiction/alternative history story called “Completely Restored,” was published in 2009. It was inspired by he and his wife Joan’s work rehabilitating houses. He had a short story published in 2015 in the “Iowa’s Original Writers Anthology.”

The author holds a masters degree in psychology and has worked in a variety of professions including as a welder, carpenter, mental hospital attendant, a mortician’s assistant and a general “Man Friday” for an electrical engineer. He has two grown children.

“I love a good story, and as I write, I try to develop a good story and tell it well,” he said.

The book is available on Amazon as a paperback, and will be able on Kindle April 2. It will also be sold in some central Iowa bookstores. Kerr will do a book signing from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 13 at the Kirkendall Public Library in Ankeny. The book will be available at 205 S. Third Ave. in Marshalltown.To learn more about his books, contact Kerr at bkerr826@gmail.com.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com