The Women’s Guild of St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley invites the community to a reading of author Cathy Pepe’s “Grandma Gang Mysteries,” 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, with a reception following.
Pepe, who passed away earlier this year, was a long-time parishioner at St. Mark’s. During the pandemic, she fulfilled her dream of writing a book inspired by her younger brother Donny, who was born with Down syndrome.
She wanted to share her brother’s joyful personality and her experience of growing up with a family member who has Down syndrome. One book turned into four, and the last was published posthumously.
The youth series, written for ages 8 and older, is about Donny and his sister Mary Grace moving from Kansas to California to live with their grandmother
Together along with her mystery-solving group known as the “Grandma Gang,” they solve crimes, combat bullies, and rescue those in trouble in the Lompoc Valley.
Her book titles include:
“Mary Grace and Donny’s California Adventures: A Grandma Gang Mystery” is the first book in the series and tells the story of Donny and Mary Grace moving to live with their grandparents on their vineyard near Santa Barbara and their adventures at North School, where they move after living in Wichita, Kansas, their entire lives.
In “Donny, Mary Grace and the Dognappers,” dogs have started to go missing and the local authorities suspect that dognappers are responsible for all the missing pets. Who are the dognappers? Where are the dogs and how can they be brought back home? It’s a mystery that only Donny, Mary Grace, and the Grandma Gang can solve.
In “Donny and Mary Grace and the Ugly Marbles,” Donny and Mary Grace find a set of marbles at the senior living center, but some are ugly and just don’t look right. The siblings discover that criminals are using the senior living center as a base of operations. Only Donny, Mary Grace, and the Grandma Gang can crack the case and prevent the criminals from completing their sinister scheme.
In “Donny and Mary Grace Go to Camp,” Donny, Mary Grace, and the Grandma Gang come together at an action-packed summer camp in the Santa Ynez Mountains. The children develop a healthy bond with nature while making new friends with fellow campers and a local Chumash Indian. When a camper goes missing during a natural disaster, the mystery-solving siblings and the Grandma Gang are the only ones who can step forward to save the day.