Book Synopsis



Nothing is as it seems in Familiarity Breeds Contempt, a murder mystery documenting the lives of several individuals, residing in Pennsylvania and Florida, over the course of 19 years.

Kara McFarland, and her best friend Janette are two Pennsylvania high school seniors growing up in the 70’s. This was the decade known for its music, drugs, and free love.  All of which Kara enjoys with reckless abandonment, and Janette is always there to pick up the pieces.

Kara yearns for the simple things in life; to be loved by her busy oncologist dad and garden society mom; marry her high school sweetheart, Michael; and to make her way as the talented artist she is.  Without the backing of her parents for an art career; secret betrayals from those closest to her propel Kara into adulthood where her bad choices shape her future as she begins a career in hospital administration.

Alec Rhodes, is an accountant at Florida Regional Hospital.  Very handsome with mesmerizing green eyes, and striking at 6’2; Alec Rhodes is the man women love to hate, and immoral men love to pat on the back. He is also hot-tempered, a womanizer, an alcoholic, and a dead-beat dad.  When he accepts a promotion as Controller to Pennsylvania Regional Hospital he is shocked to learn upon his arrival that the position was given instead to a personal friend of Dr. John McFarland who heads the Advisory Board.  Alec’s promotion has suddenly become a lateral transfer and he vows revenge. When he meets the beautiful McFarland daughter in a department meeting, Alec plots to destroy Kara physically and mentally, and to ruin the McFarland name in the community.  Kara’s past 70’s lifestyle makes her an easy target for Alec’s unlimited supply of alcohol, drugs and sex games.   After more than a year’s time of manipulating Kara, with his final plans for revenge in place, Alec attends a week-long accounting convention in Vegas. Adding two weeks’ vacation to his trip, Alec takes advantage of job interviews offered at Nevada Regional Hospital to plan a quick exit from Pennsylvania once he ruins the McFarland’s.  However, upon his return he is shocked to learn during his absence, Dr. John McFarland suffered a fatal heart attack.  Alec’s plot has failed miserably.

Stacey Sullivan-Rhodes and her three year old son Quincy are left behind in Florida to fend for themselves.  Stacey soon rallies with secret betrayals of her own. First she obtains a legal name change for herself and Quincy to Sullivan.  Then she tells her toddler that his dad has died in a car wreck.  A move to a neighboring county provides Stacey with the guise of a newly widowed mom.  When Quin is diagnosed as gifted, Stacey quickly plots out a fake charity selling her son’s masterpieces at local craft stores and becomes secretly wealthy.

But Quin has his own issues growing up.   Not only has he inherited his father’s good looks, but his bad temper as well.  When things don’t go his way, horrible headaches ensue; animals start missing in the neighborhood and worse!  And just what exactly, has he have housed in his hidden Daddy’s Dead Box? At age 17, he accepts an art scholarship with full housing to escape his overbearing mother.

Kara McFarland’s devastation over her father’s death is comforted with a life insurance policy left solely to her.  The insurance agent presents this news with a personal letter from her father.  Kara is brought to tears to learn that her parents kept his horrific heart disease from her on purpose.  Her dad also divulges his final wish for her to use the money in part to pursue her career in art.

Kara relocates to Florida and opens Express Yourself, an art shop which supplies the local art college.  During one delivery she meets a handsome young man with blonde curls and dazzling green eyes.  Despite their age difference they become close friends sharing their love of art and their darker sides of drug abuse and anger issues.  When their transformation into devoted lovers unveils a lifetime of deceit, it leads to a shocking murder carried out by someone least suspected.  Lies. Substance abuse. Sex games and murder.  Proving indeed, that Familiarity Breeds Contempt.