The Healing Place -- Prequel to Murder at Whalehead
Author: Joe C. Ellis
ISBN: 978-0-9796655-1-6

The Healing Place is the prequel to Murder at Whalehead. The second "new and improved" edition is now available from and will be available by late September of 2007 online at and from selected bookstores in the Ohio Valley and on the Outer Banks.


The rural community of Scotch Ridge is a safe haven from the dangers and corruption of the world until the day Nathan Kyler moves into the run-down house by the creek. Elijah Mulligan, a leader in the community, doesn't trust him. The preacher, Reverend Byron Butler, tries to befriend him. But Kyler has envisioned a diabolical plan: to commit the ultimate sacrifice--the murder of another human being. The focus of Kyler's evil obsession is the preacher's daughter, Chrissy. The river town, Martins Ferry, Ohio is the backdrop of this fast-paced thriller. Not far from the outskirts of town, high atop an Appalachian hill sits the Scotch Ridge Church...and in the graveyard of the church, the legendary monument known as The Chair. Some say The Chair is cursed--the person who sits on it five minutes before midnight will die within 24 hours. The day after Christine Butler sits in The Chair she disappears. A mile from the church, deep in the Appalachian woods is a place Elijah Mulligan calls "The Healing Place." It is here that something incredible happens...

Praise for The Healing Place

I couldn't put it down. This story kept me captive until I read it all. Ellis's style quickly captures the reader and keeps them hanging on until the finale. The setting in Eastern Ohio provided a touch of reality to the story line. (Especially "The Chair"!!)

Vickey Falcone, Barton, Ohio

Beautifully written - Joe Ellis is an artist who has been able to paint visual images with words throughout his story. With carefully drawn phrases, the reader is able to feel the warmth of the sunshine, and an unexpected cobweb; smell the sweet aroma of a spring flower garden, and the nauseating stench of decaying animals; and hear the early morning Doxology of a choir of birds, and the terror only found in total silence in the dark.

Rev. Dr. Roberta L. Croker, Martins Ferry, OH

The mystery of THE HEALING PLACE weaves through the fabric of small town life contrasting with the bright summer, irrepressible teenagers, a faithful minister and his congregation, the village cynic, and a love story between Elijah and a pretty widow. Ellis has created a novel of suspense with a storyteller's grasp of detail. You can find the Ohio town described in his novel, and there is still an annual celebration of the Betty Zane Days mentioned in the story.

Donna Swanson, award winning poet, Williamsport, IN

What can I say but, "Wow!" Let me tell you, I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book. I felt drawn in and engulfed by the characters. I literally could not wait to turn the page, holding my breath at times, in anticipation of what was about to happen next. I found it both spiritually uplifting and suspenseful, full of mystery and intrigue. I can't wait to read your next novel!

Lori Ackerman, Martins Ferry, OH




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