The Mariner's Secret

Mystery & Thrillers

By Mary Tomasi-Dubois

Publisher : Robertson Publishing

ABOUT Mary Tomasi-Dubois

Mary Tomasi-Dubois
Mary Tomasi-Dubois is a native of Cleveland Ohio, but has lived in California since the age of three. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, and a long and varied career. Being a teenager in the fifties allowed Mary to achieve some firsts for that era—the first girl a More...



Thugs, chases, scientific discoveries, and other mysteries abound! Matt & Heather, orphaned when their bioscintist parents are killed in the 1989 earthquake, become wards of their great aunt Estelle. Her stately old house holds intrigue, and a secret. Roger Hill, the subservient butler, fools everyone but Matt & Heather - their only chance at protecting everyone is to use the house's secret.

The inspiration for my story came from my husband. We were traveling north to Napa County for a Fourth of July Celebration and had stoped for lunch in Tiburon. While eating, Paul commented on how much things had changed since our parents' death, and wouldn't they be amazed if they could somehow come back. Almost in the same breath he said, "Hey, why don't you write a story about that?" Well, since I write for young readers and their parents, I decided to twist the plot and have my young characters, Matt & Heather, do the time traveling; and the story unfolded from there. I enjoy writing, because, once I type the first sentence, the story just starts unfolding before me, surprising me as much as the reader.

The night-time ritual at our house is for me to tuck my eight year old daughter in bed and then, sitting next to her propped up, read a story.  I started the The Mariner’s Secret and after about the first four chapters she drifted off to sleep.  I, however, was so engrossed in the story I continued reading right there in her bed.  I was somehow transported to my own childhood and memories of how I would read Nancy Drew mysteries, one after the other.  This story had the same effect; I wanted to know how it ended.


I can’t wait to get started on the second in the series, Danger in the Jeweled City.  Ms. Tomasi-Dubois weaves a thrilling story.


Denise M., San Jose, CA

e-mail correspondence from a fan in Germany

January 21,2010: Mary, I got your book today and started reading it. I like it a lot! 

February 2, 2010: Interesting atmospherical mixture! Heading for bed to continue reading - looking forward to it!

February 3, 2010: This book takes me instantly to a different world. It’s like being in one of those old English Lord estates. The library stands vividly before my eyes; I am nearly in it. Then you do the bow to the modern, current time - very well done!

February 22, 2010: I paused with reading the book for some time in between, and just picked it up again. Jesus! I love your story. Me thinks it would be a great movie, too.

At the moment I am at Chapter 26 and vacillating between quickly continuing on, for it is such fun, or reading very slowly; if I read too quickly the fun will be over.


These are sensations that only show up with a great book!

Well done lady!!  Thanks for the entertaining and fascinating time with your story!




We're really enjoying reading your books - my daughter, Ada, is reading "The Mariner's Secret" and I am reading "Danger in the Jeweled City" which were given to us by Nancy Walker. I enjoy books about time travel such as those by Jane Langton, and Ada has read 40 of the Magic Tree House books where a brother and sister go back in time and encounter different historical figures.


In your books it's especially interesting to read about places and events in the San Francisco Bay Area! I love it when you make reference to local cities and towns and events that occurred in my lifetime like the 1989 earthquake. Then, it's exciting to go back in time and see things that aren't there any more - what used to be on a given site. I liked to hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains - such as the hills around the Novitiate winery and the flumes that carried water down from the reservoir. I remember looking at old farm implements and digging for bottles with my dad, Robb Walker, on weekend hikes. There was a swimming pool built into the hillside with stone walls around it. It just made my mind wonder - what was it like living here a hundred years ago and what work were they engaged in? Your books bring back that memory.


It's great that you've written these books, and we're looking forward to your next one. The description of the interiors of the Victorian homes makes me homesick for the Bay Area and all of its history.


Gianna Walker and Ada Walker

Chandler, AZ

Michael C., Gig Harbor WA I am a father of two, my daughter is 6 and my son is 7. It is my task every other night to read them a "bedtime story". Knowing my interest in such subjects, a family member gave me a copy of The Mariner's Secret. Soon, I was taking my wife's reading slot as well, propped up against the pillows, lost in adventure, with an engrossed child on each side of me. Their mother knew something was up, so after catching her up on the first few chapters, she joined us. For several nights straight, we cuddled in bed as a family and were taken away by this charming story.

After each night's reading, we would discuss what we've read and I would provide a synopsis to help them digest what they have heard. My youngest would be fast asleep for such summary, not a peep heard from her since before the end of the last chapter read. For my eldest, this was his introduction to novels. He comprehended the story quite well, and would imagine what Matt (a lead character) looked like. I told him that our imagination is what makes reading so wonderful. If a writer is good, your imagination takes off, making a movie of the story in your mind. He agreed, and at the end of every night's reading, he would predict what he thought was coming next and would attempt to solve the mystery this story weaves. I'd tell him that he could be right, but that we'll know more as we continue to read. I then explained the concept of twists and turns in a story. So, through the reading of this book, he learned a lot about the wonder of a great novel.

This is a book that is definitely intended for the young reader, and with both a boy and girl (siblings) as the main characters, it easily captures the imagination of all young readers. But, because it is such a well written book, it found this adult reading ahead, long after the children were off to dreamland (no doubt filled with adventure), to discover what was to come.

I have since researched this writer and it appears that this is her first novel. What an impressive debut. Hopefully there will be more "secrets" to come. Very Highly recommended to the young novel reader and any parent who enjoys those precious moments reading to curious little children but likes to be entertained by what they are reading too.

As a teacher, I recommend this book for pre-teens or young teens that not only enjoy adventure/mysteries, but want to learn some about San Francisco and maritime history. The reader will move along easily with the main characters in the pull of time throughout this enchanting book.

Pat Lang., Penn Valley, CA