Articles, features, reviews, & interviews:

An interview about my novel Annika Rose on “MN Reads,” a program about books by Minnesota authors, on the radio station The North, 103.3 FM in Duluth, Minnesota. The feature aired on June 6, 2024 at 8:20 a.m. Listen to the interview on the program's website here.

A review of my novel Annika Rose by Sheila Regan in Minn Post: “There’s a lot the author has to say in the story about power, survival, resilience, and the moments in life we can’t get back.”

A review of my novel Annika Rose by Diane Josefowicz in West Trade Review: “An affecting character study set in an evocative landscape, Annika Rose plumbs the depths of a lonely childhood marked by grief and offers no easy answers to big questions: To what extent should parents lean on children?”

My novel Annika Rose is featured in Mary Ann Grossmann's “3 Fiction Choices from Minnesota Authors” in the St. Paul Pioneer Press: “Set near Lake of the Woods in far northern Minnesota, this unsettling story is one of the highlights of the local spring season. Part mystery, part coming-of-age, it has a near-mystical quality of unseen evil in the story of 17-year-old Annika Rose.”

A pre-publication review of my novel Annika Rose in Kirkus Reviews: "A story that feels as if Rosemary’s Baby was set against the desolate landscape of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood."

My novel Annika Rose makes Mary Ann Grossmann's “Start making your spring and summer reading list” at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

An interview with Kevin Fenton and Ellen Shaffer at Four Minutes Five Questions: “Novelist Cheri Johnson on Gods and Mortals, Anne Frank as Writer, Monumental Shining Dresses, and Her Cherished Desk.” 

A pre-publication review of my novel Annika Rose by Katie Lawrence in Library Journal: “Full of eerie atmospheric writing … Johnson's fiction debut both disturbs and absorbs.” 

My novel Annika Rose is featured in the fall 2023 issue of Shelf Unbound. 

A review of my novel The Girl in Duluth by Mary Ann Grossman in the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Brown's writing is gorgeous .... Why this novel wasn't snapped up by a publisher is the big mystery here."

Interview with Sheila Regan at MinnPost: "St. Paul author reckons with the complexity of racism, complicity in "The Girl in Duluth"

 Sari Fordham, author of Wait for God to Notice and senior editor at Literary Mama, recommends The Girl in Duluth: "The central mystery drives the plot, but what compelled me as a reader was the rich sense of place and the complex characters.”

A write-up about The Girl in Duluth by Jay Gabler at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, MN: "Front Row Seat: New beach reads from Northland"

Interview with Robert Hopwood at the Northern Light Region in Baudette, MN: "Novel set in Lake of the Woods County finalist for book award"


Buzz on Instagram, TikTok, Goodreads, and NetGalley about Annika Rose and The Girl in Duluth:

Kennedy M: (AR): “Annika Rose is a must-read for those who appreciate deeply moving stories that explore the darker corners of the human psyche while ultimately affirming the resilience of the human spirit.”

Kathryn M: (AR): “I enjoyed the mystery element … and how good the characters were, everything that I was hoping for … Cheri Johnson has a great writing style and can’t wait for more.”

@audreyoaksreadseverything: (TGID) "I enjoyed this mystery/crime story from the first page. The writing is clear and engaging . . . This was amazing."

 @roxaslove: (TGID) “It was easy to connect with June. I just loved this book.”

 @joannasbookshelf: (TGID) "I loved the imagery that the author provided. The author also did a fantastic job interweaving themes such as race, gender, socioeconomic status."

@literature_leona: (TGID) "A great read."

 @fayandfelineobsessed: (TGID) "I was sucked in immediately and finished the book in less than 24 hours.”

 @nursebookie: (TGID) “This slim novel packed a punch, and was deftly written with a great understanding of characters, those you root for, and those that you love to hate … The Girl In Duluth is a great debut.”

@pastbookish: (TGID) "This debut novel was a great read."

 @fitnessandfiction: (TGID) “I am enjoying everything I’m reading and listening to right now, but I haven’t had anything really suck me in for months—until this book . . . .It approaches topic that are very relevant in a way that makes them real."

@that_bookaholic_gal: (TGID) "The beautiful descriptions of the Minnesota setting painted the atmosphere and added even more to the story. I was hooked from the beginning and the story kept a good pace."

@ladybug_shirls: (TGID) "The Girl in Duluth is an engrossing small town mystery mixed with an emotional coming of age story . . . . The writing is also quite beautiful and good. I highly recommend picking this one up for a quick but engrossing mystery with all the feels."

 @mowgliwithabook: (TGID) "This was a roller coaster book for me. Had me rooted to the spot from start to finish."

Imène: (TGID) "As June uncovers unsettling secrets, the story keeps readers fully immersed in the richly depicted world and the multifaceted lives of the characters."

Allie Bayer: (TGID) "I think what impressed me most was how intensely Brown got me to sympathize with these characters. June, Frank, Jack, Andrea (of course); I could physically feel my heart hurt for them . . . . 10/10 would read another novel written by Brown!"



 * A review of The Girl in Duluth in Publishers Weekly, April 2022: 

"Set in Duluth, Minn., Brown’s affecting debut centers on 18-year-old June Bergeron, who becomes concerned when her mother, Tonya, with whom she has a fraught relationship, goes missing. Though June considers Tonya her parent “only in the strictest biological sense,” she joins her mother’s special friend, Frank, in searching for Tonya, alarmed that five other women, all matching Tonya’s age profile, have disappeared that year in northern Minnesota; three were eventually found murdered. June and Frank’s hunt for Tonya ends with their finding her dead of a gunshot wound. Unsatisfied by the obvious evidence of death by suicide, June starts an inquiry that leads her to believe her mother’s death might be connected with a sex-trafficking ring. Brown easily creates engagement with June, and poetic prose is a plus (in Tonya’s pocket is a note reading: “Do not be sad... Death is the ultimate voyage to the unknown... Look for me in the stars. Do not look for me in my body. I am not there!”). Fans of thoughtful crime fiction will hope for more from Brown." 

* A review of The Girl in Duluth in Portland Book Review, May 2022: 

"With an atmospheric setting in a remote and densely forested patch of Minnesota adjacent to the Canadian border, The Girl in Duluth by Sigrid Brown tells the evocative and often troubling tale of a rural community populated by families with rumbling resentments and several secrets to hide. Following her mother’s disappearance and the local police force’s apparent inability to crack the case, eighteen-year-old June Bergeron decides to undertake her own investigation. She soon becomes suspicious that her mother’s case might be linked to a series of unsolved murders of women whose bodies were found dumped in the woods near Duluth, and as she investigates the matter further, she finds herself drawn into the hidden underbelly of the city, a grimy place characterized by poverty, exploitation, and abuse. As June comes to realize that many within the community are hiding disturbing secrets, she is forced to admit that she no longer knows what is true or who she can trust. While seeking to find out what really happened to her mother, she ends up finding out more than she ever imagined or wanted to know about the people of Duluth."--Erin Britton 

 * From a review of Crocus Hill Ghost Story, a literary performance project I co-created with the composer Julie Johnson, the filmmaker D.J. Mendel, and the new-music ensemble Zeitgeist, on Cleveland Classical: "The text by Cheri Johnson is gripping. This isn’t the light-hearted type of ghost story, nor is it blood-curdling. It’s subtle, emotionally complex, and unsettling, with a darkness based in both the supernatural and in the reality of human relationships."

* A review of Creatures from the Urban Legends series in Booklist, August 2017: 

"This volume in the Origins series offers an impressively evenhanded look at four different beasts of legend. The first, Sasquatch, sets the model for the book. After introducing the concept of the monster, a “Best Recorded Sighting” explains the famous Patterson-Gimlin footage as well as its potential status as a hoax. A two-page time line lays out a compact history of sightings (from pre-1800s onward), and “Evidence For and Against” leaves it up to readers to judge. Those expecting the usual suspects of Nessie, the Mothman, and the chupacabra are in for a bit of a surprise, with the Snallygaster, Ogopogo, and Jersey Devil rounding out the slate. The photos are a bit stock, but the layout is agreeably packed with factoids, glossary definitions, and more. A balanced take that never sacrifices the fun factor."— Daniel Kraus 

* A review of the Urban Legends series in School Library Journal, November 2017: 

"With this four-volume, in-depth exploration of urban legends, readers will never disbelieve a tale told around the campfire again. The author has aptly captured the historical and modern-day origins of famous hauntings, superstitions, close encounters, and mythical creatures using facts, speculation, and inquiry. To appease the most skeptical readers, Johnson uses headings like "Best Recorded Sighting" and "Evidence For and Against." If yet another rumor of a Sasquatch sighting seems cliché, in Creatures readers are also introduced to the Snallygaster, a dragonlike monster first spotted in rural Maryland; Canada's lake-dwelling Ogopogo; and the Jersey Devil. True-life tales of hauntings and exorcisms contain frightful details even horror buffs will wish to forget. At first glance, the series resembles many other similar titles on these subjects, with its reliance on stock photos and nonfiction text features, but the strength of these books lies in the fast-paced, question-driven text that is well organized and makes for a riveting read. VERDICT Entertaining and informative, a recommended addition to mythology collections." 

 * A review of the Whodunnits series in Booklist, August 2017: 

"With books touching on theft, the Mob, crime-scene investigation, and the U.S. Secret Service, the high-interest Origins: Whodunnit series comes with built-in hooks for middle-schoolers. Laid out to look like old-fashioned case files, each book features four concise chapters that offer a balanced presentation of information, numerous real-life examples, “Did You Know?” fact boxes, relevant illustrations, and approachable writing. Each chapter also features a time line arranged as index cards pinned to a corkboard. Readers of Forensics will be briefed on the histories of three areas of science used in criminal investigations—autopsy, fingerprinting, and DNA—and the impact of the “CSI Effect” on jurors. These attractive, informative books are solid starting points for research and recreational reading."— Julia Smith 

* A review of The Girl in Duluth on, June 2022: 

"The Girl in Duluth is an exceptional and poignant mystery and suspense novel that will thrill as well as move its readers with emotion-filled moments and thrilling events! The story is one that captivated me from the premise alone because I adore novels of this nature and as I started to read The Girl in Duluth, I found that I was instantly compelled as well as intrigued and I believe all readers will feel this! That is why I already have to recommend that you lovely readers have a read of The Girl in Duluth! However, if you need more convincing book lovers then continue to read to learn more about the wonderful The Girl in Duluth!  

The Girl in Duluth is a moving, captivating, and memorable novel from start to finish that will take its readers on an intense but brilliant journey! The reader in The Girl in Duluth will be introduced to the protagonist of the novel, June Bergeron, an 18-year-old woman whose mother has just gone missing. June believes her mother’s disappearance is connected to unsolved murders of many women in the woods near Duluth, Minnesota. The reader will follow June as she embarks on a journey to learn the truth and discover what has happened to her mother, and along the way, she will come across dark discoveries and secrets and this book lovers is the short premise of the incredible The Girl in Duluth!  

The story of The Girl in Duluth captivated me from the first page thanks to the book’s sharp literature and strong opening. The reader will be thrust into the thick of the story early on and I adored this approach courtesy of the talented author Sigrid Brown. Brown is a writer who knows how to capture her reader’s attention with her fast-paced approach and dramatic but heartfelt story. As I read The Girl in Duluth, I did so in a frenzy because the literature was incredibly addictive, so much so that the reader will race through the story and find it difficult to put the book down!  

The Girl in Duluth has a story that picks up very fast; in other words, there is not a lot of time before the reader is thrust into the thick of the story! I personally love it when I am thrown into a story, I love being shocked, surprised, and amazed, and The Girl in Duluth made me feel all of these emotions and more.  

Sigrid Brown is not only a phenomenal writer for her flawless ability to capture her reader’s attention, but she is also a great writer for her descriptive words and characterization of characters which will hook her readers. Brown is a newly discovered author of mine, and I admit, I am frustrated that I have not discovered her work sooner! Brown’s flawless literature and mesmerizing literature enthralled me for so many hours. The shock twists and turns she manages to inject into her story are remarkable and will have the reader turning the pages with haste because of it!  

As The Girl in Duluth is a sensational, thrilling as well as moving story that will provoke your thoughts as well as entertain you, I have no choice but to award this stellar read five stars. If you are a reader who loves mystery and suspense novels, then this book is for you so do not miss out on the chance of reading it! Be sure to have a preview of the book below book lovers, you won’t regret it!"