Two and half years ago, on October 1, 2020, I began outlining Death Due, a library cozy mystery that took place in 1985, at the fictional Fir Grove Library, featuring a hero para-librarian named Meg Booker. I finished the first draft around Valentine’s Day, 2021, and immediately dove into rewriting it. Two months later, I realized it didn’t work. After a four-month break over that summer, I came back to it in the fall and by early 2022 knew what I had do in terms of writing a cozy mystery that worked.
Back early 2023 I had a new, much longer draft for the novel, now titled A Shush Before Dying. Two rewrites https://books2read.com/shushbeforedyinglater, I ran it by my wonderful group of beta readers, all mystery readers, and got back some extremely helpful feedback. The story worked, and worked well for them, it just need polish and a lot of minor fixing. More rewriting followed, and then I sent the novel to my copy editor.
It’s been an incredible journey these past couple of years as a writer. What began as a desire in the spring of 2020 to fulfill a long-time dream of writing a mystery has become my passion as a novelist. I’m now working on both a prequel story which takes place in December 1984, and the second book. I couldn’t be happier.
So, with that, here are the details on my latest novel, my first mystery, which is the eighth novel I’ve published (and the thirteenth I’ve written):
Brand-new librarian Meg Booker is just supposed to be checking out books.
Instead, it’s the patrons who are being checked out–permanently.
April 1985. Fir Grove Library, Portland, Oregon: Big hair. Leggings. Card catalogs. Kicking kids with giant boom boxes out of the library. Meg’s got it all handled—until her boss takes off on a way-too-long vacation and leaves her in charge.
Right away, things start going wrong. Historical records disappear out of the archives. The hot new library page skateboards into work—or doesn’t—whenever he feels like it. A simmering feud boils over between two prominent and universally loathed patrons—nicknamed “The Witch” and “Leisure Suit Lothario”—leaving Meg scrambling to keep the peace.
Then the Witch turns up dead in the library conference room. The police say it’s natural causes, but Meg suspects murder—and no librarian worth her reference desk credentials leaves a question unanswered. Aided by the library’s mystery book club, and armed with mad research skills, she sets out to prove what really happened.
But when there’s another death—and one of her friends is arrested –Meg must unmask the real murderer before it’s too late.
A Shush Before Dying is the first book of the Meg Booker Librarian Mysteries—a cozy library mystery series set in the 1980s.
Available in print at: Amazon