Welcome, Mary Lou! Can you tell us a little about Death Overdue?
Hmmm. I'm not very good at synopses. It's the continuing saga of Karen Nash, librarian extraordinaire, from Sunshine Valley, Minnesota, and her wonderful new beau, Cadwell Perkins, B & B owner and bibliophile. They are contemplating a life together that would be focused around books, when the past intervenes.
What made you think of death by overturned bookcase? (I shudder to think of how many people would be taken out if one of my bookcases was pushed over!!!)
There have been a few houses I've visited, of very good friends, that have scared me with this possibility. Plus, since I'm writing about a librarian and bibliophiles, what better way? Also, the person who is killed is not fond of books--thus, justice.
I am endlessly fascinated with England. What are some of your favorite things about the country?
I have to say that one of my favorite things are the wonderful writers. I've grown up reading them--Robert Louis Stevenson, Alice in Wonderland, Pooh, the list goes on and on. Also, I happen to love roundabouts. So glad we're getting some around here in Minnesota. I do like Indian food in England. And I have good friends there. Also, the Victoria and Albert is such a wonderful museum. I could live there.
What genres and authors fill up your bookcases?
I have to confess I've been on a non-fiction kick recently, which is relatively new. I love reading books about people who almost die from horrible accidents or diseases and not only survive but thrive. Karen Armstrong's THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE is one of my faves. I'm not sure what this says about me. I write poetry and I read a lot of poetry--Ruth Stone, Rumi, Yehuda Amichai, the list goes on and on. I read YA, I read picture books, and of course I read mysteries.
Do you have any pets?
We had two darling toy poodles, Rene and Jacques, who lived to be 17 and 15. Good long lifes. I thought I would wait a year to get a new dog, but fur deprivation made me crazy. I was lunging at dogs in the street, just to pet them. So I found a wonderful chocolate toy poodle, Gaston, who is now 8 months old. He's a joy. And it means I have something to talk about when other women are talking about their grandchildren.
What are you working on now?
I'm actually working on a YA novel about a girl who gets hit by lightning. I haven't figure out yet if it's completely realistic or if there is some magic in it. I better figure that out soon.
Ropes, revolvers, daggers, arsenic. . . . They are the classic, go-to murder weapons, from Christie to Clue. But death by bookcase? With one good shove, a crafty killer can keep investigators guessing: did it fall or was it pushed? That’s what sassy Midwestern librarian Karen Nash must determine—and if so, who did the pushing—when an avalanche of books and splintered wood fatally flattens Sally Burroughs, the ex-girlfriend of Karen’s squeeze, London B&B proprietor Caldwell Perkins, who appears the most likely suspect for murder. In the library. With the bookcase.
And maybe he has grounds? Just as he and his librarian love are making a go of opening their dream bookstore (that’s bookshop, in British English), Sally pops up years after abandoning him, to demand her share of the B&B’s sale. To Karen’s orderly mind, sorting her jumbled feelings about uprooting her life in Minnesota and taking a chance on Caldwell is much like sorting his four-thousand-three-hundred-and-twenty-four precious volumes: everything has its place. A little research reveals that more than one person may have had Sally issues, and Karen must prove that Caldwell is obsessed with books, not revenge. But will her hunt for a killer turn up too little, too late?