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A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Usually I don't write on Sunday, but I'm hauling the proverbial large bull out of the bog. So here goes:

I recently finished a pretty cool book called THE LIBRARIAN SHOOTS A GUN by Amber Gilchrist. This is one of those rare birds, a murder mystery of the LDS variety. The Premise:
Two agents target Hepburn (Audrey) Scott, a librarian, as a possible contact for a murder suspect she has never met. They follow her everywhere in search of a connection between Audrey and the best man at her sister's canceled wedding who supposedly killed a man at the wedding venue.

Audrey has no idea why mysterious Agent Smith with his silver sun glasses and silver eyes can't just stop following her. Then she finds evidence that Foster McGuire isn't guilty. Audrey sets out to find the real culprit so the police will leave poor Foster alone.

Soon more problems pile onto Audrey than she ever thought possible. The Mob has it's players in the lineup and she has to end run them too. She can't go to the police because she has uncovered evidence that some of them may be crooked. She decides she has to trust the one guy she vowed never to trust.

The guy not only sticks to Audrey, but starts to grow on her. Together, somewhere between storytime in the children's section and church meetings, they start to untangle the mess, finding more problems as the days slip by.

I really liked it despite the heroine's apparent death wish and a missing-in-action hero at the end. I wanted a little more closure for this one. I get that there are cliff hangers. But it would have been nice to at least talk to the guy before he bailed. I assume the agent and the librarian will work together on something in the future.

That said, I enjoyed the writing style. She has believable characters and a fun storyline. I loved how intelligent and gutsy Audrey found her answers by reading information.

I'm giving THE LIBRARIAN SHOOTS A GUN four out of five books. You can get this book here.

Author Questions:

What kinds (if any) of music do you like to listen to while you write? 

I listen to whatever fits the mood of the story.  For instance, while I was writing the Aloha Lagoon mystery for GHP I started out by trying to listen to Christmas music because it's a Christmas story, and that wasn't working out too well for me, so I just switched to Hawaiian music.  For my Birdwell mysteries, I listen to classic country.  If it's a modern book I might listen to club music.  I listened to straight punk rock for weeks with Into Darkness Peering because that's what the hero listens to. 
I personally never listen to music while I write. It tends to sidetrack me. 

What was your inspiration for this book? 

I no longer remember what my original inspiration was on this particular book because I started writing it almost twenty years ago.  I do remember wanting to write a mystery, which wasn't my primary genre at the time, though it is now.  In the place of being able to answer about this particular book, I will say that most of my books are inspired by a question.  Like I read an article once about a local woman who burned her house down after repeatedly calling the police and telling them someone was in her attic.  When they arrested her for burning down her house, her first question was, 'did I kill the person in my attic.'  Of course, she was taken to a mental institution, but my thought was, 'what if she was right?'  And I had a whole idea immediately around that.  The power of What-If is my favorite inspiration tool.  
I like that idea too. What if is my favorite tool.

Have you ever knowingly put people you know in your books? 

When I was in high school I wrote books for my friends using them and the guys they had crushes on as characters.  I usually did it as Christmas or birthday presents for close friends. 
I've put both friends and...less-than friends in my books before, at least traits of said people. I consider it my best revenge...ha ha ha.

Do you have a favorite kind of brain food to snack on while you write?  

I don't eat when I write.  I just concentrate on what I'm doing.  Food is messy. 
I like plantain chips. And ice cream.

What kinds of books do you enjoy writing most? 

I actually enjoy romantic suspense the most.  It lets me dig into the real meat of a character and their arc.  I only write things with dead bodies and comedies, as weird as those two things seem together.  Cozy mysteries don't let me really dig in and deal with emotional issues or allow for the texture and complexity of relationships and human growth, which is my favorite part of writing.  Unfortunately, I've become almost exclusively a mystery writer since I've started working with a powerhouse mystery publisher.  However, I'd really love to find the time to delve back into rom sus again. 

Do you consider writing in other genres?  
I actually write several genres under three pen names.  I write mysteries, romantic comedies, romantic suspense, and urban fantasy.  So there's not a lot I don't already write at least sometimes.  I have been considering writing a historical mystery, set in a sort of Gothic feeling Victorian mansion.  I think that would be incredibly fun.  But I don't have time to address all the research I would need to engage in right now.  I hope someday I can, though. 

Thanks, Amber, for coming on my blog and for the chance to read your fun book. Go buy her book, peeps. It's a romp.

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