Cover Snapshot of Read Books

Sara's bookshelf: read

Crazy Little Thing
A Kiss at Midnight
The Disenchanted Widow
Hollywood Wives - The New Generation
There Goes the Bride
Table for Five
Do Not Disturb
The Husband's Secret
The Ugly Duchess
Help for the Haunted
The Power Trip
The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Summer At Willow Lake
Every Crooked Nanny
The Mystery Woman
The Woodcutter
How to Be an American Housewife

Sara's favorite books »

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Author Next Door

I discovered mystery author Carolyn Haines (burgundy blouse in pic) by asking for Southern author suggestions at our local book store. Soon we had chosen Them Bones (first in the Mississippi Delta Mystery series) for our next book club. You may be amazed at how many authors live in your hometown. And, why not choose one of those authors for your next meeting?

One of our club members learned that there was a Writer’s Conference in a town near ours and that author Carolyn Haines would be a speaker at the Conference. My fellow book member took the initiative to find the author website and sent an email request asking if the author would like to meet with our book club. And, you guessed it, within 12 hours she had an e-mail from the author stating that she would love to meet with us! How thrilling!

After her speech at the writing conference, Carolyn Haines met us at a local Tea Room for lunch. We brought her an honorary tee-shirt (and we all wore our specially made book club tees) and paid for her lunch. It was a wonderful and special lunch and Carolyn Haines was every bit as gregarious and spunky as her Sarah Booth character. I highly recommend that you contact an author and make a request for a book club visit. Carolyn shared her writing and publishing insights and was all-around terrific.

A Review of Them Bones by Carolyn Haines

Witty spunky and Southern to the core, Mississippi resident Sarah Booth Delaney makes a wonderful protagonist—issues notwithstanding. Sarah Booth reminds me a bit of a smarter sexier and more interesting version of Stephanie Plum*--a thinking woman’s investigator if you will. Not to be too dull or serious, I must mention that Sarah Booth is haunted by Jitty, her Great Grandmother’s nanny.

Having grown up in Zinnia Mississippi, Sarah tries to epitomize a southern lady, but it is a bit difficult when she is single, over 30, jobless and soon to be homeless. Sarah’s largest worry is that she is about to lose her family mansion and heirloom belongings to foreclosure. In desperation, she dognaps Chablis, her gal-pal Tinkie’s spoiled little dog. Once she has “recovered” the dog for a sizable ransom, word spreads throughout the small town and Sarah Booth’s rep as an investigator is formed. Soon Sarah Booth is investigating a 20-year old murder, the stuff of small town rumors and lore. Unfortunately Sarah is also falling for handsome murder suspect Hamilton Garret V.

I must admit that I proposed this book to our book club believing fully that this was a cozy mystery. However, this book belongs squarely in the mystery category, the murder investigation and story are twisted, complex and smart. Will I go on to read the rest of this series?—Absolutely Dahling!

*Stephanie Plum is the protagonist PI in Janet Evanovich's popular book series


  1. I had a blast with the Fabulous Biloxi Babes (Book Club), and I wear my t-shirt with pride. And I agree--if you have a local author around, invite him or her to a meeting. Most writers love to talk about writing and books, and what a joy to get together with other readers without having to drive for six hours or catch a flight. Everything comes down to schedule, but most writers really enjoy interaction with readers.

  2. Thanks Carolyn, It was wonderful to see your note and comments. I appreciate your time and loved meeting you in person!