As regular readers of my blog and zine know, I'm interested in books and other media that feature librarians as characters (or are written by librarians). I'm especially fond of librarian characters that offer realistic portrayals of the profession, like this one does. 42-year-old Meg McLean, the new county library director in a small northwestern community, is one of the two protagonists of this "Latouche County Mystery." Her co-tagonist is, of course, a cop, cuz this is a detective story.
Although Meg hasn't started her new job yet, she gets a chance to exhibit her library skillz when she is deputized. She does internet research, organizes a dead suspect's reading material so that can reveal some clues, knows when to ask questions and when to be quiet and let the boys figure things out for themselves. She offers intelligent theories when asked. There are other librarianish tidbits that convince you that Simonson, a retired community college professor, has a pretty good clue what librarians do, though some of her research terminology and strategies might be a little outdated. One thing you've got to love is that Meg sought the job at Latouche because she had a crush on a previous librarian's book challenge policy.
As for the story itself, I found it compelling enough and will be interested to see where the series goes now that the main characters have been introduced. There were times when I didn't quite follow what was going on or remember who someone was, but I don't really read mysteries for the plot, so I didn't mind that much. This is a small press book that reads like it had some larger press resources behind it, except for the awkward title (from an e.e. cummings poem). The case involves some murders, but also the theft of some American Indian sacred objects. The local Indian chief (of the Klalo tribe), Madeline Thomas, is a complex character, from whom I think we'll here more as the series develops.