My father never went anywhere without a paperback in his jacket. While his office held plenty of scholarly tomes, his pocket frequently held a mystery, a thriller. We still have some of his 1950’s classics with wildly lurid covers.
Do you recognize that passion––wanting a book with you always? Were you the fourth-grader hiding a book in your lap at school, with one ear cocked in case the teacher called on you? Were you the kid who walked home from school poring over the latest Harry Potter while trying not to fall off the curb?
All became easier with phones and e-readers. Now the new Bullet Book Speed Reads series headed up by author Manning Wolfe delivers mystery thrillers, co-authored with other Texas writers, the perfect size for a plane trip, an afternoon on the porch.
I had immense fun working with Manning on our Bullet Book Bloody Bead. Here’s why.
With characters like George Smiley, Sherlock Holmes, Encyclopedia Brown, we mystery readers train ourselves to grab at every clue–the criminal’s limp, the square-toed hunting shoes, the odd whistle in the night. (You got it, Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Speckled Band.”) We’re desperate, like those famous sleuths, to use our brains, figure out who did it, and how and why.
But Bloody Bead begins with one of the invisible people in our world, a garbage man. Do you know who picks up your garbage? Could you describe that person? Have you ever spoken to that person? Do you know what that person knows about you, or others on the truck route, just from dealing with your trash and recyclables? No spoilers here, but I relished re-seeing the world from that viewpoint. Furthermore, while we’re on invisible heroes: let’s hear it for cadaver dogs, too. But no spoilers.
In my legal series, my character Alice, the lawyer protagonist in the Coffee Creek Mystery Series (Ghost Next Door is the latest), can tell you a great deal about her clients and their enemies. But it’s not clear to me whether Alice yet knows the actual people who collect her trash and recyclables. Must ask her. In fact, working on Bloody Bead made me curious about the host of invisible potential characters around us, every day…
How about that clever red-haired guy at the HEB supermarket who rings up my groceries like a genius? What does he see? The mechanic at the garage who could psychoanalyze each customer by what he discovers while inspecting their vehicles? The lab tech who takes your blood? Hmm.
Humans possess a powerful drive to hear a tale told. Tell me a story! And let me figure it out!
Titles by Helen Currie Foster are available online and in-store now. Bloody Bead, her novella co-written with Manning Wolfe, is currently only available in-store. Call BookPeople today at (512) 472 – 5050 to reserve yours today!