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The Mystery in the Bookshop

A colleague from the New York office was over for drinks last Friday and she mentioned that she forgot to bring a book for the train back.  I gave her my copy of Elizabeth Peters’ Die for Love, a cozy about an academic librarian who finds love and murder at a romance-writers convention she attends for a tax-deductible vacation (“It’s the only one I could find. The ABA meetings were last month and the ALA is meeting in Birmingham. I wouldn’t be caught dead in Birmingham.”)

Too bad Peters (and, concurrently, Barbara Michaels) has left us, because the Simmons yearbook photo at left that Lolly found in our archives reminds me of my old desire for a mystery series featuring the young Bertha Mahony and Elinor Whitney, bookshop proprietresses and relentless sleuths. In Forehand Slice, Elinor goes undercover at the Dedham Country and Polo Club to track down the beautiful young heiress last seen running from the court in tears after giving Helen Wills the double bagel. Of course, Elinor also uncovers an old-money scandal, swarthy bootleggers, marital indiscretions–and the not completely unwelcome attention of wavy-haired tennis pro “Tony.” I could go on but Peters would have done so much better.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Claire Ciampa says:

    Roger, was there really a book named Forehand Slice, featuring the Dedham Country and Polo Club? Because I very much would like to read it.

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