I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm rerunning a review. I spent last night at The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, acting as interviewer for Marion Moore Hill's appearance to talk about her books, including Death Books a Return. However, since I was doing the actual interview, I was not able to take notes. Instead, I'm reprinting the review I did when I read the book.
Marion Moore Hill resumes her Scrappy Librarian mystery series with the second book, Death Books a Return. It's natural for a librarian with reference skills to dig into a town's history. It's not so natural for the librarian to become the target of a killer.
Juanita Wills wants to write the history of Wyndham, Oklahoma, but finds a shameful event in 1959. A black high school athlete from the neighboring town of Bryson's Corner was brutally murdered on Wyndham's track soon after embarrassing a number of white boys at a track meet. The case was never solved, and almost half a century later, Juanita still has a hard time finding people willing to talk about the murder.
It doesn't help her research when one of her first sources is killed in Bryson's Corner before she can even talk to him. Suddenly, her research becomes dangerous.
Hill tells a complex story of racial hatred and distrust, revealing the feelings that still last to this day. Her character's interest in the past stirs up emotions in two towns, and two generations. It's a thoughtful examination of racial crimes.
Although I had a few problems with Juanita as a librarian, as a researcher she is persistent. Her insistence on finding answers changes Wyndham, Oklahoma, in Death Books a Return.
Marion Moore Hill's website is www.marionmoorehill.com
Death Books a Return by Marion Moore Hill. Pemberley Press, ©2008. ISBN 978-0-0771913-6-9 (paperback), 284p.