To Helvetica and Back By Paige Shelton: Review/Giveaway

Jan 9, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of To Helvetica and Back, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Chester Henry has been a part of Star City and Bygone Alley since he was a young man. Now he runs the shop the Rescued Word, with his granddaughter, Clare. They repair typewriters, the kind that used a ribbon and carbon paper. Mirabelle has an oldie but goodie and the L is not working at all. It’s a matter of the key coming undone and a pretty simple fix.

Everyone’s surprised to see a man wearing an all leather outfit come into the store and say he wants a typewriter. He hardly seems the type. It’s not just any typewriter he wants either; he only wants Mirabelle’s. When he gets too pushy, the police are called and he takes off. They get the security cams up and running as extra protection.
During the repair of Mirabelle’s typewriter, Clare notices numbers and letters etched on the key arms. They don’t make any sense to her but she makes a note of them. She’s also got a book to restore, replacing a page of Tom Sawyer. book

She’s startled to wake up and find it’s morning. Apparently, she was in the shop all night. The darn cameras that are supposed to be recording three different vantage points have shut off. She manages to get it all going again but in one shot, there’s a pair of men’s boots in the alley–maybe with the man still in them! The man in the boots is the leather-dressed man from the day before. He’s dead, has no ID and no one seems to know him. Still, he’s in her alley so was he coming back for the typewriter?

Things just get more complicated but some of it’s fun too, like the goat relocation project. Volunteers have gathered to trap some of the goats and relocate them to a less populated area and keep predators near town to a minimum. Jodie lets Clare ride along when she visits the site. Most of the volunteers are bikers, some in leather. No one recognizes the guy from the shop.

One good thing comes of the trip though. Clare is sure Jodie and the volunteer leader, Mutt, made a connection. Jodie’s pretty close-mouthed about it but it’s there! Not to be outdone, Clare finally is able to meet the owner of Tom Sawyer and he’s a cutie. It seems love is in the air.

This is the first in a new series. I really like Clare, Jodie, Chester and Baskerville (the shop cat) as well as the side characters. Seth and Mutt look to be keepers. The setting is in ski country, where people plan their schedules around ski time not work time. The shop is different and although there’s a lot of information about printing, repairs (even for ink pens), and typewriters in general, it’s woven into the storyline.

Shelton also writes the Farmer’s Market series and the Country Cooking School mysteries. I think I’ve found a new favorite!

To enter to win a copy of To Helvetica and Back, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “helvetica,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 16, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to order this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur”, included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.


  1. To Helvetica and Back sounds like a great read, and the cover at is cute. Thank you for the chance to win.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. I really like Shelton’s other series and can’t wait to devour this one. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. I like Paige Shelton and this book is clever!

  4. Oh Sandra…I just love Paige’s books! Thank you for the review!
    Sandy in So. Cali

  5. I have read nothing but good reviews for “To Helvetica and Back”. I haven’t read anything by Paige Shelton and would really like to start with this one since it’s the first in a new series.

  6. Love first in series books. I love getting to meet new characters! Thanks for the chance!

  7. Sound great I must get this one

  8. I enjoy this author. And …. does our younger generation even know what a typewriter is???

  9. A talented author and this sounds like a new addition to the mix. And the best typewriter I ever had was an IBM Selectric.

  10. I really like this author’s work and can’t wait to read this new series.

  11. Love the cover and premise of this book!

  12. I enjoy this author’s books and am looking forward to reading To Helvetica and Back.

  13. Sounds great and I love the cover since I learned to type on a old manual typewriter. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  14. Sounds great. Curious about that typewriter. Thankyou for the opportunity! Jill;

  15. Can’t wait to read this book! Use to be able to type as fast on a typewriter as I do the computer. I’m sure not now!

  16. Sounds like a great beginning to what I’m sure will be a great new series! Looking forward to getting to know the characters and maybe explore The Rescued Word a little more. Thanks for the chance to win.

  17. We have a winner!


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