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.
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.
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