Today Trudell Becket is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about A Perfect Bind, the latest novel in the Beloved Bookroom mystery series.
Welcome, Trudell. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Oh, hello there. Lovely to meet y’all. I’m Trudell Becket, assistant librarian for the Town of Cypress’s Public Library. My friends call me Tru. I’m the narrator of A Perfect Bind. It’s a publication the journal where I wrote all my thoughts and adventures.
Even though Cypress is a small town in South Carolina, there’s plenty of action within its borders. That is why I started publishing my journals. I wanted to let others know about what happened from someone who was there, witnessing it all. My journals are part of the Beloved Bookroom Mystery series.
It all started when the Public Library was modernized, and they removed all the print books. Can you imagine? I hated the thought of losing such a vital part of the library. So I did what any book lover would do. I started a secret bookroom in the library’s basement.
In A Perfect Bind, someone is breaking into my secret bookroom at night and causing all sorts of mischief. I cannot report the break-ins to the police since the basement bookroom isn’t supposed to exist. My friends have decided to investigate on our own. We’re all members of a mystery book club and have read enough mystery novels to make us experts. (I hope!)
Are the break-ins related to the murder that happened in the alleyway behind the library? Or are they related to the kerfuffle surrounding this year’s apple pie baking contest? Or is something else going on all together? With the help of my precocious kitty, Dewey, we’re determined to find out!
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
This is my story. These are my experiences. Of course, I’m in control of what happens. Well, I’m in control of my own actions. Dorothy St. James is putting her name on my books, which is kind of rude. I mean, sheesh, I’m the one doing all the work. You’d think my name should be on the cover. But actually, I’m glad it’s not. Mama Eddy would consider that kind of publicity gauche.
How did you evolve as the main character?
That’s an interesting tale! I sort of fell into the books. Dorothy St. James was looking for a new mystery series. She wanted the main character to be well-read, a lover of mystery novels, and a passionate librarian. I am all those things!
What she didn’t realize was that I’m a product of my environment. My mama and daddy divorced when I was going through those awkward teen years. Their breakup rivaled some of the fiercest wars. And let’s face it, it was difficult living in the shadow of my mama. Mama Eddy is beautiful and opinionated. It was easier to simply disappear into her shadow than trying to outshine her. I became practically invisible. I was the nameless librarian who helped others. I didn’t mind…much. Life was easier that way.
Things changed after I caught a murderer. Everyone now knows who I am! I’m still learning to cope with this new existence.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
My friends are everything to me! Flossie Finnegan-Baker who is a successful novelist. My bestie Tori Green who is the owner of the local coffee shop, Perks, is always available to help with my wild schemes. There’s also socialite Delanie Messervey. She knows everyone in town and loves to help with any mystery that comes our way. We’re not exactly amateurs. We’ve been reading and discussing mystery novels in our book club for years now, making us experts on the who, what, and whys of all sorts of crimes.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
I live in Cypress, South Carolina. It’s a small town in the middle of the state on the shores of Lake Marion. There isn’t much in the way of industry in the town. The jobs related to tourism are seasonal and don’t pay well. Some of the residents take long commutes to nearby cities. Columbia, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina are two examples. Many of the residents, however, get by the best they can. We’re not rich, so I get why the town leaders are trying out different schemes (such as modernizing the library) to catch the attention of high-tech industries. I simply don’t agree that modernizing should come at the expense of the printed word. There’s a place for both in our town and I aim to prove that.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
I think y’all will enjoy A Perfect Bind. It’s a book that has a twisty plot, some laughs, and a ton of heart. So be sure to grab your copy in either hardcover or ebook (I won’t judge) or audiobook today.
Thank you for answering my questions, Trudell, and good luck to you and your author, Dorothy St. James, with A Perfect Bind, the latest book in the Beloved Bookroom mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Dorothy St. James: Dorothy St. James is the author of several cozy mystery series. She lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with her sculptor husband. Dorothy is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sister’s in Crime (SinC). This is her second Beloved Bookroom Mystery.