Last Chance, Texas, has the highest literacy rate in the state, and it may have been due to the unusual influence Ms. Hatty, the librarian, had over the small town. When the lovely old library burns to the ground, along with Ms. Hatty, her influence extends beyond the grave with the last nine books left in a box. Each book was earmarked by a sticky note with the recipient's name.
The nine books are random, from a grimy copy of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas for the town's playboy, to Coding for Dummies for the brilliant computer analyst who consulted for Apple Industries. She indicated Marley and Me to go to a grumpy old coot known to hate dogs, and a copy of The Art of French Cooking to a cowgirl who couldn't boil water. She leaves Persuasion to her best and oldest friend, Dory Russell, who was a little too stuck up to mix with the folks in Last Chance. The rest of the books went to a random mix of people, all for Ms. Hatty's unfathomable reasons.
The entire town starts a reading frenzy. The wealthy and aristocratic Ms. Dory finds herself embroiled in the lives of people because they expect her to take over where Ms. Hatty left off. Meanwhile, a possible motive for the library arson becomes all too clear when the governor's office announces plans for a North/South Corridor, cutting directly through Last Chance. It will erase the town and give a few ranchers with large adjoining acreages millions of dollars in an eminent domain deal.
Ms. Hatty, with her Democratic Party influence and political clout, would have stood in the way of the Corridor Deal. What does Ms. Hatty's death and the Corridor deal have in common? Ms. Dory is afraid she knows, and the truth isn't pretty.
©2018 Deborah K. Henely (P)2018 Deborah K. Henely