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March 2021 Newsletter

Hello Friends!

Can you believe it’s March already? Where does the time go?

Well, I’m hard at work this month on my new novel Snake Oil.  I hope to have my final draft to my editor at the end of March, beginning of April. Look out for more info in the coming months.

Well, unfortunately, no one won last month’s, Scavenger Hunt. If you’re interested, here are the ten items needed to win.  1. Harper is holding a copy of Between Us. 2. There are bottles of Snake Oil on the counter.  3. There’s a lasso amongst the hanging bulbs. 4. Between Us is on the menu of the day. 5. The title of the newsletter is on the wall. 6. The first cover of Snake Oil is on the face of the planter. 7. There is a stethoscope in the plant. 8. The shadow outside of the café is the same figure on the front cover of Between Us. 9. There is a snake on the table. 10. A small version of Suffering and Wisdom, which is the gift for subscribing to the newsletter, is on the floor under the orange chair.  I hope you had fun hunting down those clues.  If you missed out on this contest, don’t worry, we’ll have more challenges and giveaways in the coming months!

You have probably deduced by now that I love a good mystery. Even a simple problem makes me want to find an answer.  The thrill of the hunt always leads me to libraries, bookstores, and even online searches.   

This week I found a story about a librarian in Dundee, Scotland, who had a patron return a handful of novels. The woman opened the books in front of the librarian and asked, “Can you tell me why page seven has an underline in all these novels?”   

At first, the curator suspected the customer had marked the pages. But when the client opened a book she had yet to check out, which revealed the same marking, the librarian realized they had a mystery on their hands.

The employees mulled over the books and joked that they had a serial killer in their midst obsessed with the number seven.  However, when their supervisor came to work, she revealed that a group of “wee old women” marked the volumes with underlines, letters, or stars on the last page—to keep track of the books they previously read.

Mystery solved. However, the librarian did take to Twitter to let her customers know that the library’s computer system tracks their patron’s borrowing history. Thus, the “wee old woman” did not need an alternative method to jog their memories. 

You have to admire the original reader’s attention to detail. How about you? Are you the sort that notices little details?  Have you solved a simple mystery that baffled those around you?  Please write me and let me know, or post it on my Facebook page (@harpergalebooks.com). Maybe we’ll post your story in next month’s newsletter.

Well, I’d better get back to writing.

Please keep in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next month!

Harper