Monday, January 7, 2013

I Found You Again and I Wanted You Even More

I saw you two Sundays ago. You were showing your spine, which doesn't really do it for me. I need to see all of you. I had actually seen you before this, but only online. It's hard to get a true sense of anything on a computer screen, even with all the information available about you, so it was nice to actually be able to see you in person, to look at you in full and consider if I really wanted you.

I have to be honest. I only noticed you because others of your kind have interested me before. In fact, without them, without you, I can'd do what I'm setting out to do. I need to learn from you how it's done so I can try to do it.

I was surprised to find you in the same place yesterday, a week later. I couldn't have you right when I found you because I didn't have any room for you. What's worse is that according to the system that would classify you, that would organize you among those of your own kind, you don't even exist. You were with your own kind when I found you, but there's no record of you in that system. It's like the powers that be that oversee you don't want to be bothered with the extra work to make sure that you count, that you matter. To me, you exist. To me, you matter.

I don't know how much that will change soon. I only know you from the outside. I haven't explored you on the inside yet. I don't know what you hold. I don't know what's waiting for me. Will I be as impressed with you as I was when I found you online, when I was first curious about those of your own kind? Will I be more impressed than that? Or will I be utterly disappointed? I don't know. I'm almost reticent about finding out because I waited for you for a week, waited until I had seen others of your construction off to wherever they go next, until I finally had space for you. I think no matter what, though, you'll still help me. If you're great, you'll show me what I should aspire to, what I should hope to accomplish. If you're awful, then you'll show me what not to do. Mainly, I want to know your rhythm, how you present the reason for your existence.

So here we are, An Appetite for Murder by Lucy Burdette. Presenting a Key West food critic is what got me here, and I hope it takes me further because I'm looking for a good mystery. Maybe you're it. What disappoints me is that if you're it, if I want to then read Death in Four Courses, your recently-created sibling, then I'd have to search every Las Vegas-Clark County library branch near me. But maybe you'll be like Julie Hyzy's books. I read her newest White House chef mystery, Fonduing Fathers, and while waiting impatiently for her next one, which she probably won't start writing for a while, I remembered that I hadn't read the other two novels in her Manor House Mystery series, Grace Interrupted and Grace Among Thieves, both featuring manor director Grace Wheaton. The library district has none of that series, so I ordered Grace Interrupted. But then, being that no paperback mystery novels are catalogued (when you check them out at one of the scanner terminals, at Whitney or any other branch, they show up as "One Adult Paperback"), maybe the district actually does have copies. The only novels in Hyzy's White House chef mystery series that appear in the system are those that were large print in hardcover. I remember seeing Affairs of Steak, the fifth White House Chef mystery novel, on the same revolving racks that I found you. But I can't go to every branch in my vicinity (which would be only Whitney and the main Clark County branch, which looks more like an abandoned DMV facility with a courthouse facade at the entrance). I love libraries, but every branch's mysteries would undoubtedly be different and there's also the chance that what I might find, I might have already read. These paperbacks come cheap online through, so if I like you enough, An Appetite for Murder, I know where to go next. If you're worth it, I don't mind waiting for your sibling to arrive in the mail. I'm just hoping Julie Hyzy is right, since she praised you on the first page after the cover, and there's also a quote from her on the back. I hope it's like when I discovered Barbara O'Neal when I picked up her How to Bake a Perfect Life and found a quote on the front cover from Erica Bauermeister, who wrote School of Essential Ingredients, one of my favorite novels, the sequel of which is coming out at the end of the month. I haven't had that kind of excitement in books in a while and I want it back again.

You're set in Florida, An Appetite for Murder, and for me, that's an automatic plus. Food's involved and that's always fun to read about, so that's the next plus. I read food critics occasionally, namely the Las Vegas Review-Journal's, so that's a smaller plus, but still a plus. I hope this works out. Excite me, please. Make me want more of you. Make me unable to live without you, as books should. That's my standard. Let's see how you do.