One of the things I enjoyed best about writing Played by the Book, the fourth Novel Idea Mystery, is following along with local literary agent, Lila Wilkins, as she traipses throughout the idyllic setting of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina. This quaint hamlet is a book lovers’ paradise starting with Lila’s workplace, Novel Idea Literary Agency, and continuing with book-themed businesses like the James Joyce Pub, Sherlock Holmes Realty, the Sixpence Bakery and the town’s latest addition a pet store named All Creatures, Feathered and Furry. What booklover wouldn’t love this setting?
However, perhaps best of all, after a busy day of reading book proposals and promoting new and upcoming literary voices, Lila often treats herself to a delectable meal at one of the village’s many eating establishments where the food is a feast for the senses. There’s the Wild Ginger restaurant where they serve a Sesame Chicken, so savory, sweet, spicy and sour it’s like a flavor explosion in every bite. Or Voltaire’s, where guests are surrounded with a plethora of mouthwatering scents like the sweet tang of lamb braised in wine and garlic drifting from the waiters’ sizzling trays, or the overflowing bread basket smelling of a French boulangerie. And right down the street, Catcher in the Rye, where Big Ed turns sandwich making into a culinary art form, creating mile-high explorations of all the good stuff that can fit between two pieces of bread. Not to mention Lila’s favorite stop, Espresso Yourself Café, where she unwinds and soothes away her daily stress by wrapping her hands around a steaming, sweet caramel latte.
With good food abounding, it’s no wonder that in her latest adventure, Played by the Book, Lila and her coworkers are inspired to promote their next big literary success with an outdoor gala. What better way to showcase their newest gardening book author, than by hosting a farm-to-fork meal catered by the local grocery store, How Green Was My Valley, and set at The Secret Garden Nursery? After all, good food and good books seem to go hand-in-hand in this charming community. Of course, there’s always a few added ingredients like mayhem and murder thrown in, just to keep things spicy. And as Lila discovers, not everyone in Inspiration Valley plays by the book…
Writing under the pseudonym of Lucy Arlington, author Susan Furlong is pleased to announce that Played by the Book is currently available on the shelves of your local bookstore and library, Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Powell’s and just about everywhere else.