Emily Arsenault, who wrote the acclaimed novel, "In Search of the Rose Notes," has another mystery story, "Miss Me When I'm Gone." (William Morrow, 356 pages, July 31, 2012)
Two weeks before her untimely death, writer Gretchen Waters sent a cryptic e-mail to her old college friend, Jamie. Gretchen had written a bestselling work, "Tammyland," which told the story of the leading ladies of country music - Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Patsy Cline and, of course, Tammy Wynette.
Country music is filled with stories of hard luck and that, no doubt, was part of its appeal to Gretchen Waters, who never knew her father and whose mother, Shelly, was brutally bludgeoned to death and her murder was never solved.
Jamie discovers that her former college friend had been searching for her biological father and investigating her mother's death just before her fatal fall outside the library where she was delivering a reading of her popular book, "Tammyland."
As a journalist, Jamie refuses to believe that her friend's fall was purely accidental and fears that Gretchen's death might be connected to her mother's murder. Though in her last trimester of pregnancy, she feels compelled to discover the truth concerning the ill-fated mother and daughter.
With snippets of interesting details covering the lives of the legendary ladies of country music, Emily Arsenault has written a refreshingly original story.
As for the passage on Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, this reviewer remembers the two of them pitching laundry soap. In their commercial, the young Miss Parton was not exactly a polished professional and would sometimes have difficulty delivering her line which made their commercials charming and funny at the same time.
Emily Arsenault's "Miss Me When I'm Gone" will appeal to two sets of fans -mystery buffs and country music lovers.