2016-10-27 / Editorial

A sudden frisson

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by Melanie Taylor Coombs

Confession: I have read all of the “Shopaholic” series by Sophie Kinsella. Further confession: I’ve read most of them twice. The main character, Becky Bloomwood, often gets a sudden frisson from seeing a new pair of shoes or a fabulous scarf – she is after all, a shopaholic. When I read the books I kept thinking about the word “frisson,” what a great word. It means a sudden, brief moment of excitement. But, alas, there have been few opportunities to use the word … until now.

My frisson was the moment I saw that author William Kent Krueger was going to be the keynote speaker at New England Crime Bake, a prestigious annual conference for mystery writers. It was only a few hours away! I immediately wrote to him via Facebook and through his website and asked him to come to McArthur Library. Admittedly, I promised lobster. Within a day I got a warm and friendly note with a firm “maybe.”

Six months later, it is a reality. In September, he confirmed that he would come to Maine. I’m so giddy with glee I can barely contain myself. It has been several weeks and I am still in a constant state of excitement. This is more than just a frisson.

Here is why I am excited. William Kent Krueger is a New York Times Bestseller, which means he is a “big” author and known all over the world. He is also a fan and supporter of libraries. If you visit his website, www. williamkentkrueger.com, and click around, you will see his many visits to indie bookstores and public libraries. The fact that he is willing to drive out of his way to Maine to come to McArthur is a testament to his overall greatness.

More importantly, he is a great writer. For years now I have recommended his mystery series that takes place in the woods of Minnesota, especially to fans of Paul Doiron. The main character, Cork O’Connor, is a part Irish, part Ojibwe former sheriff who ends up embroiled in some great mysteries. The series gets stronger as it goes along and the reader bonds with the entire family, including the awesome family dog. There is also a compelling and deep respect for Native American culture that resonates throughout the stories.

In 2013, on the recommendation of a fellow reader, I read “Ordinary Grace,” a stand alone novel by Krueger that won the 2014 Edgar Award for Best Novel. Often when I suggest the title to others, I call it a modern masterpiece. Personally, I don’t think it is an exaggeration.

This is a personal initiation to all the readers out there to come by McArthur Library at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 to give William Kent Krueger a warm Maine welcome. Books will be available for purchase through Biddeford’s Nonesuch Books. The event is free and open to the public, but if you would like to reserve a copy of any of his titles, please call Nonesuch Books at 282-2638. As always, if you have any questions about the program, please contact McArthur Library. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Melanie Taylor Coombs is adult services supervisor/ librarian at McArthur Public Library.

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