Connie B Dowell
The annual Sorrellville Community Christmas Concert should have been a cheery way to kick off the holiday season, but when all four members of an amateur string quartet collapse on stage, the fun is over…especially when one of them does not survive the night.
Bookmobile driver Millie watches in horror as her kind and gentle boss–and violinist–Flor is once again wrapped up in a murder investigation. She busts out her sleuthing skills to dig deeper into the secrets Flor’s fellow musicians are hiding.
When/where is your book set?
Calamity at the Christmas Concert is set in modern day Virginia, specifically in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s in and around a fictional town called Sorrelville, but based on my lived experience in very real small, mountain towns and the small cities near them. There’s a lot of nature and the wild world in this series, juxtaposed against the quirkiness of a college town with a vibrant downtown scene.
Who is your main character?
The main character is Millie Monroe, a law school dropout turned bookmobile driver. Because her library branch is on wheels, she gets to explore not just the city but the rural communities around it. Millie’s trying to figure herself out. She’s a little lost since deciding not to be a lawyer, but it’s hard to find yourself, do your job, and navigate the dating world as a bisexual woman when dead bodies keep popping up at community events!
Why is Christmas so important to the story or you?
The story revolves around the Christmas festivities in Millie’s community–and also the particular bittersweet nature of celebrating a holiday in a new place and in a new way. It’s Millie and her cousin (and roommate) Peter’s first holiday away from the rest of their family. They’re experiencing that slightly lonely, slightly exciting feeling of making new traditions and entering a new phase of life. While I’m in a different phase of life myself, with small kids at home, as I wrote I looked back to some of those early adulthood Christmases, Thanksgivings, and other holidays where–for the first time–I was the grownup, figuring things out and not following someone else’s lead.