Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Arsenault
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was my introduction to Emily Arsenault.
A friend mentioned Miss Me When I'm Gone to me because she thought I would relate to the description of one of the characters as a collector of people. There were other aspects that drew me to the mystery as well.
THE STORY: Gretchen Water's successful writing career is cut short when she dies after falling down a long flight of stone steps outside a library. Jamie, her best friend since college, is asked to become literary executor of Gretchen's unfinished work.
The story is cleverly told by alternating writings from Gretchen's notes and her earlier book with first person narration from Jamie, who is pregnant with her first child.
"Tammyland", is a memoir about the author's divorce interspersed with the lives of certain iconic women of country music. The amount of research that went into writing the sections purportedly from the actual book is massive and adds to the enjoyment even for those of us who aren't country music fans.
WHAT I THOUGHT: This is definitely what I call a literate mystery. It's not so much the action but the research into finding out why that is compelling. And while you're following along with Jamie as she tries to pay tribute to her friend, you'll learn a little about country music!
FIRST LINE: "This gem might be well known among seventies tabloid readers and longtime county music fans, but perhaps not to the general reader: Tammy Wynette once saved Burt Reynolds from drowning in a bubble bath."
BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended for readers of Laura Lippman and Tana French.
Title: Miss Me When I'm Gone
Author: Emily Arsenault
Genre: Literate Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
No. of Pages: 336
Copyright: Original edition (July 31, 2012)
Emily Arsenault is also the author of The Broken Teaglass, In Search of the Rose Notes, and Miss Me When I'm Gone. She lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter. (From Amazon) Her newest book What Strange Creatures came out in original paperback July 22, 2014.