In June, when Gossips introduced readers to The Boys' Garden Club, I expressed my wish that someone would write a roman à clef about Hudson. Rivaling that is my wish that someone would write a murder mystery set in Hudson. Back in the early years of the new millennium, when epic battles were being fought in Hudson, a few folks purported to be working on such novels, but, alas, none has emerged.
As with the roman à clef, we now have the next best thing: a murder mystery set in nearby Greenport. The mystery, Death at Olana, by Glenda Ruby, begins, at an Olana Christmas gala, with the discovery of the body of Sheila Marks, the historic site's fictional director. In investigating the murder, the Hudson sheriff (a fictional detail that seems appropriate to our city's Dodge City mystique) enlists the aid of witty and erudite amateur detective Lindsey Brooks. The book promises a cast of delicious characters--"Hudson Valley worthies, sycophants, well-born but not always well-behaved eccentrics, several of whom loathed Sheila enough to kill her"--and a plot graced with "historic homes, antiques, rivalries, town-gown intrigues." It all sounds just right.
Death at Olana is the first of what's to be a series of mysteries set in the Hudson Valley and featuring female sleuth Lindsey Brooks. The next one--on its way--is called A Murderous Summer at Bard. Copies of Death at Olana can be purchased at The Spotty Dog.