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Novelist to sign latest Dandy Gilver mystery

McPhersonW

Catriona McPherson relaxes at her home in Winters. The award-winning author's new book is set in the 1920s at an all-girls school in Portpatrick, Scotland. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

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From page A5 | November 15, 2013 |

Novelist Catriona McPherson, known for her popular series of mysteries about a female Scottish sleuth, will read from her latest book, “Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St. in Davis.

Set in the 1920s, the new episode involves Gilver’s visit to an all-girls school in the small seaside town of Portpatrick to investigate the disappearance of a childhood friend who taught there. Gilver soon finds that other teachers have been disappearing as well.

McPherson is coming off a busy summer, in which she returned to her native Scotland to do research on an upcoming novel in the Gilver series (to be titled “The Reek of Red Herrings”) that will be set in a fishing village on Scotland’s eastern coast.

“It’s a beautiful part of the coast, and I spent a lot of time hanging around harbors talking with retired old fishermen, who speak with a very particular accent,” McPherson said. “It was difficult to understand them at times, even for me.”

McPherson also has been elected as the vice president of the National Organization of Sisters in Crime, a group formed by female mystery writers in 1987.

“They’ve got something like 80 chapters now,” McPherson said. “I’m vice president now, and in line to be president next year.”

What with her duties with Sisters in Crime, and her research in Scotland, McPherson has been on the go.

“I’m getting better at writing on planes and in California’s airports,” she said.

She’s also taking part in National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo,” a November event. McPherson has staked herself to a goal of producing 50,000 words of manuscript.

Those who come to her Nov. 22 book-signing at The Avid Reader can expect “the traditional cake,” and can expect the event to continue “until we run out of wine!”

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