Reading has been a huge part of local author Marion Moore Hill’s life, both for pleasure and for gaining knowledge, ever since she began learning the skill from her older sister when she was four years old.
Hill’s love of books also led her to coach adults seeking to improve their reading ability as a literacy tutor with the Durant Literacy Council for more than 20 years.
(It’s estimated that about 1 in 5 adults in Bryan County doesn’t read well enough to be fully functional in everyday life. Adult-literacy tutoring is one important way of overcoming this deficiency.)
Hill is also a writer, with four published mystery novels to her credit.
Now the fifth one (“Cook the Books,” from Crickhollow/Crispin Books) is about to be published—copies are available locally now, although the actual “pub date” isn’t until July 15—and the author’s experience as a literacy tutor is central to this story.
A book-launch party was scheduled today, June 4 from, 3-4 p.m., at Donald W. Reynolds Community Center and Library will introduce local readers to “Cook,” the third entry in Hill’s Scrappy Librarian Mysteries series, in which librarian Juanita Wills solves mysteries that threaten the peace in her small Oklahoma town.
In “Cook,” Juanita is volunteering as a literacy tutor when her student’s husband is murdered with a poisoned cupcake he eats for lunch. The victim’s wife, who had packed the lunch, is the obvious suspect, and Juanita risks her own life to prove her young student innocent.
Cupcakes—without poison as an ingredient, Hill emphasizes—will be among snacks served at the launch party. A door prize for some lucky attendee will be a full set of the Scrappy Librarian series, one autographed copy each of “Bookmarked for Murder”; “Death Books a Return”; and “Cook the Books.”
Copies of “Cook” will sell at a special sale price—for this event only—during the book launch.
Hill will also sign copies of her new novel at two venues in north Texas later this week: on June 7, 1-3 p.m., at Hastings Books & Music, 2114 Texoma Parkway in Sherman; and on June 8, 1-3 p.m., at Red River Unitarian Universalist Church, 515 N. Burnett in Denison.
The church event is a block party/picnic/fan drive/book signing on the church lawn (weather permitting), or inside the restored Victorian-style structure where the church meets in case of rain. Besides Hill’s signing, the event will feature live music and picnic food provided by congregation members. Electric fans (either box-type or oscillating) will be collected for donation to needy residents of Grayson County.
Hill will be scheduling other signings locally this fall, including one at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Bookstore, where copies of “Cook” and her other novels may be purchased now.