An Interview with Carrie Singleton by Marilyn Levinson
Carrie, how did you end up living in Clover Ridge, CT?
When I was young, my brother and I spent summers at my father’s family farm outside of Clover Ridge, CT. I had fond memories of those days. After college, I got a degree in library science but never spent more than a year in any one place for the next seven years. I had no sense of home or family. I hadn’t seen my father, who was a thief, in years. My mother, who was never maternal, had remarried and was living in Hollywood with her actor husband. My older brother, whom I adored, had died in a car accident in his early twenties. I was at a low point in my life when I asked my great uncle and aunt, who had sold the farm and were living in a vintage house on the Green in Clover Ridge, if I could stay with them for a while. Aunt Harriet and Uncle Bosco welcomed me into their home.
How did you meet Dylan Avery, your boyfriend?
After I got my new job, I decided it was time I found a place of my own. I answered an advertisement that a cottage was for rent a few miles outside of town. It turned out the cottage was on the Avery property. Dylan lived in the manor house when he was around. His job as an insurance investigator of stolen art and gems had him traveling constantly. It turned out that I knew Dylan when I was little because he used to play with my brother Jordan. Anyway, one thing led to another and we started dating.
How did you manage to snag that wonderful job you have as head of programs and events in the Clover Ridge Library?
I must admit I had some help. My uncle got me my initial job in the library, which wasn’t very satisfying as I wasn’t doing much besides reshelving books. I was thinking of moving on when the person who held the position of head of programs and events had to move to California. Uncle Bosco recommended me to the director. And since I’d had experience arranging programs and events and Uncle Bosco was on the library board, Sally felt obliged to hire me.
How did you meet Evelyn Havers, the ghost that haunts the library?
Evelyn made it her business to be present when Sally offered me the position. I was going to turn it down, but Evelyn instructed me to tell Sally that I’d think about it and let her know my decision the following morning. We got to talking and became fast friends.
How did you find Smoky Joe, the library cat?
Smoky Joe simply showed up outside my cottage one morning. He jumped into my car as I was about to leave for work. I couldn’t leave him in the car all day and so I brought him into the library. He ran into the children’s room and the pre-Ks fell in love with him. Surprisingly, he proved to be a friendly, people-loving cat. Smoky Joe plays a big part in READ AND GONE.
Who is your best friend in the library?
That’s Angela, who works at the circulation desk. Angela was one of the few people who befriended me when I started working in the library. She’s fun and straightforward and tells it like it is.
Who is the person you like the least in the library?
That would be Dorothy Hawkins, the unpleasant reference librarian who is also Evelyn niece. Dorothy is angry because I was given the position of head of programs and events instead of her. She pulled all sorts of nasty pranks on me until I discovered a way of putting an end to her malicious actions once and for all. Still, I know she capable of really bad behavior so I’m always on my guard when I’m around Dorothy.
How did you get mixed up in solving murder mysteries?
A good question. Believe me, I didn’t plan to become an amateur sleuth. Things simply happened. The first time was in DEATH OVERDUE, when a retired detective came to the library to talk about a cold case he believed he finally solved. The poor man died right in front of his audience. I was horrified and feeling guilty about having him come to speak when Sally, my boss, thought we should have canceled. I felt I had to find the person who murdered him. Now in READ AND GONE, my father shows up out of the blue after not seeing me for close to ten years and asks me to help him retrieve his half of a heist that his partner-n-crime, the local jeweler has kept. Naturally, I refuse, but when the jeweler if murdered and my father’s Suspect Number One, I’m obliged to prove him innocent.
What are some of your favorite programs and events that you’ve featured at the library?
I think the Halloween Party in DEATH OVERDUE was a big success, when adults dressed up in costumes, and the special musical programs around the December holidays in READ AND GONE. Some of the old favorites too: current events and book discussions and film presentations. I’m looking forward to our food presentations, too.