As a librarian, many of you tend to send me various catalogs throughout the year. This is much appreciated, and helps me keep on top of upcoming releases. However, while going through a catalog Monday afternoon, my blood pressure spiked. There, nestled in the pages of the St. Martin's Minotaur catalog was information about "a pulse-pounding debut thriller" by an author named Linda Castillo.
Little Miss Crabby Pants then got to wondering, "Could it be the same Linda Castillo? The same Linda Castillo who has written six single title romantic suspense novels for Berkley and twelve series books for Harlequin?"
Yep, it is.
OK, if you want to get technical about it - Sworn To Silence, which is due out in June is the author's first straight-up suspense novel. Still, it galls me to see the word "debut" attached to her name when this is hardly her first rodeo. I understand the predicament. I mean, you wouldn't want suspense/thriller fans to know about her sordid past as a ::gasp:: romance writer because the evil, nasty love cooties might scare them away.
I know it's not "fair" to pick on St. Martin's Minotaur about this. They're hardly the first or last publisher to ever do this. It happens all the time and there is plenty of guilt to lay on numerous doorsteps.
Still, it chaps my buns in a serious way. It implies the romance novels that the author wrote aren't "real books." That the author didn't work just as hard on them as she undoubtedly did on her "exciting debut novel" that is coming out after she's already published 50 "trashy" Harlequins. You can go ahead and accuse Little Miss Crabby Pants of being "over sensitive" - but given the inferiority complex that hangs over the romance genre to this day, it's just better for you to admit now that I'm right and you are wrong.
Wendy the Super Librarian AKA Little Miss Crabby Pants
P.S. - This is by no means a "knock" against Castillo. I mean, it's not like she has any control over St. Martin's PR department. Seriously, congratulations to her for not only scoring a hard cover release with Minotaur (an imprint I generally like), but also author quotes from the likes of Lisa Scottoline, Sandra Brown, John Hart and Chelsea Cain. And damn, this book sounds wicked good. We tend to get ARCs from Minotaur here at work, and I'll be stalking the mail room for this one.
Kate Burkholder, who grew up in the Amish community of Painters Mill, Ohio before leaving for the outside world and the study of law enforcement, has recently been appointed Chief of Police in her former hometown. Her knowledge of the Amish, their language and customs, makes her the perfect candidate. When a serial killer, whose spree sixteen years before was dubbed The Slaughterhouse Murders, returns with spectacular violence, Kate is determined to catch him. But she is also desperate to keep a secret from her past: the reason she fled the Amish world is that she was the young girl the killer attacked before disappearing - and she killed him in self defense. No one knows, except her Amish father and brother who helped bury the body. So who is behind the current murders? And what is the connection to Kate's past?