New Book Release :
My latest book, The Simple Life Is Murder, by Anne Barton, is now available in both electronic and trade paperback form. There is a history involved in my writing this book.
As a small child, my family lived in a town where there was a highly regarded small liberal arts college, Antioch College. We lived across the street from the campus. I had been born in Drumheller, Alberta where we had a wheat farm. But in the early thirties, when drought and the Depression both hit, we went to live with grandparents in the U.S. My grandfather had once been a professor at Antioch College.
We attended a private school run by the college; for me two years of kindergarten and grade one. But my parents decided to move back out west, to northern Idaho. To say that this was a culture shock would be a vast understatement. The small town in Idaho was still living as if in the nineteenth century. After a couple of years, my parents bought a plot of land out in the woods, and we moved into a 16 by 20-foot tent until a log cabin could be built (it never was). We had no modern appliances, no electricity, no running water, no phone and worst of all, no insulation. Winters in the mountains of northern Idaho can be brutally cold.
I hated it!
Every few years someone writes about the joys of going back to nature to lead the simple life. Well, let me tell you, it isn’t so simple. It’s damned hard work, even for children. My chores included sawing, splitting and carrying wood for the stove, carrying buckets of water from the spring in a large copper pail that weighed much more than the modern plastic kind, and helping clean the lamp chimneys and the kitchen stove pipe. The only chores I liked were feeding and harnessing the horse, and milking the goat.
No one ever writes books debunking that kind of life, though for every family who claimed to enjoy it, there have been thousands who couldn’t wait to get away from it. I have always felt they needed a spokesman (or woman), and I decided to be that person. Since I write mystery novels, I set a mystery in an isolated mountain valley in British Columbia. My protagonist is a fourteen-year-old boy. Why a boy? I didn’t think a girl would let herself get into the scrapes that a boy would.
So here it is! The Simple Life is Murder!