When I was growing up, my nanny, Jojo always read mystery novels that prominently featured a cat on the cover. Those books she read and introduced me too could be blamed in part for my book addiction. Reading with her, sitting on the couch together will always be some of my most cherished reading memories.
The other day when I was wandering around my library, To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton caught my eye. On the spine, there was a blue mystery sticker and a small picture of a calico cat. The front cover has the same cat, an Underwood No. 5 typewriter and some fancy pens. I knew I had to check this book out. I can’t help but take a book with that kind of cover home.
The book follows Chester Henry, proprietor of the Rescued Word, a typewriter repair shop, and Claire Henry, his granddaughter and business partner. They live in Star City, Utah, a sleepy mountain town dominated by the ski industry. Mystery and intrigue comes into Clare’s life when a strange man from out of town asks about an Underwood typewriter in the shop for a tune up. Later, the same man ends up dead in the alley behind the store. Like any good mystery heroine, Clare takes the sleuthing into her own hands and tries to figure out what’s going on.
Not every mystery novel needs to be filled with spies, explosions and dramatic kidnapping attempts. Some of the best ones tend to be a little more realistic. What I liked about Helvetica is how I could imagine myself as Clare. Her nosiness and curiosity to what was happening around her was completely believable. She was interested in what was going on around her place of business and how to keep all her her grandfather and niece safe. Any information she came upon, Clare would share with her best friend and police officer in town, Jodie.
While To Helvetica and Back is not a fast paced thriller, it’s a fun mystery. I didn’t devour the book in one setting like some books, I also didn’t feel wrecked after reading it. I enjoyed the book and will definitely be checking out the other books in the series once their published.
Plus, who doesn’t love a good old typewriter and a grouchy store cat?