The very first book I reviewed on this blog was Letts' Made in the U.S.A. I had never heard of Billie Letts before I read it; I simply picked the book up off the "leisure reading" shelf at the library where I work. I enjoyed the novel, so when I happened upon another of her books at Somethin's Brewing Book Cafe I picked it up and paid the $2 cost. As a bonus I was told that it was 2- for-1 day, so I also grabbed a copy of Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck (which I have not yet read).
Shoot the Moon is the story of Mark Albright, a Beverly Hills veterinarian, who learns after the death of his parents that he was adopted, and that his birth mother, Gaylene Harjo, is from DeClare, Oklahoma. He travels to DeClare in search of Gaylene only to discover that she was murdered shortly before he was put up for adoption, and that her baby, Nicky Jack, had also been presumed dead, at least, up until Mark showed up.
Libraries were not as important in this work as they were in Made in the U.S.A. There were a few passing mentions, Mark vomits on the lawn of the public library after reading about Gaylene's gruesome ending at the archives of the local newspaper. He also discovers a few library books, 30-years overdue, in the home of his birth grandmother, who has kept her daughter's room exactly as Gaylene left it. He also learns from his aunt that when his teenage mother learned she was pregnant she gave up her dreams of college and "checked out a bunch of books from the library on child care."
This was a good story, with a lot of places to speculate about who done it. The murder mystery is ultimately resolved, but in a way I found anti-climactic, although surprising.
By the way, I highly recommend a visit to Somethin's Brewing for anyone visiting the south shore of Massachusetts. This comfortable cafe features fair trade coffee, used books, and is housed in one of the original Carnegie libraries. In 2005, Lakeville opened a new, modern library across the street from the original.