By Susan G Parcheta
Note: First Published Dec. 16, 2011 at LivingstonTalk.com, now
Assassination at High Speed is the latest – and 12th -- Michigan-based Lou Searing detective novel from this writer’s pen.
Here’s the scenario: “The State of Michigan is awarded a huge federal contract to build a speed-rail line from Port Huron to New Buffalo. In celebration, the U.S. President, the Prime Minister of Canada, and the Michigan Governor board the train and set off on a Victory Ride… but who won’t make it to their final destination?”
The book, dedicated to “train lovers of all ages,” features stops at Michigan towns along the rail line. The Michigan settings make Baldwin’s book fun for Michigan readers, as you recognize and can often picture exactly where things are taking place, as if you were there. The newest novel is timely, with high speed rail being a hot topic for national debate.
Nearly a decade ago, I interviewed Baldwin for The Mid-Michigan Reader (May/June 2002 Issue Two -- a magazine of Profiles and Observations, published by Steve Horton (currently publisher of Michigan local newspaper, the Fowlerville News & Views). Baldwin was becoming established in the murder mystery genre, having written his first three novels about Detective Lou Searing: A Lesson Plan for Murder, The Principal Cause of Death, and Administration Can Be Murder. His fourth book, Buried Secrets of Bois Blanc: Murder in the Straits of Mackinac, was just off the press (Buttonwood Press).
There’ve been other articles about the books in between. Perhaps you’ve noticed one of these Lou Searing titles on a Michigan bookstore shelf: The Marina Murders, A Final Crossing: Murder on the S.S. Badger, Poaching Man and Beast: Murder in the North Woods, The Lighthouse Murders, Murder in Thin Air, Murder at the Ingham County Fair, Murder in Tip-Up Town.
Since the tenth anniversary of our first interview is coming up next year, I thought it would be fun to reprint the back story that I uncovered then, about this amazing and prolific Michigan writer.