The Coffins of Little Hope is Timothy Schaffert’s fourth book but apparently the first one to garner a review in the New York Times. Published by one of my favorite small presses, Unbridled Books, the novel releases in hardcover on April 19.
I’ve heard bits and pieces about this novel, but the NYT review really piques my interest. I love the idea of a novel that has as characters an 83-year-old obituary writer and a mysterious serial novelist about to kill off a madly-popular series. In fact, The Coffins of Little Hope is the title of the eleventh (and apparently final) book in the mysterious “Miranda-and-Desiree” series that has everyone in America (and in the Nebraskan town of this setting) all worked up. I want to find out who is writing these books, how the old newspaper lady knows him or her, and what the connection is between the book series, the obit writer, and the woman who claims her daughter is missing. But if those questions weren’t enough to spur my interest, the NYT reviewer hooked me when she called Schaffert “a very American Alexander McCall Smith” because of his “sly wit and frank affection for his characters.”
This McCall Smith fan just requested a copy of The Coffins of Little Hope from her local library.