2012 Best Books of Indiana - Fiction
Winner: Safely Buried by John Pesta
Set in the low hills of southern Indiana, Safely Buried is a riveting mystery featuring newspaper reporter Phil Larrison, whose well-intended act of kindness soon lands him into a tangled web of murder and corruption. Author John Pesta gracefully balances strong character and plot development with an action-packed storyline. Though a first-time author, Pesta’s background in journalism is readily apparent through his immense storytelling ability that rivals that of seasoned of mystery writers.
While we would recommend this book to mystery enthusiasts, it is also a great book for novices due to its well-developed characters and swift, suspenseful pace. It is the ideal choice for the 2012 Best Fiction Book of Indiana award due to the book’s entertaining, compelling and suspenseful storytelling, as well as its setting in southern Indiana.
Finalist: For Sale By Owner by Kelcey Parker
A stunning book even if it were only a book of beautiful photographs of lovingly restored buildings; A Home of Her Own is much more. A woman who had given up her a home during World War II and found healing work afterward in restoring the shell of an 1828 rural house, a Chicago artist who left a traditional house that had become an empty nest to turn an industrial loft into a haven for herself and her art, and a child who fell in love with an 1891 Victorian house that she bought and renovated as an adult are just a few of the fascinating women who formed connections with their homes that were often more lasting than some of their human relationships. The majority of the houses in the book are located in Indiana, and some have considerable historical significance. This book also won the 2012 silver medal in the Home and Garden Category of the Independent Publishers Awards.
Finalist: Four for a Quarter by Michael Martone
Bean Blossom, in Brown County, Indiana was a very isolated small town--the local highway unpaved until the mid-1930’s and electric service unavailable until 1936. Local music traditions thrived in Brown County, and radio created an appetite for live radio barn-dances that led to local and regional live shows. The Brown County Jamboree arose in Bean Blossom around 1939, featuring free shows and an open-air platform. Audience size was impressive, so promoters turned the shows into a moneymaker. From big top tent to an old barn, the venture grew, and was bought in 1952 by the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, who founded the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in 1967. Adler’s book is a well-documented, enjoyable history of the place, the time, and the music.