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Mystery Series Set in Small Town N.M.

By Amanda Stevens
Of the Journal
    Pari Noskin Taichert hopes to offer a different view of New Mexico through her series of mystery novels and her newest book, "The Belen Hitch," the second in a series.
    "I want to share a different vision of New Mexico than what you usually see in literature here— that's not cowboys and Indians, that's not Hispanic," Taichert said. "A different vision, with a smart-aleck modern baby boomer antagonist who's Jewish on top of it all."
    The main character in this series of mysteries set in the small towns of New Mexico is a public relations consultant named Sasha Solomon, who helps small towns figure out a way to attract tourists, Taichert said.
    Both "The Clovis Incident," Taichert's first novel and "The Belen Hitch" can be described as "very quirky and witty mysteries," she said. Both have been nominated for an Agatha Award for best first novel, and for best novel, consecutively.
    "I've always been a writer ... I've always wanted to write books," she said.
    Although writing novels has been Taichert's lifelong dream, the road to becoming a published author was not as easy as it may seem given her award nominations.
    "About 10 years ago, after getting very angry at books I've read, and with far too good of an opinion of myself and my abilities, I sat down and wrote my first novel, which never sold," she said. "Then I wrote my second novel, which never sold. Finally, my third one sold."
    Thus beginning the New Mexican mystery series that is now unfolding. Taichert has already completed a third novel in the series, "The Socorro Blast" and is going through the editing process. As of now, Taichert has no plans to end the series any time soon.
    "I will keep writing the New Mexico series as long as I can keep Sasha fresh, and the avenues fresh," she said.
    Taichert has also started writing a new series set in Takoma Park, Md., to keep from being restricted by labels made by critics.
    "I've been labeled as a regional author, and (the new series) is my response to that," she said.
    Taichert will sign "The Belen Hitch" from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Casa de Avila, 324 San Felipe NW, in Old Town.
    Through her books, Taichert hopes to bring attention to the home state she adores.
    "I love New Mexico," she said. "I was born and raised here. I've had the opportunity to live in other places ... the more I see other places, the more I adore my home state ... I hope to celebrate New Mexico small towns and increase national and international awareness of these unique and wonderful places."
   
If you go
    WHAT: Book signing with Pari Noskin Taichert and her new book, "The Belen Hitch."
    WHEN: 5 p.m to 7 p.m. today.
    WHERE: Casa de Avila, 324 San Felipe NW, in Old Town. For more information, call 242-3753.


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