I just finished a really awesome book, I just have to share it with you. “The Point Reyes Sheriff’s Call” by Susanna Solomon is a collection of short stories set in the author’s hometown in Marin County, California. Each short story begins with a real excerpt from the “Sheriff’s Call” newspaper blotter, collected by the author between 2011 and 2013. Some of the emergency calls are curiosities, the kind that make you scratch your head and say “huh? What could that have been about?” and some make you just laugh out loud.
Using these calls as her muse, Solomon crafts each short story to answer the question of what happened. Her cast of fictional characters moves in and out of each story, developing through their crises into loveable and realistic residents of the town. Solomon adds an additional element of reality by using real businesses and locations for her stories’ settings: road’s she has clearly driven herself, and restaurants at which she has tasted the fare.
Although many of the short stories are whimsical, some are quite serious and address some complicated and emotional issues. Her Fred and Milfred are touching in their regular struggles with aging. Teenage Alice (my own favorite) braves the strange and difficult world of high school, and her adolescent problems of dating, fitting in, and growing up never seem trite or cliché. The several homeless characters are described with compassion and understanding. And you can’t help but root for rookie deputy Linda as she deals with all these wacky callers.
I am very much looking forward to the next installment of Point Reyes Sheriff’s Calls. May the real residents of Marin County continue to inspire Solomon’s creative endeavors!