Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why wouldn’t you dress up for Halloween?

By Lasha Lint from Amanda Flower’s Maid of Murder

Greetings! I’m Lasha Lint, director of the Ryan Memorial Library at Martin College. If you are familiar with reference librarian India Hayes, you might have heard of me. I’m India’s boss. I trust she has only said good things about me because let’s face it let her and Bobby, her bibliophile partner in crime, get away with murder. Hmmm… considering recent circumstances India has been in, that's a poor choice of words. Let’s just say, they get into all kinds of trouble, and I look the other way.

Considering I’m such a nice boss, you’d think India and Bobby would embrace Halloween, my favorite holiday. You would also think they wouldn’t gripe about wearing Halloween costumes at the library. You’d be wrong. As soon as October hits, they both try to weasel their way out of our library’s BOO-tiful tradition. Everyone here wears a costume on Halloween from me all the way down to the student shelvers. India and Bobby give me more trouble than the students do.

I think Bobby secretly loves the dressing up part. Last year, he came as a pirate, and since he’s a handsome devil, the undergraduate girls swooned as if Captain Jack Sparrow suddenly appeared behind the reference desk. Several asked how they could sign up to be castaways. However, India’s griping is true. She does not enjoy getting dressed up. If it were up to her she’d wear jeans and a T-shirt to work every day. Thank goodness it’s not her dress code. She’s a pretty girl with lots of long brown hair and snappy gray eyes. Jeans and a T-shirt do not do her justice.

Since it’s October again, India and Bobby have already started their no-costume campaign. India routed a petition to the library staff, a trick she picked up from her parents. They are old hands at the three p's: petitioning, picketing, and pamphlets.

I put an end to India's campaign quickly. I told her she could either wear her costume and like it or I'd put her on the college’s strategic planning committee. Any guesses which she chose? India hates meetings more than costumes! In the end, I always win because I’m the boss and sometimes academic bureaucracy can work to your advantage…or at least mine. Maybe someday I'll tell you how I finagled tenure even though I didn’t deserve it.

If you want to find out what India wears this Halloween, you will have read Murder in a Basket coming to a library or bookstore near you February 2012.

Amanda Flower writes the India Hayes Mystery Series. The first novel in the series, MAID OF MURDER, was nominated for an Agatha Award. The sequel, MURDER IN A BASKET, releases February 2012. First in a new series, A PLAIN DEATH, coming July 2012. To learn more visit Amanda online at You can also follow Amanda at and


  1. I think cuff jeans and a t-shirt is a costume ala 1950s. Couldn't India wear those?

  2. I get a kick out of walking into, say, a bank, on Halloween and finding all the staff in costume.

  3. Dru, Please don't give India any ideas like that! Knowing her, that's what she would do. I want something spectacular!

    Janet, I know! Now, wouldn't you love to see the same thing at your local library. My case is closed.

  4. Okay, Janet, do not put on a mask and walk into a bank on Halloween. Just don't darling.

    I suppose I should be on India's side on general freedom of something or other principles, but I'm kind of with you here. Why didn't we do that when I was in the public library? I feel cheated.

  5. Ooh, Lasha, you got off easy with India's campaign. She could have brought her parents in to help out. Now that you definitely would not want!

    Assuming that India didn't come dressed as a librarian, I'm very curious to see what she did wear. Another aspect of MiaB to look forward to!

  6. I look forward to learning what costume India came up with to comply and yet foil authority. Uh, what costume did you wear, Lasha? It had better be good since you are the instigator of the great Halloween costume plot.