Mary, Queen of Plots

For fans of Mary Willis Walker , May will be the merriest of months, for that’s when the Austinite’s fourth novel will hit stores. In All the Dead Lie Down (Doubleday, $22.95), her plucky protagonist, Lone Star Monthly reporter Molly Cates, springs into action to find her father’s killer and foil a plot to murder all the members of the state legislature. As in Walker’s previous books, this one takes place in her hometown, with various real-life locations serving as a backdrop. “I had to keep going back to Waller Creek to get the feel of it because I had scenes set back there,” she says. “And I had to go at night to get a feel for what it’s like in the dark.” Does the mystery maven ever get scared while doing such research? “I usually take a friend with me,” she confesses. … Keith Carter is always developing. The Beaumont photographer does it literally in his darkroom every day, but he’s also developing as an artist—and has been for the past quarter century, as a new book suggests. Due in stores this month, Keith Carter Photographs: Twenty-five Years (University of Texas Press, $40) contains photos from earlier Carter collections as well as uncollected work dating back to 1995. As Carter writes in the book, “I don’t just look at the thing itself or at the reality itself; I look around the edges for those little askew moments—kind of like what makes up our lives—those slightly awkward, lovely moments.”

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