Author's Debut Novel Explores Mystery In The Heart Of Utah

Mar 10, 2015

James Anderson's debut novel, "The Never-Open Desert Diner."

James Adnerson didn't set out to write a mystery novel, but he couldn't avoid it either.

Ben Jones is the character at the center of Anderson’s intriguing new novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner.  He’s a truck driver, living on the margins, in a place that is itself very much on the margins – a remote corner of Utah.

That place is also a major character in the book – a place where people move so as not to be found. So it is with the mysterious Claire, who Jones discovers one day living in a house in a neighborhood that’s not on any map.

Claire is – just as mysteriously – playing a cello, but to say much more would be to unravel a mystery that is best discovered in the pages of the book.

James Anderson starts his book tour in Milwaukee this evening at the Mystery One Bookstore on North Prospect. But first, he chats with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich about what inspired him to write this novel.

"People say, 'well what were you thinking about when you sat down to write a mystery?' I didn't sit down to write a mystery. I sat down to write the best novel I could write. And you cannot write about people, about humanity, without invoking mystery. Because the greatest mystery as far as I'm concerned is about people," Anderson says.