Not quite here and not quite now.

Mudlark ©1993 by Sheila Simonson

From page 42 of Mudlark by Sheila Simonson:
It’s happening all along the dunes, Mrs. Dodge.  Perfectly good houses — not shacks by any means — being torn down and replaced with big monstrosities like something out of Sunset Magazine.  Pretty soon we’ll look like Los Angeles.  The new houses block the view for the people on the crest, too… I don’t know why anyone would need a house that big to retire to.”
“I ventured the possibility the owners weren’t thinking of retirement.”
She snorted.  “Thinking of renting the places out by the wee more likely.  It used to be quiet around here, no traffic, no crime.  Now we’ve got murder and arson and idiots driving sixty miles an our up and down that road to town.”

The book, a murder mystery, was published in 1993, the third in a series by a Vancouver, WA, author who did a number of signings at the Bookvendor when we owned it.  I have the next two in the series but not the first two — go figure — and I don’t think I’ve ever read the three I have.  I began this one the other night when I was suddenly out of reading material and it called to me from a bookshelf in the bedroom.  I’m enjoying it and was struck by some of the prescient observations that the author made all those years ago — observations that I’ve heard made about the “here and now” in almost the same words.

Meadowlark ©1996 by Sheila Simonson

And no wonder!  On the very first page of Mudlark, Mrs. Simonson writes:
A Note on Geography:  The Shoalwater Peninsula is my gift to the state of Washington.  In Larkspur, I inserted a fictional county on the northern California border.  Nobody objected, so I have felt free in this book to edit Washington, too.
Residents of the Long Beach Peninsula will recognize some features of their own corner of the state.  However, I made the long needle of land subbier, with a little hook of expensive real estate at the northern end where the peninsula terminates in the Leadbetter Point wildlife sanctuary. I substituted all six towns and replaced them with two purely imaginary ones — Kayport and Shoalwater.  The demography of my fictional peninsula, including ethnic composition is deliberately different from that of the Long Beach area.  The Nekana are an imaginary tribe.  Shoalwater Bay is the old name of Willapa Bay.
None of the people or communities in this book is real though the issues facing Shoalwater towns bear a resemblance to problems common to beach communities from the Canadian border to Brookings, Oregon, on the California border.

According to what I can learn on Google, there are five books in the Lark Dodge Series.  I have an order into the library for the first two…  The jury’s out as to whether I’ll wait to read the rest of them in order…

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