Mitchell says one of the biggest pleasures of serving as director of the Indian Rocks Beach Library is being a part of the small, tight-knit community. Ask her if she thinks the tiny town would make a good setting for a novel, and Mitchell, a self-published mystery writer herself, will quickly nod. "Remember the series of Ed McBain mysteries set in Florida? They could have been set here, and so could some of Carl Hiaasen's books,'' she said. The Indian Rocks Beach Library was founded in 1974, and for the first 33 years, it was run by a volunteer organization, Friends of the Indian Rocks Beach Library. In 2007, the city decided to hire a full-time director, and they called on Mitchell, 61, a former librarian at St. Pete Beach Library who holds a master's in library science from the University of Alabama. She is the only paid employee, but she does receive lots of help from more than 35 volunteers. The Indian Rocks Beach Library, 1507 Bay Palm Blvd., has approximately 21,000 books and five computers available for public use and is equipped with Wi-Fi. Mitchell invites you to stop by.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm an admitted Anglophile. I've got Kenneth O. Morgan's Oxford History of Britain. A best friend of mine from Liverpool recently died, and he was the one that got me interested in England. I hope to go there someday. I've also got The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes. It is about the Masterpiece TV series, and it's about the actors and how they put the show together. It's wonderful.
What author stays at the top of your list?
James Lee Burke. Probably my favorite of his is In the Electric Mist With the Confederate Dead. It's a great title and a great book. I love him because of his gorgeous writing and also because of the way he writes atmosphere so well. You feel you're in Louisiana. You can feel the mosquitoes, and I like how Dave Robicheaux is a flawed character that you still love. I also love his friend Clete. I can see Clete being played by a younger Ned Beatty.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.