Tuesday, July 23, 2024


Nicole Kelby is having a "whale" of a time

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"Whale Season" is author N.M. Kelby's latest novel, a murder mystery set in the town of Whale Harbor, Florida -- a town which has no whales. (Image courtesy of Random House)

St. Paul, Minn. — Author Nicole Kelby says she wanted to work out why she was so peculiar. During the 20 years she lived in Minnesota she worked with Dudley Riggs, Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater, Kevin Kling, and Channel 9 News.

Then a few years ago, she moved back to her native Florida, in part to explore her own personality quirks. She now describes the state as so undeniably beautiful that it warps people.

Be that as it may, one of the results of Kelby's return is her new book, "Whale Season," which details strange goings on at a rural Florida strip bar.

Kelby, who writes under her initials, N.M., describes it this way:

"It's Christmas Eve in the town of Whale Harbor -- a town that has no whales. Jesus pulls up in the American Dream, which is Fleetwood's top-of-the-line Winnebago, looking for a game of cards. And suddenly murder and mayhem ensues -- but only in a good positive way!"

Kelby says the reason her central character is a man who dresses as Jesus is because such people are common in Florida.

Kelby told Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr her first experience with such a person actually happened years ago, when she was on tour with In the Heart of the Beast, along with her then husband Loren Niemi, and their friend Kevin Kling.

To listen to their interview, choose the audio link in the right column.