Dawn writes murder mystery

PARKERSBURG – A murder mystery set in Montana describes a book coming out at the end of the month written by a local resident.

Angi Dawn Chichester of Parkersburg, who uses the pen name of Angi Dawn, said the book is her first and if it is successful she has two more books waiting in the wings.

Chichester’s first book, “The Butterfly Moon,” follows the journey of the main character as she learns about her past and tries to find the person who murdered her mother.

“It’s a murder mystery,” she said. “It’s about a lady named Catherine Matthews who was adopted and when her grandmother passes away she learns about a whole other family and finds herself in the midst of solving her mother’s murder while drawing the killer closer to her.”

Chichester said the novel takes places in Lewiston, Mont., where the grandmother the main character never knew lived. She arrives there for the first time for the reading of the will. She begins to learn about the family, her mother’s disappearance and it being an unsolved case.

She begins to find what really happened to her mother.

Chichester, a graduate of Parkersburg South High School, began work on “The Butterfly Moon” in 2012 when she returned to college at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

Chichester said the title is explained at the end of the book and she cannot discuss it without giving away the ending.

“It’s the key to the mystery,” she said.

Chichester said she decided to put the book in Montana when she recalled a discussion she and some friends had about the state.

“I had worked with some people and we had talked about the state one time,” she said. “I don’t remember what the discussion was but I wanted a particular type of town.”

Chichester said the town as described to her reminded her of the downtown Parkersburg of the past.

“It had what our downtown used to be,” she said. “They still have a theater, you have shops, you have cafes. It was the type of setting I was looking for.”

Chichester said the plot and the main character’s background just came to her when she began to write.

“I don’t know,” she said. “It kind of fell into place. I think about an idea and it just comes to me as I write it.”

Chichester said the second and third books will be murder mysteries, but they will not be sequels to “The Butterfly Moon.”

“In the second book I have taken co-workers and made them into characters,” she said. “So practically everybody in the book will be a real person.”

She said the book, currently titled “Wicked Secrets,” will describe the setting as a small town in West Virginia.

“It is more on the supernatural side,” she said.

Chichester added she has completed the second and third books. She said the second book will not be released until “The Butterfly Moon” sells 1,000 copies.

Chichester said she submitted the book for publication in October.

“They instantly accepted it and wanted to publish it,” she said. “I was in the fourth percentile; they reject 96 percent of the manuscripts they receive.”

While the book will not be released until July 29, it will be available online from the publisher.

“The publisher is Tate Publishing and the book is available from their web site,” she said. “After release the book will go to some of the larger book store chains and will be available in e-book form as well.”

Chichester said a pre-release book party is set for 2 p.m. Sunday in Southwood Park in Parkersburg in the shelter near the waterslide. She said the book will officially be released July 29 and book signings will be scheduled after the book is released.