Since the story’s success hangs, in part, on the protagonist, let’s talk about yours. Bailey has a mysterious past (which I’ll talk about more in a second), and she’s got a trauma she’s working to overcome (an arc). She has a solid foundation—as well as a great deal of unrealized potential.

She is a big city girl who moved to the backwoods, and by the time we meet her, she seems pretty well adjusted. Yet this is a missed opportunity for conflict. As a transplant to the Blue Ridge (and the South in general) myself, I remember the transition being a LOT more rocky than Bailey seems to have found it. It’s one thing for her to appreciate the differences, but it’s another to embrace them all so completely and so soon. In other words, we feel like we’ve missed out on some of Bailey’s character development here.

Bailey is also part of a grand tradition of journalist detectives, and as such, she has quite a bit to live up to here. It’s not enough for a protagonist (in any genre) to be good—they need to be unforgettable. What’s unique about Bailey? What makes her stand out? She’s not a wisecracking reporter (a la Fletch), nor is she quirky (like Jim Qwilleran of The Cat Who series). What—in short—is her angle?