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Journalist turns mystery-writer — meet Judith Yates Borger at the Book Club Blast

Judith Yates Borger — author of “Where’s Billie?” — says she’s a huge fan of Sue Grafton. Meet and mingle with Judy and other local authors at MinnPost’s Book Club Blast.

Judith Yates Borger is a long-time journalist who has turned her hand to mystery writing. Meet and mingle with Judy and other local authors at MinnPost’s Book Club Blast.

MinnPost: Tell us about your most recent published work.

Judith Yates Borger: “Where’s Billie?” (A Skeeter Hughes Mystery) was published by Nodin Press in 2009. Here’s what Publishers Weekly said:

“Borger, a former reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, successfully taps into a parent’s constant concern — how to protect children in an increasingly dangerous world — in her compelling debut, the first in a series to feature Marguerite Skeeter Hughes, a Minneapolis Citizen reporter.

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“While researching a story on a missing 18-year-old girl, Billie Berry, Skeeter soon senses something complex developing, especially after Billie’s sleazy ex-boyfriend tells her he’s heard Billie might be turning tricks and doin’ meth.

“Further research takes Skeeter to the Mall of America, where she spies a handsome middle-aged man buying Abercrombie & Fitch clothes for a cute teen he’s just met. Skeeter is horrified after she discovers the wolf is a middle-school principal.

“More snooping leads to threats to Skeeter’s life as well as her marriage to a fellow reporter. Readers will want to hear more of Skeeter’s punchy, first-person voice.”

MP: Which writers have been the strongest influences on your own writing?

JYB: I’m a huge fan of Sue Grafton. (“A is for Alibi,” “B is for Burglar”….)

I was lucky enough to meet her last fall and give her a copy of “Where’s Billie?” In it I had written, “To the author whose work inspired mine.”

Don’t know if she read it and it doesn’t really matter. I just wanted her to have it. 

MP: What do you love most about living in Minnesota?

JYB: I moved to Minneapolis in 1976, drawn in part by the Minnesota mindset that together everyone — DFLers and IRs (what used to be Republicans) — can find common ground and make this a great, forward-looking city and state.

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This was the place where Gloria Steinem used to come to get her feminist fix.

What I love now are the tiny shreds of that Minnesota mentality that remain.