While at Petit Le Mans, I had the opportunity to pick up the first novel by Tammy Kaehler called “Dead Man’s Switch”. If you’re into reading mysteries and love following the American Le Mans Series, then this book is for you!
The mystery novel centers around female race car driver Kate Reilly who is looking for a full-time ride in the American Le Mans Series and finds the dead body of a popular driver who races with a privateer Corvette team. When she takes his seat for the ALMS race at Lime Rock, she quickly vaults to the top of a lengthy list of suspects.
As the race weekend progresses, not only does Kate have to learn the track and gain familiarity with her Corvette C6.R, she also meets a variety of individuals who each had their own motive for doing away with the Corvette’s previous driver. The action keeps ratcheting higher and higher and doesn’t stop until the checkered flag falls on race day.
The book was first written when the factory Corvette Racing team was still competing in the now defunct GT1 class and Tammy decide to use the previous ALMS class structure as the basis for the novel. The author combined real life companies and organizations with completely fictional characters. So while the book is complete fiction, the settings, surrounding and racing events are very familiar to those of us that follow the ALMS and Corvette Racing.
Another thing to take away from the book is the superb technical descriptions of what goes through the mind of a driver as they fly around the track at speeds greater than 160 mph. Although she never raced herself, in researching the book she credits Andrew Davis as well as several other well-known drivers including Johnny O’Connell and Patrick Long, as well as Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan and former GM racing manager Steve Wesoloski.
Here is a short video featuring the author Tammy Kaehler describing the process she took to writing her first novel as well as an introduction to the heroine of the story, Kate Reilly.
We understand that the second installment of the Kate Reilly racing mystery series is underway and I’ll be adding that book to my reading list as soon as it comes out. In the meantime, if you haven’t read “Dead Man’s Switch”, head on over to Amazon.com and get your copy today. You can also learn more about the author at TammyKaehler.com.