How a Bus Ride Helped Spark Journalist’s ‘Hipster Mystery’

Libby Cudmore's The Big Rewind was released this month by HarperCollins.

It all started with Raymond Chandler. Per a lively write-up in Binghamton University student newspaper BU Pipe Dream, Libby Cudmore was assigned to read Chandler’s novel The Long Goodbye for an Arthurian literature class and immediately knew that crime novels were a form of writing she wanted to pursue.

The Class of 2005 grad wrote three novels for her Master’s thesis and has now just released her first book commercially. The Big Rewind, set in Brooklyn and dubbed by Cudmore as a “hipster mystery,” follows the adventures of two friends who seek to find out more about a dead neighbor after receiving, by mistake, a mixtape addressed the deceased.

From the article:

The idea for the action-packed novel came to Cudmore while she sat on the bus, listening to a friend’s 10-year-old mixtape.

“I was thinking about the kind of relationship people have with music and about, ‘Wow, what if somebody found this tape?’” Cudmore said, “What would they assume was the relationship between the person who made it for me and myself?”

The Big Rewind partially takes place in Binghamton, N.Y., inspired by Cudmore’s time living in the city during college.

Cudmore is a staff writer for upstate New York’s AllOtsego.com website and associated newspapers in Cooperstown, Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta. She also freelances as a music writer for various places, including record club Vinyl Me, Please.

Jacket cover courtesy: HarperCollins