Nationally distributed Columbus author signing books Saturday

Columbus novelist Glenda Winders’ latest release begs a rather shocking question right out of the gate: What do you wear when you testify against your best friend as she goes on trial for murder?

So it is in “Sainted in Error,” released earlier this year by Mascot Books (305 pages, $16.95).

Kirkus Reviews calls the work a “riveting tale of a woman’s mental collapse.”

Winders will sign copies of the book from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Book Warehouse, 3140 Outlet Drive, Suite F060, at Indiana Premium Outlets in Edinburgh. When the work was released a few months ago, it caught the eye of local readers enough to make Columbus’ Viewpoint Books’ bestseller list for a few weeks.

Besides her fiction work, Winders writes features and profiles for The Republic’s Columbus magazine.

In Winders’ story, as character Maggie Patterson runs her hand over the clothes in her closet and muses about the prosaic details of preparing for a shockingly personal murder trial, she is catapulted into the memories that led her to this moment. Piece by piece, she assembles the fragments of her past to make sense of a violent crime, the echoes of which ripple through her recollections.

Maggie and Cynthia meet as college freshmen and are seemingly destined to be best friends for life. As the years pass, however, Maggie’s marriage and career lift her to success and wealth while Cynthia’s jealousy and untreated mental illness cause their relationship to disintegrate.

As the stories of the two women’s lives unfold, Cynthia’s paranoia and anger sour every relationship she has and turn even the people who have loved her most against her, ultimately bubbling over into an event that Maggie never sees coming.

Not a murder mystery in the usual sense, and spanning time and space, “Sainted in Error” delves into the tenacity of friendship and the damage that the stigma still attached to mental illness can do.

Winders is an award-winning fiction writer, editor and journalist whose work has appeared in major magazines and newspapers nationwide. While she was an editor with Copley News Service, she directed a team of reporters that won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize along with The San Diego Union-Tribune for national reporting for the disclosure that former California Congressman Randy Cunningham received bribes, which ultimately led to his criminal conviction and imprisonment.

Her first novel, “The Nine Assignments,” was published in 2016.