Recent Mystery Author Conversations

A great benefit of my work on this website is the opportunity to get to know and even work with mystery writers. As noted in my seminar section below, I have interacted with a number of superb writers on panels, in workshops and seminars over the years. This addition to the website provides me the opportunity to pass on recent news received from writers about new projects, ideas, etc. I will also shamelessly promote and praise the writers I feature here.

ARCHER MAYOR is a good friend who lives across the Connecticut River in Vermont and writes the superb series of police procedurals featuring Joe Gunther. If you have not read one of his gems, you have a treat in store. You might note that I list him as one the greatest geographical writers in a column below. His newest novel is CHAT, a fascinating and riveting yarn about Internet sex predators!

However, the first 12 Joe Gunther novels have gone out of print (shame on the publisher!) so Archer has republished them under the AMPRESS imprint. Each is available for $14.95 and can be ordered at his website, archermayor.com or from AMPRESS, P.O. Box 8648, Essex, VT, 05451. My favorite is The Skeleton’s Knee but, once you try any of them, you will want more! (The more recent 6 titles are still available at Hachette Press).

JANET EVANOVICH, friend and local resident, is as busy as always and has published two new mysteries with NASCAR themes - Metro Girl and Motor Mouth. Plum Lucky is due out in January and one of her re-printed romances - Wife For Hire - is due out in November. Her books are funny, timely and “HOT.”  Janet and Archer were also very gracious visitors to my undergraduate seminars on mysteries at Dartmouth College. Both are extraordinary people and superb writers.

I have been in contact with DEBORAH TURRELL ATKINSON and have read her recent Storm Kayama mystery - Fire Prayer. It is set on Moloka’i  (the former leper colony island). I lived in Hawaii for some time years ago but had no idea about the original culture that Deborah so lovingly describes in this novel. For a setting that is superb, an introduction to an ancient island culture and a good read, try Fire Prayer.

Another writer with whom I interact is LEIGHTON GAGE who lives most of the time in Brazil. His debut mystery is Blood of the Wicked. It reinforces the comments in my Latin American columns about the inverted mysteries in much of the region - the bad guys are the cops and the good guys are often the so-called criminals. This novel features Chief Inspector Mario Silva who wrestles with the “law” in rural Brazil. Be prepared for lots of violence and cruelty but it reflects the Brazilian reality all too sadly. It may be a cliché, but this book is difficult to put down.

George Demko  November 2, 2007

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