Category Archives: Mystery Writers

Mystery Writer joke

It occurred to me that I’ve never heard a mystery-writer joke, so I made this one up.

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During a publishing conference, a mystery writer, a romance author, and a thriller writer get to talking and decide to have a drink together at the hotel bar.

The romance writer orders a Sex on the Beach.

The thriller writer asks for a Bloody Mary.

The bartender makes those drinks and then asks the mystery writer what she wants.

The mystery writer looks the bartender in the eye and says, “Muddle a slice each of lime, lemon and orange with one clove. Add a shot of British gin, a dash of French absinthe, and crushed ice. Shake well, and strain everything into a martini glass. Stab a cherry with a toothpick and plop that on top.”

The romance writer makes a face. “That doesn’t sound very tasty. What do you call it?”

I’ll tell you what,” the mystery writer says, smiling. “If either of you can guess the name of this cocktail before the bartender finishes making it, I’ll buy all your drinks tonight.”

“We can do this,” the thriller writer says confidently.

So they try to guess the name of the bizarre drink while watching the bartender make it.

“It has British gin and French absinthe,” the romance writer says. “I’d call it the International Lover.”

“Nope,” says the mystery writer.

“Think about how she described it,” the thriller writer says. “Crushed ice, a stabbed cherry… It’s probably something like Death in the Glass or Murder by Booze.”

“Wrong track entirely,” says the mystery writer. “Keep guessing.”

So they keep throwing out names until the drink is finished and the bartender drops in the stabbed cherry.

The thriller writer shakes his head. “I give up. What’s it called?” He turns to find that the mystery writer has vanished.

The romance writer looks at the bartender, “Hey, where’d she go?”

The bartender puts the weird cocktail on the bar. “I don’t know, but she finished both your drinks while you were guessing, and somebody owes me twenty-five bucks.”

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Win a free copy of Chihuahua of the Baskervilles

Lesa of Lesa’s Book Critiques sent me some great questions after reviewing Chihuahua of the Baskervilles, and today she posted our conversation on her site. She’ll pick one commenter to receive a hardback copy, signed by the author (that would be me). Remember, that’s commenters on her site, not mine. Here’s a bit of the interview.

We have two sweet-cherry trees, and when they’re full of ripe fruit, I like to go outside, turn the hose on high, and blast the robins that are busily taking one peck from each cherry. “Get out of here, you red-breasted bastards!” I yell. This both enhances the experience and keeps the neighbors from interrupting my workday with needless social calls.

Click here to read more.

Crime-Fiction Blogs

Here are three crime-fiction blogs I found through Twitter. You find one that you like, and then follow the “similar to” links.

Do Some Damage

In Reference to Murder

Mystery Scene (magazine) blog

Oh, and my paper.li Mystery Books Digest is out, if you didn’t see that elsewhere. It’s a once a week thing. You can subscribe, and everything  (Zero Effect reference).

And if anyone is wondering why I disappeared for about three weeks, it’s because I was on a chorus trip to Costa Rica, and now I’m racing to my deadline. Wrote 23 pages yesterday. Boo-yah.

Ebook authors need some kind of scrapbook system.

Today I was involved in a Facebook discussion with Vincent Zandri, a thriller author who is exploring the frontiers of epublishing and POD. He started by talking about a book signing scheduled for this evening at a local Barnes & Noble.

But here’s a prediction: I will sell more copies of “Innocent” before lunch even, than I will sell of the trade paper edition of “Remains,” during the B&N signing. I’ll also call the store to make sure they’re set for tonight, and I guarantee the response will be, “What’s your name again?…What book???” 🙂

And sadly, he was right. Due to an error in how they had entered his ISBN number, his books arrived and were then shipped back. The book signing is postponed, and the experience didn’t exactly rekindle Vincent’s love of of paper books.

I’m done with traditional book signings.
From now on I will happily sign the reverse side of your NOOK and KINDLE, which seems to be the trend these days.

One thing this discussion made me wonder was if there is a market for some kind of cute scrapbooking system for author autographs, especially as the number of authors appearing only in ebooks grows. If it exists, let me know. If not, someone needs to get on this. Here’s what my ideal system would have.

  1. A binder that allows you to decorate the cover yourself, or has preprinted pages for various genres (romance, mystery, speculative, horror).
  2. Envelopes that hold postcards, so you can send an author a prepaid postcard to sign/dedicate, and then they drop it in the mail to you.
  3. A scrapbook page that includes slots to hold the postcard. Also a promotional bookmark or biz card, if the author provided one.
  4. A page onto which you can print the book’s cover art. It could also have blanks for where/when you bought the book, who recommended it, how much you enjoyed it, where you’ve recommended it (Goodreads, online booksellers).

Authors, you don’t have to wait for this. Why not have a page on your website that allows fans to print postcard designs with your cover art and photo, so they can print it out and send it in for you to sign and send back? Don’t forget to give them your P.O. address.

And now, here’s a poll.