A book signing that will live in infamy…

That time has come when the year is in its last throes and lashes out with its most terrible weapons:
The holidays.
Joy, stress, grief, elation, blessed rest, anxious busyness… they all take a swing at you.
Roll with the punches, my friends. A new year is not far off.

But before it’s over, one more book event. Perhaps the biggest one I’ve ever been part of:

Lawrence Block, SJ Rozan, Lee Child, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Santlofer, Sarah Weinman, Jill Block, and Gail Levin will attend. And somehow I crashed that party. The Mysterious Bookshop has suggests you RSVP, and if you can’t make it, you can reserve a copy signed by the attendees here.

My story is based on “Truth Comes Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind” by Jean-Léon Gérôme, a painting that has haunted me for years. It’s a slight departure for me in that it’s not a crime story, but a creepy tale that plumbs “man”kind’s deepest nightmares. I hope you enjoy it. If you don’t, there are stories by Joe Lansdale, David Morrell, Michael Connelly, Nicholas Christopher, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch to tide you over….

So I wish you a wonderful holiday season. If you like a good scare or thrill, I always recommend Cruel Yule, the ThugLit holiday anthology, which is the only place to read my Krampus tale “Letters to Santa” until LIFE DURING WARTIME comes out in January.

Watch out for snowballs! and stay out off the naughty list.

Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee Postmortem

I had a wonderful time at Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee, and I write all about at Do Some Damage this week.

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Shot as a mark of affection from his brother

This is a somewhat famous tombstone, because if you read it quickly, it reads “accidentlly shot as a mark of affection from his brother.” I took this photo in the nineties on Madeline Island in Wisconsin, hunting this grave marker down after hearing about it.

I was also lucky enough to see the island’s secret replica village in the woods, tiny concrete buildings made to look like the town at the tip of the island. I took photographs (real ones!) and they are in a box somewhere. I kept my secret for twenty years. I don’t know how to get there. There’s a fine story called The End of the Season by Trent Kollodge in the Autumn Cthulhu anthology that is set in this little fake village. If I dig up my photos, I’ll share them. They do nothing to reveal the location.


Noir at the Bar DC: There Can Be Only One


This Saturday I’ll be in D.C. joining this great line-up of writers reading our most hilarious shocking tales, battling for a prized sword… a blade of “dishonor” if you will.

Join us, it is sure to be a memorable evening.


Killing Malmon: 30 authors kill Dan Malmon to defeat Multiple Sclerosis

Killing Malmon is available for pre-order! Crime fiction fans and Crimespree Magazine reviewers Dan and Kate Malmon approached 30 writers including myself, to KILL DAN MALMON. My story is called “Russian Roulette,” and not only pits Dan against a bigmouth Jersey goombah in some of my favorite Twin Cities haunts, it’s also based on a humiliatingly funny and true story involving myself, a snazzy leather jacket, and rogue feminine hygiene products.


Dan and Kate are great people, and Down & Out Books will publish this handsome volume and donate the proceeds to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Maybe you’ve bought Kate’s delicious cookies to help fight MS. Or sponsored a bicycle ride. Now you can read stories from myself and Dana Cameron, Hector Acosta, Eric Beetner, Sarah M. Chen, Matthew Clemens, Angel Colón, Hilary Davidson, Cory Funk, Danny Gardner, Paul J. Garth, Rob Hart, Ed Kurtz, S.W. Lauden, Russel D. McLean, Jeff Macfee, Erin Mitchell, Erica Ruth Neubauer, Brad Parks, Bryon Quertermous, Todd Robinson, Alex Segura, Jeff Shelby, Nathan Singer, Josh Stallings, Jay Stringer, R.D. Sullivan, Bryan VanMeter, Holly West, and Dave White.

I wrote my story with Josh Stallings at his mountain retreat, while he pecked away at his hilarious superhero tale, and Erika delivered life-saving medication: her delicious chili and sips of fine whisky. I got to hear several of these at the secret Noir at the Bar we held for Dan & Kate, and they are gut-busting wallops of hard-boiled crime from some of the best writers in the genre (and me). You can pre-order it here:

KILLING MALMON edited by Dan and Kate Malmon

*note: killing Dan will NOT cure Multiple Sclerosis.

**Eating ketchup on a hot dog will not cause “tongue psychosis.”

My library overfloweth! Book Giveaway for Readers of The Plucking News

too many books

It is a blessing and a curse to have too many books–I know those three words are blasphemous–but my shelves overfloweth! So, in a week I’ll be giving away books on my Mailing List, The Plucking News. These will range from review copies (never ARCs) to new and old books and comics that my local library already has, so I’ll give you a crack before they hit the donation bin.

If you want in, sign up here.

You’ll never get more than one per week. Get notified of new publications and events, stories of note, and occasional interviews with authors and other criminal types.


Boogie on into the MysteryPeople Top Ten!

If you don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I’m currently touring Germany, Luxembourg, Salzburg, Belgium, and the Netherlands (and yes, there will be a novel or two inspired by this trip). Firecracker and I are having a great time, but was topped by finding that Scott Montgomery not only gave Bad Boy Boogie a stellar review which you can you read here, but also put it among his top ten books of 2017  with The Force by Don Winslow, She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper, and Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman!

Peruse his list for some great reading. The Force is amazing, and Shotgun kicks off with a blast… Paper Moon meets Pulp Fiction.

Scott’s Top Ten of 2017 (So Far)

I may celebrate with a beer… Prost, Scott!