Library Journal loves Alive in Shape and Color

Last year’s Edward Hopper-themed anthology edited by Lawrence Block blew a lot of people away, and I loved it. So I was thrilled when Lawrence Block asked me to pen a story for the second volume, which was open to all works of art. I chose “Truth Comes Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind”, by Jean-Léon Gérôme. It was a political painting that was, as they say, evergreen.

Publishers Weekly loves the new book, and now Library Journal’s Liz French does as well. I’m quite chuffed that she called my story “stunning” and selected it, along with Joe Lansdale’s, as one of her two favorites:

Following the success of 2016’s art-related collection In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, also edited by Block, this follow-up falls a little short but still contains some nuggets. Unlike the Hopper-centric stories of the earlier volume, this title features all manner of art, from the cave paintings of Lascaux (Jeffery Deaver’s “A Significant Find”) to Balthus (Joyce Carol Oates’s creepy “Les Beaux Jours”), Bosch (Michael Connelly’s taut “The Third Panel”), Van Gogh (David Morrell’s “Orange Is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity”), Rodin (Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s uneven “Thinkers”), and many others. Some authors tell the painting’s creation myth, with Morrell’s Stephen King-inflected offering a standout, and Nicholas Christopher contributing “Girl with a Fan” (Gauguin), a spy story with Nazis. Sarah Weinman’s period-perfect “The Big Town,” and Lee Child’s well-crafted “Pierre, Lucien, and Me” feature art-loving protagonists compelled by paintings to do wrong. In “The Great Wave,” S.J. Rozan’s captive narrator speaks to a print of Katsushika Hokusai’s masterpiece (it talks back). Yet two of the best stories, Joe R. Lansdale’s deceptively folksy “Charlie the Barber,” and Thomas Pluck’s stunning “Truth Comes Out of Her Well To Shame Mankind,” barely mention their chosen artworks. VERDICT Reminiscent of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, this anthology has something, often nasty or scary, for every art lover.—Liz French, Library Journal

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

This was a nice shot in the arm after the New York Times reviewer who missed the point of the story, but gave me my first mention in the newspaper of record.

You can get Alive in Shape in Color in bookstores and libraries everywhere. It’s a beautiful book with full color reproductions of the art, and makes a lovely gift.

 

Killing Malmon: 30 Authors Kill Dan to Fight MS, now available

Killing Malmon is now available!

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.

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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 order it here:

KILLING MALMON edited by Dan and Kate Malmon

*note: killing Dan Malmon will NOT cure Multiple Sclerosis.

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

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.

cover-malmon-killing-malmon-300x450px

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.”

That time I killed Dan Malmon…

 

Dan and Kate Malmon are two of the best people in the crime fiction community, a superhero duo who write for Crimespree, bike for charity, and make the world on and offline, a better place. So I was thrilled when Kate asked me to kill Dan.

In a story! ha. ha.

See, they’ve put together an anthology where every writer has to kill Dan. Because he’s such a nice guy. Mine’s called “Russian Roulette” and is based on Dan’s grandfather Irving Malmon, who owned a deli back in the day, plus Dan’s favorite sandwich, my memories of living in the Twin Cities, and a funny story that happened to me at the airport involving a ’70s-style mobster jacket and an errant feminine hygiene product…

I’m in good company, with stories by Josh Stallings (I was there when he wrote the funny as hell thing), Hilary Davidson, Holly West, Hector Acosta, Danny Gardner… well, just read the announcement for the full list.

It comes out in October, from Down & Out Books. Here’s a cover tease. All sales benefit the MS Society.

Killing-Malmon-Cover-194x300

 

The Year’s Best Crime & Mystery Stories 2016

I’m over the moon that my story “The Big Snip” was chosen by John Helfers and Kristine Kathryn Rusch for inclusion in The Year’s Best Crime and Mystery Stories 2016 with Megan Abbott, Joyce Carol Oates, Mary Higgins Clark, Jedidiah Ayres, SJ Rozan, and more. Thank you to the editors for choosing me, and to Lawrence Block for getting me to write it, and Peter Carlaftes and Kat Georges for originally publishing it in Dark City Lights at Three Rooms Press (where you can read it in print, if you prefer).
Paperback available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local indie bookstore.

Available as an e-book on KindleB&N Nook, Apple iBooks, and Kobo.
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 If you haven’t read it, or just want to read it again with some more great crime stories, grab it for your e-reader or read it on your phone, PC, Mac, iPad, ePood, or someone else’s.
My story’s about love and pain and justice on the Neuter Scooter, and it’s a personal favorite. I’ll be returning to these characters…

Blood on the Bayou

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I’m thrilled, twitterpated, and titillated to announce that my Jay Desmarteaux story “Gumbo Weather” will appear in the 2016 Bouchercon anthology edited by Greg Herren, Blood on the Bayou.

Jay’s debut novel comes out next year from Down & Out Books, an action-packed crime thriller called Bad Boy Boogie. You can get a taste of Desmarteaux in this anthology, along with stories by David Morrell, Alison Gaylin, Terrie Moran, Gary Phillips, B.V. Lawson and Eric Beetner, among others. You can read the full press release here.

Signed copies of the book will be available at the convention, and you can get unsigned copies wherever books are sold. I’ll post an update when it’s available for pre-order.

Forsooth, saying sleuth!

Art Taylor rounded up the anthologists nominated for the Anthony Award this year over at SleuthSayers, and invited us to briefly chat about editing anthologies and what we think makes a great story.
Hop on over to SleuthSayers to hear what Todd Robinson, Chris Irvin, Kenneth Wishnia, Art Taylor, and I had to say.