Category Archives: Uncategorized

UNSUB: Available for pre-order

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My new novel, UNSUB, will be published at the end of June. But you can pre-order it now from these booksellers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Indiebound

And from these wonderful independent bookstores:

Book People — my wonderful local Austin bookstore

Murder by the Book — Houston’s amazing mystery bookstore

Come on. Pay attention to Don Winslow and Stephen King. You know you should.

And yes, I’ve been whooping and hollering ever since I saw this on Twitter.

Published today: Echoes of Sherlock Holmes

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I’m thrilled that Echoes of Sherlock Holmes is published today. This is the third volume in an award-winning series of short stories inspired by the Holmes canon. I’m honored that editors Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger asked me to contribute to this book, and that it includes my story “Irregular.”

Kirkus Reviews says: “‘Inspired’ is the key word here… every fan will find different reasons to cheer. And they’ll all marvel at the inventive range of this salute to the greatest of all fictional detectives.”

Publishers Weekly has named Echoes of Sherlock Holmes one of its Top 10 Mystery Books of Fall 2016.

And I’m absolutely stoked to see my name on the cover alongside authors like David Morrell, John Connolly, Cory Doctorow, and so many other amazing writers.

Coming in September: Echoes of Sherlock Holmes

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Here’s something cool and exciting: the cover for the upcoming anthology Echoes of Sherlock Holmes. It will be the third volume in the bestselling, award-winning series edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger. I’m thrilled that one of the stories in the anthology is mine.

These are “stories inspired by the Holmes canon.” Authors were given the freedom to write whatever we wanted, as long as the Sherlock Holmes tales somehow informed our work. Some of the stories will probably be Holmes pastiches, set in 19th century London. Others, including mine, take place in modern times, and connect to Arthur Conan Doyle’s work at an oblique angle. This should be an eclectic and dynamic anthology, and a lot of fun.

Echoes of Sherlock Holmes will be published in September. I’ll have more details nearer to the date.

Thank you, David Bowie

One day in my twenties, I picked my dad up at the airport. As I drove him home, we chatted about his trip.

It was good, he said. He paused. “At LAX, I ran into David Bowie.”

“You… did?” I managed not to say, You know who David Bowie is?

My dad said that he was changing terminals and when he stepped outside, Bowie was standing at the curb, waiting for his ride.

“Did you speak to him?” I said, though I already knew the answer to that. My dad never shied from anything.

“I told him I admired his music. We talked about his influences, from twentieth century classical composers to the avant-garde.”

They chatted for a minute, then my dad hustled to his terminal and Bowie climbed into his limo.

I should not have been surprised by any of this. My dad, who looked every inch the English professor he was, also was a classical pianist and professional organist. What delights me is how my dad just ambled up, chill as all get-out, and started talking to Bowie about his music. Bowie engaged with a complete stranger, warmly and genuinely.

Thank you, David Bowie, for being so cool, and for helping me understand that my dad was cool too.

We can be heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day.

My favorite books, movies & TV of 2015

December is zooming like a rocket sled toward the end of the year. So how about a few Best-Of lists?

My favorite movies of 2015:

Mad Max: Fury Road
Ex Machina
Bridge of Spies
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The Martian

Note that I still have a few movies to see this year, including Creed and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m going to add Star Wars to the list.

Favorite TV shows:

The Jinx
Fargo
Better Call Saul
Game of Thrones
House of Cards

Again, I still have to catch up on Mad Men, and am just getting into some shows like Mr. Robot and The Americans.

Favorite books outside of crime/suspense/thrillers:

The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking, Brendan I. Koerner
A Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon, Tim Weiner
Underworld, Don DeLillo
Abaddon’s Gate, James S.A. Corey
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

I read a wealth of amazing crime and suspense novels this year. So many, in fact, that I need to sort through them and post those later.

How about everybody else?

Sunday December 13: KAZI FM Austin

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This Sunday, December 13th, I’ll be on 88.7 KAZI FM Austin, talking about Mystery People’s Top 100 Crime and Suspense Novels. I’m joining host Hopeton Hay and Book People’s Scott Montgomery on the KAZI Book Review. 12:30 PM Central. If you’re in Austin you can tune in to 88.7 FM. Everybody else can listen online at KAZIFM.org.

We’ll try to start a few fights over our top choices. It should be fun.

EDIT: The show’s on at 12:30 Central. Tune in!

Question Time: The best concert I’ve ever attended?

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Dan asks:

My question is somewhat unrelated to the craft of creative writing, but you have used music and musical artists to add to your characters’ depth and definition. What was the best live musical show/concert you ever attended and what made it so special?

I love this question. It lets me remember all the amazing shows I’ve been lucky to attend.

There was the Springsteen concert at Crystal Palace in London (Bruce truly did a handstand on a mike stand, kids — I did not make that up). There was the sing along Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall. And the New York Philharmonic playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Lincoln Center, when it didn’t matter that my mom and I walked out of the concert hall into a driving rainstorm and had to take a bus downtown, because anonymous New Yorkers paid our bus fare and we had just heard “Ode to Joy” and were full of happiness at being alive. There was Los Lobos at La Casa de la Raza in Santa Barbara, a raucous concert that was like the most crowded, jubilant high school dance in history. There was Jesus Christ Superstar, performed by the movie cast at the Santa Barbara Bowl, where the first chair guitarist was a guy I didn’t know yet, but ended up marrying.

But the best concert I ever attended was The Police at Twickenham Stadium, London, in September 2007.

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It wasn’t the first time I saw The Police. That was at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, back when I was in law school, the Husband was still the Boyfriend, and a junior family member was too young to go unattended. That first concert turned me into a lifelong fan of the band. Seeing them again at Twickenham, on a perfect summer evening, with dear friends, family, and my youngest son… it was epic. The band was hot. Sting was hot. Andy Summers played mesmerizing, ringing guitar solos. Stewart Copeland owned the stadium. We sang ourselves hoarse and stumbled home exhausted.

And I now realize that none of my books reference The Police or their music. It’s time to correct that, pronto.