Miss Prim on the Mystery Book Podcast

For anyone who is wondering about Miss Felicity Prim and her approach to outsmarting criminals, Sara Rosett has done a podcast reviewing the book, in which she discusses Miss Prim’s unique, forensics-dismissing ways of approaching a case. You can listen to the podcast here.

Sara is the author of many wonderful cozies, the most recent of which is Death in an English Cottage (pictured below), the second book in the “Murder on Location” series starring Kate Sharp, a location scout and Jane Austen aficionado.

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And I will soon get back to blogging about life’s simple pleasures…

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“Outsmarting” Nominated for Deadly Ink’s David Award

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Today’s big news is that Deadly Ink, a regional convention of mystery lovers (or should I say, “lovers of mystery”), has nominated The Outsmarting of Criminals for 2014 Mystery of the Year.

Deadly Ink is attended and run by wonderful people who have been incredibly gracious and kind to me over the years. In fact, my first novel, Who Gets the Apartment?, won the David Award in 2007. That was a pretty amazing feeling, having a debut book by an unknown writer win an award given by hardcore fans of the genre.

This year’s nominees are:

So, in other words–heavy competition.

Deadly Ink will be held in New Brunswick, NJ this year, August 7-9. It’s an easy train ride from NYC, Philadelphia, and any stop on Amtrak. Mark your calendars!

“First Page Do’s and Don’ts” at the NJ Books Festival 2015

Hello Readers!

The NJ Books Festival will be held next Sunday, June 14th, 2015, from 1 to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Paramus Library in Paramus, NJ, a short hop from NYC.

For more information, please visit the  Books NJ Website.

It will be a day celebrating books of all genres, along with many panels. I’ll be taking part in a panel titled “The Power of the First Page: Beyond a Dark and Stormy Night” from 3:20 to 4:00 p.m. My fellow panelists are Marian Calabro, A.J. Collucci, Shari Goldhagen, and Lori Goldstein.

There are many, many more panels, too, running the gamut of topics, from cult fiction, to the immigrant experience, to ghost stories, to poetry, to genre blending, and more. Please see the Books NJ Schedule of Panels for more details … you don’t want to miss it! I wish I could divide myself up so that I could attend several of these panels simultaneously.

Hope to see you there; and keep your fingers crossed about the weather (one never knows in this crazy state…)

Simple Pleasures #2: Live Music

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Continuing my series on “Simple Pleasures” (I hope to do 10 of these), I have to sing the praises of

Live Music.

I went to my first concert (Jethro Tull) when I was 14 years old and I have to smile when I think about the lengths I went to in order to get tickets. As a teenager, of course I didn’t have a credit card, so I had to ride my bike to the NJ Meadowlands so that I could buy the tickets for cash. This entailed riding my bike along U.S. Highway 46 (folks, don’t try this at home) for quite a stretch, but I would not be deterred. That was the beginning of a lifelong enjoyment of hearing and seeing great musicians do their thing.

A regret in my life: Back in college, a friend had tickets to a Madonna concert, during her “Like a Virgin” days. I looked down my nose at the idea and I said “No, thanks.” Now I realize that I missed a true cultural phenomenon due to my teenage pretensions. Oh, well. Lesson learned. I won’t make the same mistake if someone suggests getting tickets to Lady Gaga.

I guess I shouldn’t call this a “simple” pleasure, because it’s turned into a rather expensive pleasure (for example, $13 Ticketmaster service fee per ticket), and getting to the venues can be time consuming and a pain… but the hassle is always worth it. A couple of weeks ago I saw the B-52s perform live in Montclair, New Jersey. They did some of my personal favorites like “Planet Claire” and “Whammy Kiss,” along with the older and newer classics like “Rock Lobster” and “Love Shack.” Of course all eyes were on the stage most of the time, but when I looked around the audience I saw how much everyone as enjoying the show — people from all walks of life just dancing, smiling, and having a good time.

Which is proof, I think, that you’re never too old to rock — or to stop doing something you love.

And a special shout out to lead singer Robert from the opening band, French Horn Rebellion, whom I met at intermission and who signed a CD for me while some clueless woman mistook him for the coat-check guy. Keep rockin’, Robert, and hope to see you at the top of the charts!