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BOLO's Best of Decade

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I'm utterly floored to see THE KILLING KIND has made BOLO Books' list of favorite books, by year, for the past decade. BOLO Books is the Raven Award winning blog of Kristopher Zgorski, whose list includes so many novels I utterly adored—from the likes of Megan Abbott, Steph Cha, Laura Lippman, and Attica Locke, to name but a few—I feel compelled to pick up all the ones I haven't yet read. If you know what's good for you, you'll do the same. Many thanks, Kristopher!

On Civility and Cowardice

By now, many within the mystery community have heard about Max Allan Collins’ turn as a presenter at last weekend's Shamus Awards, during which he complained that this year’s nominees would be difficult to pronounce, on account of all the “foreigners” on the list.

Maybe he was joking. Maybe not. I wasn’t there, and I don’t know the guy, so I couldn’t say. Truth is, it doesn’t matter. His words served to alienate, demean, and diminish the very writers breathing new life into a subgenre that—as recently as a few years ago—seemed destined for ossification, and he deserves to be called out for that.

Collins’ transgressions, however, aren’t the ones at the fore of my mind; I’ve been too busy pondering my own.

Although I didn’t attend the Shamus Awards, I was in Dallas this weekend too, for Bouchercon. It was, by and large, a blast. I ate my weight in tacos and brisket. Cheered my wife on as she moderated one of the most kickass panels I’ve ever seen. Stayed up way too late, and laughed…

The Stalker's Guide to Finding Chris (and Katrina) at B'con 2019

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Holy heck! October is drawing to a close, which means Bouchercon 2019 is nigh! If you too are Dallas-bound, and would like to find/avoid me, here's where I'll be:

Keep Those Pages Turning Friday, 11/1 2:30 to 3:30 PM Reunion A w/Anne Hillerman, Daniel Palmer, Ed Ruggero, Carter Wilson, and Terri Bischoff (m)
More Real Than the Housewives: Unlikeable Women* Friday, 11/1 4 to 5 PM Reunion G-H Megan Abbott, Jennifer Hillier, Angie Kim, Laura Lippman, J.M. Redmann, and Katrina Niidas Holm (m)
In addition, I'll be around all weekend, and I'm always** happy to chat or sign books, so if you see me, please don't hesitate to say hello.

*Astute readers will note that I'm not actually on that second panel, but I'll be there anyway because a) my lovely, talented wife is moderating and b) it features several of my favorite writers.
**Bathrooms excluded. Hiding in my hotel room strongly discouraged***.
***Unless you bring pie****.
****This is a joke. Pie or no, please don't hid…

GO ALL THE WAY Available for Preorder!

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I've been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember.

My childhood was filled with the pop and crackle of my parents' vinyl. My adolescence, chock-a-block with mixtapes and hardcore punk matinees. In college, my best friend and I had a radio show that was on so late, nobody listened, but we didn't care; we were too busy dancing around the booth like idiots. And my wife and I have road-tripped to see amazing bands play lousy venues more times than I can count. So imagine my delight when ace author, editor, podcaster, and drummer Steve Lauden invited me to contribute an essay about one of my favorite artists—Allan Carl Newman of Zumpano and The New Pornographers—for a power pop collection he was co-editing with Paul Myers.
Now imagine my delight when I discovered that my essay would sit alongside pieces by such wildly talented people as Michael Chabon, Ira Elliott, Heather Havrilesky, and the late, great, sorely missed Tom Petty, to name but a few.

The collection, GO …

"Murderers' Row" in EQMM!

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Shortly after the publication of RED RIGHT HAND, I struggled with a wicked case of writer's block.
Doubtless some of you are of the opinion that writer's block doesn't exist. Pray you never come to learn how wrong you are.

Appropriately enough, the first thing I finished on my long road back to productivity was a metafictional short story about grappling with writer's block and my moral obligations as a crime writer. (It was inspired by a bizarre exchange I once had at Portland's fabled Great Lost Bear, and kinda sorta features Ted Bundy, so it's probably not as boring as the last sentence makes it sound.)

That story, "Murderers' Row," appears in the July/August issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, which should hit shelves any day now. Look for it wherever magazines are sold.

Twelve years ago, EQMM published my very first short story. It seems fitting they'd publish my thirtieth. Hope y'all enjoy "Murderers' Row." It…