So, hey, how was that 20 hour trip from Ireland to Seattle?
Well, it was 20 hours, so, well, not so good, but there are worse places to end up than Seattle, especially a Seattle where, for once, it doesn't seem to be raining on me. Not that it ever rained on me personally in Seattle, by which I mean that I wasn't the only one walking around with a cloud over his head while everyone else basked in sunshine, but it does tend to be a bit damp, and given that Dublin has experienced its worst rainfall in a century, and I spent Monday night using a bucket to keep filthy water out of our basement, well, an absence of rain is rather nice...
Gosh, that was a long sentence, wasn't it? Nice punctuation, though.
Still, once again in Seattle, the Seattle Mystery Bookshop has done me proud: lots of books, lots of nice people to greet, and cookies and caramels cooked by the very kind Gina. And, hey, so what if the staff like to keep me grounded, and maybe I don't get the kind of fawning that a man of my considerable ego might desire. That's good, right?
And I'll be back to them, of course.
Not anytime soon, but I'll be back...
Seriously, lovely people. Just don't show them any signs of weakness. They'll be on you like wolves...
Halloween isn't the only scary thing these days. So's the traffic.
With the Viaduct closed, traffic downtown is a mess. Want to avoid it? Stay and shop. While the Viaduct is closed, we'll stay open on weekdays 'til 6pm. Let the traffic clear and let everyone else sit in the lines of cars. Come in after work and relax.
The leaves are falling, the wind is picking up and has that special chill in the air, and pumpkins are being turned into fearsome sights. It's the perfect time for a ghost story!
Arthur Kipps is a young solicitor in London sometime during the turn of the last century. He's studious and hardworking, and he is chosen to go to Crythin Gifford, specifically to attend to the affairs of the late Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. While the house is remote and deserted, Arthur is certain he is up to the task. What his is unprepared for are the happenings in the nursery, the movements behind empty windows, the attitude of the townsfolk. And then there's the sound of the pony and trap in the fog.
Published by Vintage Books, at $14.00, this slender volume packs a full measure of classic ghostly creepiness. I've been a fan of Susan Hill's for quite some time now, and her ghost stories have always captivated me. She weaves a tale filled with memorable characters and compelling imagery. In fact, the story is so brilliantly done that in February of next year, The Woman in Black comes to the big screen, with Daniel Radcliffe in the role of Arthur, which I think is absolutely brilliant casting.
"I am in one of your books." she looked at me, ablank, a slight challenge in her voice.
"Are you ?"
We could have left it at that, but my curiosity was overwhelming. "So which book are you in?"
"I don't know, you tell me."
We had a lady-stare off. It lasted about eight minutes.
So it turns out she won an auction to have her name in one of my books at Bouchercon in San Francisco. Name: Jill Bowman, which is great, because the last thing you need is for Boobs Hertzowicht win that auction, and then have to incorporate their name into a story set in Scotland, where there are only only about four surnames and Irish names with four generations behind them excite comment.
"So, Jill, what do you want to be - a sex addict politician's gorgeous wife or his teenage lover?"
"The wife gets to hit him," I added, "She gets her revenge."
And Jill turned to me with a smile that would have warmed a killer's heart and said, "Vengence. That'll be me."
So, Jill Bowman: I think we could have gone on a crime spree together, or at least a mini break.
P. D. James Adds Dark Twist to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE… Murder
Knopf to publish DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY this December (NEW YORK, October 12, 2011)
Best-selling British novelist P. D. James has written a new book that picks up where Pride and Prejudice left off and introduces a decidedly sinister twist to the Jane Austen classic: a deadly crime. DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY will be published by Knopf on December 6th, it was announced today by Sonny Mehta, Chairman and Editor in Chief.
Set in 1803 at Pemberley, the Darcy family estate, five years after Austen concluded her original story, James’ new novel finds Elizabeth and Darcy happily married, with two fine sons, and enjoying regular visits from Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband Bingley. There is talk about the prospect of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana, lingering resentment over the elopement of Elizabeth’s sister Lydia with the dishonorable Wickham, and rumors that war will soon break out between England and France.
Still, life continues at Pemberley, and preparations are being made for the annual ball. But on the evening before it is to take place, the idyll is suddenly shattered. There are gunshots and screams, a body is discovered in the woods, and all at once the story evolves into a murder mystery — one recognizable as P. D. James at her best, yet conveyed with all the charm and wit of Jane Austen.
“I have to apologize to Jane Austen,” says James, “for involving her beloved Elizabeth in a murder investigation. It has been a joy to revisit Pride and Prejudice and to discover, as one always does, new delight and fresh insights. This fusion of my two enthusiasms–for the novels of Jane Austen and for writing detective novels–has given me great pleasure.”
P. D. James is the author of twenty previous books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the U.S. and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Departments of Great Britain’s Home Office, and in 1991, she was named Baroness James of Holland Park.
Knopf has set a first printing of 300,00 copies for DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY. It will also be published as an e-Book and available in audio from Random House.
The staff of The Seattle Mystery Bookshop is pleased to announce that they’ll be partaking in the First Thursday Gallery Walk starting Thursday, November 3rd.
Recent changes to nearby studio spaces have brought visual artists to their block with the opening of a workspace across the street in 110 Cherry. These artists will be opening their studios on the First Thursday evenings to become part of the celebration.
Each month, The Seattle Mystery Bookshop will invite a local author to be here to talk with folks about their own visual art, the written word. As in the gallery walk, when visitors look over an artist’s series of works, the authors will be here to talk about their own series of works in the visial media of words.
Authors will be present from 6-8pm. They may or may not have brand new books to talk about. The idea is more that folks can have a chance to meet an artist – a writer – on the same evening as they meet a painter or sculptor, and the writers can meet new readers. There will be no formal program, so readers are encouraged to stop in on their rounds of gallery visits to chat with the author about their works, their approach to writing, their views on being creators of visual works – whatever may come to mind.
It is one more chance for fans of visual arts to meet another type of artist, the writer.
For their inagural First Thursday evening, local novelist Mike Lawson will be in to talk about his series of books with Joe DeMarco, a trouble-shooter for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Mike’s books are a combination of smooth story-telling with an overlay of wit a cynical eye on how power is used and abused in the nation. Mike’s debut, The Inside Ring, has just been re-issued by Atlantic Monthly Press. Second Perimeter will be brought back into print shortly. This second book in the series finds DeMarco traveling out to Bremerton to investigate a security leak. Mike is an assured writer who has been compared to the late, great Ross Thomas.
There are now six books in this staff-recommended series: The Inside Ring, The Second Perimeter, House Rules, House Secrets, House Justice, and House Divided. The Inside Ring was a Seattle Times Top Thriller for 2005. House Rules was a Nancy Pearl Pick and an Indie Next Pick. House Secrets was selected as one of the top thrillers of 2009 by three publications. House Justice was positively reviewed by the NY Times and called “a perfect political thriller” by Library Journal. Prior to turning to writing full time, Mike was a nuclear engineer employed by the United States Navy.
Walk by, drop in and meet the artist at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop’s First Thursday!
This is so cool. I stopped by Seattle Mystery Bookshop to sign a few copies of Ready Player One, and now they've led me behind the counter and give me total control of their blog! Are they out of their gourds? Don't they realize I'm going to plaster 80s music videos all over the place?
The staff here is incredibly friendly and they're making me feel like a nerd rock star. I did get some grief for flying up here, insteading of bringing my DeLorean. I've made amends by (more or less) promising to come back with ecto88 on my paperback tour next year. (That seem to get me back in their good graces.)
Thank you, Seattle Mystery Bookshop. You have the coolest staff and the tasiest cookies in the Pacific Northwest!