Chit, Chat & Pics
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Michael, I knew your sister Julie in the mid-1980s in Hartford, CT. We had some mutual friends at the Unitarian Church such as the Shepherds and Phil & Pat Hurtzler. Julie was active in the peace movement (Nuclear Freeze, etc). She mentioned to me once that her father had written a book, 'Report from Iron Mountain.' Some casual acquaintances mentioned that book when I was visiting St Paul, MN recently. That's how I looked up your site.
In those days Julie also arranged an exhibition commemorating Mahatma Gandhi to which I contributed in a small way. It so happens your father shared a birthday with Gandhi (Oct 2).
I am now retired, and so will have time to read the Report from Iron Mountain which happily is still in print. Please convey my best wishes to Julie. I hope she is doing well.
Just thinking about you and your family (Iris, Leonard, you, and Julie) for no reason I can put my finger on. Thought I would say hello.
How very nice to hear from you, Kennie. And Julie says hello too. We'd love to hear from you. Email me on the site's contact address at the top of the left column on my home page? Mike 19/21 Sept 2014
Just read 'Out of Season'. A very good read. I realize it is one of your older books but still very good. I, Myself have two mysteries published. A murder in Zurich and Abduction and Revenge. I must say, your book might be a tad better.
Thanks for the kind assessment of Out of Season, Ralph. Yes, an older book but do you think it ripens like a vintage wine...? Good luck with your two and with any that follow. MZL 10 July 2013
You could see a long waybut not as far as Velma had gone. Hello,Mr.Lewin.I put aside the last novel which is writing now.And I have started new one.The title of it is same with RAYMOND CHANDLER.Although translated title is not.THE LITTLE SISTER.The privateeye is tough and smart and lonry. After 1960 PI novels decrease and detectives became weaker I have confident to make tough enough detective wno can defeat even KING CONG see you at MWA party. Atsushi Suzuki Tokyo Japan
Hi again Atsushi. It's interesting that you feel the detectives of the last fifty years have become softer. I wish you luck on your current attempt to reverse the trend. MZL 10 July 2013
Hi Mike, A blast from the past - Sandy (aka as Alex now) from The Other Cheese Show and A Bit more of the Other here. Browsing your titles online on Amazon, I was - am - amused to see the Kindle edition of Family Trio cover is a picture of my old house in Bath. I have, of course, bought the tome (is a Kindle 'book' a tome?) both for the read and for old times sake. Hope all is well in the Lewin Life. Love the Lunghi family - makes me pine for the good old days at the Bath Pottery in Walcot Street where life did indeed unfold outside the window - an occasionally within the windows too. Alex xxx
Hi Alex. Ooo them shows was a long time ago, but pleasant memories. And how serendipitous that the Family Trio cover shot includes where you lived. I'm glad you don't think the Lunghis let Walcot Street as was down. I do hope things are well with you and yours. Mike 1 Mar 2013
Michael, I have now completed the Albert Samson series and am excited to read here that there is a new Samson work underway. I must congratulate you on Eye Opener. The novel is by far my favourite, and handles the gap in years from Albert's previous activities brilliantly. Who would have thought it - a mobile phone, he is one step ahead of me on that one mind you reception in the City is probably rather better than it is down here in Devon! The banter between Albert and his new crush is excellent, and Sam and Mom's characters are exiting and credible developments of the folk we know from earlier novels. Eye Opener is now one of my all time favourite detective fiction works - many thanks, and now to start work on the Leroy series....
Alan Burton, Lympstone, UK
Thanks for posting this, Alan, and thanks for the enthusiasm for Samson and Eye Opener - both are appreciated. Yes, I'm doing new Samson work. In fact I'm doing a sequence of four long stories. In each of them Samson has the same client. The first is "Who I Am" - published, as you saw, in Ellery Queen MM a year ago. EQ will publish the next two and, I hope, the final story - though it isn't finished yet. Eventually I plan to publish all four together in some form - at least electronically. MZL 15 December 2012
I've enjoyed your "voice" in your various characters, especially the DOG. But GOD? Has Lewin gone dyslexic? Great cover. Sample is typically clever and humorous but unfortunately a step too far for this reader. Nice to get me back to your site, though. Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition for your stories!
Hi Merle. It's interesting - and relevant - that you mention my book about the dog (ROVER'S TALES). Because I consider this book to be something of a companion piece. Both are looks at modern humanity. Rover's is from the ground up and God's is from the top down. CONFESSIONS too is episodic but it's more - a novel with a journey and an outcome. I'm sorry, of course, that you aren't inclined to take that journey but I do really appreciate your comments and hope things are well with you. MZL 24 November 2012
Just wanted to thank you for stopping & helping out a lost & wandering soul back at Magna Cum Murder in Muncie, Indiana, about fifteen years ago. And for introducing me to a bunch of writers I had not ever met. And for writing all those Albert Samson novels back in the early 1970s. You (& Ross Macdonald) have always been my inspiration. Anyway, thanks again. ~ Fred Zackel
It was a pleasure to get to know you, Fred, and I certainly hope that things have gone well for you in the intervening time. Ross Macdonald was important to me and my getting started in mysteries too. Quite coincidentally I've just done a blog contribution for the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine blog about my one meeting with Macdonald, if you - or anyone else - are interested. The link to it is upper left on my home page. All very best wishes. MZL 29 September 2012
Hello,Mr Lewin.In the midnight I was drinking at doorway of the conbinient store,the cicada flew and he seemsd love me.Then he landed my T shirt.I do nothing.He walked slowly over my neck and the back my head,at last he stopped on my right shoulder and said his wards(I can't understand unfortunatly).Then he flew away.He is my friend.
Atsushi Suzuki Tokyo Japan
I don't quite know what to say by way of comment about this, Atsushi. But I wish you luck in the future. MZL 24 August 2012
Dear Mr Lewin/Samson,
To my knowledge yesterday you were celebrating your 70th birthday. Really hope you had a great day and wish the best of luck to you and your family!
Despite my English first name I am just a 49 years old German (one of those guys with the funny accent, like Dr. Vurst in "The Way We Die Now", you remember ...?). However, I doubtless count among the most enthusiastic fans ever of your wonderful Albert Samson (and other) novels! Without exaggerating I can say that reading your entertaining and smart books gave me the greatest pleasures. Following the brilliant dialogues (and monologues!) of Albert Samson meant to me some of the happiest hours in my (reading) life, and that is something, I guess. Try and imagine myself, a grown-up, usually a rather serious man, on evenings sitting all alone in a room reading "Called by a Panther" and chuckling, or even laughing out loudly, on end! Not many novelists could make me do that.
I love the shrewdness and funny wordplays displayed in your storytelling. And I feel sorry for only three of your novels having been translated into German so far. But I myself started buying all of your books and enjoyed reading them (in spite of reading them in random order ...) in the English language. Needless to say that a lot of your wit and play on words get lost in translation, unluckily.
I soon noticed that all of the Albert Samson mysteries are in certain ways interconnected. Recently I noted that you even in other works (such as "Underdog") refer to people and events from the Albert Samson serial. So what can I do? Of course, I've got to start over reading all of these novels in chronological order. I know for sure this will make sense and give me some additional understanding and pleasures.
So once again, Mr Lewin/Samson, my heartfelt thanks for your wonderful writing and and a Happy Birthday to you!
Hi Tom. Thank you for your good wishes - yes, my birthday rolled around again recently and, as some of the pictures show, I had a good time on it. Thank you too for the generous comments about Samson, my writing style and the interlocking nature of many of my Indianapolis books - with what's sometimes been called my Indianapolis repertory company. I too regret that only a few of the books were ever translated into German and I'm sorry to hear that you think much was lost in the process. But we must both do our best with what we've got. Again, it's a pleasure to hear you're enjoying the books. All best wishes, MZL 29 July 2012
Will you be writing any more albert samson books?
I am working on a new Samson book but not quite like the others. It will be comprised of four long Samson stories and in each of them he has the same client. Three of the stories are done and the fourth has been started but I'm currently finishing a novel of quite a different kind. News here on the site when anything is ready. MZL 14 July 2012
Sorry,I missed spelling.My name is Atsushi.
Hello,Mr.Lewin.l'm writing action hardboild.It is about 60 seats of Japanese manuscript paper and it will be 400 or 500when it will be finished. ln America, private eye is allowed to carry the gun,in Japan isn't allowed.l have read three novels of yours. l weeped especially Out of seasonAlbart Somson is not super man maybe but humanistic and intelgent detective.The story is very deep and sofisticated.1930's togh guy novels are difficult to write now. But they are still needed from a lot of fan.l never give up. Atsush Suzuki Tokyo Japan
Hi Atsushi. Thank you very much for writing. I certainly wish you good luck with your book. I can tell you from experience that not giving up is more than half of what it takes. I didn't know that Japanese private detectives were not allowed to carry guns. That wouldn't be a problem for Albert Samson, since he doesn't own a gun but I wish more Japanese detective novels were translated into English and available here. Thank you too for the kind words about Out of Season and about Albert Samson. All very best wishes. MZL 3 July 2012
Think the Albert Samson novels are among the finest post-Ross MacDonald/Lew Archer books written, especially Ask the Right Question. Was the name of your character chosen with MacDonald's first Archer novel in mind (Albert, first name of Archer's lawyer friend; Samson, last name of person he is looking for).
Kind of you to say so, Don. And although Samson's name isn't any reference to Madconald's work, I did read his novels closely before I began writing about Samson. I was also lucky enough to have lunch with him in 1979. MZL 14 April 2012
FYI, the BBC's production of 'Keystone, The Movie'
which you scripted was broadcast May 2, 1992.
I recorded it off air. You can have a copy if you want.
It's currently seeding on Demonoid.
Nice to be reminded of "Keystone" - thanks. I recorded it at the time too and have it around here somewhere. But I don't know what it's seeding on Demonoid means: would you explain to me? MZL 9 Feb 2012
Michael, what a great website! I have been a No Exit Press fan for years and discovered Albert Samson through 'Ask the Right Question', and am now working my way through the works. Many thanks for great crime fiction. Alan Burton Lympstone Devon UK
You're very generous, Alan, both about the site and the oeuvre. I hope you continue to enjoy both. Thank you for posting this. MZL 22 January 2012
hi michael how would you descibe the character the dog and the setting of the story , would you say the old man called the streets his home.
You don't say which story you're referring to: do you mean "The Hand That Feeds Me"? Because that story is one of many in a collection called ROVER'S TALES - all of them narrated by a dog. Rover wanders the streets of a city - it's Indianapolis, but he doesn't know it - and he feels impelled by his sense of right and wrong to face up to injustice when he meets it. Usually it involves injustices to other dogs, but in that story it focusses on the fate of a man who was kind to him. Yes, probably the man lived on the streets - as Rover does. Rover usually doesn't think much of human beings' so-called "intelligence" but he appreciates it when humans behave with kindness. MZL 31 October 2011
Hi Michael, Your book has arrived in Jefferson Oregon! THANK YOU!! We are now one step closer to our new library!!! YOU and your support are APPRECIATED!!!!
Libraries are good, and I wish you the very best of luck. MZL 11 October 2011
Michael, I would like to feature Eye Opener or Ask the right questions in one of the new features on my blog. If you are interested at all, drop me an email and I'll send back more info on what I'm doing.
Hi Ron. It's probably best if you send me some information using the email contact link available on each page of the website, OK? All best, MZL 19 July 2011
For anyone who might be interested, here is the address of Ronald Tierney's blog and the piece about Eye Opener: lifedeathandfog.blogspot.com
MZL 10 August 2011
Hello Mr. Lewin,
I am Whitney, writing about your life and work at IUPUI in Indianapolis! I am currently reading Night Cover, and I really like Powder. While he is not the most likable character, you have done a great job giving him depth and I enjoy reading about him. I was wondering if you would mind my sending you a few questions to answer for my essay. Would that be a possibility?
Sure, Whitney. I'm happy for you to send a few questions via the Quick Links at the bottom of the right hand column on each page of this site. I'll do my best with them. MZL 14 April 2011
Hello Michael... My name is Frieda, I live in Indianapolis and grew up in Fountain Square on Prospect St. Just discovered your book titled "Oh Joe" on Chapter 13 now and cannot put it down. Just to see the names of the streets and business's like Skips Market, White Castle blows me away. How can I get a list of your books and the best way to purchase them. Thank you Frieda
Hi Frieda. Thank you for posting your message. I'm glad you're finding Joe and his environment real enough to be engaging. Pity that Tugboats isn't there any longer, eh? And Peppy Grill features in a short story I just finished: if the editor I sent it to buys it I will post details on the site.
There's a list of my books near the bottom of the central column of the Bio/Biblio page on the website. I could provide copies of some of them but given that I'm in the UK you're sure to find much cheaper sources online in the US. MZL 8 April 2011
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for writing another Lunghi family mystery!
You have made my day.
I'm thrilled you're thrilled, Trish. Sorry it's taken such a long time. MZL 8 Sept 2010
I wanted to tell you that I was given your book "Cutting Loose" about 4 years ago. I read it once, loved it, and lent it out to someone. Unfortunatly that someone stopped coming to the classes I saw them at and I never got my book back. It took me until January of this year to re-find the book (I couldn't remember the name of the book but only what it was about and what the cover looked like). I plan on getting a new copy for myself soon. I'm hoping to read some of your other works also. Thanks for being such an awesome writer!!!
You're extremely kind, LbG, to take the time to post such nice things here. Maybe especially about Cutting Loose, which took me longer to write than any other book - by a lot. All best wishes, MZL 10 August 2010
Am an American Expat writer in Wiltshire myself and am about to finalize my first book. Would love a review from you to put on teh cover if you are interested in a read? Joc Burry is assisting in the publishing process if you have nay tips I woul dbe glad to listen. Thanks
I'm willing to take a look at a hard copy of your manuscript, Matt, if you think it's the kind of book I might like. But I can't promise a useable quote sight unseen. Contact me on one of the website's email addresses if you want to take this further. MZL 9 August 2010
Mike, we really enjoyed your Christmas puzzle - it kept our New Year's guests busy for an hour or two! Hope to catch up in 2010. Lots of love Penny and David
I'm pleased you enjoyed it guys.
Discovered your books in my teens and loved them - especially the Leroy Powder novels. Would love to see another Powder adventure! :)
James, Melbourne, Australia
Hi James. Thanks for adding your comments. If a publisher said yes I wouldn't say no to writing another Powder novel or three. I've always enjoyed writing about him. But I do keep in touch with the old curmudgeon in the occasional short story. Two so far in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and a third, new one, awaiting its publication slot there. MZL 21 Nov 2009
Your past has caught up with you! Good to see you're well and still writing,etc.
I'm still a frequent visitor to Frome despite leaving 30 years ago and intend to start my first novel. Don't worry, methinks you have nothing to fear.
Good heavens, has it really been that long since you went off to the big city to join the Bill? I hope things have gone well for you. MZL 25 Oct 2009
Hi Mike, I am so happy to see how successful you have been since school. You may not even remember me. My name is Jerry Koett and you and I went to high school together at good old NCHS in the late 50s and I believe we were in grade school together at John Strange if my memory serves me (which it doesn't do as well as it used to). Get back to me whenever you get a chance or if you are so inclined. My e-mail address is as follows: email@example.com Blessings from Brownsburg, IN, Jerry
Hello,Mr.Lewin.I gave up the work which I had explained before at here.I have just startednew one.The private eye who appeared old one came backand he doesn't use telephone so often.I have just began to read Dashiell Hammett in Vintage Crime.I am going to meet your private eye using English soon. http://ameblo.jp/djmwgtp/ Atsushi Suzuki Tokyo Japan
I wish you good luck, Atsushi, both with the new book and with reading classics like Dashiell Hammett. Writing is a continuing process of learning and then learning again what you you want to write and how you want to express it. All best wishes, MZL March 25, 2009
Dear Mr Lewin, So glad I finally had the sense to search for a homepage of yours. I like your Albert Samson books so much - their humanism (?) the subtle humour and, naturally, the suspense. I find your website to reflect the... friendliness, the guy-next-door thing of the books, very nicely done. I should think that Albert have a lot of you in him...? I have never written a letter to an author before - I suddenly realize - though beeing a real bookworm. I think it is appropriate that you being the first, as I almost feel I know you, especially after visiting here. You have a lot in common with my favourite Swedish writer - Claes Hylinger - who does not write detective novels, but if he had, they would certainly turn out like yours. I have all of the AS mysteries but the last, but will get your other work as well. Every time I´ve read one of your books - and I´ve read them several times - I feel I´m a better person for having done so. I guess that really says something of the author. Keep up the Good Work, Ulf Salvin, Sweden
Hi Ulf. Thank you for writing and for making an author-letter to me be your first. I am pleased - of course - that you get a lot from the Samson books. I certainly work hard to put a lot into them.
Is Samson like me? Yes, but then again no. That's just the way it works with fiction. There is almost always something real that sparks characters, stories or situations. But the process of making them part of a larger story changes them, often by a lot.
I haven't read Claes Hylinger but I'll have a look to see if the library here has something in English. And thank you again for writing and for the generous words. MZL March 15, 2009
One of the blurbs on the back of "Panther" compares Samson to Parker's Spenser. I'd say Samson is about halfway between Spenser and Stanley Hastings. Glenn King
Hmm, well how about a triangle rather than a straight line, Glenn. But thanks for the comment. At least Samson predates the other two. But another point is that authors aren't the ones who write the blurbs... MZL Jan 12&13, 2009
Michael: Although I had read a Lt. Powder book in the early 80's, I rediscovered you in 1991, with, "The Way We Die Now", and proceeded to scarf up all of the remaining titles (unread) that I could find--finishing nine of them that summer. A few weeks back, my wallet fell apart, and upon changing this and that, from old to new, I came across a note, saying, "Find, "Ask The Right Question." Thanks to the internet and the cooperation shown between municipal libraries, it is much easier today to find a given book; AND, not only have I placed "Ask..." on order; but I have read "Eyes Only" in the meantime. What a treat! Please keep them coming! (If this msg is a repeat of an earlier one, please excuse as I hit "close" instead of "add comment.") P.S. And finally, in 1993 I spent 4 days in London, the only time in my life out of the U.S. other than Canada or the Far East. While in London, we spent one entire day in Bath and the surrounding countryside. How wonderful! Sincerely/Michael Randall/Rolling Hills Estates/CA
Thank you for the generous comments, Michael. The internet really does help fill the gaps when you're looking for books that aren't currently in print. I do keep working, but re-reading is always available... And Bath is extravagantly beautiful and the more remarkable because people have been living here for, literally, thousands of years. All best, MZL May 27, 2008
Michael: Was in process of writing review for "Oh, Joe" this afternoon and came to your site looking for count on novels. You know, "author of 32 mysteries" type thing and was tickled to find you posted my review of latest Albert Samson mystery. I'm flattered. The casting? Some books just unfold cinematically for me. Plus anything that results in more screen time for Ms Hunt is a good thing. Sigh. Anyway, I've enjoyed yor work for many, many years and always look forward to your latest effort. Take care, Wes firstname.lastname@example.org PS Really liked "Joe"
Thanks for the comments, Wes, and for taking the time to check in. I'm glad you liked JOE. One of the reasons I maintain this site is to provide more accurate background information for reviewers and interviewers. Funny, though, how easy it is for even my own site to be not quite right - because I fall behind with listing details. Ah well. MZL April 5, 2008
And for Wes's review of Joe check out the recent works page. MZL May 27, 2008
I have read Called by a Panther and the two Lunghi books. I just love the Lunghi Family books. They are so well written which is hard with so many characters. And funny. I love the stories. I just hope you will write some more Lunghi adventures. I am a library fanatic. So I just went to the library and got all the books they had that you wrote - no more Lunghis though...... Linda Myers, Prescott, AZ, USA
Thank you very much for your comments, Linda. As perhaps you'll have seen below, I've finished another Lunghi novel but it awaits the process - agent and publisher enthusiasms. I do hope to write another Lunghi short story or two this year, to go along with eight others. But again, thank you, and thank you for taking the time to write this. All best wishes for the new year. MZL January 3rd, '08.
Mr. Lewin, until I recently ran across The Reluctant Detective, I have not been a big fan of British mysteries in the past,but you presented your stories with a uniquely skewed edge that I find intriguing. I am looking forward to reading more of your work. I am a mystery writer myself with hopes of being published soon. I am currently dealing with Tekno Books regarding a Five Star Mystery and I noticed that they published something for you. I am curious about the “packaging” process and have been leery of the deal. I am not looking for an explanation of the process. I am just interested in your general impressions. Anything you can say about your experience would be both helpful and greatly appreciated. Stan Marshall, Cypress, Texas, USA
Hi Stan. Moving past the fact that, at most, I'm only a slightly British mystery writer, my dealings with Five Star have been pretty straight-forward. They have well-defined standards - including in their contracts - and you can either live with them or not. The result, these days, is a decent looking book that is sold mostly to libraries. Promotion beyond that - including asking for review copies to be sent to publications other than on their basic list - is down to you. I've found the individuals pleasant and helpful to work with. MZL Oct 19, 2007
What is your word count for short stories?
I'm not going to be helpful on this: the shortest story I've published was 580 words and the longest 10,000 (I was being paid by the word...) I've done quite a few that were 1500 to 2500 and another bunch between 4 and 6 thousand. But it really does depend on the story I'm telling. See, I said I wouldn't be helpful. Sorry. MZL Aug 8, 2007
I just finished reading Eye Opener and I enjoyed everything about it. The characters, the way it all came together..I just wished I would have knew that there were more Albert Samson series so I could have read them all from the start. -Daysi A.
Thanks taking the trouble to pass on the kind words about Eye Opener, Daysi. I appreciate them. 'Course it's not too late to find copies of the earlier books and work your way back to it. And, for what it's worth, I've recently written my first ever Albert Samson story. When I have details of when and where it'll be published I'll post them on the site. MZL July 16, 2007
hello i am trying to fine a aduio book i have on reel to reel but is not all there it is the 1974 The Enemies Within could any 1 help my email email@example.com
The only audio version of The Enemies Within that I know about was the 1976 BBC radio play, but I hope someone can help with this. MZL May 11, 07
Please, please write another Lunghi Family mystery novel soon! It's been too long. Trish Mitchell--Houston, TX
There's good news and bad news, Trish, and it's a mini-lesson in the publishing business. I finished a third Lunghi novel about a year and a half ago. For some reason my then new and now ex agent didn't submit the manuscript to my Lunghi-editor for six months. And I still haven't had a response about it. Truth is, I decided last week to contact the editor (again) this week. If there's any news, I'll report it here. But thanks for your enthusiasm... MZL Jan 14 07
And the further news, of a kind, is that the book is now sitting on my desk, waiting for me to come to terms with a new agent. Sorry I can't be more helpful, Trish. MZL May 11, 07
Dear Mr. Lewin, I AM SO GLAD TO HAVE FOUND YOU! I just finsihed reading EYE OPENER and was most happy to see there are 7 more "Albert Samson"'s. I think you sort of write like I paint...flaws & all in with basic goodness. I think my images are as believeable to look at and identify with as is "Albert". Thank you for your work. You can see mine by googleing me. Most Respectfully, Marnie Holt Swenson
Thank you for the generosity of your enthusiasm, Marnie. And now I have looked at the pictures on your site, which are full of intelligence and wit. Nothing more than I would expect of someone who likes Albert Samson, mind. MZL, July 4,8 and 13, 06
Recently found The Silent Salesman along with a batch of curbside rejects in the aftermath of an American "yardsale" (sorry - downer) along Route 376 outside of Hopewell Junction. It was one of the several books that I carried home behind me on the bike, my reward for having just peedled an exhausting 25 miles in bright sunshine to that dull little village. I attempted to read six of them and failed at about page five. The SS was the only one that I finished and can claim to have thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you. And thanks also for getting rid of the mustache. Good for the seventies, but pretentious in the extreme. Or whatever.
I'm glad your persistence - both with the hard ride and with working through your new books - paid off. Next we need to find out how The Silent Salesman got mixed up in that company in Hopewell Junction. Guess you're going to have to ride back and ask. Or whatever. MZL June 18, 06
I'm serching for Spiderman. Come on! Anyway,I'm looking for your Ditective's back. Atushi Suzuki Tokyo Japan
Hi again Atushi. It's not that I haven't thought about your question. I just haven't thought of detectives I think of as similar to mine. Probably part of it is because I concentrate on things that are different from the relatively few others I read. But yes, Albert Samson is back in the recent Japanese edition of Eye Opener. MZL June 18, 06
Whitch type detective is best similar with you? I am writing hardboild-mystery.Private eye who appears in the nobel became twin of your own ditective. He use terephone for his job often.So,I decided your nobel whitch I haven't read yet. Tokyo Japan Atushi Suzuki
Hi Atushi, and thanks for your message. I will have to think about which detective is closest to Albert Samson, and who uses the telephone often. When I get some ideas, I'll post them here. Meanwhile maybe some of the other visitors to this site have some suggestions. Whatcha think, guys? MZL March 14, 2006
I think you're back living Stateside now so you may well not know that Frome library, where I first met both you and Albert Samson was badly damaged by fire earlier this year. The upside is that the books they reguarly sell off were on display outside the fron door for a while and I picked up a copy of Outside In in a three for a quid deal! OK so not such good news for you but I've now decided to rejoin the library so you can count on some more lending rights payments through me! Peter Corbett Buckland Dinham Somerset UK
Hi Peter. I'm still living in the UK, but I didn't know about the fire in Frome Library - how awful. I moved from Frome in 2000, though I still visit from time to time and did a Frome Festival event - in the library - as recently as a couple of years ago. I shall check this out.
And - for those of you who visit this page from time to time - I've decided to start replying to comments and answering questions below them on the page, so they make more reading sense.
All best wishes for 2006. MZL 3 Jan 06
Thanks for the kind comments. In fact, I didn't write Cutting Loose "for" young adults. It was just a book I wanted to write. But when it came publication time, the YA people offered a better deal than was offered elsewhere. I do have another book in the same vein that I'd like to write but, unfortunately, the editor who made the deal left for greener, or at least other, pastures. A lot of what gets written, or not, is driven by things like that. MZL November 19, 2005
A copy of Cutting Loose came my way and it's terrific! Not just for kiddies, I was sorry when the last page was turned. More like this, please. -- New U.S. fan
Hi Mrs Gatewood. And thanks for the generosity about Albert. I won't respond at greater length right now - since I'm in an internet cafe in Evansville, Indiana, but I appreciate your approval and your patience.
I'm sorry about the extra newsletter. I was trying to find a way to put the new one on the website and hit the wrong button. Oops. MZL 1 November 2005
This is Mrs. Gatewood in Edmond, OK, checking in. This summer I pestered the Metropolitan Library System to buy EYE OPENER--well worth the effort (yours, certainly, as well as mine). Sorry I didn't get around to it sooner. I loved the tone. Albert has mellowed just a tad, and that's fine with me. Glad to get your newsletter. Looking forward to the return of the Lunghis. Then today, oddly, I got a resend of your 2003 Newsletter (?). OK, already, MZL. I haven't forgotten you. I'm still a loyal fan. MKG Oct. 13, 2005
Hi Bill. I do remember the old Fox Burlesque theater - on Illinois, was it? I never went to a live show there but didn't it have movies too, maybe later? I'm having a memory of seeing "South Pacific" there, though given the way memory works I wouldn't bet more than a dime on it. What were the live shows like? Perhaps someone told you about them... MZL July 31 2005
Hi, Its Bill from Indianapolis. There is one establishment that was closed years and years ago and was torn down to make way for the AUL office building. The establishment was the old Fox theater. Going to this establishment was a "rite of passage" of sorts for males in central Indiana. Perhaps Albert can have a memory falshback. Bill From Indy.
Thanks, Judy, for the kind comments about Leroy Powder and I'm glad you saw the story in EQMM. I do intend to write more stories about him and perhaps one day we'll catch up with Carollee Fleetwood and Powder's son, Ricky. Did you see the earlier Powder story, 'Night Shift' that was in EQMM a few years ago? Powder does also appear a few times in EYE OPENER. Probably, however, there won't be more Powder novels as such. When writers take breaks between novels in a series, publishers are often reluctant to continue publishing them, preferring new characters and series, and that's the way I'm looking now for longer fiction. But stories... Yes. Keep an eye out here. MZL June 19, 2005
Dear Michael Z Lewin: I read your short story in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, February 2005, Finally! Powder is back. He has a lot going on in his life, there is Caroline and a son also isn't that correct? I see no excuse for not hearing about his latest exploits, preferably frequent updates !!!!! I miss your mother's favorite character, Leroy Powder, and I suspect many other people do too. Sincerely, Judy M Tieman, Las Vegas, NV.
Hi Yumiko. I do hope you enjoyed your visit to Bath - it's quite an amazing city and very British. Unfortunately I've been so busy that I didn't get this message until today. The next time you come, perhaps you will email me ahead of time, using the quck link in the right-hand column on each page of this site. I'm always happy to try to meet my readers from abroad if they're interested in doing so. I've been fortunate to have many books published in other languages, and I've had books in Japanese from the very beginning of my career. The support I've received from readers in Japan has been important to me. Perhaps one day I'll get to visit your country. MZL 7 May 2005
Dear Mr. Lewin I am Japanese and a long time fan of your writings, especially ?gAlbert Samson novels?h. I just found your message in Japanese on the top page. It was a good surprise for me after reading a lot of English with effort. So I would like to thank you for your Japanese message, kindly remembering your Japanese fans. I am going to visit UK next week. I am planning to visit Bath on May 5th or 6th. If you will see a Japanese woman with her 10 years old daughter at that day, that might be me. : ) Yumiko P.S. I am looking forward to reading your new Albert Samson novel ?gEYE OPENER?h in Japanese.
Hi again Bill. I do feel sometimes that I give a fatal kiss to some of the places I mention in books. Even in Eye Opener Cath's isn't the only one (I did see last October it had closed.) The other is Roxanne's, in Fountain Square, also now gone. So, if there are places you think ought to close, just let me know and I'll try to mention them... MZL 7 May 2005
Hi, I finished reading Eye Opener. It is interesting how swiftly things can change. From the time the manuscript was sent to your publisher and the time the book was published, Cath, Inc. closed their shop at 54th and College.Bill Bissey at Indy
OK, Bill, here's what my editor says:
"I just checked the system and it looks like at this point there are units available, so there shouldn't be any problems in ordering/shipping. But, it did go into reprint to be able to fill backorders previously... I know that it can take some time for those companies to receive their books after they have ordered, but hopefully that will be resolved soon. Please let me know if problems continue and I will be sure to look into it for you. :)"
So now we know. And I do hope you get your unit soon... MZL 31 March 05
Hi Bill. It was a nice do at the Mystery Company, wasn't it? Anyway, Eye Opener certainly has been published, but you're not the first person I know who's experienced a delay getting a copy. This is at least in part because the book is in its second printing. But I'll pass your comment on to my editor and if she has anything elucidating to say, I'll post it here. If only the writers were in charge of these things, everything would run smoothly. MZL Mar 28, 05.
Has Eye Opener been printed and released. I preordered a copy from one of Border's stores in Indianapolis on December 26, 2004 and they still don't have it. Bill Bissey, Indianapolis PS We chated at the Mystery Company signing party last fall.
Thanks for telling us about your cousin, George. They are touching details, and fascinating because of the parallel with Jan Moro's life and lifestyle. I made Jan up and yet do we ever make anything up? The comments on this page are certainly getting me to think more about Jan than I have for quite awhile. It would be nice if I can at least find some new stories for him to tell more of his stories in. MZL 17 June 04
Was just introduced to your books by my brother. First read "Underdog". Your character Jan Moro reminds me of a cousin. He resided all his life in Indianapolis (as did all of us). He was a small man, we never knew where he lived. He kept his "stuff" in our garage. Of course we would feed him when he needed it, give him a few bucks. As a small boy he was called "Peewee" as an adult he was known as Smoky, his real name was Paul Ruffin. Like Jan he always had these grand plans and he believed he was the toughest man in the world and he had expansive stories that one need to take with a grain of salt. Anyway I really enjoyed the book and hope there is more about Jan Moro for me to discover. George Downton firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your additional comments, Lana. I do intend to try writing a Jan Moro story or two one of these days, and once I do that, who knows...? MZL May 27, 04
I'M an American, Michael, and I definitely DO like to read about characters like Jan Moro. (Tell Liza Cody I like Bucket Nut too.) And, as I said, LeRoy Powder is a favorite. They are so true-to-themselves. I think they should both be in the movies. Dustin Hoffman would make a perfect Jan Moro. Can't you just see him bedding down under one of his favorite bushes? Unfortunately, the chance to cast Powder is gone. Walter Matthau is no more. I can't buy a publishing company for you but if I win the lottery. . . Lana Waite - www.waiteweb.com
Hi Lana, and thanks for the enthusiasm about Jan Moro - and for Roy Powder. I appreciate your comments. With Powder there are at least a few short stories - one in THE RELUCTANT DETECTIVE and another coming out later this year in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. I don't know the month yet. But as for Jan... Well, the truth is that back when I wrote UNDERDOG my publishers of the time didn't really like my writing about Jan much, whatever the positive qualities of the book. He's not glamorous, or sexy, or rough and tough. I'm not saying these were their words, but the message I got was pretty clear. It was also said, in particular, that American readers don't want to read about characters like him. Well, it's worked out that some did and some didn't. But the book was hardly a runaway success and even though I did - do - have notes for another Jan Moro story (and have recently been asked what happened to Rosie...) a fella does have to make a living. I've thought about doing a few short stories about him, but as for a novel it'll probably mean you'll need to buy a publishing company and make me an offer...
And for those readers of this exchange who think I've ignored Eric below, since he left his email address I answered him directly. Another reader has worried a little that I post emails that I get on this page. I don't: Eric entered what's below himself. MZL 18 May 04.
5/7/04 - PLEASE Michael, write another Jan Moro book. (And a LeRoy Powder while you're at it.) I love that little guy, and you keep him in character flawlessly! I just finished my copy of the book again, for the third time, and I'm always inspired. Your books don't make me a "better cop" but they sure teach me a lot about writing. Lana Waite, www.waiteweb.com
Hi Michael, Just listened to your "Cigarettes" on Radio 4. Brilliant. Never heard of you before - my loss. I am a member of an Amdram group in Basel, CH. We play in English. Have you written any plays? Best wishes, eric collino email@example.com
Thank you, MKG, for the many generosities in your comments. In fact I have next historical and Jan Moro books that I could do - and would like to do - were there publishers out there willing to encourage me in the way writers best understand. Meanwhile, there are a couple of projects with my agent and I'm likely to start a new FAMILY book soon. Happy New Year. MZL Jan 1, 04
Your CD, like your charming performance in Edmond, OK, fulfills this reader's quest for the unique while offering a fine taste of the quirky personalities behind the novels. It also makes me nostalgic for the skits at summer camp in my youth. And now, thanks to Bouchercon, I can even relive, among other memorable moments, the exposure of Peter Lovesy's knees. So what's MZ Lewin up to next? Is another historical novel out of the question? It would be great if all those scraps of paper yielded another Jan Moro -- after all, Liza Cody got three novels out of HER naive narrator. Anyway, thanks for being you and letting us readers in on it. MKG -
Dear Mr Lewin, I heard that you almost sold out of the CD called Wanted for Murder - Takeouts. Is this true, and if so will you be ordering some more? You don't seem to have explored all publicity opportunities in Britain yet. S.G.T.Oak, Scotland.
I'm in awe! Imagine a greeting from Peter Lovesey over the internet! And all thanks to that other guy who set up a web site. After polishing off FAMILY BUSINESS and then OUT OF SEASON, I'm ready for a serious Lewin interlibrary loan binge. And rare treat--I'm following Liza Cody chronologically, since all her early books are still in the Metro library system. Of course, Peter Lovesey's first books go back so far, only the large print editions are still around. God bless you all and keep you safe. Mrs. G
Peter sends his best wishes. We'll look out for you in Edmond. MZL 30 Aug 03
Hi, Mrs. Gatewood. Don't fret for a moment. All three of us are great fans of libraries, which is one of the reasons that more often than not we make our appearances on behalf of them. But dig those spurs in, by all means. And I'll certainly pass on your comments to Peter and Liza. MZL 28th August 03
As a Peter Lovesey fan, I recently wrote a story for a Christianity and Literature conference based on the unlikely (I thought)scenario of a well known British crime fiction writer arriving to speak in Oklahoma. Then I learned that you three are actually coming here in October. It was a life-imitates-art moment. It impelled me to read--with great enjoyment--Liza Cox's DUPE, your FAMILY PLANNING, and now your congenial newsletter. Unfortunately for your revenue, my book collecting must remain purely mental, but perhaps my persistent, annoying interlibrary loan requests will help spur future acquisition in the Southwest. Certainly, the performance of your triumvirate--apple green bucket not withstanding--will be most welcome in Oklahoma. Mrs. Gatewood
My apologies - Liza CODY! Mrs. G
I'm not a Go player, though I've looked at the game once or twice, and read a short story involving it (by Sara Paretsky.) Do my epics remind you of black and white counters, or what? MZL 26 July 2003
BTW MZL, do you play Go? Bill
Hey, Bill. Thanks for the lush endorsement of the Lunghis. Coincidentally, I've been thinking recently that my next project might be another Lunghi book, and your comments sure won't make it any less likely. Even if I don't manage a book, I'll likely do another story or two before long. Of course writing things "soon" doesn't necessarily seeing them out there soon. But I try to list what's happening one place or another on the site here.
In fact, I floated through Book Passage a few years ago. '98 maybe? I was there supporting a writer friend rather than on my own behalf, but at least I do know what a classy place it is. MZL July 6th, 2003
BTW, you ought to contact Book Passage in Corte Madera and tell them a local said that they HAVE to have you APPEAR. I mean, you oght to have some fun while yer in the U.S. Bill
Oh man, oh man! The blurb on "Family Business" said that it was hilarious, and it was! You've always been one of my favorite authors, and I was so happy to find another one of your books. Would you swear to NOT being K.C. Constantine? You two are so good, as well as somewhat similar, while with the Lunghis you are so funny, i can only be thankful! Bill D. Ross, CA
Hi Daniel. I've been working on this since yesterday. Saying Lunghi rhymes with funghi isn't going to help much. The best I've managed is to add loon to gee where the "g" is hard, like in guy. Only then you don't pronounce the n much. This leaves us with Loo(n)gee. You're really glad you asked now, aren't you? It's not, like, that I speak Italian. The name just popped into my head when I began to write about them - they began in a short story. There's a British actress named Cherie Lunghi and I probably got the name from her, though I don't remember doing so specifically. Ah well. MZL April 20, 2003
Mr. Lewin, I'm a longtime fan of your "Indianapolis" novels, but have only recently read your stories on the Lunghi family. Lunghi is not an Italian surname with which I am familiar, so could you please tell me how it's pronounced? Daniel Burnette "An Indy boy exiled in the Arizona desert"
Hi Andi, and thanks for your kind comments. I'm back in Indiana pretty much every year. I go to the mystery conference in Muncie - Magna cum Murder - which takes place on the last weekend of October. Either before or after I'm in Indianapolis for a few days. This year I may well be in Indy earlier in the month as well - I'm hoping the "Wanted for Murder" program I've mentioned on my Events page will be on show. Keep tuned. But of course I'm happy to sign your books. Closer to October we can arrange it. MZL Jan 16 03
Mr. Lewin: I love your Albert Samson books and have yet to read other books you've written, but I'm sure they're great too. I'm wondering about when you come back to the states(especially Indiana) for book signings and the like. I am starting a small library in Waynetown Indiana and would like some copies signed for the library. Thanks Andi hinds
Jan Moro, moi? Well, when I'm in Indy I do gravitate to the alleys and the backs of places. When I read from UNDERDOG in the US, the audiences were friendly and generous - but I do find that always to be the case when I read there. No specific incidents or comments from those sessions come to mind - except once when someone expressed pleasure that the book wasn't scratch and sniff. I took it as a compliment for the (comparative) reality of other elements. Hmm, was it though? MZL
i want to know if Jan Moro is Michael Z. Lewin
And did you get any feedback on what the american audience thought of Jan? Liz L
Thanks for the comments, Mat C. When I finished UNDERDOG I had notes and notions for a second Jan Moro book. Unfortunately my American publisher had disliked the fact that the central character is a homeless guy, and therefore unlikely to appeal to American audiences. So I did another project I had in mind instead (FAMILY BUSINESS.) Funny thing though, in the last few months I’ve again begun to collect notes and stories for Jan Moro. What will come out of that collecting, other than a pile of scraps of paper, I don’t know. MZL Sept 8 02
MZL, I feel strongly that you should return to Jan Moro at some time - surely there's a lot more to be said about the little big man's extraordinary world? I wonder if other readers agree; and, less importantly, whether you agree. - Mat C, Somerset UK