Michael Z. Lewin, Liza Cody and Peter Lovesey were also "Wanted for Murder". Our last tour with this show was in 2003 - see below - when we also put together a CD. For information about Take-Outs, click the title at the bottom of the column on the right of this page.

"Wanted for Murder" was in Indianapolis on in 2003, presented by the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library in association with the Butler University Visiting Writers series.

Then we went in Edmond, Oklahoma - in the Oklahoma City area - at Edmond Library.

Finally we hit Las Vegas where we did the show as part of the 2003 Bouchercon mystery convention.


After which my colleagues returned to damp and gloom in England while I stayed in the US for another week so I could attend Muncie's Magna cum Murder mystery conference.

In 2005 I did a bit of a tour with my shows "Murder You Write" and "What Happens Next?"

Most of these programs were in the Midwest but I started off in Wallingford, Connecticut, where the audience divided into detective agencies to write endings to a story called "The Truth." As so often happens, they came up with things I'd never have thought of for myself. Writing stories is so much a matter of picking what interests whoever's writing, and each person is interested in different things.

Then I was off to the Indiana where I did "What Happens Next?" in archtecturally unique Columbus. So few cities or towns in the whole country have paid special attention to how their centers look that Columbus, with buildings from a dazzling array of internationally known architects must be unique. I was treated very well and I hope the folks in the audience in the lovely red room had a good time too. I'm hoping to post a picture of Columbus's jail once I get home (I'm writing now from my sister's in Connecticut.)

Then I went to Missouri to visit the impressive Central Methodist University in Fayette. A substantial and diverse audience got its mental teeth into "Cigarettes" and a few had the opportunity for extra credit for writing reviews of the program. I may post exerpts from them. On the other hand, I may not...

After an interlude at the Magna cum Murder mystery conference in Muncie - friendly and efficiently run as ever - I headed for a Halloween lunchtime program in Terre Haute, Indiana, and a lovely, sociable dinner the evening before.

The program on November 1st was in Evansville's fabulous new library - which includes a cafe called "Cup and Chaucer" and books for sale on the honor system. After lunch on the 1st I followed the advice of my hosts and walked through the old town to the Ohio River. The weather was sunny and warm (as it always is in Indiana in November, right?) and read my way through the historical plaques at the end of Main Street. Another generous crowd made the evening a very warm one.

And finally I launched myself in Anderson, Indiana, on November 2nd, where again there's been recent development of the central library. The whole ethos of getting people into the library almost for any reason is one that's only coming slowly to Britain. the product is a series of wonderful places for people to read, learn and compute. The program again threw up a variety of suggestions for the development of "Cigarettes" that I'd never considered before. Do yo think that Prince Charles might use the word "grub" for food? It was mooted.

Thank you everyone for making this tour such a friendly and memorable one.

Events

I almost never go out to events these days. The most recent was on October 18th (2012) as part of The Warminster Festival. I rejoined my old touring colleagues, Peter Lovesey and Liza Cody, for "My Life in Books." It was unusual because we each talked about (and sometimes read from) books that had influenced us, from childhood on. I picked Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, The Rolling Stones (by Robert A Heinlein) and a Ross Macdonald book.




It's also quite an event these days when an actual book is published. Here's the latest, from December 2011. It's FAMILY WAY, a new Lunghi novel. The book was published in the US by Five Star. It costs $25.95 for its 228 pages and the ISBN is 978-1-4328-2542-3.

Two reviews are below the picture of the jacket.


Here's the book's cover. See how the designers combined some of the pictures below?


On October 7th, Publishers Weekly gave it this review:

The Nation Day festival, the street party the residents of Bathís Walcot Street hold each year to declare their independence from the rest of Great Britain, forms the backdrop for Lewinís engaging third novel featuring the Lunghi family of private detectives (after 1999ís Family Planning). Angelo Lunghi must navigate the noisy crowds on his way to meet a new client. Angeloís mother, Mama, hopes her single 28-year-old daughter, Rosetta, has met a man while serving on the partyís organizing committee. Mama worries also about the love life of her other unmarried child, Salvatore. Meanwhile, Angeloís teenage daughter, Marie, sets out for a romantic rendezvous. When a body, somehow connected to a new neighbor, Azaria Daniels, is found during the festivities, the Lunghi familyís investigative instincts kick in. Readers will hope they wonít have to wait 12 years for the next book in this gentle cozy series.


And Booklist has also reviewed it in the December 1 issue:

Nation Day, a one-day festival where the people of Walcot Street declare their independence from the city of Bath, England, is complicating life for the Lunghisóa family of private detectives. Mama bemoans the canceled Sunday family dinner while daughter Rosetta becomes involved in investigating a suspicious death that occurs during the festival, hoping to exonerate the victimís ex-wife. Meanwhile, Angelo, the manager of the family agency, is hired to find the thief who has been borrowing the MO of another thief, now imprisoned. It gets worse: Angeloís teenage daughter, Marie, runs into trouble dating older men, and his young son, David, is crushed when his friend, Lara, doesnít show for their festival date. And letís not forget the Old Man (Angeloís father), who is feeling left out of the agency he started. Sympathetic characters and the Lunghisí loving, complex, interrelated personal lives add to this charming story about a very big family that solves crimes together.
ó Sue O'Brien


Here are a few pictures from a real Nation Day that I sent to the publisher for possible use on the cover...

Thousands of people fill the half-mile long street..

In several places bands perform.

There are lots of street performers too.

And then it's all over. But what might you find left behind apart from rubbish?

I'm not going to autumn mystery conferences in the US this year. Some of the events from previous conferences are referred to and pictured around this page. But otherwise life carries on in Bath.

For instance I went to the post office one evening during the early summer and ran into these blokes taking a picture of the football held in front of the Bath Post Office sign. It's for a friend, currently on his fourth tour in Afghanistan, and the football features in weekly emails to him from wherever they happen to be. It shows that they haven't forgotten him. And till he gets home the football will never touch the ground.


Bouchercon 2009 - October 15 - 18 in Indianapolis.


Bouchercon is an annual convention that brings together writers, readers, publishers, agents and everyone else with connections to the mystery genre. The biggest such convention in the US and is held in a different city each year. This time it was in Indy.

I was there throughout and surfaced for "Dirty Rotten Liars: the game show" with Liza Cody and Peter Lovesey, as well as a panel on the mean streets of Indianapolis with Ron Tierney, Tony Perona, Brandt Dodson and Brenda Stewart.

The big event, however, was a 90 minute bus tour covering many places in Indy that have featured in Albert Samson novels as well as others of my books. I'd never done such a thing before but a full, supportive bus made it a pleasure.


From inside the bus...

Those on the bus tour saw many sights - the area of Samson's current office and is mother's luncheonette, Powder's neighborhood, and many places in between. They were treated - if that's the word - to stories from my own family history that have affected elements of many books.

But one theme - and I've touched on this in newsletters before too - was how whenever I mention a cafť or restaurant in a book, that place seems to close. It's happened several times. There have been exceptions but...

Oddly, when I got home after the trip I found that the same had happened to a restaurant I like here in Bath. And, yes, it has been mentioned in Lunghi books and stories. So my curse lives. Which I don't like. And here's something sonnetlike on the subject:

Iíve closed another restaurant, it seems.
Where staff all knew my name and favored foods.
What is this gift, this curse, I have? I opt
To like a place, to mention it, and then
I turn my back for just a week and when
I return, whoosh, zip, boom: all gone. Iím bopped,
Pow! on the head of my routines and moods.
Itís like it wasnít real, just some dreams.

OK, píraps the gaps were more than a week.
So maybe I didnít go in that much.
But stillÖ Itís change, and for the worse. As such
Iím entitled to complain: bloody cheek!

All the eateries I choose to frequent
Should stay the same Ė like me. Itís how itís meant.

SELECTED WORKS
Click on the title for more information.

A
Click the title to see a sample of this new novel - or look at the first 15% of the book on Smashwords.
B - Albert Samson Novels
C - Short story collection
Stories written over a period of twenty years or so, along with an introduction - by me - about writing stories and an extensive bibliography of my crime writing. Click on the blue title for more information.
D - Leroy Powder Novels
The three Lt Leroy Powder novels. Click on the blue titles for more information.
E - The Lunghi family private detective novels
Three generations of an Italian family run a private detective agency in Bath, England. Ever seen a detective agency run as a family business? I don't think so. Click on the titles for more information.
F - other Indianapolis novels
A homeless "entrepreneur" in Indianapolis gets more than he bargains for when he sees an opportunity in UNDERDOG. Albert Samson's woman friend gets a book of her own in AND BABY WILL FALL. A mystery writer finds himself compelled to participate in a real life mystery in OUTSIDE IN. Click on the titles for more information.
G - a historical mystery
A young woman pursues her best friend's killer in 19th Century US and England. Click on the title for more information.
H - stories told by Rover
Rover, a stray dog, describes his live as a crusader on behalf of downtrodden dogs. Click on the titles for more information.
I - novelization of a film script and non-fiction book
Sean Connery starred in the movie THE NEXT MAN and I wrote the book while it was being filmed. HOW TO BEAT COLLEGE TESTS was my first book. Click on the titles for more information.