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Some news!

And it is news although it’s about olds. The olds being old books – well, let us not say “old”, let us say “timeless”. To be specific, many of my early novels have now been reissued.

All eight Albert Samson and all three Leroy Powder novels are now freshly available in all popular electronic formats, throughout the world. And except the US and Canada they’re also available as new paperback and hardback books.

Sorry about that, US and Canada. But as compensation you can get three more novels (electronically) that the rest of the world can’t get. These are my Indianapolis mysteries, UNDERDOG and AND BABY WILL FALL, which both feature some of my other characters in them. As well, you can get FAMILY BUSINESS. This is completely different, set in the city where I live now (Bath, England) and is the first of the Lunghi family novels.

Does it sound a bit complicated? Well it’s been a long process, involving two different publishers, two countires, and two sets of new book covers. I’ve attached the new cover for my first ever mystery, ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION. It’s the one you can get in the US and Canada. But I’ve posted the other new ASK cover on my website.

But do check out your favorite/​favourite online suppliers of books to see all the covers, titles, and editions available to you. If, that is, you’re inclined to read or reread some of these books.

And as a special tempter, on February 18th only, those of you in the US and Canada will be able to get HARD LINE (2nd of the Powder novels) at a discounted price. Give it a try?

And that’s the news. Given that I haven’t issued a newsletter for three years I guess you believe me when I say on my website that I won’t inundate you with them.

And otherwise, things here are good here – apart from the unreliability of British weather. I’m continuing to work and will announce things as they emerge. And as well I have it in mind to publish a collection of Samson stories that have otherwise only been available individually in magazines. Four of them are linked and one won a prize (and another a nomination.) So later this year. Or next…

Meanwhile you can keep up to date on my website – where, among other things, I now try to post a picture every month or two as I wander around this part of the world.

I hope you’re well too.

Michael Z. Lewin


Michael Z. Lewin Newsletter Number 5

November 1, 2004

Greetings to you discriminating readers. I’m back from my American wanderings and finally together enough to give you details of the imminent publication of EYE OPENER.

Yes, the 8th Albert Samson novel and first in thirteen years will be published on December 17th by Five Star. The ISBN number – if you’re rushing your orders in for holiday reading – is 1-59414-258-0. It’s a hardback and a bargain Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s and Easter present at $25.95. The Five Star site takes orders and is www.gale.com/fivestar. You have to go through “First Edition Mysteries” and then look for “Eye Opener”. I’ll be putting a more direct link on my website soon along with a picture of the cover. The book will also be published by Hayakawa in Japan, but I don’t know when.

Is this a time for an Albert Samson refresher course? He is the Indianapolis private eye narrator of my first-ever mystery, published back in the dark days of 1971. Albert was an unusual private eye from his very beginning. Partly this was because he lived and worked in Indianapolis – not New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. The idea of an American regional detective was novel in a novel in those days. His disinterest in guns and fighting with people continues to be unusual, even if the intervening decades have seen detectives set up shop on most American street corners.

Albert was greeted with enthusiasm – including nomination for a first novel Edgar. Reviewers looked forward to more Samson books and the following Samson novels were also reviewed generously. Is it immodest to quote a few?

CALLED BY A PANTHER (’91, winner of a “Marlowe” in Germany)
“…so amusing, the wonder is that it also works so well as a thriller… Fast, funny and brilliant.” Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

“…[Ross] Macdonald followers who want to switch will find Lewin devises more intricate plots and peoples them with more interesting characters… They’re going to enjoy Lewin’s way of giving even the most minor of characters vivid and unstereotyped personalities.” Tony Hillerman, Washington Post Book World

“Sharp style, crisp dialogue, believable characters.”
New York Times Book Review Critic’s Choice for 1981

“…packed with [suspense] and it is also literate and funny. A swell book to sink back into the pillows with…” Margaret Manning, The Boston Globe

“Compassionate and ironic…”
Lenore Glen Offord, The San Francisco Chronicle

“Lewin writes with style and sensibility and wit. He has a fine poetic sense of detail that lights up every page. He can frighten the reader too.” Ross Macdonald

“Little violence, little sex, little boozing, but the story still fascinates throughout, and frequently amuses as well. For a first novel by a young author very assured and satisfying, indeed.” Edmund Crispin, The Sunday Times (London)

It would be nice to think that reviewers – and readers – will be as generous about EYE OPENER.


My October jaunts in the Midwest were good. A small but enthusiastic audience in Columbus Ohio received my “Murder You Write” program well – and was treated to a visit by Peter Lovesey and his wife, Jax, who made the show part of a US vacation. The Indianapolis version of the same show benefited from students from a local high school who were being given class credit for attending. Their energy and invention made me wonder about seeking to do the program in some schools next time around.

Peter also attended the Magna cum Murder conference in Muncie where we presented a panel – of sorts – together: “Bathtime with Mike and Pete.” I’m told there are already some pictures knocking around on the net of us in our matching bathrobes. Well, you’d want us to make a special effort for a 9 a.m. panel on a Sunday morning, wouldn’t you?

We also did a rather more focussed session for the Indianapolis Writers’ Center on “How to Write a Mystery Novel” the day before.


And now I’m back and am returning to work on a new novel about my family of private detectives in Bath, the Lunghis. When I began the book it was warm and sunny outside my window. Good weather for detecting. But now it’s gray and miserable. However the book is set in June, beginning with a big street party that happens each year on the street that my patio overlooks. The main music stage is directly below me – hence the din. And I really enjoy the day, even if Mama Lunghi doesn’t. But it is June no more and I’ll just have to close my eyes and conjure the memory of that sunshine and warmth.

I’ll be back with another newsletter in the new year. Meanwhile, enjoy the forthcoming holidays – whichever you celebrate. Or make up some of your own…

Michael Z. Lewin
November 10, 2004

Click on the title for more information.

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.