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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 September 2009

September 14, 2009

Michael Z. Lewin newsletter September 2009

It’s been more than a year since I last troubled your inbox with a newsletter. I hope you haven’t been feeling neglected.

Apart from some of my usual chatter, I want to bring you up to date with the state of the oeuvre, and to tell you about my forthcoming trip to the Midwest.

Starting with the trip… Usually I visit several places on my autumn jaunt but this time I’m concentrating my efforts on the Bouchercon, which is taking place in Indianapolis this year from October 15th through 18th.

If you don’t know about Bouchercons… They are the biggest annual mystery writers and readers convention in the US. They’re a moveable feast – or fiesta – and it is at last taking place in Indianapolis. If you’re interested in looking what it’s all about, check in at Bouchercon2009.com. I’m involved in several events, as befits a working lifetime of having set books mostly in Indy.

The unique event is an Albert Samson bus tour of the city. Over a period of a couple of hours I’ll relate several city sites to the Samson novels – and other novels set in the city. Want to see where Samson’s mother’s luncheonette is? Where Leroy Powder lives? Where Adele Buffington fended off would-be muggers?

I’ll also ramble about more personal things – my mother’s favorite character, a scene at the Slippery Noodle that my daughter particularly enjoyed, and the place where my father learned that his father was involved with a legendary American fraudster. All jolly stuff.

The tour takes place on the Saturday afternoon, the 17th. It has been included in the conference program partly because this year marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of Albert Samson – as you’ve perhaps noted on an occasional visit to my website. There are 54 seats on the bus and you have to book your seat. It’s a free for people registered for the convention. If you’re not around for the whole convention, you can buy a day pass (cheaper if done ahead of time.) If you’re inclined…

As well as the bus tour, I’m doing a special panel with my erstwhile touring colleagues, Peter Lovesey and Liza Cody. “Dirty Rotten Liars, the Game Show” will take place at four on Thursday the 15th. I’d tell you more about it, but you wouldn’t believe me.

Earlier on Thursday – much earlier, 9 am – I’m on a more conventional panel with other Indy writers talking about why the city is a good setting for our books. And on Saturday morning, I’ll be part of the parallel convention for children’s and young adult’s mystery fiction - BoucherKids - talking about the Indiana (and Indianapolis) history parts of my YA novel, Cutting Loose.

And I’ll also be on the guitar Thursday evening at the convention “talent” show. I’ll be backing Peter Lovesey’s rendition of his “Autopsy Song”.

If you miss that experience but still want to hear the song – including backing vocals from Liza Cody - you could bid in the charity auction for an autographed copy of Take-Outs, our CD, which includes the song along with nine other tracks of various kinds.

In the auction I am also offering a winning bidder the chance to name a character in the Albert Samson story I’m writing now. This is only the second Samson story I’ve ever done (although there have been eight novels and Samson has appeared in a number of other books in lesser roles.)

Speaking of Samson Ask the Right Question, the first Albert Samson novel, will soon be available in a new edition. It’s joining the backinprint.com list. I don’t have a date or details like price but when they come through, I’ll post them on the website.

Next month in Japan there will be a new paperback edition of my collection of short stories, The Reluctant Detective. It will include all the stories in the earlier edition except the six stories about the Lunghi family. A separate book involving old and new Lunghi stories might follow. But this one will include a short essay by my translator and friend, Toshiki Taguchi. For it I answered the question, “What two things are most important to you as a writer?”

And finally, oeuvrely speaking, another of my new short stories is appearing soon in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. But this one is nothing to do with Samson or Indy. It’s set in New York and is called “Who Killed Frankie Almond.” It’s not exactly a locked room mystery but it is a locked apartment one.

If you’re interested in short stories – or in EQMM – you might also want to keep an eye out for a podcast the Ellery Queen is doing to promote the magazine. For it Liza Cody, Peter Lovesey and I will all read our stories from “The Ideas Experiment” – three stories inspired by a single source. You’ll be able to download the podcasts and our readings for free. When I have more details I’ll post them on the website. Or – who knows – maybe even send out another newsletter.

And that’s about it. It’s been a miserable summer here in England, by and large. I’m not speaking of mood or the economy. I’m just, as people who live here do, speaking of the weather. I hope things have been bright I all respects where you are.

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.