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Works

ANYTHING TO WIN by Michael Z Lewin

This story is unusual for me - as you'll see above. It's a kind of locked-room cosy mystery.

OH JOE was published in July (Five Star, $25.95, ISBN-13: 9781594146671)

 

The Booklist review said:

 

"Joe Prince drives a truck, loves his girlfriend, Kelly, and their infant son, Little Joe. But that isn't enough to keep him from straying... As a form of self-imposed house arrest, he agrees to house-sit shady old pal George Wayne's permanently anchored houseboat in the middle of a large Indianapolis reservoir... A day or so later Joe finds himself under arrest for Wayne's murder...

 

Lewin, nominated for three Edgars, may be best known as the creator of quirky Indianapolis private eye Albert Samson. He is as gently humorous and ironic as ever, and readers will find a kindred soul in Joe, as likeably flawed as any recent protagonist in mystery fiction. A very enjoyable experience.— Wes Lukowsky"

 

And a Washington State reader (Dave Rystrom) wrote:

 

I finished Joe a few days ago. I read it fairly slowly, as I do any book I really like, to better enjoy. I loved it. Like many of your books, I could never quite tell where it was going. Joe is a great character, not quite like any of your others I've met; a good guy, but not always too bright, and a nice self-awareness of his weaknesses. Hey, there was a lot of sex in it! Well, Joe thinks about it a lot anyway. I liked the last scene. I thought "Is this real or another of Joe's dreams?", which I guess was maybe what the reader was supposed to think.

 

So... if you like the sound of it...

EYE OPENER and the earlier Albert Samson novels - ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION, THE WAY WE DIE NOW, THE ENEMIES WITHIN, THE SILENT SALESMAN, MISSING WOMAN, OUT OF SEASON, CALLED BY A PANTHER

At the end of CALLED BY A PANTHER Albert Samson lost his licence to be a private detective. It happened because he failed to cooperate with the police - in the person of his high school friend Jerry Miller - as the police thought he should be. It's taken him years to be reinstated, which is where EYE OPENER begins.

The first seven Samson novels were published between 1971 to 1991. All are narrated by Albert Samson as he deals with cases brought to him at his various premises in Indianapolis.

Click on the titles for more information.

THE RELUCTANT DETECTIVE and Other Stories

Crippen & Landru, 2001

This collection includes two stories that were nominated for Edgars, as well as a Leroy Powder story, all six Lunghi family stories, and the two stories I've published in which Dan Quayle is the crime-buster. There are long stories, short stories... There's even one new story - "Mr Hard Man."

There are also notes on the stories and an introduction that describes how I got into writing, crime writing, and short stories.

Click on the blue title for more information.

NIGHT COVER, HARD LINE, LATE PAYMENTS

Leroy Powder was the second of my major Indianapolis characters. But in all the books many characters originally introduced in other Indy novels also appear. The second in the series, HARD LINE, won the "Falcon" for "Best Foreign Novel" in 1987 in Japan.

Click on the blue titles for more information.

FAMILY BUSINESS, FAMILY PLANNING, FAMILY WAY

Three generations of an Italian family work in their family business - a private detective agency in Bath, England. And where does a lot of the work get done? Over big family dinners, of course.

I started writing about the Lunghis in short stories, but they grew on me and into the novel, FAMILY BUSINESS. The first six short stories about them are collected in THE RELUCTANT DETECTIVE.

Click on the titles for more information.

UNDERDOG, AND BABY WILL FALL/CHILD PROOF, OUTSIDE IN, OH JOE

Jan Moro, the narrator of UNDERDOG, is what you and I might call homeless, but he doesn’t think of himself that way. In his own mind he's just an entrepreneur who travels light – free of the encumbrances of mortgages and house repairs and taxes and the rest of it. But he's also a man for whom stories are important. He deals with the world through the stories he hears and the stories he tells. Kinda like a writer, I'd say...

In AND BABY WILL FALL, social worker, Adele Buffington, (who is Albert Samson's otherwise unnamed woman friend) has problems at work and problems with her personal life. The book was called CHILD PROOF in the UK. After six books with Samson, I figured she deserved a book of her own.

Willy Werth, in OUTSIDE IN, is a mystery writer on whom a real life murder intrudes. He finds fact a lot harder to handle than fiction and, in turn, he uses fiction to help him handle the fact - the book alternates chapters of Willy's life with chapters of the novel Willy is writing.

 

Joe Prince, the narrator of OH JOE, means well - he really does - but he's always found it hard to spend nights alone.  So, in an effort to become more mature and a better person, he agrees to look after a houseboat while his girlfriend, Kelly has to be away.  All alone on a reservoir...  What could go wrong?

Click on the titles for more information.

CUTTING LOOSE

I wrote this historical novel exactly as I'd write any other book, but the fact that a young woman is the central character encouraged Holt to publish it as a Young Adult book (NB those 5 star reviews on Amazon...)

It is set between the years of 1826 and 1895 and the action occurs in many parts of the US, in London, and on the high seas in between. There's a lot about 19th Century baseball too, in both the US and UK.

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ROVER'S TALES and TELLING TAILS

ROVER'S TALES, with illustrations by Karen Wallis, was published by St Martin's after an editor there saw the PawPaw Press edition of nine of the stories, TELLING TAILS.

There is also an anabridged audio version of ROVER'S TALES - in which I read the stories - that was brought out by Blackstone Audiobooks.

Rover is a stray dog who narrates the very short stories in these books. They describe his adventures wandering in a city (Indianapolis, though he doesn't know it) one summer. He finds a lot of dogs in trouble, and tries his best to help them out.

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THE NEXT MAN and HOW TO BEAT COLLEGE TESTS

One day I got a film script in the mail. Somebody wanted me, all right, but not for my acting abilies. Instead I was to write a novel based on the story that other people were writing and filming.

HOW TO BEAT COLLEGE TESTS does what it says on the package, but it was also a subversive book, as I explained in the final section.

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