Michael Z. Lewin Newsletter - August 2007
January 1, 1970MICHAEL Z. LEWIN NEWSLETTER – August 2007
Summer greetings from Bath. Well, I call it summer because the days are longer than the nights but May, June and most of July were almost unremittingly wet and cool. You may have heard about the fierce flooding that took place too – first in the north of England and more recently only about forty miles north of Bath. Happily that seems to be over now, but is anything as full of surprises as the weather these days?
Well, maybe OH JOE is… I’m pleased to let you know about a novel that will be published in the US in about a year. OH JOE is narrated by Joe Prince who lives in the Fountain Square area of Indianapolis. Yes, that is the same part of the city that Albert Samson and his family live in, but Joe doesn’t meet the Samsons or any of my other characters for more than a sentence or two. Homer Proffitt does have a couple of lines (which will please Marian Allen’s mom) but the book is otherwise a stand-alone novel.
And Joe, like many heroes of books, has a tragic flaw. For all his adult life he’s hated being alone at night. Unfortunately, just before the book begins his girlfriend, Kelly, went away for a few days, to a funeral in Las Vegas. Joe knows a grown-up guy ought to be able to cope, especially for something like that. Unfortunately he didn’t quite manage. So his life is in a crisis. He knows there’s no hope for him (and Kelly) unless he managed to become a real grown-up.
So, to fight his own nature, Joe agrees to house-sit a houseboat in the middle of a reservoir. That way he’ll have to cope with being alone and he can learn to be a better man. Unfortunately there’s a murder. Then the possibility that an ID parade will be held for a dog – the dog being the witness. And then things get complicated…
The book is due out in July 2008 from Five Star. I’ll put more details on my website when I have them.
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine will be publishing the first-ever short story about Albert Samson. I don’t yet know when – it may not even be until next year. But I thought you might like to know its coming.
The story picks up Samson (and his daughter, Sam) at a time after the most recent Samson novel, EYE OPENER. It’s called “The Wilt of Love”. Yes, a somewhat odd title, I know, and no, it’s not that kind of wilt. But it’ll make sense when you read the story. I hope…
A second story will be coming out in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine at some point too. This story is set in England and the Death Row of the title refers to a special bench in a pub here in Bath. It’s a real bench and a real pub, just down the street from where I live. I do hope they haven’t really suffered the events of the story, however.
Often in these newsletters I’ve made suggestions of places to go for those of you who might be visiting beautiful Bath. Unfortunately I’ve had a bit of a knack of recommending little places only to watch them go out of business soon after I’ve written about them. It’s happened in my books too. In Eye Opener, for instance, there were scenes at a coffee shop called Cath’s on the northside and at another called Roxanne’s in Fountain Square. Both now gone, alas.
So this time for Bath let me recommend some of the city’s lovely parks. There’s posh park between the Abbey and the river but they charge money to go into it. I’m meaning some of the others. For instance Henrietta Park that includes a little scent garden. And another, Hedgemead Park, across from the lovely crescent-shaped row of buildings called The Paragon.
Both are in the centre/center of the city and are beautifully maintained. Glorious to be out in on a nice day. The picture of my grandson on my website was taken in Henrietta Park. And I’m putting a couple of pictures from Hedgemead Park on the site today.
I do have other books and projects at various stages in the literary pipeline. Their flow has been slowed by problems I’ve had finding the right agent for them and for me. But when there’s news, I’ll let you know.