On Wednesday night, we had Mystery Writers' Night. Sheldon Siegel, Keith Raffel, and Cara Black participated in a panel discussion. The moderator (that would be me) and the audience asked questions of our panel members for about 45 minutes. And what was really neat was that our 3 nationally-known mystery writers asked questions of each other. In fact, Cara announced that her 13th book in the Aimee Leduc series, Murder Below Montparnasse, is the 1st one to make the NY Times bestseller list. Congrats to Cara. (If my eyes didn't play tricks on me, the authors bought each other's books and had them signed - way cool!)
Keith also had some big news (a few months old now). He had self-published his latest, A Fine and Dangerous Season, earlier this year. Well, Amazon's imprint, Thomas & Mercer, decided they wanted Keith's book in print and made him an offer he couldn't (wouldn't/didn't) refuse. This led him to launch the paperback version of A Fine and Dangerous Season at Kepler's a few weeks ago. There were over 100 people in attendance (including Yours Truly and Mrs. Yours Truly). This work of fiction is based on an actual event. Back in the fall of 1940, JFK attended Stanford for one semester. Keith creates a story of a Stanford student, Nate Michaels, that befriends JFK, before they have a terrible falling out (over a girl, of course). 22 years later, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Nate gets a call from Bobby Kennedy that JFK needs his help. And so he unhappily heads to Washington. Isn't that such a great concept for a book?
Sheldon had his own book to promote. It's called The Terrorist Next Door. This is Sheldon's 8th book, but the 1st one that isn't about Mike and Rosie who, as you all know, are law partners (and ex-spouses) in San Francisco. The Terrorist Next Door takes place in South Chicago, where Sheldon grew up, and is about a police detective by the name of David Gold. Why did Sheldon decide to change things up? To hear him tell it, he promised his mother that he would write a book that takes place in South Chicago. As much as I love Mike and Rosie, I have to say that I liked this equally as well. (Coming Attractions: We're going to see Mike and Rosie in 2014, and, sometime down the road, another David Gold mystery).
This was a very fun night for all of us in attendance. I haven't read Murder Below Montparnasse (yet), but I can sure recommend A Fine and Dangerous Season and The Terrorist Next Door. I guarantee that you won't be disappointed.
Next Up: A recap, with pictures, of Nate Jackson's appearance at VHOB last Saturday night.