Sunday, March 9, 2008

TFA's Trivia Team at LCC Championship

The Semifinal mystery trivia match at Left Coast Crime turned on luck, as The Famous Author and his ace partner, author and Chicago-area police sargeant, Michael A. Black, got hit with stuff they just didn't know, and the easy questions seemed to fall on the opposite side. At least early. Down six points to zero after the first round, Mike then nabbed a few startlers, TFA chipped in one or two convenient queries, and our boys caught them at the finish in round six. The ref called sudden death. TFA and the other contestants were told to shout out, first right answer wins.

"Some first names are very common among mystery fiction authors," said the moderator. "Which first name do the following authors share? Barnard... Fate..."

"Robert," said TFA.

"Team One, Jack and Mike, you're the winners."

Wow. What luck. Robert Fate and TFA were introduced a year ago, are well acquainted, maybe chat when they see each other on the mystery convention circuit. Bob's first book, BABY SHARK, is on his TBR pile because TFA knows him.

So Mike and TFA now sneak upstairs and strategize for the finals. He's going to check out the competition in their semifinal. TFA is going to study the program, where a lot of questions seem to come from--mystery authors at the LCC convention and their books, subject matter, and characters.

Two hours later, Mike and TFA meet minutes before the Championship. I'm along for the ride, in TFA's computer case, but Mike says I can't help with the answers. No cheating.

"We've got our work cut out," Mike says. "The other team is two librarians, including this year's Mystery Fan of the Year."

No problem. TFA has Mike.

I'm not going to drag this out. TFA and Mike couldn't answer the first couple of questions, the librarians didn't miss. In fact, they only missed four questions during the match, including second-guessing Mike and TFA's screw-ups. Our boys didn't catch up this time. Never had a shot. They got crushed.

They lost Left Coast Crime's Superbowl of Mystery Trivia.

TFA says to plug Mike's book because he carried the team. The book isn't out yet, so we can't say we've read it, but Mike is a swell guy and here's what I found on Amazon by way of description:

From Publishers Weekly
Police officer and short story writer Michael A. Black likewise brings authenticity to A Killing Frost: A Ron Shade Novel. A search for a missing fiance, who turns up floating dead in a canal, leads Chicago PI Ron Shade into far more trouble than he bargained for in this assured debut in the classic hard-boiled tradition, which boasts blurbs from Sara Paretsky and Andrew Vachss.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
This intriguing first mystery by a police officer features Ron Shade, a Chicago-area tough-guy P.I. and martial arts aficionado. Looking for Carlos, an illegal immigrant gone missing, Ron hears conflicting stories from his shifty-eyed bosses and the other illegal immigrants with whom Carlos toils at dangerous tasks. The scene predictably shifts to murder, complicating Ron's employment, training for a kick-boxing match, and romantic agendas. Black's steadily engaging narrative and frequent action make this essential for fans of hard-boiled detective fiction.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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