Friday, May 29, 2009

Off to Kentucky! Don't Forget DEADLY INK

The Famous Author decided at the last minute to take me with him to Kentucky. He could be getting weird. See his new announcement below about New Jersey's biggest and best crime convention, DEADLY INK. What is he thinking?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TFA to Blog Live from DEADLY INK

Since The Famous Author will be appearing again this year on several panels, and blogging live on his strange quest, we thought we'd point out that New Jersey's own Crime and Mystery convention, DEADLY INK, will take place June 27 and 28 in Parsippany.

This year, crime writers and fans will honor LINCOLN CHILD, award-winning author of UTOPIA, DEATH MATCH, DEEP STORM, and TERMINAL FREEZE, co-author with Douglas Preston of RELIC, RELIQUARY, CABINET OF CURIOUSITIES, STILL LIFE WITH CROWS, BRIMSTONE, DANCE OF DEATH, BOOK OF THE DEAD, THE WHEEL OF DARKNESS, MOUNT DRAGON, RIPTIDE, THUNDERHEAD, and THE ICE LIMIT, as the Guest of Honor.

Toastmaster is JEFFEREY COHEN, author of AS DOG IS MY WITHNESS, a FAREWELL TO LEGS, FOR WHOM THE MINIVAN ROLLS, IT HAPPENED ONE KNIFE, AND SOME LIKE IT HOT BUTTERED. Jeff has a new one out right now, A NIGHT AT THE OPERATION.

Other authors scheduled to appear include Kate Gallison, Roberta Rogow, Jack Getze, E. J. Rand, Cheryl Solimini, Steve Rigolosi, Robin Hathaway, KB Inglee, Ilene Schneider, Dennis Tafoya, Liz Zelvin, Renee Gardner, Elena Santangelo.

Bennett Books will be running the book room.

We caught TFA in a mellow mood last night. He'd feasted in Asbury Park on pasta and chianti, and agreed to a short interview. He's off tomorrow for the ten-day Writers Retreat Workshop in Erlanger, Kentucky to both work on my fourth adventure, teach a little to the newbies, and learn something from his betters.

"So what's your favorite thing about DEADLY INK?" I asked him.

"Trying to make Jeff Cohen laugh."

"Really? That seems strange."

"You don't know Jeff. He's a very funny guy. You read his books, you know the guy has this incredible sense of humor."

"But it's tough to make him laugh?"

"Damn near impossible. In over a year of trying, I've managed only two smiles. I've not giving up until a get a belly laugh."

TFA says he plans to blog live on his efforts to amuse Jeff at DEADLY INK this year, and may even report a bit on what's going on at New Jersey's biggest and best congregation of homegrown mystery fans and authors.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Redhead of the Week Writes Thrillers

We spotted Laura Caldwell on Facebook and became her friend just so we could swipe this picture and use her as Redhead of the Week. Not really, but it sounds good, right? Like I'm really out there working to bring you the best and prettiest redheads in the world. Well, we try. And we love it when we find a lovely, redheaded writer.

According to her website, Laura is a Chicago-based lawyer turned novelist. Her first book, Burning the Map, was selected by Barnes & Noble.com as one of The Best of 2002. Following that, A Clean Slate received a starred review from Booklist. The release of The Year of Living Famously and The Night I Got Lucky prompted Booklist to declare, “Caldwell is one of the most talented and inventive...writers around.”

More from Laura's website: Laura began publishing thrillers and suspense novels in 2005. Her debut mystery, Look Closely, received critical acclaim and The Chicago Sun-Times called The Rome Affair “Caldwell’s most exciting book yet…a summer must-read.”

Laura's latest book is an international thriller, The Good Liar. Bestselling author Ken Bruen calls it "a massive achievement." Publisher's Weekly lauds it as "a taut, enjoyable thriller." And New York Times bestselling author James Rollins said, "THE GOOD LIAR strikes like an assassin's bullet: sudden, swift, precise, deadly. Here is a taut international thriller certain to keep readers breathless and awake until the wee hours of the morning. Not to be missed." Her work has been translated into ten languages and published in over twenty countries.

Before beginning her writing career, Laura was a trial attorney, specializing in medical malpractice defense and entertainment law. She is published in the legal field and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater, Loyola University Chicago. She recently received the St. Robert Bellarmine award for distinguished contributions to the profession. In the summer of 2008, she taught International Criminal Law at Loyola's campus in Rome, Italy. In 2009, she will begin a position as a Scholar in Residence.

Laura is also a freelance magazine writer. Her work has been published in Chicago Magazine, Woman's Own, The Young Lawyer, Lake Magazine, Australia Woman's Weekly, Shore Magazine and others. Her work can also be seen in Everything I Needed to Know About Being A Girl I Learned From Judy Blume (Pocket Books, 2007), It's A Wonderful Lie: Truth About Life In Your Twenties (Warner, 2006), Girl's Night In II (Red Dress Ink, 2006) Flirting With Pride & Prejudice (BenBella Books, 2005) and Welcome to Wisteria Lane: On America's Favorite Desperate Housewives (BenBella Books, 2006).

Thanks to Laura, Facebook, and Random Chance

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mothers, Sons & Condoms

We have an anonymous guest blogger today, a New York Times bestselling romance writer who needed to ask her son a delicate question.

Just got off the phone with my son; had a technical question about a love scene I'm writing.  Not that my sweet, innocent 28 year old baby boy is an expert or anything ;-).
 
I asked him if condoms break.
 
And he said, "Of course. All the time." 
 
Now isn't that EXACTLY what every mother wants to hear from her bachelor son?  Oh, the horror!
 
I probably won't be able to write another word today ... or for the next two weeks!

* * *

Having been married for 32 years, I'm a bit out of the loop on what's new and hip in the world of dating.  But in my hubby and two sons, I have the perfect resources for all matters ... male.
 
I believe my son's reply, when I very tentatively told him thank you for the information, was:  "No problem, Mom, other than I'll probably be flaccid for the next month."
 
So, once a month I am going to ask him the most bizarre sexual questions I can think of!
 
I asked both him and his girlfriend the other day what terms are used for ... boinking nowadays.  They both just stared at me and asked what boinking was.  I explained, and then I started writing down all the new common terms.  And then I showed them the book I just got from Amazon - An Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex.
 
I don't know if my son is still seeing that girl ...
 
Okay, we have a very open-minded household.  But I mean, really, if you can only ask your kids stuff that's not embarrassing, what's the fun of having the little snots in the first place?  My son (same one) actually told a woman at a party to "please excuse my mother, she's much better with fictional characters than real people." 

Happy Memorial Weekend, everyone!
 
Well, thank you, Anonymous Mom. You can guest blog anytime!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Up And Coming Writer

At New York City's Mid Manhattan Library Wednesday night, some top mystery writers gathered to talk about traditional mysteries. Jason Pinter, Jane Cleland, Jeffrey Cohen, and Meredith Cole were among the panelists, but The Famous Author and I were most intrigued by a member of the audience, a crime writer yet to be published in novel form.

Hilary Davidson is a freelance journalist and the author of 17 books, including Frommer’s New York City Day by Day and Frommer’s Toronto. Her articles have appeared in more than 40 magazines in the U.S. and Canada, including Discover, American Archaeology, Fitness, Glow, Reader’s Digest, and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Hilary also writes crime fiction. Her short story “Anniversary” is featured in the anthology A Prisoner of Memory and 24 of the Year’s Finest Crime and Mystery Stories (Pegasus, 2008). Her recently published work includes “Stepmonster” in Thuglit #30, “Family Man” in CrimeSpree’s March/April 2009 issue, and “Silent Partners” in the Spring 2009 issue of The Rose & Thorn. “Son of So Many Tears,” a story published in Thuglit #24, was named one of the “Notable Stories of 2008” by storySouth.

Also, The Famous Author bought one of her stories, Cheap Bastard, for a future issue of SPINETINGLER.

Last night after the library panel, TFA asked Hilary if she was working on a novel. "The new one's finished," she said. "A literary agent contacted me after one of my short stories was published online. They've been working with me on the novel, and I think we're ready for submission."

Get ready world, here comes Hilary!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Copy Boy to Random House

Lorenzo Carcaterra is the author of Paradise City, Street Boys, Gangster, A Safe Place, and the New York Times bestsellers Sleepers and Apaches. He has written scripts for movies and television, and worked as a writer and producer for Law & Order.

Is it a coincidence that, in English, Lorenzo Carcaterra's Italian surname translates into "meat land?"

Lorenzo's website doesn't talk about the connection, but we think it's worth mentioning. Lorenzo, a former copy boy and reporter for the New York Daily News, writes about murder in the Big Apple, and he's done it very, very well. If you check out Lorenzo's Barnes & Noble page, you'll see he has five books with strong sales numbers. Also strong is Lorenzo's fan base. The Famous Author and I met Mr. Carcaterra this weekend at BookHampton's mystery festival. A gang showed up.

Here's what they were buying:


From the bestselling author of Sleepers comes another high-octane New York City crime drama pulsing with energy. In Lorenzo Carcaterra’s Chasers, the street-smart and highly specialized cadre of renegade NYPD cops last depicted in his acclaimed novel Apaches returns in a new tale of action and suspense.

It’s 1985, and the city that never sleeps is about to wish it had stayed in bed. The heinous machine-gun murder of innocent bystanders in a Manhattan restaurant shocks all five boroughs. The brutal slaying propels the surviving members of the Apaches–controversial, take-’em-down, outside-the-law ex-cops–into investigating a Colombian drug cartel responsible for distributing millions of kilos of cocaine on American shores.

Along for the harrowing ride with Boomer, Dead-Eye, and Reverend Jim are three new Apaches: Ash, a wounded female Hispanic cop who specializes in arson investigations; Quincy, an HIV-positive recruit who’s a forensics expert; and a retired police dog named Buttercup, a Neapolitan bullmastiff who is no ordinary animal but a gold-shield detective, highly decorated for his skills at sniffing out illegal drugs. Now this dedicated team will become Chasers, working multiple cases that will converge into one explosive, all-out street war.

They will face a gallery of formidable enemies: Quinones, a mysterious and deadly assassin; the Boiler Man, a killer as ruthless as he is cunning; Angel, a former priest turned cartel boss, determined to end his career as the richest drug baron in the world; and the G-Men, a band of dealers and doers determined to maintain their iron gripon the cocaine trade–no matter how much blood is spilled.

Fueled by Lorenzo Carcaterra’s adrenaline-rush prose and peopled with uncommon heroes and merciless crime lords tearing through city streets, Chasers proves to be this acclaimed author’s most intense novel to date.

Oh, yeah. And TFA says he's a really nice guy.

Friday, May 15, 2009

See Linda Fairstein, Lee Child in Person

The BookHampton Mystery Festival
Friday to Sunday May 15th-17th

Forty authors in attendance, including Linda Fairstein, Lee Child, Susan Isaacs, Carol Higgins Clark.

Where? BookHampton Stores in Amagansett, East Hampton, Southampton, and Sag Harbor. All authors' events combine readings, discussion and book signings.

Here's the full schedule. Check here for phone numbers and directions.

FRIDAY MAY 15th

7:00 PM
In East Hampton:
MYSTERY TRIVIA CONTEST: Who Knows Whodunnit?
Bring in Your Best Team, Up to Four Players! Test your Mystery Knowledge
Great Prizes, and a Really Good Time

SATURDAY MAY 16th

11:00 AM
In East Hampton:
"What Did I Do To Deserve This? ...Choosing a Victim."
LEE CHILD, ALAFAIR BURKE,
CHRIS GRABENSTEIN, S. J. ROZAN

In Southampton:
High Heeled 'Shoes: When Women are Dicks"
LINDA FAIRSTEIN, LORENZO CARCATERRA,
REED FARREL COLEMAN, MEGAN ABBOTT

In Amagansett:
"Ask the Kid: Nate the Great and Cam Jansen"
The Best Mystery Early-Readers
Story Time for Kids, and Prizes

1:00 PM

In Sag Harbor:
"Truth as Strange as Fiction"
CHARLES SALZBERG, ANDREW GROSS, SIMON BAATZ
LINDSAY FAYE, ROBERT KATZ

In Amagansett:
Authors' Reading
HOPE McINTYRE, STEFANIE PINTOFF, CYNTHIA BAXTER

2:00 PM
In Southhampton:
"Books that Make Mystery Lovers Love Mysteries
From Sherlock Holmes to Nancy Drew"
CHRIS GRABENSTEIN, MICHAEL BEIL,
MARCO CONNELLI, JULIA POMEROY, LINDSAY FAYE

In Amagansett:
"When Women Got the Gun: Early Women Mystery Writers"
Discussing Agatha Christie, Anna Katherine Green, Dorothy Sayers,
Ngaio Marsh, Nancy Drew's M. Benson....
S. J. ROZAN, MEGAN ABBOTT, ALAFAIR BURKE

3:00 PM
In Sag Harbor:
"No More Mr. Nice Guy: Why Thrillers Thrill Us"
LEE CHILD, JASON PINTER,
JONATHAN SANTLOFER, JUSTIN PEACOCK

4:00 PM
In East Hampton:
"You Must Remember This: True Crime as Fiction"
LINDA FAIRSTEIN, MEREDITH COLE, ANDREW GROSS
SIMON BAATZ, STEFANIE PINTOFF

In Southhampton:
It Should Be a Crime: Current Events and Fiction
LORENZO CARCATERRA, IRA BERKOWITZ,
JACK GETZE, PHILIP CIOFFARI

7:00 PM
In Amagansett:
NOIR... Heartless and Heartthrob, Spade and Marlowe, Hammett and Chandler
A SCREENING OF THE FILM: THE MALTESE FALCON
Conversation with:
REED FARREL COLEMAN and JOANIE McDONNELL

SUNDAY MAY 17th

11:00 AM
In East Hampton:
"So Charming, So Dead: Social Satire and Murder"
SUSAN ISAACS, VINCENT LARDO, ANDREW GROSS
HOPE McINTYRE, ELIZABETH ZELVIN

In Southampton:
"Pretty Dead: Action Without Violence"
CAROL HIGGINS CLARK, BORIS RISKIN,
JOANI ASCHER, PEARL WOLF


12:00 PM
In Sag Harbor:
Authors' Reading
LORENZO CARCATERRA, DON DAHLER, JASON PINTER,
REED FARREL COLEMAN, LAWRENCE KELTER


1:00 PM
In Amagansett:
Authors' Reading
ANDREW GROSS, CHARLES SALZBERG, SIMON BAATZ,
MEREDITH COLE, JONATHAN SANTLOFER

2:00 PM
In East Hampton:
Who You Know and How You Know: Character and Intuition"
CAROL HIGGINS CLARK, EVELYN DAVID,
CYNTHIA BAXTER, HELEN BARER, VINCENT LARDO

In Southampton:
So Charming, Still Dead: Social Satire and Murder
SUSAN ISAACS, ROBERT KATZ,
DON DAHLER, JULIA POMEROY

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bank Robber Jack Foley is Back

The Famous Author's favorite famous author (try saying that three times fast) has a new book out, ROAD DOGS, and today we're getting started. With Elmore, I can't wait until TFA finishes a new adventure. I have to read over his shoulder.

The publisher's blurb: Legendary New York Times bestselling author Elmore Leonard returns with three of his favorite characters: Jack Foley from Out of Sight, Cundo Rey from LaBrava, and Dawn Navarro from Riding the Rap.

Jack Foley, the charming bank robber from Out of Sight, is serving a thirty-year sentence in a Miami penitentiary, but he's made an unlikely friend on the inside who just might be able to do something about that. Fellow inmate Cundo Rey, an extremely wealthy Cuban criminal, arranges for Foley's sentence to be reduced from thirty years to three months, and when Jack is released just two weeks ahead of Cundo, he agrees to wait for him in Venice Beach, California.

Also waiting for Cundo is his common-law wife, Dawn Navarro, a professional psychic with a slightly ulterior motive for staying with Cundo: namely, she wants his money. And with the arrival of Jack, she sees the perfect partner in a plan to relieve Cundo of his fortune. Cundo may be Jack's friend, but does that mean he can trust him? And can either of them trust Dawn?

Road Dogs is Elmore Leonard at his best—with his trademark tight plotting and pitch-perfect dialogue—and readers will love seeing Cundo, Jack, and Dawn back in action and working together . . . or are they?"

Oh, boy. Here we go. I'll tell you more about after we finish. -- AC

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Different Kind of Mystery

"Rigolosi is a completely fresh voice in the mystery genre." --Library Journal

Hey, that's some praise for Steve Rigolosi. How do you do something "completely fresh" in the mystery genre. I mean, we have crime-solving vampires, werewolves, aliens, and talking cats. What could be new?

The Famous Author met Steven Rigolosi two years ago at his first Deadly Ink, the annual New Jersey mystery fan convention, and last month he introduced us at a Sisters in Crime event. I wanted to know the answer to that question -- what's so different, Steve? I asked him.

"You not only have to guess who the murderer is, you have to guess if he's a man or a woman. In fact, you have to guess the gender of every main character in the story."

What? Here's the blurb from Amazon:

"Six longtime friends gather for a holiday weekend at the Long Island estate of independently wealthy snob Robin Anders. As near-fatal accidents and mishaps mount, Robin is faced with the possibility that one of the six is plotting murder most foul--and that Robin may be the intended victim. But no deaths occur until the group returns home to Manhattan. Robin decides to investigate the suspicious circumstances, while the reader is faced with a larger mystery to solve: Are Robin, Lee, Alex, Law, Chris, Terry, and J male or female, straight or gay? And who exactly is Robin Anders? Is Robin a modern take on Oscar Wilde's ferociously snobby Lady Bracknell, zealously guarding Manhattan from the barbarians at the gate? Or is Robin a misunderstood soul in the tradition of John Kennedy Toole's Ignatius Reilly? Or can Robin be the heir apparent to Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar, who finds the confines of gender identification much too constricting in an effective narrator? All will be revealed in the final chapter of Androgynous Murder House Party--perhaps."

TFA and I started reading and we're hooked. The protag, Robin, is a classic "bitch," but darn if we can tell whether Robin is male or female. Fun!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Life With Purpose

FUNERAL NOTICE FOR RETIRED FIRE FIGHTER SPECIALIST TERRY ZIMMER, FIRE STATION 24, BATTALION 17

Retired Fire Fighter Specialist Terry Zimmer, Fire Station 24, Battalion 17, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, November 16, 2008, at the age of 63. Fire Fighter Specialist Zimmer retired from Fire Station 24 after 32 years of dedicated service to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A eulogy, undelivered by Terry's friend:

I'm going to read something from a novel I wrote three years ago. Two men are talking in a bar, and although he's not named, the two men end up talking about Terry Zimmer.

“I’m serious, Luis. I need to provide for my children, and right now being a stockbroker is where I can make the most money, have the best chance of scoring enough cash for my kid’s education. But is selling stocks and bonds really what I was born to do? My life’s purpose?”

Luis slides our tequila glasses off the bar. “Only you can answer such a question. But I agree that a man should have a purpose.”

“I have an old friend who’s a fireman,” I say. “He doesn’t get paid much, and he’s always arriving at the scene before the ambulance, trying to save or resuscitate horribly wounded accident victims. But he loves going to work every day because he’s allowed to drive a giant red diesel fire truck as fast as he can. He loved racing cars as a kid. Now he loves racing fire trucks. It’s what he was born to do.”

Luis considers my tale. His long fingers are rinsing glasses, holding them up to the light one at a time to check for smudges. “For the injured, and the people threatened by the fire, it is very important that your friend drive fast and drive well, is it not?”

“Of course.”

“Then your friend is a lucky man,” Luis says. “Also a wise one. He knew his purpose, and he chose a path with heart.”

Of course this story is personal for me. It describes one of the many things I love and admire Terry for. One of the many ways in which he was a better man than me.

I decided to mention it because I think it’s more than personal-- that fire truck is really just a symbol of Terry’s personality and purpose.

Terry Zimmer went through life trying to help others -- just about everybody he met -- spreading the healing power of love.

Did you ever see Terry frown at, or be mean to a stranger?

* * *

Okay, let’s face it....Other than one of his daughters getting married, this is about the only way you get Terry Zimmer back inside a church.

And if it were God’s will to bring Terry back, one thing God might try to wake him up -- dress Terry in a suit and tie, maybe wingtips.

And yet, better than any man I’ve ever known, Terry followed and preached, especially through his actions, one of religion's or spiritualism's great principles. He did unto others as he wanted done unto him.

Treating EVERYone with love and respect. Not an easy job for us humans, but Terry was the best I’ve known.

When Jeanne (Terry's wife) asked me to say a few words about Terry, to be a spokesman for our high school class, I worried I wasn’t the guy for the job. High school was not always the great joy for me that it was for others. But when I thought about it, and remembered how everything changed when I met Terry, I realized that’s the reason Jeanne asked me. I’m the perfect one.

I met Terry on the first tee of Almansor golf course. As freshman try-outs for the golf team, it was near sundown when we teed off. Even the sophomores were almost finished.

My parents had moved the summer before, and I had no friends. Not one. It had been a sad, scary year for me. Plus, maybe I was pretty wierd. Whatever, I no longer expected people to talk to me, let alone like me.

But Terry opened up right away. Terry said he didn’t expect to make the team, but at least he’d get a free round, plus, the alternative was going home and having Mrs. Z find house work for him.

We laughed pretty much the whole time, trying to outdo each other. I won the golf part, but Terry easily won in the joke department. When the round was over, I followed Terry home like a lost puppy. I've been stuck ever since, like old gum on the back of his shoe.

In high school, I loved Terry like everybody else -- for what he was, how he made me laugh and feel good about myself. But the truth is, how well Terry knew and liked you was big time social currency at San Gabriel High School. If Terry liked you, thought you were worth knowing and hanging with, you were in with an ever-growing population of gearheads, surfers, rebels, gangsters, soches, and nerds like me --a clique that clung to Terry like a movie star’s entourage.

We were a collection of well-meaning but essentially odd people.

I see a lot of us in this room.

But knowing Terry was a ticket across social boundaries, a free pass to laughter and fun and getting along. Our whole senior class came togther around Terry -- Exiles and Centurians, Hot rodders and Ivy League scholarship material.

Terry didn’t have to run for office. He was the unaniomously acclaimed King of San Gabriel High School.

* * *

It’s a terrible day when your best friend dies.

And yet I have much to be thankful for. I’m grateful I knew and loved him. I’m grateful for the time we had together, especially the last two years. We put almost two weeks together, laughing, playing golf, and eating tacos.

I’m grateful that anytime I want, I can hear Terry answering the telephone to talk to one of his children. I can hear that silly, high-pitched, baby talk voice he used.

And I’m grateful that Terry will always be with me, helping me make decisions, helping me choose the right thing to do. The kind thing. The nice thing. The loving thing.

Helping me choose, always, a path with heart.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Try These Prize Winners

Last week's winner of the Edgar for Best Novel of 2008, C.J. Box is the author of eight novels including the award-winning Joe Pickett series. He’s the winner of the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and an Edgar Award and L.A. Times Book Prize finalist. Open Season was a 2001 New York Times Notable Book. Box lives with his family outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Of the winning book, BLUE HEAVEN, Box's first stand-alone thriller. Publishers Weekly says, "In the rural Idaho town of Kootenai Bay, 12-year-old Annie Taylor and her younger brother, William, witness a brutal murder. Immediately the two find themselves being hunted by killers who will stop at nothing to ensure the children's silence. The two find refuge with an old rancher, Jess Rawlins, and recently retired police detective Eduardo Villatoro. Together, the two men make a desperate stand against the murderers despite being outnumbered and outgunned... He portrays his villains (a band of dirty ex-cops) with just the right amount of ruthless menace without going overboard, and he perfectly captures the essence of the aging rancher, imbuing him with the quiet strength and dignity of an iconic western hero.

Winner of Malice Domestic's Agatha last week for Best Novel was (for the second year in a row) LOUISE PENNY, an award-winning journalist who worked for many years for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She lives in a small village south of Montréal where she writes, skis, and volunteers. Her bestselling first mystery, Still Life, was the winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards; and her second, A Fatal Grace, won the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel.

Of the winner, THE CRUELEST MONTH, Publishers Weekly says, "Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his team investigate another bizarre crime in the tiny Québec village of Three Pines in Penny's expertly plotted third cozy (after 2007's A Fatal Grace). As the townspeople gather in the abandoned and perhaps haunted Hadley house for a séance with a visiting psychic, Madeleine Favreau collapses, apparently dead of fright. No one has a harsh word to say about Madeleine, but Gamache knows there's more to the case than meets the eye. Complicating his inquiry are the repercussions of Gamache having accused his popular superior at the Sûreté du Québec of heinous crimes in a previous case. Fearing there might be a mole on his team, Gamache works not only to solve the murder but to clear his name.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunday Investment Club

Thanks to Corkface's enduring hatred of banks, I am the new leader in our $10,000, Let's Double Our Money This Year, stock-picking contest. The sharp decline in DISK shares following the aborted merger with NYX (see previous SIC posts) hurt both Corkface and I this week, as DISK plummeted to 85 cents. By selling at $1.35 and buying back at 98 cents, I saved some cash, and so -- yours truly is our New Leader. Well, that, and Corkface's continued holding of those HBC puts. Once worth thousands, they're now down to $400. He's been betting the big banks like HBC are going way down. The chart shows you how he's doing. :-)


Austin’s Portfolio
2000 OMEX $6,940
5000 DISK $4,250
Cash $720
TOTAL $11,910

Corkface’s Portfolio
20 June 20 puts HBC $400
2000 shares MBRK $2,640
500 shares TSYS $4,630
4000 DISK $3,400
Cash $672
TOTAL $11,742

Grandma's Portfolio
25 shares of SPY $2,197
Cash $8,007
TOTAL $10,204