PESTICIDE in an Organic Garden

Where do you celebrate the publication of a book about organic farming in Bern?  On an organic farm, of course.  And if you want to party in the city so no one has to drive? Well, then you need a small organic farm—or, to be precise, an organic garden, ideally one that’s right in theContinue reading “PESTICIDE in an Organic Garden”

Pesticide Is Out

On Tuesday, April 19, between six and seven in the evening, Pesticide was officially introduced to the world at the Mysterious Bookshop on Warren Street in Manhattan. Thanks to Alison von Rosenvinge’s supportive and thoughtful questions, I had a chance to tell an audience of friends, family, and potential buyers all about my new book.Continue reading “Pesticide Is Out”

The Latest News on PESTICIDE!

Hello, dear friends, family, and blog-post followers. I’m in New York for my book launch, and lots has been happening. But first: you are invited to the launch of Pesticide at the Mysterious Book Shop, 58 Warren Street (near the World Trade Center) in downtown Manhattan. It’s on Tuesday, April 19 at 6-7 p.m. ThereContinue reading “The Latest News on PESTICIDE!”

Take Me Out to the Race Track

I reread books. Although I know several people who can’t see the point of reading a novel a second time, I have favorite novels that I read not twice but over and over.  There are times, especially if my mind is crowded with to-do lists, when picking up a lighthearted book that I’ve read beforeContinue reading “Take Me Out to the Race Track”

The Queen Investigates

When I was about twelve years old, I wanted to marry Charles, Prince of Wales, who was eighteen. I wrote him a letter, telling him about my plans for his future, and received a signed picture in return, which I stuck in a drawer.  It wasn’t that I had a crush on him—as far asContinue reading “The Queen Investigates”

What Makes a Mystery “Traditional”?

My debut police procedural, Pesticide, won’t go on sale until April 2022, but already I’ve been busy combing the page proofs for typos. I’ve also drafted text for the book’s back cover.  Trying to come up with the best way to describe Pesticide made me ask myself: What does it mean to call a bookContinue reading “What Makes a Mystery “Traditional”?”

A Deeply Moving Darkness

In an earlier post on Belinda Bauer’s terrific mystery Snap, I mentioned how much I enjoy adult novels with realistically portrayed children. Another brilliant example is Heather Young’s The Distant Dead (2020) . The story, set in a small desert town in Nevada, is told by three characters: Jake Sanchez, a volunteer fireman and driverContinue reading “A Deeply Moving Darkness”

An Evening with Donna Leon

My March 12 post mentioned Donna Leon’s latest book, Transient Desires, her thirtieth in thirty years. I’ve always enjoyed her mysteries, and her Commissario of Police, Guido Brunetti, is my idea of a perfect hero: a clever, compassionate and literate man with an interesting family. This past Wednesday evening Ms. Leon was here in Bern,Continue reading “An Evening with Donna Leon”

Newly Discovered: Belinda Bauer

I am a sucker for books with kids as heroes.  Not smartass kids, not stagy kids—just kids. Maybe I never quite outgrew my favorite children’s books, or maybe my affection for Jem, Scout and Dill from To Kill a Mockingbird has had too strong an influence on me.  In any case, if you, too, likeContinue reading “Newly Discovered: Belinda Bauer”

Living with Guilt

In 1976, an American, Judith Guest, published a 263-page debut novel called Ordinary People. Robert Redford made it into a movie with Donald Sutherland in 1980, and it won the Oscar for Best Picture. I read the novel and saw the movie and was moved to tears by both of them. Of course, I stillContinue reading “Living with Guilt”