Category Archives: Notes

No Hiding Place Part 6: “The Biology of the Price”

It’s likely you’ve seen the picture that’s gone viral, taken by a police officer in East Liverpool, OH recently. It shows a man and a woman in an SUV who’ve passed out from opiates, with the woman’s grandchild in a … Continue reading

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No Hiding Place Part 5: Reverse Discrimination

When the Xalisco distributers moved into the US, they didn’t follow the classic route. They avoided slums. In Los Angeles they stayed away from the gang turf of East L.A., Compton, and Inglewood, and instead set up shop in the … Continue reading

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No Hiding Place, Part 4: The Pizza Method

The state of Nayarit could be called the North Dakota of Mexico: it’s not that easy to get to and there aren’t a lot of reasons to go there. The Mexican resort cities like Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta are further … Continue reading

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No Hiding Place Part 3: Small Town America, Small Town Mexico

In Chapter 11 of “To Kill a Mockingbird” Harper Lee presents a vile woman who torments Scout, Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose. She lives with a servant who nurses her, and sits on her porch in her wheelchair when she’s able, … Continue reading

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When Bad Books Attack

Have you ever read a book that not only disappointed you but it put you off reading for a while? I suffered through one such book that I was reading to review. Worse for me, it also put me off … Continue reading

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Truly a Detective

Recently I – along with almost everyone else who watched – was disappointed by the second season of HBO’s True Detective. The first season had riveting performances by Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, and Michelle Monaghan, and while it required an … Continue reading

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A Different Voice

Today I learned that Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine has purchased a short story I submitted to them in October. That’s a pretty quick turn-around time actually, considering the volume of submissions they receive. I signed the contract and sent it … Continue reading

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Rip It Good

Recently I learned the lesson that most authors have to learn. You may understand it intellectually, but this is one of those lessons that you physically have to learn, since it will cause pain and self-doubt in the short term. … Continue reading

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Best American Mystery Stories 2014

Today when I arrived home, I found in the mail my author’s copy of The Best American Mystery Stories of 2o14. The anthology was edited by Otto Penzler and guest editor Laura Lippman. My short story “The Covering Storm” (which … Continue reading

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Stepping In Half-way Down the Block

Recently I read a mystery translated from Swedish, by an author who’s become a bestseller here in the US. It was the fourth book in a series that featured the same main character, but I found it to be a … Continue reading

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