BOOK & BLOG
April 1, 2012
Books of the Week:
Simon Brett has had a long career in mystery writing, and if you’ve read many British mysteries, you’re sure to have read some of his. He’s written several successful series, among them the Charles Paris theater books about an aging actor who drinks a lot, the Fethering books about two very unlikely friends, and the Mrs. Pargeter books, which are simply delightful. Well, they all are. The Blotto and Twinks books are somewhat on the order of P.G. Wodehouse in their chronological placement and their over-the-top humor. Blotto and Twinks are the aristocratic children of an autocratic mother; the basic premise is that Blotto, a second son, is really handsome and really stupid, while Twinks, the only daughter, is both beautiful and intelligent. Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King’s Daughter is light as a feather (like Blotto’s brain) but long on charm.
Patricia Briggs is a favorite of mine, and I was very excited about Fair Game, though I have to say I do prefer her Mercy books. However, any Briggs is cause for celebration, and Fair Game, the third Alpha and Omega book, didn’t disappoint. Charles, the pack executioner, is sent to Boston with his Omega wife, Anna. Pack members are being murdered there, and an emerging pattern indicates that only supernaturals are being targeted by a serial killer who has been plying his trade for decades. Charles is not on top of his game; he’s being haunted by all the werewolves he’s had to kill in the course of his duties. Anna is distraught that her husband isn’t sharing his woes with her. And this puts them both in serious danger. This is a must-read for all Briggs fans.
I also read an ARC I can’t discuss yet, and I ‘ve begun William Landay’s Defending Jacob, a mystery I’ve heard so many good things about.
The glamorous life of a best-selling writer is such a whirl. This past week I flew to New York to pre-sign copies of DEADLOCKED, copies my publisher plans to send to selected bookstores around the country.
What this entailed was sitting in a room with many excellent helpers and many stacks of books – over three thousand – all requiring my signature. The organization of this effort was amazing, and the younger staff at Penguin was marvelous about helping me get through such a daunting task. You can see pictures on my official author FACEBOOK page, unless Facebook has changed its format again. My husband has timed me before, so I knew that theoretically I could do this in the two days allotted, but faced with the stacks and stacks of books I was a little apprehensive.
Once I got into the rhythm and we established our method, I got rolling. When enough books had been signed, the staffers started fitting the books into their boxes. The first day, despite a lunch with some of my Penguin compadres, I got over half done before I had to break to go to the theater with my agent. (“Book of Mormon,” it was great.) The next day I got started a little later because I had a pleasant breakfast with the head of Ace, but I was really rolling. I got through my 3:30, in time to do a little much-needed shopping before that night’s theater excursion to “Jersey Boys.” (It was also good, but in a more subdued way than the bright, sharp, “Book of Mormon.”)
The next day, home to a pile of things I needed to do: two interviews, some business decisions, etc., etc. Oh, yes, and laundry.
The glamor just doesn’t end, does it? At least I have the satisfaction of a job well done, the knowledge that at least 3100 books will sell pretty quickly, I got to see two outstanding musicals, and I got an outfit for the Malice Banquet (maybe). I also had the chance to visit with some people I don’t get to sit down with in a relaxed way very often, and that was the main fun factor of the trip.
The planning for the U.S. tour and for the Australian trip continue, but what’s coming up next is Romantic Times in Chicago, where I’m accepting a Pioneer Award, and a quick trip over to Chicago Comic Con for a panel. I hope to see some of you there, and I hope you have good time . . . I’m pretty sure I will.
© 2012 Charlaine Harris