Monthly Archives: October 2014

Guest post at Whitley Gray’s blog!

Whitley Gray is a terrific writer. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, try Rabbit Wars – it’s a delightful m/m romance and I loved it! She’s been gracious enough to allow me to guest post at her blog today. Go on over and you’ll learn a few things about me… 😀

http://whitleygray.blogspot.com/2014/10/mystery-to-die-for-stacked-to-death-and.html?zx=48f8bbed67036d5

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Getting ready for NaNo

This will be my third year of NaNoWriMo. Yep, I’ve signed up again. Every year when it’s over I think, “I’m not sure I ever want to do this again!” But when the following year rolls around, I find that I have something that I want to get written. Both Researched to Death (Jamie Brodie Mystery #4) and Psyched to Death (#6) began as NaNo projects.

This time I’ll be writing #9, with the working title of Talked to Death. Jamie, Liz and Jon are presenting a talk on the use of library research in law enforcement at the California Library Association annual meeting; Pete is there to cheer them on. The conference takes place in Oakland, at a big hotel/conference center. The victim is one of the presenters, a library director disliked by nearly everyone who knew him. All kinds of people had motive and opportunity – but who actually killed him?

Talked to Death takes place over the shortest period of time of all the books so far – 48 hours. I got the idea for it a year ago, when I was at a conference myself, sitting in the hotel lounge, watching all the different groups of people interact. I think a conference is a great place for a murder.

Before November 1 I’m finishing the rough draft of Stoned to Death, which follows the just-published Stacked to Death. I’ll set Stoned to Death aside for the month of November then return to it once NaNo is over.

I think it’s time to update the list of Jamie’s adventures…

1. Cited to Death

2. Hoarded to Death

3. Burdened to Death

4. Researched to Death

5. Encountered to Death

6. Psyched to Death

7. Stacked to Death

8. Stoned to Death – tentative publication date February 2015

9. Talked to Death

10. Avenged to Death

11. Played to Death (that title may change to Scored to Death)

12. Launched to Death

13. Filmed to Death

14. Pictured to Death

15. Accounted to Death

After that…?? 🙂

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Stacked to Death: Who is the Stacks Strangler?

Stacked to Death is published! If you’ve already downloaded it, thank you! If you haven’t, you can get it here.

Here’s an excerpt to entice you. 🙂

I went to circulation for a book cart, wheeled it to the elevator and rode up to the third floor. The books on my list were toward the far corner of the room.

I rounded the corner of the DS shelf and nearly tripped over something.

Someone’s foot.

I jumped back a step, startled, then looked closer. The foot was attached to a body, clothed in tight white pants and a lime green shirt.

Austin Sharp.

He was sprawled on his back, a couple of books scattered at his side. I leaned toward him as far as I could without moving my feet any further. “Austin?” I kicked at his foot a little. “Austin. Wake up.”

He didn’t move. He wasn’t breathing. His face was blue-purple, his eyes were bulging and his tongue, also purple, was poking out between his lips.

He’d been strangled.

Oh God. There was a sound in my head like a distant swarm of bees. Shit. Fainting would be bad.

I heard footsteps behind me and turned to see Andy from circulation coming up behind me. “Jamie? What’s-” He stopped and gasped. “Fuck. Is that Austin?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you call 911?”

“No.” I patted my pockets. “I don’t have my phone.” Where was my phone? Oh, yeah – it was locked in my office. I never brought it with me into the stacks.

“I’ll do it.” Andy pulled his phone out and dialed.

I backed against the wall for support and thought about not fainting. At one point Andy knelt by Austin’s ankle, touched him, and said, “He’s cool to the touch. I don’t feel a pulse. Okay.” He hung up as the stairwell door banged open and the cops arrived.

 

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New-to-me gay mystery: The Nick Hoffman Mysteries

I belong to a gay mystery group on Facebook. I get the best recommendations from them, and introductions to authors that I wasn’t aware of. The most recent is Lev Raphael, author of (among other work) the Nick Hoffman Mysteries. The first is called Let’s Get Criminal. There are seven or eight in the series, I think.

Nick Hoffman is an assistant professor of English and composition at the State University of Michigan, a poorly disguised version of Michigan State University. His partner, Stefan, is a successful novelist who is the writer-in-residence at the university; Nick got his job because he was Stefan’s partner. He doesn’t have tenure, and his position in the department is somewhat precarious as a result.

Nick keeps stumbling across dead bodies – the victims are usually connected to his department – and gets dragged into the investigations in spite of his reluctance. The mysteries themselves are entertaining, but what I enjoy most about the books is the academic setting. Raphael’s descriptions of college and departmental politics are right on the nose. He also makes a lot of literary references, which I like. For non-academics it might be too much, but not for me.

The other reason I like these is that Nick and Stefan have been together 15 years. There have been bumps along the way, but I love the depiction of a well-established gay couple who still can’t get enough of each other.

It gives me hope for Pete and Jamie. 😀

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