Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Hello, All,
Welcome to this edition of FYI. I hope that you’ll find these links and other information interesting. As always, I’m not endorsing particular authors or books – just passing the word along.

Locked Room Mysteries

Several people were kind enough to let me know they’d enjoyed our discussion of “locked room” mysteries. If you’d like a thorough and well-organized resource for more “locked room” stories, you can visit author Hal Smith’s website here.

Hal’s got a new book of short stories, The Mysteries of Reverend Dean, all featuring “locked room,” almost-supernatural mysteries that you may find interesting.

There’s a very helpful link
of several other books and short story collections featuring this motif.

Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer Emailed me inviting me to review his new book, The Last Surgeon. In exchange for a review, he’s offering blog owners who review his book a signed copy of the book to use as a giveaway. He’s also offering readers of blogs that review his book a free digitized copy of the prologue to the book.

Here’s his description of The Last Surgeon:

“…the terrifying tale of Army trauma surgeon Captain NickGarrity, working on a mobile medical van caring for vets and the homelessin D.C. while he tries to conquer the fallout from the suicide bomber whokilled everyone in Nick’s field hospital in Afghanistan except Nick andhis best friend, Umberto. When Umberto, whose PTSD is even more virulentthan Nick’s, disappears, Nick is brought into the crosshairs of brilliantpsychopath Franz Koller, the remorseless master of the non kill—murderthat does not look like murder."

As you folks know, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist isn’t really a book review site; however, I have great admiration and respect for those of you who do book reviews. If you keep a crime fiction book blog, are interested in taking Michael Palmer up on his offer, and you’d like to review The Last Surgeon, you can Email him at: michael.palmer@michaelpalmerbooks.com

If you’d like to learn more about Michael Palmer’s books, you can visit his website

Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol

I received an Email from Buckingham Books, letting me know that they have a limited number of signed copies of Dan Brown's newest novel, The Lost Symbol. Here's the description:

"BROWN, DAN. THE LOST SYMBOL. New York: Doubleday, 2009. First edition. Signed by the author. Fine in fine dust jacket. Washington DC: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned at the last minute to deliver an evening lecture in the Capitol Building. Within moments of his arrival, a disturbing object - artfully encoded with five symbols - is discovered at the epicenter of the Rotunda. It is, he recognizes, an ancient invitation, meant to beckon its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. When Langdon's revered mentor, Peter Solomon, philanthropist and prominent mason, is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving his friend's life is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen places-all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, unbelievable truth. $125.00 (28201)"

If you'd like a signed copy, here's the contact information:

Nancy Anderson
Buckingham Books, ABAA
8058 Stone Bridge Road
Greencastle, PA 17225
(717) 597-5657
Email: sales@buckinghambooks.com

Introducing… John Locke

John Locke is the author of the Donovan Creed mystery series. Creed is a former CIA assassin with a contract-killer business who’s got close ties to organized crime, but at the same time, wants a “normal” life. John was interviewed this week by Holly Christine; here
is the interview.

Here is John’s Website

About Lethal People:

“While pursuing a budding romance with the beautiful Kathleen Gray, Creed stumbles upon a plucky—but horribly burned—little girl named Addie Dawes. Creed's suspicion about the fire that killed Addie's family puts him on a collision course with crime boss Joe DeMeo, in what soon becomes an issue of kill or be killed. DeMeo, a relentless killer who will stop at nothing to protect his empire—targets Creed and his loved ones for death. But Creed has plans of his own. Employing a bizarre cast of characters including a giant, a rival crime lord, an angry midget bent on world conquest—and a team of circus clowns—Creed goes on the attack, with hilarious results.”

About Lethal Experiment:

“Donovan Creed, former CIA assassin, is a smart-aleck tough guy who can't resist a noble cause. Despite a ton of baggage and a penchant for call girls, he always finds a way to beat the bad guys. In this sequel to Lethal People, Creed is forced to choose between his thriving contract-killer business and his desire to live a normal life with the beautiful Kathleen Gray and her newly-adopted daughter, Addie. Before that can happen, he has to take care of some lethal business involving a former lover. Lethal Experiment is a breezy, fun page-turner, featuring grisly humor, outrageous characters and sexy dialogue”

An (admittedly off-topic) Idea or Two for Charity

First, a caveat that this particular note is off-topic as regards mystery and crime fiction. However, it’s for a good cause, so I thought I would pass it on.

My Strategic Books colleague, Cheryl Lee Howard, has written two children’s books, Duster Dustbunny (which teaches days of the week and months of the year) and Mikhael the Mighty (which teaches self-esteem and being true to oneself). She’s donating most of the proceeds from the sales of these books towards global warming research and wild fire prevention research, and she asked me to pass the word along that these books are available. If you’re book-shopping for small children and you’d like some of what you spend to go to those causes, you can check out her book sites at:

Duster Dustbunny

Mikhael the Mighty

Also, for the rest of the year, author Ingrid King is donating a portion of the direct-purchase proceeds of her book, Buckley's Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher to Casey's House, an organization dedicated to finding homes and caring for elderly and hard-to-place cats in Northern Virgnia. Here's the description of Buckley's Story:

"Buckley’s Story is the story of how one small cat changed the author’s life in ways she never could have imagined. In this warm-hearted memoir, Ingrid King shares the story of Buckley, a joyful, enthusiastic and affectionate tortoiseshell cat she meets while managing a veterinary hospital. Buckley challenges Ingrid to overcome long-held emotional patterns and teaches both the author and the reader universal lessons about opening the heart, following intuition, and living a life filled with joy. When Ingrid leaves her job at the veterinary hospital to start her own business, Buckley comes home to live with her and Amber, another tortoiseshell cat who had adopted the author several years earlier."

If you're book-shopping for a pet-lover, and you'd like some of your money to go to Casey's House, please contact Ingrid directly at consciouscat@cox.net, so that she can arrange for it.


  1. Thanks, Margot. I am so far behind in Christmas gift buying that I'm laying awake nights! Ideas are what I need. These look like excellent books.

  2. I love your FYI posts, Margot. You always have such interesting tidbits. I'll check out Michael Palmer's book. Please tell your friend if she will e-mail me a summary of her books and a photo of them, I'd be glad to post the information on my blog. With the holiday season, I know people are always looking for children's books. And Ingrid's book is special and helping a good cause. I hope to read it this week for a review.

  3. Bobbi - The holiday season can be so stressful, can't it?! I'm glad these little tidbits are helpful; anything that can make the season easier is worth learning about : ).

    Mason - Thanks for your kind words; that means a lot to me : ). Also, thanks for your support of other authors. I know that Ingrid will be very glad for your review, and I'll let Cheryl know about your kind offer, too.

  4. Thanks for these great links, Margot! I'm going to check out that locked room link now.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. Elizabeth - Glad you find the links useful : ). I think White's link really is interesting, and has several good resources.

  6. Thank you Margot for your kind words and your posting. Helping others in these hard times needs to become more addictive. I am working on two inventions with most my proceeds. One will help save lives, trees, homes for people and animals and the other will help our Earth be a cooler and happier please to live.


    Cheryl L. Howard

  7. I have read many of Michael Palmer's books, and enjoy them a lot. I read his most recent (?) on the flight home from a US holiday earlier this year, and it was a very good way to pass that time. (I can't remember the title, but it was about the US President's surgeon).
    I may well try his email address, though I suspect his kind offer may extend only to US bloggers.

    Thanks for these FYI posts, Margot, keep them coming!

  8. Maxine - Glad you find the FYI posts useful. I agree, too, that Palmer writes good books. I'm sure, too, that he couldn't get a more detailed and informative review than from you. His Email didn't say his offer was limited to U.S. bloggers, but you may be right. We shall see...