Sunday, 22 March 2015 16:49

palmermichaeldaniel trauma
It’s not unusual for authors to collaborate with each other.

P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters; P.J. Tracy is a mother-and-daughter duo; Sparkle Abbey is two friends. Of course, other authors such as James Patterson just add their co-authors to the title page.

Daniel Palmer has collaborated with another author and, in this case, I am sure he would have given anything to avoid the reason behind this collaboration.

Daniel Palmer is the son of the late author Michael Palmer, a bestselling author of medical thrillers. Michael Palmer was working on his novel Trauma when he died suddenly on Oct. 30, 2013. He had suffered a heart attack and stroke the day before.

Throughout his career, Michael Palmer, who also was a physician, wrote 19 novels, many of which landed on the bestseller lists. His novels were known for their strong plots and views of the medical world. Those who knew Michael Palmer often commented on what a nice man he was.

Daniel Palmer, one of Michael Palmer’s three sons, inherited his dad’s writing talents and has written five thrillers. In addition, those who have met Daniel Palmer also have commented on what a nice man he is.

The two authors sometimes appeared on the same panel at writers conferences. When they were both at Sleuthfest a few years ago, it was interesting to see father and son talk about their respective writing careers and the respect and love each had for the other.

At the time of his death, Michael Palmer was working on the manuscript of Trauma, which would have been his 20th novel. Working through his grief, Daniel Palmer did what authors do best—he wrote, taking over Trauma to finish the novel for his dad.

Having grown up surrounded by his father’s novels, Daniel Palmer got into the groove of his father’s style.

As a result, Trauma is a unique novel that shows the strength of both authors’ work. Trauma comes out in May 2015.

Trauma’s plot revolves around Carrie Bryant, a physician who makes life-altering mistakes in two separate surgeries. She returns to her hometown where she becomes involved in an experimental program to treat PTSD.

This is the first time that Daniel Palmer ever collaborated with his father. Michael Palmer’s last novel, Resistant, was released in May 2014, after his death.

This isn’t the first time that a mystery writer has finished the manuscript of someone he or she cares about.

Last year, Les Standiford, director of the Florida International University’s creative writing program, and Dan Wakefield, who was the writer in residence at FIU for 15 years, finished the manuscript of their friend Anthony Gagliano, who had received critical acclaim for his first novel, Straits of Fortune. Gagliano was working on his second novel, The Emperor’s Club, when he suffered a stroke and died at age 53.

The two authors, both of whom have a number of fiction and nonfiction titles to their credit, spent a couple of years working on The Emperor’s Club.

After hearing about the project, their FIU colleague, and fellow author, John Dufresne agreed to edit the finished book. Dufresne also found a publisher, the small but growing MidTown Publishing.

Daniel Palmer’s father would be proud of the novel Trauma.

Daniel Palmer and Michael Palmer
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 13:49

steinhauerolen Alloldknives
A couple of crime fiction novels may hit the movie theaters in the next couple of years. Emphasis on may, as one never knows when it comes to filmmaking.

But if these novels do become movies, we should be in for a treat.

Olen Steinhauer’s All the Old Knives

Olen Steinhauer has adopted his latest novel, All the Old Knives, into a screenplay. Neil Burger (Divergent) is attached to direct the movie, which is now fully funded and casting will begin immediately, according to Variety and St. Martin’s Press, the novel’s publisher.

Principal photography is expected to begin by the end of the year.

All the Old Knives is a taut, tightly plotted story by Steinhauer, who is best known for his sweeping spy thrillers. All the Old Knives is akin to My Dinner With Andre, only with spies.

All the Old Knives starts out as a quiet little tale in which two ex-lovers—one a CIA spy and the other an ex-CIA spy—get together for dinner in the lovely town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

What could go wrong?

After all, they are just going to reminisce about the old days.

But have they come for the memories or to renew their romance? Or is something more sinister afoot?

Both were involved in the disastrous hijacking of a Jordanian plane in which everyone onboard died. Was it a conspiracy all those years ago?

leonardelmore bandits
And will each of the dinner partners survive through dessert? Or in time to pay the check?

All the Old Knives is to be the first project from the newly launched indie studio the Mark Gordon Company and Entertainment One.

Bruce Willis and Elmore Leonard
Bruce Willis “is the driving force behind” the movie adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel Bandits, reports

Apparently this is the second time Willis has attempted to film the 1987 novel.

If it does happen this time, Willis wants to play the lead of Jack Delaney, an ex-con, a jewel thief turned mortician. The ensemble drama is to be scripted by Mitch Glazer, reports.

Willis first optioned Bandits shortly after it was published in 1987.

After Willis let the rights lapse, Bandits was one of the four Leonard titles that were once acquired by Quentin Tarantino.

Apparently, Tarantino let the other options lapse after he turned Leonard’s novel Rum Punch into the movie Jackie Brown.

Reel News for Mystery Readers
Saturday, 14 March 2015 22:06

mysterywriterscookbook 2015

Mystery writers are always cooking up some devious plot, nasty villain, or compelling hero or heroine.

And we hope they are not cooking up bad puns like I just used.

But some mystery writers are also good in the kitchen as two new cookbooks show.

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For, edited by Kate White, published by Quirk Books, is now on bookshelves and reading devices.

The Cozy Cookbook from Berkley doesn’t list an editor on my advanced copy but will be coming out on April 7.

Both books are chock-full of a variety of recipes that sound terrific.

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook is illustrated with beautiful photography with more than 100 recipes from authors whose offerings continue the mystery theme with breakfasts, entrees, desserts..., well, you get the picture. And of course there is a section on cocktails.

The offerings are quite varied.

The description alone of Alafair Burke’s Ellie Hatcher’s Rum-Soaked Nutella French Toast alone makes me hungry. Just wait until you see the photo. But Burke’s offering, like those of the other authors, also pays homage to her series character, NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher.

Ben H. Winters’ Detective Palace’s Three-Egg Omelet also talks about how his character, Hank Palace of The Last Policeman, can’t find a good restaurant now that the world is ending.

Some are as simple as Kinsey Millhone’s Famous Peanut Butter & Pickle Sandwich, contributed by, naturally, Sue Grafton; or the Very Unsophisticated Supper Dip, courtesy of Charlaine Harris.

But nothing beats simplicity as Lee Child’s “recipe” on making a cup of coffee. Well, what do you expect from Jack Reacher, the epitome of simplicity?

cozycookbook 2015
One would expect authors of culinary mysteries such as Diane Mott Davidson to contribute but it also is nice to see offerings by Harlan Coben, Frankie Y. Bailey, Alison Gaylin, Greg Herren, Peter James, among others. And the editors have gotten a good range of authors, too, from the well known such as Mary Higgins Clark to authors you may not be familiar with, but should.

The authors featured in The Cozy Cookbook have each somehow written about food and include an excerpt from their novels to introduce a recipe.

Julie Hyzy, who writes about a White House chef, offers three egg recipes that go with the snippet from her novel State of the Onion, and then returns to offer recipes for entrees, side dishes, and more.

Cleo Coyle’s Murder by Mocha is the introduction for her recipes of Roasted Rock Cornish Game Hens with Rosemary and Lemon Butter and Clare’s Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Lime for Mike.

Chicken also is on the menu for Leslie Budewitz, who uses her segment from Crime Rib to offer The World’s Best Grilled Chicken Breasts.

The Cozy Cookbook offers a list of novels by each author along with a short bio, a handy guide to end the book.

This is one time when I will say neither of these books belong on your bookshelf. Instead, both cookbooks deserve to be in the kitchen.

Mystery Writers Are A-Cookin’ in new cookbooks