Friday, May 29, 2015
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
After noting that Fort Lauderdale remains the ‘Con Man’s Capital’, McMahon discussed offshore banking schemes and the legendary Bank of Sark (that was actually set up on the Island of Guernsey). Now one wouldn’t think a 3 mile long island off the coast of England with a population of six hundred people would figure in a $100 million+ rip-off of banks and companies around the world, but then again a ring of high school friends from St. Louis in the late 1960’s managed to pull off it off for a number of years.
Another example happened several years ago in Florida when the legal community was rocked by a scam that entailed selling investors on settlements that were in the works with a guaranteed rate of return.
Monday, May 25, 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
So when an innovative PR idea surfaces, why not grab for the gold ring? One such golden PR opportunity came to me through a furniture store. That’s right, a furniture store.
Here’s how it worked: The store, co-sponsored by a local book seller and benefiting a local charity, created what they called a Writer’s Domain Event. Ten writers were invited to participate and each was “nestled” in his/her personal “domain.” These domains were scattered throughout the store, so as customers wandered around looking at mattresses and dining room tables and leather sofas, they “bumped into” the various authors.
The Writers Domain event was well publicized in the local press, through ads and feature articles. An evening cocktail party kicked off the celebration, and on Saturday afternoon, the general public was welcome. Very welcome. All books were sold by the book dealer, not the individual authors, which kept us free to meet people and talk about our latest releases.
True, my Murders by Design Mystery Series features an amateur sleuth who is also an interior designer, so my stories fit the setting very well. But fellow authors included writers of police forensic cases, sci-fi thrillers, a study of
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Monday, May 18, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015
After a week or so of la bonne vie, we took the Chunnel train to London. I switched from French wine to English beer and got ready for The Mousetrap.
As every true mystery fan knows, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap holds the record for longest running play in the world, on stage since 1952, which adds up to over 25,000 performances. Seeing a production of The Mousetrap is on a lot of bucket lists, but it's never been on mine. This is mainly because I don't have a bucket list--I've never bought into the concept of delayed gratification--but also because I wasn't sure the play was still fresh enough to entertain.
I mean, after 63 years everything gets a little creaky.
But when our brief overlay in London coincided with a Saturday night performance of The Mousetrap, I knew I had to be there.
Built in 1901, the cozy St. Martin's Theater is the perfect venue for a classic murder mystery. The interior is somehow both intimate and elegant, an Edwardian feast of burnished woods and heavy burgundy curtains flecked with gold. I overheard a woman complaining about the tight seating, but that is the price of communing with the past--a small price, in my view.
But as they say, the play's the thing, and in this classic who-done-it, Dame Agatha didn't disappoint.
Writing a mystery is a bit like juggling, only instead of balls, you're juggling suspects. The writer strives to keep as many suspects in play as possible so that the reader--or viewer--is never quite sure who the killer is, until the last possible moment. But as the plot grows in complexity, it becomes more and more difficult to keep everything moving--inevitably balls are dropped or discarded as the suspect pool shrinks.
The Mousetrap is a closed mystery. Because of a severe winter storm, the seven characters--along with the intrepid Detective Sergeant Trotter--are marooned at a guesthouse. One of them is a murderer, but which one?
Until the play's closing moments, any one of the suspects could have been the killer--that's the equivalent of juggling seven balls over two hours.
Believe me, that's a lot of balls! As a mystery writer, I can only stand back in awe.
So maybe The Mousetrap is old-school. And maybe it creaks with the conventions of an earlier time. But all the elements that made Agatha Christie great are in this play.
So take my advice, and put it on your bucket list.
Or even better, just hop the next plane to London.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Not only am I the most comfortable writing about Florida, but because I live in one of the vacation capitals of the world, I think people are interested in that setting. At least, I hope they are.
Several of my books are set in the hustle and bustle of Miami, but I've taken many out of the limelight and relocated them to the lesser known areas of the state, the northern, swampy part, which lends itself to creepier, and paranormal stories.
I rarely locate books in my hometown of Orlando, but BURNING TOUCH is one exception. I was looking for a wealthy bedroom community that would be close to an area that harbored a seedy underbelly of BDSM nightclubs. Welcome to Winter Park, Florida, right next door to Orlando, where one can find any flavor of perversion.
Yeah, it's that kind of book!
TROPIC OF TROUBLE takes place in Miami, and revolves around a valuable stolen Shakespeare volume and a bookworm in distress.
Both best-selling suspense novels are now bundled in one volume. BURNING TOUCH and TROPIC OF TROUBLE are together for $2.99.
Here's a little about BURNING TOUCH:
Monday, May 11, 2015
In case you're interested in checking out A Little Danger, now's the time to grab it for 99 cents before the price goes up.
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