Monthly Archives: March 2013

Murder Most Wonderful

IMG_1103Great house today at the launch of ICE COLD KILL at Portland’s own Murder By The Book! We had standing room only.

Thanks to everyone who took time out from the most glorious Saturday any of us can remember. It was a blast. And I think we got the book off to a loving start.

Thanks also to the find folks at Murder By The Book for all their support of the years. Here’s to you!

Smashing Review!

Joe Hartlaub, veteran book reviewer at, has just posted one of the best reviews I could ever have hoped to receive! This one is just splendid! I’m grateful beyond words!



By Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes made an indelible impression upon the readers of thrillers that CRASHERS, his debut novel, and BREAKING POINT, his equally impressive follow-up. They revolved around an airplane crash investigation team, and if that doesn’t sound exciting, I can tell you that there are passages from both books that set my heart racing just thinking about them — and not because I’m terrified of flying, either.

ICE COLD KILL, Haynes’s third and latest novel, takes things in a somewhat different direction. Here, he utilizes Daria Gibron, a secondary character from the previous titles, and puts her front and center. (Please note my use of the term “secondary” as opposed to “minor.”) Complex and dangerous, Daria is set up on one side and pursued on a couple of others, with agencies — rogue and otherwise — of no less than three different countries seeking to bring her head home on a pike. Bet on Daria, a former agent with the Shin-Bet. As the book opens, Daria has been operating in the United States on the somewhat long (to the point of being non-existent) leash of the FBI. She now is an adrenaline junkie, and will be the first to admit that she is not always on the side of the angels.

So it is that when it appears that Daria is collaborating with a Syrian terrorist to assassinate the President of the United States, the powers that be, including the CIA and the Secret Service, are all too ready to believe it. However, the folks who are setting Daria up are contemplating nothing so tame. They have a much bigger plan, one that begins with a personal tragedy, continues with a mysterious explosion in the middle of nowhere, and results in the entire country being put in danger. Meanwhile, everyone is chasing Daria, from Manhattan to Paris, beyond and back. Daria is on the run with an extremely unlikely comrade-in-arms. Together, they might save the world and themselves (not necessarily in that order) if they can avoid killing each other first. There are a couple of people in government who actually understand what is going on and are working from their respective ends to prevent a catastrophe. The clock is always ticking, not only for Daria but also for the US.

Be forewarned: you shouldn’t be reading anything by Dana Haynes without getting a good cardiovascular workup. His first two books were written as if he coined the word “tension,” and ICE COLD KILL is no exception. There is an extended scene that takes place around Grand Central Station and is worth the price of admission all by itself. At the same time, Haynes never loses his sense of humor. While not a laughfest by any means, there is a smart-edged third person narrative tone that provides some occasional comic relief once it appears that someone has survived a brush with death. Or not. Anyone who loves thrillers should be familiar with Haynes’s work and certainly should have ICE COLD KILL on their bookshelf or eReader.

Putting the ‘Heart’ in ‘Texas’


Toronto’s own Hilary Davidson and I did a swing through the Lone Star State this week, with a speaking and signing gig at Murder By The Book in Houston.

541084_10200752109902224_1537806871_nGreat shop. Great questions from a great audience. I signed a bunch of books (including one to a certain Charlaine Harris, who, rumor has it, has sold a book or two in her own right).

Hilary’s anecdotes of her time as a travel writer, and her tips on how to write such great female protagonists, were the highlight of the presentation. Her first two, THE DAMAGE DONE and THE NEXT ONE TO FALL, are well worth getting. And she’s on the road now promoting her third mystery, EVIL IN ALL ITS DISGUISES.

Thank you to the gracious staff at Murder. Well done!


PowellICE COLD KILL hits the stands!

Katy King and I went to Powell’s World of Books on Tuesday to check it out. It’s the first time we’ve seen it in a store.

Our friends at Powell’s gave it great real estate, too! We’re out in the first room, and we’re alphabetically placed on the Thriller row, as well as on an end-rack.

Welcome To The Jungle

junglered-blogheader-7-11What do you get when you blend Lucy Burdette, Rhys Bowen, Rosemary Harris, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Hallie Ephron, Deborah Crombie, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Jan Brogan and Kaye Barley? The Jungle Red Writers!

Who, this week, reach out and lend a hand to someone not exactly in their rarified orbit of popularity and fandom. Most appreciated!

(Full disclosure: I’m a member in good standing of the Oregon Chapter of Sisters in Crime — to Hank: Hi, boss! And thanks!)

If you’re a mystery fan and you don’t know this website, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Check it out!

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