Free At Last

For three days, The Christmas Carol Murders will be available for FREE as a Kindle download from You don’t need to have an actual Kindle, but you will need a Kindle app for your portable device if you wish to read the first Dickens Junction mystery for free.


I’m doing this to generate interest in my Dickens Junction mystery series, and to let readers know about the new book, The Edwin Drood Murders, that was released at the end of September. Sometimes readers need a gentle nudge toward a new series–I follow a few series myself (Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford and P. D. James’s Dalgliesh, for example) and I understand that readers like to commit to a series, but also want to know that their commitment is worth their time. I hope, by letting you see the first entry in my series, that you’ll like it enough to stick around and support my efforts to bring you future installments. I’ve got lots planned for Simon and Zach; and, for those who worry about whether George will stick around, I promise that I have no plans for him other than good ones. Many of you ask about Simon’s long-term friend. I can tell you this: he’s based on a real person, he wasn’t in the original outline for The Christmas Carol Murders, and now I can’t imagine Dickens Junction without him.

Please let everyone who loves mysteries know about Dickens Junction…The Christmas Carol Murders will be available for the low price of ZERO for only a short time…

Appearances Matter

I made two author appearances over the last few days at indie bookstores. The first was at Cannon Beach Book company on the Oregon coast (very near Dickens Junction) and another at the lovely Annie Bloom’s Books in Multnomah Village in Portland. In both cases I met old friends and new ones as we talked about The Edwin Drood Murders, mysteries in general, and the topic that so many non-writers want to hear about–how writers write.

At Canyon Beach Books I did a “meet and greet,” where the author sits at a table and greets individual customers as they come by. It’s less formal than a reading, but (the bookstore owners tell me) less intimidating for the customers. What I get is a chance to talk with book buyers one at a time. Some buy my book as a consequence; some do not. In either case, I learn something about readers’ tastes.

Author's view--Annie Bloom's Books, Nov 4, 2013

Author’s view–Annie Bloom’s Books, Nov 4, 2013

At Annie Bloom’s I did a “reading,” followed by questions and answers and then book signing (if anyone buys the book). I try to keep the reading itself under five minutes, since people start to fidget. I also edit my reading selection from what I originally wrote. It’s what Dickens did when he did public readings late in life, and it also recognizes that the act of performance is different from reading words on a page. Sometimes I wish that “unabridged” books on tape would actually edit out dialogue tags and other material that, when in the hands of an actor or reader, become superfluous.

I’ll be making additional appearances through the holiday season and into early 2014. Please join me at one of those if you can. If you can’t join me in person, join me in spirit by buying either of my books and reading it aloud.