Do I Hear A Waltz? Well, sort of…

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My mom was an actress, so I grew up in a show biz household. I majored in drama in college, and I started my adult life as a professional actor and composer/lyricist before switching to my other great love, writing mystery novels. It won’t surprise you to learn that, when it comes to musical theater, the two most revered names in my house are Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim. Continue reading

There Goes the Neighborhood: A Rant From Greenwich Village

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Over the years, it has been the home of Edgar Allan Poe, Eugene O’Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sam Shepard, Carole King, Larry Kramer, John Belushi, and Madonna. The “beat” and “hippie” movements were essentially started here, and the Beatles had a recording studio right around the corner. Today, most of these people probably wouldn’t want to live here. Continue reading

Dark Genius: Agatha Christie’s Masterpiece

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I always loved to read mysteries, even as a child. When I was thirteen, I decided I was tired of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. My sister Suzy was the big mystery reader in the family, so I asked her for a good “grown-up” mystery story. She handed me AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie, but first she sealed the final chapter of her copy with tape and made a bet with me. Continue reading

The Scene of the Crime: Russell Square Gardens

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That big man, Bill Howard’s chauffeur. Three whispered words: Be careful, Pal. How could a complete stranger possibly know about that? The car accident with no police record. The death of “John Doe.” The body lying in the morgue with a long history of health problems. A gold locket on a gold chain: Always keep me close to your heart . . .

Nora Baron stood before the fountain in Russell Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, Camden, London, England. She stared out at the dark lawn, not seeing it, possessed by a sudden panic. The fog had arrived in earnest now, swirling before her eyes, the icy tendrils clinging to everything. She could feel it, cold against her face. The trees, the lawns, the great Victorian hotel across that road, the great museum across that other one; she couldn’t see them now. She was aware only of a rhythmic pounding sound somewhere behind her, and it seemed to be coming closer. Continue reading

Tom’s Top 12 Books of 2015

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I managed to read quite a few books this year, despite the fact that I was getting one novel ready for publication, starting on a new novel, and working with the MWA-NY Mentor Program, among many other things. In other words, the usual caseload–but I always find time to read because that’s how I roll. Here, in no particular order, are a dozen mysteries and thrillers of 2015 that I particularly enjoyed: Continue reading