Murder Circle

The Right To Remain Silent?

June 3rd, 2008

Not about this conference! The Public Safety Writers Association (formerly known as Police Writers) just held their annual Vegas conference. PSWA has been around since 1997, bringing together those of us who write about cops and firemen, EMT’s and security guards, and everything in-between. We also have journalists who write for law enforcement magazines. Last year’s keynote was the Vegas coroner; this year it was Holocaust survivor Stephen Nassar. I networked with author Michael Mehas, who wrote the screenplay “Alpha Dogs.” He penned STOLEN BOY, a fictional account of the murder. I asked him and Dennis Griffin, who ghosted the autobiography of hitman Frank Cullotta (featured in ”Casino”) to speak in the Fresno area. Dennis asked if he could bring the hitman along. Oh sure, why not? My contribution to the conference was a presentation on sexy vintage book covers and the artists who put detective fiction on the map. We wound up the weekend signing at Cheesecake and Crime, a Henderson book store. For more info on the organization, check out

Although Dennis writes non-fiction books about Vegas, he told me Books In Motion has given him a contract for his sin-city trilogy: KILLER IN PAIR-A-DICE, ONE-ARMED BANDIT and VEGAS VIXEN. Gotta love the titles! Audio rights for his non-fiction books, THE BATTLE FOR LAS VEGAS and CULLOTTA, have been picked up by Huntington Press.   

While I was gone, my mailbox filled with lots of interesting tibits to share. Looks like Michael Connelly is bringing Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller together with Harry Bosch for THE BRASS VERDICT. He’ll be taking the novel on the road in October. 

Jacqueline Seewald got the green-light from Five Star for her sequel to THE INFERNO COLLECTION. We’re going to see more of academic reference librarian Kim Reynolds and police detective Mike Gardner. Congrats, Jacqueline!   

One blog group is doing it right! Murderati has been nominated for an Anthony. Four of the members are in the Murder Circle: Naomi Hirahara (THE SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN), Pari Noskin Taichert (THE SOCORRO BLAST), Denise Dietz (CHAIN A LAMBCHOP TO A BED), and Simon Wood (PAYING THE PIPER) .  

I see Simon has a book coming out next month: WE ALL FALL DOWN. Looks like he’s putting his engineering experience into a good mystery. And Denise, writing as Mary Ellen Dennis, gives us THE LANDLORD’S BLACK-EYED DAUGHTER. Highway men, Newgate prison and past lives are all wrapped up in this 18th century tale.

Troy Cook (THE ONE MINUTE ASSASSIN) has an outrageously busy schedule, and now he’s going to be Toastmaster at Deadly Ink (June 20-22, NJ). Jane K. Cleland (ANTIQUES TO DIE FOR) is Guest of Honor. More Murder Circle folks are going to be there as well: Peggy Ehrhart (SWEET MAN IS GONE); M. E. Kemp (DEATH OF A DUTCH UNCLE); and Austin Camacho (THE ORION ASSIGNMENT).  

Any friend of Austin’s is, by default, a friend of mine. Diane Marquette writes the Chesapeake Conference Center mysteries (TOO CLOSE FOR WORDS). Having been on conference committees (including one for the 1998 Mideast Peace Talks), she knows behind the scenes stuff.  

And that’s how The Murder Circle works.

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