Sunday, October 24, 2010

A New Answer to "Signed Books" -- Signed Crimes?

The crime TV shows (CSI, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, etc.) expose us all to the notion of a career criminal's "signature." But only Archer Mayor -- in his visit here yesterday -- would compare it to the notion of signing his own books! Pointing toward the volumes he had already inked, he went on with the plot:

"If you commit the perfect crime," he proposed to the jammed bookshop of fans, "what's missing?"

"Nobody pays attention to you!" The reply came from half the crowd at once.

"That's right," agreed the author of RED HERRING (the 21st Joe Gunther police procedural). Then he offered the notion that started him on this particular book: the idea that a frustrated "perfect crime" artist might leave behind a single drop of blood at each crime scene. Mind you, it's not the criminal's blood. Or the victim's. And the source of it differs from one crime scene to the next.

Trust Joe Gunther, moody but companionable Brattleboro-based statewide investigator heading up the Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI; fictional but we wish it were real), to rustle up the connections and procedures to break the case.

Thanks again, Archer, for coming north ... nearly two hours up the road, then back again to check on a dead body (honest! -- this author's part-time job, added to his full-time authorship AND his full-time police role, is as a "death examiner"), then back on the road again before supper. We really appreciate your visit! And I know I'm speaking for the folks who filled the seats, as well as the ones who ordered copies in advance, for Monday morning's mail and other delivery routes.

Hint: We've got a few signed copies still on hand; Dave says, "Tell people to order soon, they won't last. Holidays are coming, you know."

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