The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Saturday, September 21, 2013


It may be a little bit too trivial a crime to need Roger and Suzanne’s talents to solve, but we had an episode of littering on Monday night a few weeks ago.  Schöne was due to have her puppies Thursday, but she likes to do things precociously.   At 2 A.M. she trotted over to our bed to wake us up and deliver her first puppy to Elaine—no muss, no fuss, just a brand new male puppy, gently carried in her soft bird dog mouth, cleaned up and ready to nurse.  Between 2 A.M. and 5 A.M. she seemingly effortlessly popped out puppies at about half-hour interval until we had six newborns, three of each gender.   She seemed to be done (and the radiologist had told us to expect a total of five puppies based on an X-ray the previous week), so I went back to bed, while Elaine hung around, just in case Schöne needed any help.  She didn’t need any help, but she had two more puppies to still deliver into this litter, which ended up at eight, four boys and four girls.  All are healthy and growing quickly with the help of Supermom, Schöne.

Mom just had an episode of mastitis---one of the faucets is inflamed and painful for nursing.  That earned me a trip to the local Safeway store at 11:30 last night to buy a few heads of cabbage to experiment with a non-pharmacological remedy suggested from a breeder website for treating the inflammation.

We have a stream of visitors, adult and child, coming through to play with the puppies and socialize them to humans.  A CD plays in the background, with every conceivable noise from shotgun discharge to railroad locomotive to thunder to airplane hold at a loud enough volume to get the pups accustomed to some of the louder and scarier sounds they’ll hear as they grow up.   The new owners-to-be come through to see the puppies and get a feel for which one will pick them as his or her new family.

Sleep is elusive as puppies clamor for food and Schöne gets to sleep with us as a reward for excellence in motherhood.  The pups should move from the whelping box, the puppy’s first home, to the penthouse suite (two exercise pens for walls and a kitty litter box for potty training) in the great room----an 8-12 expanse of newspaper-covered vinyl with toys and fun things to explore.  They’ll remain there until they go to their new homes at 8 weeks, with frequent trips to the back yard (weather permitting) to experience other surfaces and new environments.

The pups get names today---the theme will be “Pretty in Pink Floyd”, marrying the movie and the band.  Name #1 is Molly---got it, trivia buffs?  Does anyone else have a suggestion?  Feel free to add a comment if you do.

I just published an anthology of short stories with a novella and a novelette included, entitled “Five Quickies For Roger And Suzanne”, on Amazon KDP.   To thank my readers (and to hopefully get some reviews) I had a couple of free KDP days yesterday and today to get the book out there.  Several hundred copies are now on Kindle readers or Kindle apps, ideally being read.  There’s a copy of the cover on the right of this post that will let you click through to Amazon if you want to download a free (or paid, $2.99) copy of this collection of stories. The stories include one in which Roger meets Suzanne, and another that describes, in his own words, Roger’s first case as a P.I.  We also visit Fortaleza, Brazil, to solve a mysterious killing in an allegedly haunted gymnasium.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


          If it was good enough for Raymond Chandler, it should certainly be good enough for me.  Chandler’s muse apparently ran out of gas when he was writing for the pulp thriller magazines, long before he wrote any of the now classic novels that made him famous and are still popular.  To use his word, he “cannibalized” the short stories to create his novels.   English professors and computers can demonstrate the transfer of entire scenes, characters, and words from his short stories to his books---“The Big Sleep”, “The Lady in the Lake”, “Farewell, My Lovely”, and “The High Window”.   The process Chandler used for cannibalization is described in detail by Philip Durham in the preface to a collection of Chandler’s short stories entitled “The Killer in the Rain” [Ballantine Books, New York, 1964]

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I just received an e-mail telling me that "The Surreal Killer" won the Indie Book of the Day award today.  This novel, the third (and soon to become the second) in the Roger and Suzanne South American mystery series, is the best seller in the series thus far.  I recommend it highly for those of you who haven't read it yet.

The image of the award is embedded below.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I was just interviewed by Angie Azur for her blog at  She asked me some very unusual questions as she explored my process for writing mysteries.  It was fun.  Please visit Angie’s blog and have a look.

I also was interviewed by Jessica Kong on her blog a couple of days ago.  You can find this posted at  This interview focuses on my newest novel, The Deadly Dog Show, and on me (blush!).