Category Archives: Michael Connelly

Best American Mystery Stories 2009

I am delighted to announce that my short story, Winning, was selected for this year’s anthology of The Best American Mystery Stories. Editor Jeffery Deaver calls the story “clever and moving,” a variation on the police procedural form, which he dubs “a reverse procedural.”

The collection also includes contributions from Michael Connelly, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Bissell, James Lee Burke, Nic Pizzolatto, and David Corbett, among others, all so talented. Featuring “gritty tales told with panache,” Booklist calls this a “must-read for anybody who cares about crime stories.” (Hey, that’s us!)

You can purchase the collection (trade paperback price, about the cost of a movie) here, here, here, or at your local indie.

What Are You Reading?

Like most (all?) writers, I’m also an avid reader. Ironically, the biggest sacrifice I’ve had to make since I published my first novel has been my leisure reading. On too many airplane flights, rainy Sundays, and sunny summer weekends, the novel that would have once occupied my hands has been replaced by a MacBook Air on my lap.

But lately I feel like I’m back in the thick of it as a reader. Usually a late-summer author, I am waiting until spring for my next book, 212. That has made this summer a longer one for me — more time at home, less on the road, and making a good dent in that big ol’ to-be-read pile.

Hopefully I’m not the only person reading more. The fact that Newsweek devoted an entire (wonderful) cover feature to … books (gasp!) gives me hope. (Be sure to check out the roundtable with authors Lawrence Block, Susan Orlean, Kurt Andersen, Annette Gordon-Reed, Robert Caro, and Elizabeth Strout. Great stuff!)

I thought I’d share with you some of my recent favorite reads, as well as all-time-faves. Have you read these? What do you think? And what are you reading … both now and always?

Summer Reads:
Lisa Unger‘s DIE FOR ME – Lisa adds such a unique voice to the thriller genre, taking her time to establish character but still delivering the requisite thrills.

Lee Child‘s GONE TOMORROW – One of my new favorites in the Jack Reacher series, this one you’ll want to read in one big gulp.

Michael Connelly‘s THE SCARECROW – A different kind of book for Connelly, there’s no whodunit here, but I still couldn’t put it down. This former reporter’s take on the dying newspaper industry is an added bonus.

Philip Margolin‘s FUGITIVE- This one took me right back to the courtroom hallways of Portland. Margolin’s always a pro about pace and plot.

Garth Stein‘s THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN – I wouldn’t have thought that a book written from the perspective of a dog (and a dying one at that) would be my cup of tea, but consider me charmed.

Books I’d Pack for a Desert Island:

Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.

Introducing Ellie Hatcher and Mickey Haller

Nope, no collaboration between me and Michael Connelly (shoot!). But I did have to share this photograph of new kittens Ellie Hatcher Spitzer (calico) and Mickey Haller Spitzer (orange tabby). They belong to my and Michael Connelly’s mutual agent and his family (whose previous cats were Dave and Samantha).

I’ll confess that every time I look at Ellie and Mickey together, I’ll be fantasizing about a book in which their fictional namesakes meet.

Michael Connelly on up-to-the-minute changes

The Washington Post had a terrific profile this week on Michael Connelly. I was especially interested in the last minute changes he had to make to The Scarecrow after the Rocky Mountain News, which he references in the novel, ceased to exist just before print day.

I’ve also had to make changes to novels because of real world developments. My next novel, 212, has a plot line involving an actual website devoted to mean-spirited, anonymous college gossip. It bodes well for humanity that the website has gone under, but it did require me to fictionalize the name of the site. Luckily, the book wasn’t on its way to the printer like Michael’s. The fact that he could fix it in one page as he did shows he’s a master. Have you read The Scarecrow yet? It’s another terrific Connelly novel.

In other news, I have a new Facebook Page. Please follow me there!