Friday, May 23, 2014

The end is in sight. (And for once, that's not a bottom joke.)

My friend Maureen Amaturo always reads the final pages of a book first, to see if she's going to like it. As a mystery novelist, obsessed with the architectural unfolding of my story and the power of suspense and misdirection, this pisses me off. But if you, dear reader, skip to the very end of This Private Plot,  you'll see Maureen is the first person thanked in the acknowledgements, despite her appalling reading habits. That's mainly (but by no means exclusively) because she's the founder of the Sound Shore Writers Group, whose members patiently reviewed the book as it emerged, chapter by chapter.

Maureen must be doing something right, because another former member of the group, Didi McKay, is also in print right now, with a charming new children's book called Gifts of the Animals. 

Didi has the enviable day-job of working at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Connecticut, a frequent destination for the Beecheys when my kids were younger. Some of her colleagues provided the book's lovely illustrations of animals raised by families around the globe.

Here's Didi's book, in a photograph she took of the window of Rye's Arcade Books. It's the blue one under the "O." And do you see what's under the "S"?

(As for the title of this post, it's a bit of an in-joke. Barbara Peters, my editor at Poisoned Pen Press, in an effort to rein in the Briticisms, placed a restriction in the number of times I could use the word "bottom" to refer to Effie Strongitharm's posterior before reverting to "buttocks." I got three in, all in the first chapter.)


  1. This Maureen must really be something.

  2. Hey I think I may have to try Maureen's approach. What a great idea to read the last page first! I think it's brilliant.