Excerpt from Death of a Blue Blood (421.4KB)
The complete first chapter of Death of a Blue Blood.
Aloha Excerpt.pdf (357.0KB)
A short except from Aloha Betrayed.
Excerpt from Close-up on Murder (282.8KB)
Here's a short peek into the latest "Murder, She Wrote."
If you're missing a few links that were here before, we've moved them to our My Works page.
THE GHOST & MRS. FLETCHER will be published in a month (October 1). It takes place in Cabot Cove and involves an old house being sold by the town's leading (and most flamboyant) real estate agent, Eve Simpson. Strange events occur, especially after Jessica becomes involved. Is the house haunted? Read it and find out.
DESIGN FOR MURDER, which will be published next April, takes Jessica to New York City in the midst of that city's famed Fashion Week. Egos clash among the fashion industry's leading lights, including feuding models, their agents, and a recently widowed detective who falls for Jessica as they work together to solve a very mysterious murder.
We're currently writing the next novel in the MSW series, which is due at the publisher on December 1. The title is HOOK, LINE AND MURDER, and finds Jessica back in Cabot Cove where she takes part in the town's annual fishing competition. It all sounds idyllic except that a murderer has escaped from the Maine state prison, a man who has some scores to settle in town. Having fun with Jessica, and the sheriff's wife Maureen, casting their lines on a secluded lake where their guide also has something ominous in his background.
A Jazzy Anniversary We spent an enjoyable Sunday evening listing to top-notch jazz from the superb tenor saxophonist Ralph Lalama and a trio led by the tasteful drummer Roger Post. It was at Pizza Larentano in Bethel, CT. It had special meaning for us because almost 23 years ago Ralph LaLama led a jazz quartet at our wedding reception at the Helmsley Palace in NYC. A friend, jazz pianist Peter Malinverni, had agreed to put together a trio for the event (I had to assure him that he didn't have to take any inane requests). He called and asked us to come to Bradley's, a now defunct jazz club in Greenwich Village, to hear a saxophonist, Ralph LaLama, We went, we're blown away, and Mr. LaLama joined Peter, the bassist Lynn Seaton, and drummer Sherrie Maricle at the reception. It was pleasant talking with LaLama on Sunday night (brought back many pleasant memories) and the music was world-class. So was the pizza.
We're on Facebook! If you are, too, please look for us at Murder, She Wrote Author, and "Like" us. And Renee has her own author page on FB, Renee Paley-Bain and welcomes your "Likes," too.
We're represented by Bob Diforio and his D4EO Literary Agency.
In honor of the Silver Anniversary of "Murder, She Wrote" in print, we've been blogging on the 29th of every month on Killer Characters. We're still there and hope you'll stop by. We'll let you know here when we guest blog elsewhere.
Great interview with both of us by Diana Belchase. And a lovely article on my winning the Seigenthaler Award in the Killer Nashville newsletter.
Exciting News: LIGHTS OUT! received a great review from Publishers Weekly. Double click on the link in the left-hand column to read.
Great interview with Donald Bain by the Washington Independent Review of Books.
Our condolences to Shane Gericke, author and friend, who lost his wife Jerrle after a long battle with breast cancer. We know how much he misses having Jerrle at his side as he launches his latest thriller, THE FURY, this month, but also know that she's with him in spirit.
Eastern Airlines I just received an advance copy of THE WINGS OF MAN, a lovely coffee table book about the rise and fall of Eastern Airlines, a groundbreaking airline that fell victim to de-regulation. The mastermind behind it is Jeff Kriendler, a former top exec at Pan Am and a good friend. The book contains articles by dozens of men and women who made Eastern the fine airline that it was, and I've written a chapter about the role that two Eastern stewardesses (now called flight attendants) played in launching "Coffee, Tea or Me?" If you want to go back and recall the golden era of air travel get ahold of this wonderful book. You can order in through the Eastern Airlines Retirees Association (EARA) whose website is easily accessed.
This fall, The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher, will arrive at bookstores with a new name added to the byline. The book is by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain and Renée Paley-Bain. Renée began working with me in 2001 on Murder in a Minor Key and we have been writing together ever since. My daughter Laurie Bain Wilson, whose writing brightens the pages of the Boston Globe and myriad other publications, has also collaborated on several books in the series.
Writing has commenced on the next Margaret Truman Washington-based thriller. Working Title: Allied in Danger.
We have reopened the Discussion Page and welcome your questions. And I'm hoping to continue adding my curmudgeonly views in this space, mentally titling my views: "Andy Rooney, Where Art Thou?" Rooney was for many years my favorite commentator on CBS's "60 Minutes," giving the world his clear-eyed, if cranky, views on everything from the impossibility of opening a package encased in plastic to the odd assortment of complaint letters his viewers insisted upon sending him.
My latest grievance, apart from my continuing fury at those who text and drive, is disappointment that the state of Connecticut failed to pass a Compassionate Choices bill allowing physicians to assist those who are terminally ill to end their lives peacefully. I have no beef with those object to the notion based on their religious beliefs, except to say that I do not impose my beliefs on them and request equal consideration.
Received yet another query from a film producer about the movie rights to THE CIA'S CONTROL OF CANDY JONES. There have been dozens such queries over the years. 20th Century Fox has owned the rights since the book was published in 1976, but have refused to make the movie or enter into a co-production deal. I'm certainly not paranoid, but did the CIA put the pressure on Fox to shelve the film? The story certainly doesn't make that agency look good. Our agent Bob Diforio is in contact with Fox to see whether there's some way to get the film rights back. Here's hoping that he's successful.
My novel, LIGHTS OUT! was published in the U.K. last winter, and here in the States last spring. I wrote an article about it for Publishers Weekly. Of the 120-plus books I’ve written, I’d never written one without having a contract in-place before I started. But with an unexpected window of time, I went back to a novel I’d started in 2003 based upon an event that took place in the United States and Canada in that year. I’d never found the time to finish it, but on this outing I made the time. It’s a comic caper in the Donald Westlake and Lawrence Block vein, as well as the story of an average man suffering a monumental midlife crisis. The title is LIGHTS OUT! My wonderful agent Bob Diforio of the D4EO Agency has found a good publishing home at Severn House, a leading British publisher with a strong presence in the United States. Here are a few reviews.
“Donald Bain has a wit and a sense of fiction that I have encountered only in Elmore Leonard’s best stuff. Lights Out! is a wonderful read.”
Michael Palmer, N.Y. Times Bestselling Author of Political Suicide
“Stylish, wry, droll and surprising. We’re irresistibly drawn to turn the pages, wondering as in all good stories where the clever author will fool us.”
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Multiple Award-Winning Author
“As a psychiatrist I’ve treated many men going through a mid-life crisis but none as entertaining as Carlton Smyth in this delightful misadventure. How he plans to alleviate his unhappiness is not condoned, but you can’t help rooting for him.”
Robert T. London, M.D.
“Lights Out! is a page-turner with a clever premise. The tightly written cinematic plot has an extraordinarily well-drawn cast of interesting and actable characters.”
Joe Stockdale, Author of Taking Tennessee to Hart and Stages
newsletter. Thanks again, Clay.At last year's Killer Nashville conference I was truly shocked when Clay Stafford, founder of the conference, announced that I was the recipient of the first annual John Seigenthaler Legends Award. John Seigenthaler was the pioneering editor and publisher of The Tennessean, a man revered for championing the First Amendment, and for fighting for the rights of the next generation of writers or those who have been neglected. I couldn't believe that I'd been chosen for this honor, and am grateful to Clay and others who felt I was worthy of it. Clay wrote a very flattering article about me receiving the award in the Killer Nashville
Since the death of my friend Margaret Truman, I've written, or am in the process of writing new novels in her Capital Crimes Series. MONUMENT TO MURDER, EXPERIMENT IN MURDER, and UNDIPLOMATIC MURDER have been published to wonderful reviews, and sales have been brisk, especially UNDIPLOMATIC MURDER which was published in July. INTERNSHIP IN MURDER will be out this summer. I just finished writing DEADLY MEDICINE (tentative title), and have one more to write under the current contract. The audio rights have been sold for all six novels to Brilliance Publishing, a leader in recorded books.
Margaret and I were close friends and worked closely together on the 20-plus novels set in Washington, D.C. Following her death Bob Gleason, my friend and editor at TOR/Forge, asked me to continue writing novels in the series. UNDIPLOMATIC MURDER is the third book that carries my byline, and the interview covers my years working with Margaret, and beyond. The next book in the series, INTERNSHIP IN MURDER, will be published this summer. And I have a new two-book contract that will keep me busy delving into Washington and its underbelly.
City Book Review gave EXPERIMENT IN MURDER, the 26th novel in Margaret Truman's Capital Crime Series, a rave review. This excellent review service syndicates reviews to various city magazines and newspapers. The novel, published under my name in hardcover last November, has upset a few people, especially because of its ending, but the ending reflects reality. It takes the reader into the world of hypnosis, a powerful medical tool that can be used for good—or for evil as happens in the novel. Being compared to "The Manchurian Candidate" is praise unto itself. Readers can come to their own conclusions after reading it. It has also generated controversy because the science behind the story might well have relevance to Sirhan Sirhan's assassination of RFK. It's available on Kindle and Nook, and is now in paperback.
We've already finished two MSW books since the latest in print, Killer in the Kitchen in which Jessica finds herself torn between rival restaurateurs, one of whom ends up dead. The mystery takes place in Cabot Cove, where many readers prefer to find her. For those who love to travel with Jessica, however, the previous novel Death of a Blue Blood was inspired by that wonderful PBS series, "Downton Abbey" and takes place in modern day, in the British Cotswolds at a manor house with a striking resemblance to Highclere Castle, the real-life setting used in "Downton." The book has been bought by Columbia House and Book-of-the-Month Club. This is the first book in the series that will be a book club selection. Stop by Amazon to read the rave reviews.
We're beyond the Silver Anniversary of the "Murder, She Wrote" novels now, but we thought you should know that the first one, Gin & Daggers, was published in 1989. It's been a gratifying run with lots more still to come. We thank reviewers for crowning Jessica Fletcher "today's Miss Marple."
Murder HE Wrote
The "Murder, She Wrote" series, the Veronica Lake autobiography, Veronica, Charlie and the Shawneetown Dame, and Coffee, Tea or Me? are among the more than 100 books I've written over a long career (the actual number as of Spring 2015 is 120+). The story behind these books and all the others, is contained in the e-book mentioned above, and in the previously published trade paperback edition of my autobiography, Murder HE Wrote: A Successful Writer's Life, still available from Purdue University Press. For reviews and endorsements from top publishing figures and fellow-writers, please click on the book's title, Murder HE Wrote to your right. Perfect gift for the writer in your family.
Charlie and the Shawneetown Dame
The Purdue University Press reissue of this book that I wrote more than 30 years ago continues to create a buzz in Hollywood. It's a dramatization of a true story from the Prohibition era, involving one of the more bizarre gang wars in the annals of crime in America, replete with tank wars, bombing from an aircraft, and chronicling the life of Charlie Birger, a flamboyant, slightly mad Al Capone wannabe. I've completed a screenplay based upon the book, and of the many books I've written, this has always been a particular favorite. Click on the title at the left for reviews.
The CIA's Control of Candy Jones
Often called a "cult classic," the reissue of this highly controversial book is difficult to find in stores, but used versions are available on amazon.com and at barnesandnoble.com. Twentieth-Century Fox bought the film rights many years ago as a vehicle for Jane Fonda but has never made the movie. I've tried to buy back the rights, as have a dozen Hollywood producers. For some reason, Fox won't let go. That's a shame because it would make a wonderful motion picture. Besides, the American public should know about the perverse CIA experiments that took place during the "Cold War."
Penguin Books' reissue of Coffee, Tea, Or Me? includes a new foreword by me, and all the original Bill Wenzel illustrations.
Stop back again soon.