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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.
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 on Facebook! If you are, too, please look for us at
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.
I apologize for having to have taken down the "Discussion" page on this site. Unfortunately some people have misused it for their personal reasons. Hopefully we can have it back up one day soon. But in the meantime, I'm planning to the first part of this column for a personal blog of sorts, which I'm hoping to update in a more timely fashion. If you have a question you would normally have posted to the Discussion page, please send it to my email, firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll answer it here. Thanks for your patience and your support.
Two big graduations coming up in the family. Grandsons Alex Wilson will be graduating from Brandeis University, and Zachary Shippee will graduate from Purchase University. They're both tall, handsome, well-grounded, and talented young men who I know will make their marks in whatever endeavor they decide to pursue. Makes me feel my age.
In our tinkering with the website, we have renamed our "Events" page "Photos & Events," making it easier for you to find where we're going and where we've been. We'll also include some news items once they're taken off the Home page.
And speaking of news, Killer in the Kitchen makes its debut in April. Hope you enjoy this Cabot Cove-based mystery, #43 in the series.
Received a nice email from Kimberly, the "MSWBookJunkie." Always nice to hear from her. We have the best readers in the world. Like many others who've written, she's disappointed that the "Discussion" page had to be taken down because of the inappropriate use of it by a few.
Also received an amusing email from Stephen. He commented on my photo on the Home page in which my middle finger is extended. He wonders whether I'm "flipping the bird" at anyone, perhaps publishers. The truth is it wasn't until many months later after the picture had been posted that someone else raised the same question. I assure you Stephen that my finger just happened to go in that direction. No editorial point being made.
And my British bishop friend, who shares my love of the QE2 and its voyages across the Atlantic, wrote and offered to be the victim should a bishop be killed, and even said that he'd be glad to be the murderous bishop in an upcoming "Murder, She Wrote" novel. We have the nicest, most interesting readers.
The cleanup of my office is in full swing. That's always my gift to myself after I've finished a writing a book.
Publishers Weekly. Of the 115-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.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
“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.
"The Big Thrill,"" the monthly e-magazine from Thriller Fest, features an interview of me by George Ebey, about the July 16 publication of the latest thriller in the Margaret Truman Capital Crimes series, UNDIPLOMATIC MURDER. 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.
Missing "Downton Abbey"? The "Murder, She Wrote" novel DEATH OF A BLUE BLOOD, which is out now, was inspired by that wonderful PBS series, 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."
Last fall saw the hardcover debut of Domestic Malice which finds a Cabot Cove family wrestling with the issue of domestic violence. It's a difficult subject matter, but an important one that needs attention. We hope you agree.
When the abuser is murdered, suspicion points to the family, but how many others in the community had bones to pick with the victim? Fans of mystery conferences will recognize that the working title is a play on one of our favorites, Malice Domestic, which takes place annually in the Washington, D.C.-area.
For those who like armchair travel, The Fine Art of Murder is available everywhere. (Look for an excerpt in the lefthand column.) This one is an exciting tale of big-time art theft and forgery that takes Jessica to Italy where she almost loses her life, only to be drawn into a murder in Chicago when she returns home.
The Queen's Jewels takes Jessica to London in preparation for a trans-Atlantic crossing back to the United States on the magnificent Queen Mary 2. After spending time with Scotland Yard Inspector George Sutherland (too little time as far as they're concerned), she sets sail. Little does she know that individuals connected with the theft of a huge diamond from its London owner are also onboard, and Jessica soon finds herself in the middle of a plot by international jewel thieves to fund terrorist organizations.
If you're a figure skating fan, and even if you're not, there's a lot to enjoy in Skating on Thin Ice, now available in paperback. It takes place in the exciting world of competitive figure skating, a wonderful sport that has millions of devotées, including us. Renée is an avid fan and continues to take skating lessons at our local rink.
Every book in the "Murder, She Wrote" series is still in print.
We're still hoping that Hollywood interest leads to a movie version. Learn more about the novel, the author, and how to buy the book by clicking on "Hyphenates Books" on the navigation bar at the top of this page. There's also a special note there for "Murder, She Wrote" fans.
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 Winter 2013 is 118). The story behind these books and all the others, is contained in the new 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 right for reviews, and an excerpt from the book.
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.