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.
Yesterday, May 15, 100 friends and family gathered at Max 40, a wonderful restaurant in Danbury, CT to celebrate the life of Renee Paley-Bain, my wife and writing partner who died on January 8. People came from all over -- Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, D.C., Albany, and many from the NYC area. Renee hadn't wanted a funeral: "Throw me a party after I'm gone," she'd told me on numerous occasions. And that's what we did, a gathering overflowing with love for this wonderful gentle, generous, loving and talented woman. I'll post pictures from the event and a more detailed account soon, but in the meantime I thank everyone who came and saluted Renee, and my gratitude to the wonderful staff at Max 40 for making it a very special day.
My tribute to Renee is on the "Events" page.
The two links below take you to other tributes to her by friends in the media.
Killer Nashville Magazine- January 2016
Cover story on Don and Renee
The new "Murder, She Wrote" novel, DESIGN FOR MURDER, will be published this April. It takes Jessica to New York City for its fabled "Fashion Week" where a former Cabot Cove designer with big ideas butts heads with the industry's top guns. Naturally, a body or two shows up amidst all the glitz and glamour including a young, aspiring runway model, and Jessica ends up having more on her mind than the latest fashions.
And the 29th entry in the bestselling Margaret Truman Washington-based series of mysteries/thrillers, DEADLY MEDICINE, will be available in late spring. The development of a new pain medication without side effects sets off a deadly race to profit from the medication, and takes Mac and Annabel Smith, and private investigator Robert "Don't Call Me Bobby" Brixton on a quest that spans the globe from Papua New Guinea to Washington, D.C. Millions of dollars are at stake; so are the lives of those destined to benefit including the beautiful daughter of the drug's discoverer, his former lab assistant, and a member of Congress.
CLICK ON THE COVERS OF BOTH BOOKS TO PRE-ORDER.
INTERNSHIP IN MURDER, the 28th book in "Margaret Truman's Capital Crime" series, was published on August 25. (Click on the cover to the left to order).
I'm almost finished writing the next Truman Capital Crimes novel, tentatively titled
ALLIED IN DANGER. In it series favorite Robert Brixton hooks up with his British pal, David Portland, to get to the bottom of Portland's son's brutal murder in Nigeria's Niger Delta. They also find themselves knee-deep in Nigeria's infamous financial scams. And, of course, there's plenty of action in D.C. in which my friend Margaret's jaundiced view of politics takes center-stage.
A new British website celebrating crime writers and featuring book reviews by real-life detectives ran an interview with me recently. Under the title "The Real Jessica Fletcher," Editor Carol Jenkins prepared a probing list of questions and teasingly reminded me that I haven't been back in England for a while. True. We'll have to correct that soon.
My British friend and collaborator, Ian Beaumont, and I have completed writing a stage play based upon Veronica Lake's post-Hollywood days in NYC. We'd previously written THE LOST BLONDE: I Was Veronica Lake as a screenplay, but it works better, we feel, as a stage play. Veronica and I were friends, and I wrote her autobiography with her. Her days in NYC were tragic ones, lightened by her sarcastic and self-effacing sense of humor. Ian is a delight to work with, and we have positive feelings about the project. We're on the fifth draft and coming close to finishing it. Neither of us has experience with live theater so it's a true learning experience. I'm excited about the potentials of the stage play and look forward to the journey we've undertaken.
DESIGN FOR MURDER, which will be published next month, takes Jessica to New York City in the midst of that city's famed Fashion Week.
Before Renee's death we finished writing the next novel in the MSW series, which was due at the publisher on December 15. 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.
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.
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.
The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher, is now in 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.
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 who 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.
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.