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Blog Archive August 2009

A Thai Ghost Story: The land of GHOSTS, SPIRITS AND DEMONS

Some years ago there was a book by Michel Houellebecq titled Platformthat was a huge success in France and also attracted a lot of attention in the English-speaking world. Toward the end of the book, is an odd observation: The Thais are the only people in Asia who don’t believe in ghosts. If this had been written with a sense of tongue in cheek irony, then everyone who knew about Thailand would be shaking their head in agreement. But it appears to have been written as one of the factual descriptions that authors sometimes make about the culture where they’ve set their story.

Read more: http://www.internationalcrimeauthors.com/

Posted: 9/3/2009 11:06:10 PM 



I will be attending the Bouchercon2009 World Mystery Convention in Indianapolis 15th through 18th October. I have also be asked to be on a panel. "MURDER AT THE EDGE OF THE MAP" panel takes place 4:30 - 5:25 pm. on Friday, October 16.


The moderator is Leighton Gage and the other panelists are Tamar Myers, Yrsa Siguroardottir, and Michael Stanley.


There will be around 1,400 people attending Bourchercon this year.


Below are the most recent books by the authors on the “Murder at the edge of the map” panel.

Posted: 8/31/2009 1:45:03 AM 



I have blogged today about Paul Gauguin, Herman Meville, and Margaret Mead. The impressions of these three have informed opinion about the South Pacific for decades, influencing many generations. But did they get the details right? Did they even get the general bits right?

At International Crime Authors I examine these three questions:


Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?


Those three questions formed the title of Paul Gauguin’s 1897 painting, which he finished while living on a South Pacific Island. It is Gauguin’s vision of paradise. That vision of Eden shaped the attitudes and beliefs of many generations. Ever since there have been painters, writers, explorers, adventurers, there have been individuals seeking to discover an earthly paradise. There is a deep longing to believe that given the right circumstances, we are kind, compassionate, forsake violence, jealous, hatred and rivalry.


For more follow this link: http://www.internationalcrimeauthors.com/

Posted: 8/28/2009 12:24:11 AM 


Editors and Agents

I am often asked about how to find an agent or publisher. What isn’t always well understood, however, is the relationship with an agent and the editor. Once you’ve found an agent who is willing to represent your book, the next step is the submission stage when your agent offers it to an editor.


What happens next in this process?


Here’s one editors take on the process:


“If you've been around here a long time, you know my stance on agent proactivity. Different agents have different strategies for following up with editors, and, frankly, some of these strategies are really, really ineffective.

Here's the thing: editors have developed a habit of hiding their heads in the sand. I can speak on behalf of not all editors, but most. We have so much work--so many deadlines to meet in-house, and so many proposals and manuscripts to read--that if an agent doesn't follow up about a manuscript there is a 9/10 chance we're not going to read it (certainly not going to buy it).

When an agent doesn't follow up, they're demonstrating a number of things, the foremost being that they don't EXPECT the book to sell. "Oh nope, this is no hot property, take all the time you need" is the message we get. And honestly, it takes 15 minutes for an editor to know whether they want to read more or not--not 4 months, or 6 months. Sure, we need a kick in the pants to pick the manuscript up. But if you wait 4 or 6 months to give us that kick in the pants, we'll never, ever, ever get herded into, say, auction on that book.”


Link: http://editorialass.blogspot.com/

Posted: 8/22/2009 8:45:08 PM 



Today’s consumer report: you can buy a new signed trade paperback edition of A Killing Smile for $13.95 plus shipping from this website:


Or you can order a second hand copy from amazon.com


It’s up to you, as they say in Thailand.


But before you place that amazon order, you might want to consider the prices for second hand copies of A Killing Smile:



+ $3.99shipping

Used - Very Good

+ $3.99shipping

Used - Like New

  • Seller:  skybooks4u
  • Rating: 100% positive over the past 12 months (218 ratings.) 1003 lifetime ratings.
  • Shipping: In Stock. Ships from NY, United States. International shipping available. See Shipping Rates. See return policy.

Comments:   Asian import, 2004 Trade paperback edition Heaven Lake Press, Bangkok, Thailand. Appears unread, not even opened. Light rub... ( » more more more more more )


+ $3.99shipping

Used - Good

  • Seller:  rimrockbooks
  • Rating: 100% positive over the past 12 months (76 ratings.) 76 lifetime ratings.
  • Shipping: In Stock. See Shipping Rates. See return policy.
  • Comments:   Good condition, one owner stamp inside front cover, tight binding, good pages, some shelf wear

+ $3.99shipping

Used - Very Good

  • Seller:  any_book
  • Rating: 94% positive over the past 12 months (61688 ratings.) 473675 lifetime ratings.
  • Shipping: In Stock. Ships from FL, United States. Expedited shipping available. International shipping available. See Shipping Rates. See return policy.
  • Comments:   Huge seller with millions of transactions. Satisfaction Guaranteed!

+ $3.99shipping


  • Seller:  any_book
  • Rating: 94% positive over the past 12 months (61688 ratings.) 473675 lifetime ratings.
  • Shipping: In Stock. Ships from FL, United States. Expedited shipping available. International shipping available. See Shipping Rates. See return policy.
  • Comments:   Brand New! Huge seller with millions of transactions. Satisfaction Guaranteed!


+ $3.99shipping

Used - Very Good

  • Seller:  booksbylab
  • Rating: 97% positive over the past 12 months (1537 ratings.) 1537 lifetime ratings.
  • Shipping: In Stock. Ships from NY, United States. Expedited shipping available. International shipping available. See Shipping Rates. See return policy.
  • Comments:   Great Customer Service! Fast shipping! 100% Money Back Guarantee!

Link: Amazon website

Let’s see. $173.50 or $13.95…is that a difficult choice?

Alternative, you might wish to order a dozen copies of A Killing Smile, flog them the Internet and pay for an airline ticket to Bangkok.

Posted: 8/20/2009 6:03:23 AM 


Breathing Water by Timothy Hallinan

Timothy Hallinan has a great series set in Thailand. The hero is an American journalist named Poke Rafferty. Breathing Water is the latest novel in his series. It is released today.


Here’s a taste of the story:


“For American ex-pat writer Poke Rafferty, a late-night poker game delivers an unexpected prize: an "opportunity" to write the biography of Khun Pan, a flamboyant, vulgar, self-made billionaire with a criminal past and far-reaching political ambitions. The win seems like a stroke of luck, but as with so many things in vibrant, seductive, contradictory Bangkok—a city of innocence and evil, power and poverty—the allure of appearances masks something much darker. Within a few hours of folding his cards, Rafferty, his wife, Rose, beloved ­adopted daughter, Miaow, and best friend, Arthit, an honest Bangkok cop, have become pawns in a political struggle among some of Thailand's richest, most powerful, and most ruthless people.”


Breathing Water has picked up impressive advance reviews as well.


"Humor and horror expertly play off one another in a rapid-fire story of political intrigue and murder. The plot is skillfully tangled and the sense of menace refreshingly relentless. Top form writing set in Bangkok, a great place for action and a backdrop Hallinan uses to superb advantage." (James Church, author of A Corpse in the Koryo )

"Another masterpiece of contemporary crime fiction. Hallinan takes us on a thrilling Tuk Tuk ride into a city seemingly always on the verge of chaos that somehow always manages to hold together-if you like tautly plotted, intelligent crime fiction do yourself a favor and jump on board." (Adrian McKinty, author of Dead I Well May Be and Fifty Grand)


If you haven’t read Tim’s books before, you are missing something special. Breathing Water is a great introduction to his series.

Posted: 8/17/2009 11:41:36 PM 



The US edition of Paying Back Jack received the review below from Publishers Weekly. Grove Press will release Paying Back Jack in hardback on 6th October. I will be in the United States in October to assist in the promotion of the new Calvino novel. 

Paying Back Jack Christopher G. Moore. Grove, $19.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1902-5

Bangkok, the city where Vincent Calvino ekes out a living, teems with all sorts of characters, as shown in Moore’s sprawling 10th thriller to feature the disbarred American lawyer turned PI (after The Risk of Infidelity Index). Calvino foils an assassination attempt on an important new client, General Yosaporn; makes a deadly enemy of Thai businessman Apichart; watches a woman fall to her death past his hotel window; tails the “mia noi” (minor wife) of political candidate Somporn; and repeatedly crosses paths with two professional killers. He also helps a female Spanish U.N. worker, for whom he falls, rescue a young girl about to be sold for sex. In the process of tying a bunch of elaborate plot knots with these diverse strands, Moore reveals the seething stew of wealth, corruption, cultural clashes, poverty and lust that is modern Bangkok. While some readers might wish for a glossary of the many Thai terms, all will appreciate the raw passion that drives the action. (Oct.)

Posted: 8/12/2009 11:32:52 PM 



On International Crime Authors Reality Check where I blog with Matt Rees, Colin Cotterrill and Barbara Nadel, I’ve written a mini-essay about what it means to be a stranger in Thailand.

“Many years ago, a prominent Adelaide family invited me for dinner at the Adelaide club. It was like one of those exclusive, private London clubs for the powerful and rich. By that time I’d already lived in Thailand for six years and this was my first trip to Australia. Inside the door of the club, someone in a suit ushered me to a stand on which was a large book. I was given a pen. Inscribed on the front of the book were the words: Strangers’ Book. I was asked to write my name and the place where I lived. I distinctly remember that inside the book, I was pointed to the box with word Stranger hovering like a death sentence over the place where I was supposed to write my name. I thought better of asking my host, “Did the aborigines have a Strangers’ Book for your ancestors to sign when they arrived?” Strangers and hypocrisy often lurk inside the same mental neighborhood.”


For the full article: http://www.internationalcrimeauthors.com/

Posted: 8/6/2009 11:29:38 PM 



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