After months away from the keyboard, I’ve started work on a new novel, a mystery/thriller with a female protagonist. I wrote the first draft of Wanda Wiley over a period of about eight days in August, and the published version was closer to the first draft than anything else I’ve written. I had recently read and was powerfully moved by Donald Goines’ Dopefiend, and I understood his writing method even as I read: just pour it all out.
Margaret Millar was best known for her mystery and suspense novels. Wives and Lovers, published near the height of her career in 1954, is somewhat of a departure. The story takes place in Channel City, a thinly veiled version of Santa Barbara where Millar lived with her husband, mystery writer Ross MacDonald. If you come to this this book expecting a hook and an immediately engaging plot, you’ll be frustrated. Wives and Lovers is set of interwoven character studies and a sociological portrait of a fairly wealthy small city in mid-century California.
Readers’ Favorite posted the first review of Wake Up, Wanda Wiley today, giving it the full five stars. From the review: Author Andrew Diamond has created a bright and original rom-com with a cast of really enjoyable characters. A quick-read length book that would be suited for a holiday novel, Hannah’s exploits in the subconscious of her creator are sharp and extremely witty. She’s a hero anyone can root for, up against some intelligently drawn archetypes of popular fiction characters who slowly become more real and meaningful as the plot drives forward.
To Hell with Johnny Manic is on sale this week on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Johnny Manic combines the old-school crime fiction of Raymond Chandler and Jim Thompson with the multi-layered deceptions of Gone Girl. “A truly riveting tale of deception, murder and psychological suspense. One of the year’s best thrillers.” - BestThrillers.com “A feverishly readable psychological noir.” - Kirkus Reviews You can get a copy for 99 cents, Oct. 14-20, 2019, through the button below.
My next book will be available on November 1, 2019. Wake Up, Wanda Wiley is a romantic comedy with a twist of satire and magical realism. Here’s the summary: Hannah Sharpe has been written out of all eighteen of Wanda Wiley’s romance novels. A runaway heroine who won’t conform to the plots laid out for her, Hannah has been consigned to a realm of fog deep in the recesses of the author’s imagination.
Margaret Millar’s Vanish in an Instant opens with a rich, cranky old woman arriving at the Detriot airport in December, 1950 to try to extricate her spoiled daughter, Virginia, from some trouble. It takes a chapter or so for us to learn that the trouble is the violent murder of a local philanderer with whom Virginia was having an affair. Millar has the reader and most of the characters off balance from the beginning, creating an instant air of suspense that continues to deepen throughout the book.
Johnny Manic came out on August first. After re-examining the cover, Lindsay and I decided we didn’t like it. Lindsay came up with something much simpler and more striking. The new cover should show up on Amazon in a few days, and we’ll get to work on the print cover soon. An audiobook is in the works as well, thanks to the folks at ListenUp Audio. We’re hoping to have that available through Audible, Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and a number of other retailers some time in September.
Eight Million Ways to Die is the fifth in Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder detective series. You don’t need to have read any others in the series to follow this one. Scudder is a former New York City cop who quit the force after accidentally killing a child while pursuing two thieves. By the time the book begins, he has long since left his family, and has been living for years in a mid-town Manhattan hotel.
Dopefiend by Donald Goines opens in a shooting gallery on the east side of Detriot. The time is around 1970. The obese drug dealer, Porky, sits in an easy chair watching his customers shoot up, nod off, scratch themselves, and bleed. Goines, himself a heroin addict, describes the scene in disturbing sensual detail, with the dirty works and clogged needles soaking in water glasses, the blood-stained floor, and the stench of human filth rising from junkies too far gone to take care of themselves.
The Billion Dollar Whale, by Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, describes the looting of Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund by con man Jho Low and his associates. Although this story has been in the news for years, and many are familiar with its outlines, the book provides rich details about a series of financial crimes whose scope and audacity is breathtaking. Jho Low came from a family in Penang provice, Malaysia, that had enough money to send him to boarding school at Harrow, where he met the children of some of the world’s richest families.
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