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Archive for January, 2010

Matt Beynon Rees has staked out real estate in the Middle East for his acclaimed CWA Dagger-winning series of crime novels featuring Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef. The books have sold to publishers in 23 countries and earned him the title “the Dashiell Hammett of Palestine” (L’Express).

Rees in a building in Beit Jala ruined by fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen. It's the location for one of the most shocking scenes in the first Omar Yussef novel.

His newest, The Fourth Assassin, out on February 1, finds Yussef in New York for a UN conference and visiting his son, Ala, who lives in Bay Ridge, a Brooklyn neighborhood with a large Palestinian community. Of course murder and mayhem greet Yussef in New York, just as in Palestine, and he is ultimately forced to investigate in order to clear his son of a murder charge.


Scene of the Crime caught up with Matt in New York, where he is promoting his new book. He was kind enough to take time away from his busy schedule to answer a few questions. (more…)

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For my first interview I would like to welcome prize-winning writer Leighton Gage, author of the wonderful Chief Inspector Mario Silva series, set in Brazil.

Author Leighton Gage

As Leighton notes on his homepage : “Chief Inspector Mario Silva has a big job. He’s a Brazilian Federal Cop. In his country there’s no FBI, no DEA, no Secret Service, no DHS, no CBP and most police corporations have no Internal Affairs Department. Mario and his colleagues have to do it all and more. And they do it while traveling a lot. The area of their responsibility is larger than the continental United States.”

The most recent title in the series is Dying Gasp. Leighton’s books have earned praise from many corners. A New York Times reviewer found the series “top notch,” and a Booklist contributor called it am “outstanding series,” adding, “Silva just may be South America’s Kurt Wallander.” (more…)

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This blog will be devoted to interviews with authors of mysteries and thrillers who have a particular connection with a city or locale. Think Simenon and Paris, Conan Doyle and London. Now think extant writers: Cara Black and Paris, Philip Kerr and pre-war Berlin, Matt Beynon Rees and Jerusalem, Donna Leon and Venice, Jason Goodwin and early nineteenth-century Istanbul, and yes, yours truly for Vienna 1900.

Do not expect a daily blog. I am a working writer with novels to write. But I hope to have regular interviews with other working writers, talking about spirit of place and how locale can become a major character in our favorite mysteries. Please feel free to make suggestions of books and authors.

More anon.

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