The reaction to our special mystery coverage in the April issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS was fantastic! We know you loved the package of articles, especially the "Three Question For ..." feature that highlighted 34 authors that RT editors met last year at Bouchercon, a convention for mystery lovers. Because we had so much more material than could fit in the magazine, we thought you'd like hearing from even more mystery authors. Here is another round of "Three Questions For ..."
Author: Kate White
Latest book: Hush (Mar., Harper)
Recent extravagance: My husband and I bought a house in Uruguay for our retirement.
Favorite character, yours or someone else's: Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford
Ever seen a dead body: In a morgue, yes. When you write about murder cavalierly, it takes your breath away.
Author: Michael Kurland
Latest book: The Empress of India (2006, Minotaur)
What about you would surprise your readers: I wrote a gothic romance, The Secret of Benjamin Square, as Jennifer Plum.
Ever seen a dead body: Yes, in the Ventura City medical examiner's office 9 - just the head.
One book you wish you'd written: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Author: Suzanne Arruda
Latest book: The Treasure of the Golden Cheetah (2009, NAL)
Recent extravagance: I'm not a consumer, really, but I did buy a history of Nigeria's Muthaija Club for $60.00 recently.
Favorite character, yours or someone else's: Jim Hawkins from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
What about you would surprise your readers: I did a stint as a zookeeper. Saved my boss's life and drove a stick shift doing it!
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Latest book: A Bad Day for Sorry (2009, Minotaur)
Favorite character, yours or someone else's: I like Barbara Havers from Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series. She's like my character Stella, but younger.
What about you would surprise your readers: I'm a really accomplished seamstress and quilter.
Ever seen a dead body: Yes, a pedestrian hit by a car.
Author: Cricket McRae
Latest book: Spin a Wicked Web (2009, Midnight Ink)
Recent extravagance: An iPhone. It just works.
Favorite character, yours or someone else's: Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin
Author: Marcia Tally
Latest book: Without a Grave (2009, Severn House)
What about you would surprise readers: That I actually do a lot of the things that Hannah does. I try them out. I do draw the line, though. In my first book I sunk a sailboat as a plot device and my husband objected to that. And I have never broken into a doctor's office.
Favorite character, yours or someone else's: I'm very high on Merrily Watkins, who is the creation of a British writer named Phil Rickman. Merrily is an Episcopal priest living in England right on the Welsh border. She has a very interesting job because in the Anglican church if you have a ghost or
somebody in your home is possessed, there has to be somebody in the church who can work with you on this. Nowadays it's called deliverance; it used to be called exorcism.
Ever seen a dead body: I've only seen one. I went to high school in Taipei, Taiwan, and one year after a flood I saw the body of a woman floating down the river. It was quite horrific because she has been dead for some time.
Author: Robin Hathaway
Latest book: Sleight of Hand (2008, Minotaur)
What about you would surprise readers: Probably that I had my own printing company for 20 years called Barnhouse Press. I had a printing press in the barn and one in the house. It was really fun. I started selling stationary cold, and they asked me to do advertising, so I started doing brochures and catalogs. Before I knew it we had a press in the kitchen and all kinds of equipment and one thing just led to another.
Recent extravagance: Books.
Ever seen a dead body: No, every time they set up the trip to the morgue, I miss it. I don't think Iπm meant to go. I always wanted to write noir, and I thought I did that with Sleight of Hand. Then the first review I got said, "you can safely give Hathaway's lateSt to your grandmother."
Author: Ellen Crosby
Latest book: Riesling Retribution (July, Pocket)
What about you would surprise readers: My professional background. I'm not sure how many people, unless they've been to my website, know that I have a past as a journalist and once, a very long time ago, when I was an economist, I was an adviser to a former senator back in the 1980s.
Book you wish you'd written: To Kill a Mockingbird
Have you ever seen a dead body: Yes, if you read Moscow Nights, my first book that was published in Britain, there's a scene where somebody dies in Moscow under horrible circumstance. When I was in the Soviet Union a long time ago, there was an Australian journalist who died and they had to get him to the West. They brought him home from the hospital in a coffin that a couple of journalists made from wood that they found. And he lay in his bedroom until they could take him to the airport. In those days if you fell
in ill and you couldn't get western medical care really fast you were dead.
Author: Katherine Hall Page
Latest Book: The Body in the Sleigh (2009, Morrow)
What about you would surprise readers: That I have a wicked sense of humor and I say things that my characters never get to say.
Favorite character, yours or someone else's: I'd have to come back to the traditional, to Agatha Christie's Jane Marple, who was not the sweet little old lady as she's portrayed in a lot of the PBS series. In the initial books she's really got an edge to her.
Book you wish you'd written: And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie. That
is a tour de force.
- Compiled by Faygie Levy RT BOOK REVIEWS Executive Editor