Some great moments from Bouchercon

Hearing from a Japanese-American at the panel I moderated — Far East Mysteries — that she’d felt trepidation when she came into the room and saw five white people on the panel, but she was impressed with and won over by the discussion. (Don’t start with me. A lot of the Asian writers didn’t come and the ones who did had other panels.)

Playing a really fun game of basketball at a great rec center.

Lunch and a long discussion of trips to China and Mongolia with Michael Wiley.

Catching up with Rob Lopresti, who has a terrific new book called GREENFELLAS, and his wife Terri Weiner.  Two people I don’t see often enough.

And speaking of people I don’t see often enough, sitting with Ted Fitzgerald and Brendan Dubois at the Private Eye Writers dinner, where I got to see Reed Farrel Coleman lose to a book with a dog on the cover.

A cup of tea and a good conversation with Wendy Corsi Staub, another person I don’t see often enough.  Ditto Bob Randisi and Christine Matthews.

Two excellent nights of poker, interrupted only by the baseball game news, since a couple of players had on their phones streaming live.

A panel on pace where I was panelist, nor moderator.  That was the expert Alex Sokoloff. We all figured, if this panel sagged, that would prove something right there…

Going to sign stock in the book room and finding I was all sold out.

Dinner with Steve Hamilton, Deron Bissett, and a couple of other people. We talked of shoes and ships and sealing wax, but not about the book business.  Ahh…

I didn’t take many photos, but other people did.  Will share them as they come in.



Fortieth Saturday


Young grackle’s sweet call

Rises over traffic’s whoosh.

Another answers.


Runners get respite.

Rain abates, fades to thick mist.

Sneakers splash on stone.


Bedraggled pigeon.

Calm in storm, no time to groom.

Eat now, preen later.



Queens International Night Market

Went out to Jamaica, Queens, last night to the Night Market.  Pop-up night markets like this — food (very cheap), local goods, music — are common in Asia, taking over parking lots, plazas, and sometimes (e.g. Hong Kong) entire streets.  They’re a new phenomenon in the US, but I sure hope they catch on!

IMG_2700The night

IMG_2697The market









The food!

More on Flickr.






Thirty-ninth Saturday



Long yellow kayak —

Oarsman in bright green neon —

Slides through blue water.


Walkers and runners

Sprint, stroll, amble, gallop, trot

By flowing river.


Popemobile passing.

Hovering helicopters

Reporting the news.


(I know, two Saturdays are missing.  I wrote them, I just can’t find them.  That’s what I get for keeping so many notebooks.  They’ll turn up.)



Thirty-sixth Saturday, twenty-one days late



Sparrow on railing

Drops down, hides behind seawall

Until runner’s gone.


Park’s grass is still green

But in canopy above

Leaf tips turning brown.


White gulls, still water,

Smudged pale cotton clouds, blue sky,

Gray slate, black shadows.



May you be written down in the Book of Life…

…for a sweet New Year.  It’s about to be Yom Kippur, so I’m signing off for the next 24 hours, but I wouldn’t want you to miss me.  So here’s something to contemplate: me on a camel in the Gobi Desert.  See you on the other side.






I love New York



66th Street, south side, from the north side




66th St, north side, from the south side













New stories

We’re having technical difficulties with the Mongolia photos here at SJ Central but the computer and I have an appointment at the Genius Bar tomorrow so I have full confidence I’ll be able to inundate you soon.  Meanwhile, I have stories in a few recent and upcoming volumes you might have missed.

Coming in October, HANZAI JAPAN, which contains the first new Lydia Chin/Bill Smith story in a long time.

Launching October 1 at Mysterious Bookshop in NYC, JEWISH NOIR.

And available today, PROTECTORS 2, HEROES, which is a fund-raiser for the National Association to Protect Children.

I’ll be at the JEWISH NOIR launch,


Jewish Noir Mysterious Bookshop-1

and at the first Noir at the Bar in Queens, on Oct. 16.


Between them, I’ll be in Jersey City, talking noir with Suzanne Solomon.

And of course, I’ll be at Bouchercon.

So see, even when the tech doesn’t work so well, I can still offer you things to read and places to go.  See you soon!



Thirty-fifth Saturday, from eastern Mongolia, 14 days late



Raindrops drum on roof.

Thunder rumbles, lightning bursts.

Tent stays warm and dry.


Bowing steppe grasses

Turning brown at summer’s end

Ready for harvest.


Gazelles pause on ridge,

Pour down hillside like water,

Flow into valley.


Thirty-fourth Saturday, from the Gobi, 21 days late


Moon’s set, stars shining.

Strange constellations appear.

Sky is black velvet.


Orange  horizon.

Light floods over dark hillside.

Waving grass glows green.


Coffee water boils.

Metal spoons clink in glass mugs.

Air is cool and sharp.