Thanks to everyone who wrote last month to say how much they liked the cover of my next mystery, Such a Perfect Wife (May ’19), after I showed it off in the August newsletter. It was really fun to hear from so many of you and picture you typing a note from your kitchen table, porch, desk chair, or sofa (hopefully not the driver’s seat of your car!).

Finishing a book is always a relief, and the icing on the cake is when you finalize a title and see what the art department has cooked up for the cover. And now I’m already ten chapters into writing the next book, which is due to my editor in March. Here’s something weird for me. The rush I always experience when I’m first starting a book hasn’t subsided. I’m crazy about the characters in this book, the plot, and the twists I have planned, and I’m practically racing to my desk each morning. I don’t know if that’s a bad sign or a good sign, but I’m too damn giddy to care.

Somehow I even managed to write when I was at the Bouchercon mystery conference in St. Petersburg the second weekend in September. There were so many amazing authors in attendance this year. One night I went out to dinner with Karin Slaughter, Sara Blaedel, Alafair Burke, Lisa Unger (and husband), and Lee Child, and the next night with a a group that included David Palmer, Laura Lippman, and Chris Pavone. It sure beat my first Bouchercon conference years ago when I knew no one and ate alone with a book each night.

Hope you’re ready for fall. The leaves on the trees around my house in Pennsylvania are already tipped with gold, though amazingly there was still a lone fire fly flitting around last night. I’m sure he was wondering where everyone else had disappeared to.

Signing books at Bouchercon with Alafair Burke and new author Caz Frear
I was lucky enough to spend time with the lovely Lisa Unger

[cover: Such a Pretty Wife]

What I’m Reading

November Road
Lou Berney
Did you read Lou Berney’s haunting mystery The Long and Far Away Gone? I did and loved it. I was lucky to be given an advanced copy of his stunning new book, November Road, which is part crime noir/part love story. It’s haunting as well, and totally riveting. The flawed but mesmerizing characters are so vivid I still have them in my mind weeks after finishing the last page.

The Darkest Secret
Alex Marwood
Though there’s no detective in this book, and not even an amateur sleuth, it’s a fabulous whodunit with a devastating ending. The writing could not be more delicious, and the characters come to life brilliantly.

[cover] [cover]

What I’m Cooking


I always want summer to last as long as possible but when the days turn cool, I always feel an urge for roast chicken, especially on a Sunday night when I don’t want to go to a huge amount of trouble. To make it easier, I roast pieces in a skillet rather than a whole chicken, and all I do is coat the chicken with a little olive oil, fennel seeds, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.

I also tried a new pasta dish the New York Times recommended. So simple—just roasted cherry tomatoes, pecorino Romano cheese, olive oil, and breadcrumbs. My husband loved it as much as I did. I added a bunch of fresh basil at the end when tossing.®ion=dinner&rank=32