The Tao of Doo

In his kind and generous review of my first mystery, DEATH NOTICE, author James Reasoner said the plot was vaguely reminiscent of something found in Scooby-Doo, only played seriously. He meant it as a compliment and I took it Read more


Another October, another release date. Since BAD MOON is my second book, you would think I'd be used to it. But nope, I'm not. BAD MOON's publication date feels as surreal as DEATH NOTICE's did last year. For readers, the Read more

Writing With ... Louise Penny

I am thrilled beyond words to welcome one of my favorite writers, Louise Penny, whose Armand Gamache mysteries have appeared on bestseller lists worldwide.  Her last book, BURY YOUR DEAD, won the Ellis for best mystery in Canada, and Read more

Is Browsing Dead?

I'll be the first to admit that I was a nerdy teenager. Not pocket protector nerdy, but no sports star, either. I was bookish, I guess you could say. I read A LOT back then, and nothing pleased me Read more

Why We Left Earth

Outer space has always been a mystery. Even before mankind fully grasped its vastness, they wanted to go there. Early astronomers, fascinated by the stars, invented ways to get a closer view. Think Copernicus, Galileo, Cassini. Writers not content Read more

Exclusive e-book

Posted on by Todd Posted in News | Comments Off on Exclusive e-book

Folks who receive my e-mail newsletter got a little bit of information about this on Friday, but today I can share it with everyone. Before BAD MOON comes out, I’ll be releasing a novella about Perry Hollow as an exclusive e-book. The title? VICIOUS CIRCLE.

Here’s the plot:

Small towns don’t get much smaller than Perry Hollow, Pennsylvania. A charming mix of quaint streets and sprawling fields, it used to be a quiet and uneventful place. Then a serial killer struck, bringing the town unwanted attention and putting the life of its police chief, Kat Campbell, at risk.

Nine months have passed since then, and peace has returned to Perry Hollow. But when a local farmer discovers a crop circle in one of his fields, the town finds itself back in the spotlight. Was the crop circle the work of human hands? Or is something more mysterious — and unearthly — happening in the fields of Perry Hollow?

Reporting to the scene, Kat finds a pair of young farmers in over their heads, neighbors both friend and foe, and a vicious circle of jealousy, lies and backstabbing. But as she gets closer to unraveling the truth, Chief Campbell once again finds herself fighting for her life.

We’re still working on the exact date when VICIOUS CIRCLE will be available, but expect it sometime in the fall. I’ll be sure to announce the release date as soon as I find out.

Lost Chapter

Posted on by Todd Posted in Giveaways, Just For Fun | Comments Off on Lost Chapter

Hey folks who have read DEATH NOTICE, this post is for you. If you haven’t read it: First, what are you waiting for? Second, you might want to skip this post, since there are slight spoilers below.

(Spoiler line: Cross at your own risk.)

OK, if you’re still reading, I assume you’ve also read DEATH NOTICE. And I bet you’re also wondering what really went down in Amber Lefferts’ house before Chief Kat Campbell arrived. If so, you’re in luck. I’ve unearthed a lost chapter, showing readers the creepy events of that afternoon from poor Amber’s point of view. Cool, right?

Even cooler is that I’m giving readers like you a copy. All you need to do is write a review of DEATH NOTICE on or at the Barnes & Noble website. Then just notify me via e-mail at I’ll then promptly send you the chapter. If you’ve already been nice enough to write one, just give me a shout and I’ll send it to you, as well.

It’s that easy.

Writing With … Sophie Littlefield

Posted on by Todd Posted in Writing With | Comments Off on Writing With … Sophie Littlefield

Sophie Littlefield is a one-woman charm machine. Anyone who has met her can back me up on this. She’s also extremely talented and mind-bogglingly prolific. Her first novel, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY, won an Anthony Award and an RT Book Award for Best First Mystery, and was shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, and Macavity Awards. She writes the post-apocalyptic AFTERTIME series as well as paranormal fiction for young adults. She has two books out this summer, REBIRTH, coming in July, and A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL, which was released Tuesday by Minotaur Books. You can visit her online at

Q. Tell us about your book and what inspired you to write it.

A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL is the third in my Stella Hardesty mystery series.
I have called the first in this series my “mid-life crisis book” because it was the
result of a lot of frustration and crabbiness — I had not been able to sell any of the
eight previous books I’d written, so I decided to give myself permission to write
whatever I felt like. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the result was a vengeful, irritable,
overweight, fiftyish Midwestern woman with a penchant for bondage gear.

Q. Did you need to do any special research for the book? If so, what’s one of the most interesting facts you discovered?

Ha! Did you catch that word “bondage” in the last paragraph? I’ve become quite
knowledgeable, due to my extensive online research. I didn’t know much about
the subject before writing the book, but I have to say it’s endlessly fascinating.
Recently, I even went to the old armory in San Francisco which has been converted
to a massive studio where very nice people make stunning movies that celebrate a
variety of, um, esoteric tastes.

Incidentally, I should point out (for faint-hearted readers) that Stella does not
actually engage in bondage — she uses these devices in another line of work.

Q. Many people are content to just be readers. How did you become a writer?

I’ve believed, since the day when I first opened a book, that writing is the highest
privilege anyone could ever aspire to. It was simply inevitable. Lots of writers say
this; for the marked, it’s as essential as drawing breath.

Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m always writing. I do like to sit in bars, drinking and talking. And I love to
hang out with my kids. That’s pretty much it. I used to have hobbies — sewing and
gardening were my favorites — but with my current schedule it’s just words, words,
words all day long.

Q. What are you reading right now?

I’m reading about a dozen books, ranging from Ann Parker’s most recent historical
mystery to a variety of young adult fiction (my sixteen-year-old and I still read
together every day) to a Kate Atkinson to a Peter Blauner novel that I suspect I’ve
read before but forgotten. I also read the New Yorker cartoons and all the tabloids I
buy, uh, for my daughter at the grocery.

Q. If you were stranded on that proverbial deserted island, what five books wouldyou want to have with you?

I never answer questions like this because I change my mind every thirteen
minutes! One of them would be a giant blank book, however, because if I couldn’t
write I would simply perish, no matter how many bottles of Laphroaig and bags of
kettle chips the island was stocked with.

Q. What’s your favorite movie?

Oh, you are an imp, Todd Ritter. All these “favorites” questions. Okay, well, in
this precise moment in time I think my favorite move is There Will Be Blood.

Q. What’s your favorite food?

Kettle chips!!!!

Q. Cats or dogs?

Dogs. I’ve owned one cat in my life, and am now allergic. I’ve had a collie, a
hound mutt, a teacup poodle/Chihuahua mix (long story there), and two beagles,
the latter of which is sleeping in with one of my teenagers right now. They both
sleep a lot.

Q. Name one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you.

Oh, I’m just full of surprises. Let’s buy each other a round and we’ll talk.