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

Christmas Break

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I’ll be MIA for the month of December, taking a long, luxurious, much-needed break. I’ll be back in January. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a happy and healthy New Year.

A Song for Bond

Posted on by Todd Posted in Just For Fun, Musings | Comments Off on A Song for Bond

A week or so ago, it was revealed that Skyfall will be the title of the next James Bond movie. Now, I don’t put too much stock in Bond titles. They often have nothing to do with the plot and, in some cases, make no sense whatsoever. (I’m looking at you, Quantum of Solace.) So Skyfall is as good or as bad as any other.

Besides, everyone knows the titles are really chosen because they sound cool in a song. Curiously, though, both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace didn’t follow this tradition. Perhaps the producers of the next Bond will do the same, even though Skyfall, if done right, could sound very, very cool.

But in order to do it right, they need the perfect vocalist to bring the song to life. A voice that will stand out over the series’ eye-popping opening credits. According to the Internet, always a reliable source, the frontrunners to sing the Skyfall theme are Adele and Michael Buble. Both are fantastic choices, although I definitely prefer one over the other. But who else could sing the hell out of a Bond theme? Here are my personal picks:

Yes, she’s the frontrunner. And rightly so. Other than the late Amy Winehouse, I can’t think of a modern voice so perfectly suited for the Bond franchise. Adele could more than sing the hell out of the theme song. Her pipes are capable of blowing it out of this orbit. The only downside is that her recent throat surgery could make her unavailable.

She may not have the brassy power of Shirley Bassey, but Mrs. Jay-Z could certainly do a Bond song justice. Don’t believer me? Sit back, close your eyes and imagine it’s her and not Carly Simon singing “Nobody Does it Better” from The Spy Who Loved Me. See what I mean?

Speaking of “Nobody Does it Better,” Thom Yorke & Co. have been known to do a cover version of the song during concerts. And while it might not sound perfect, you have to admit that something they write for themselves could be a great, eclectic addition to the Bond canon.

Florence + The Machine
This sounds like an out-of-the-box choice until you realize that Shirley Manson and Garbage were tapped to sing the theme to The World is Not Enough in 1999. In my opinion, Florence Welch has a far better voice and, with the right song, she and her group could hit a home run.

Lady Gaga
Oh, boy. Now this could be interesting. If you take away the crazy costumes, electronic gizmos and trademark stuttering lyrics, Gaga still has an incredible voice. But why strip Gaga of what she’s known for? I say give her the gizmos and stutter and see what she does with it. Skyf-f-fall, anyone?

Kanye West
Another idiosyncratic artist who, if commissioned to tackle a Bond theme, could either come up with something utterly brilliant or completely awful. Either way, I’d love to see him try.

So those are my picks. Who would you like to see sing the next Bond theme? Sound off in the comments section!

The Awesome List No. 3

Posted on by Todd Posted in Awesome List, Just For Fun | Comments Off on The Awesome List No. 3

Five things that rocked my world this week.

Dark Score Stories

In December, A&E is going to air a miniseries based on the Stephen King book BAG OF BONES. To promote it, they’ve set up Dark Score Stories, a website that gives some background into the miniseries’ town and characters. Presented as a piece of fictional photojournalsim, I don’t know if it will do much to draw viewers. (Quite frankly, with King’s name attached, it doesn’t need to.) But it’s mesmerizing to look at. The images are gorgeous, haunting and, in some cases, downright creepy. As an added bonus, if you look closely, you’ll catch a few homages to other King works.


I was in the Chicago area last weekend for a few book signings. While browsing one of the stores in the city, I found these awesome robot-shaped cupcake molds. I bought a set for a friend of mine known for her cupcake-baking prowess, and I hope to be eating one shortly. If you’d like your own set of Yumbots, they can be ordered at Fred & Friends.

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Latte

I don’t usually drink Starbucks. I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts guy through and through. But there are two times of the year when I frequent that ubiquitous java boutique known as Starbucks. The first is early fall, when their pumpkin spice latte hits stores. The second is right now, when they usher in the holiday season with peppermint mocha latte. It’s like Christmas in a cup.


Carrie Fisher has had a weird and wild life. Her famous parents’ marriage ended in scandal, she was Princess Leia, Paul Simon’s wife, an alcoholic, a drug addict and she still struggles with mental illness. Thankfully, she can find the humor in all of this. WISHFUL DRINKING, her memoir, is rowdy and funny and wonderfully written. Her hysterical lesson on Hollywood inbreeding alone makes the book worth reading.


Hearing Fisher’s thoughts on Paul Simon made me go back and listen to one of his greatest albums, Graceland. Released in 1986, it blends Afro-centric beats and instruments with his usual melancholy, intelligent lyrics. The result is stunning. “You Can Call Me Al” was the album’s biggest hit, but my favorite is “The Boy in the Bubble,” which tries to make sense of a world that’s simultaneously try to improve and destroy itself.