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

The Magical Mystery Tour

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To promote BAD MOON, I’ll be setting off on my Beatles-inspired Magical Mystery Tour. Here’s how it works: I’ll be signing copies of BAD MOON at dozens of stores across the country. Some are scheduled formal signings. Others, indicated with a ? in front of them, will be surprise stock signings.

Each signed book will come with a bookmark that contains a QR code. Readers who scan the code with a smart phone will be eligible for a chance to win one of three gift certificates to the bookstore of their choice.

Below is the list of scheduled bookstore stops, along with some mystery locations that will be revealed once I visit them. For up-to-date information on where I’ve visited, follow me on Twitter or on my Facebook page.

? Oct. 11: Barnes & Noble, Bridgewater, N.J.

? Oct. 12: Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, Pa.

Oct. 12: 7 p.m., Chester County Book & Music Co., West Chester, Pa.

Oct. 13: 6:30 p.m., Thomas Beaver Free Library, Danville, Pa.

? Oct. 14: Iron Rose Bookstore, Danville, Pa.

Oct. 14: 6 p.m., Aaron’s Books, Lititz, Pa.

Oct. 16: 3 p.m., Barnes & Noble, North Brunswick, N.J.

? Oct. 17: Barnes & Noble, Princeton, N.J.

Oct. 22: 4:30 p.m., Murder By The Book, Houston, Texas

Oct. 30: 2 p.m., Words, Maplewood, N.J.

Nov. 5: 11 a.m., Mystery One Bookstore, Milwaukee, Wis.

? Nov. 5: Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

Nov. 5: 2 p.m., Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis.

? Nov. 6: The Book Cellar, Chicago, Ill.

Nov. 6: 2 p.m., Centuries & Sleuths, Forest Park, Ill.

Nov. 13, 1 p.m., Clinton Book Shop, Clinton, N.J.

Nov. 18: 7 p.m., Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, Calif.

Nov. 19: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Men of Mystery, Irvine, Calif.

Lisa Unger on BAD MOON

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Authors — especially successful ones — are a generous lot. They want to see others succeed, too. So they’ll offer blurbs to new writers or talk up emerging ones whose work they enjoy. I can’t think of anyone more generous than Lisa Unger, bestselling author of FRAGILE and DARKNESS, MY OLD FRIEND. She wrote a blurb for my first book, DEATH NOTICE. For BAD MOON, she took it a step further, writing a full review that left me feeling both honored and humbled.

Here is the full review:

It’s July 20, 1969, and we return to Perry Hollow in a dreamy, shimmering opening scene where Neil Armstrong is making history. But as the television in the Olmstead living room casts its eerie light, a much bigger drama is unfolding. Ten-year-old Charlie has taken off on his bicycle, certain that he can see the astronaut bouncing along the surface of the glowing full moon. He doesn’t come home. And on that night, when the world was staring in wonder at the heavens, Charlie’s mother was running through the streets of Perry Hollows, looking for her son. She never found him.

For a mother, the loss of a child is a far more impacting event than the first moon walk. And though the authorities and the rest of the town thought that Charlie was lost to an accident that night — his mother, Maggie, never believed it. She spent her whole life secretly searching for her son, for some kind of closure that never came. In BAD MOON, Todd Ritter’s compelling follow-up to last year’s acclaimed DEATH NOTICE, most everyone is carrying that same burden, looking for answers that may or may not ever come.

More than 40 years after Charlie’s disappearance, his brother, bestselling novelist Eric Olmstead, has returned home to honor his mother’s dying wish: FIND HIM. He enlists the help of Nick Donnelly who, after losing his job with the state police, dedicates his life to solving cold cases. He, too, may be seeking a kind of closure in helping grieving families find answers when everyone else has given up. He knows what it’s like to live with haunting questions.

Enter Perry Hollow Police Chief Kat Campbell. Her own father ran the 1969 investigation into Charlie’s disappearance; and in following his notes, she realizes that he overlooked — or ignored — critical clues. But why? To complicate matters, Eric and Kat share a history themselves, a painful one she’d rather forget. The past, it seems, wants to find a way out of the grave to wrap itself around the present.

Ritter delves deep into the veiled, complicated lives of Perry Hollows residents. And in doing so he tackles some big themes: What does it mean to be someone’s parent? And what does it mean to be someone’s child? How far will we go to hide the truth about ourselves and the people we love? In this complex, and expertly plotted outing, Todd Ritter explores these matters with a deft hand, never letting the suspense lag for even a moment — right through to the astonishing conclusion.

Lisa Unger is an award-winning New York Times and international bestselling author. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. and have been translated into 26 different languages. Her writing has been hailed as “masterful” (St. Petersburg Times), “sensational” (Publishers Weekly) and “sophisticated” (New York Daily News) with “gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose” (Associated Press). For more information about Lisa and her books, visit her website,

Writing With … Chris Ewan

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Last month while at Bouchercon in St. Louis, I attended a cocktail party hosted by my publisher. I was at a table chatting with several authors I know, but there was one somewhat quiet guy there that I wasn’t familiar with. Not knowing what else to say, I asked, quite stupidly, “So, you’re a writer?”

That somewhat quiet guy was Chris Ewan. And yes, he is a writer. A talented, award-winning one, in fact. Chris is the author of THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO… series of mystery novels about hack crime writer and globetrotting thief-for-hire Charlie Howard. His debut novel, THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM, won the Long Barn Books First Novel Award, and AMSTERDAM, PARIS and VEGAS have all been shortlisted for CrimeFest’s Last Laugh Award. His most recent novel is THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO VENICE, and next year will see the publication of his first standalone thriller, SAFE HOUSE. He lives with his wife, Jo, on the Isle of Man. Visit his website at

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

THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO VENICE is all about reversals. First up, my burglar gets burgled — the novel opens with Charlie Howard being disturbed in the middle of the night by the theft of his most prized possession, a signed first-edition copy of Dashiell Hammett’s THE MALTESE FALCON. The thief in question is a glamorous femme fatale cat burglar, who lures Charlie into following a series of clues across Venice until she issues him with an ultimatum — she’ll return his precious book, if he’ll agree to break into a crumbling palazzo on the Grand Canal. The hitch? She doesn’t want him to steal anything — she wants him to return a locked briefcase to a strong room. Oh, and he’s not allowed to peek inside the case. Which for a naturally inquisitive burglar, is kind of a problem…

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

One of the best parts of writing the GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE novels is the research. Sure, I spend a lot of time finding out how to pick locks and crack safes (and I even have my own lock-picks which I practice with), but I also visit each city I’m writing about at least three times (yeah, I know, it’s a regular chore…). Venice was somewhere I’d previously visited on a couple of occasions, but going back to really get to know the city made me fall in love with it on a much deeper level. On a cold and misty night in late November, there’s really nowhere I’d rather be.

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

I always dreamed of being a writer, but never knew where to begin. Then I read Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD and decided to try my hand at writing something without second-guessing myself the whole time. Of course, what I wrote sucked, but it was a start…

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

I love reading all kinds of books and watching all kinds of movies. Every day I walk my dog, Maisie, in the woods and along the beaches near to our home. On the rare occasions when it isn’t raining, windy or foggy on the Isle of Man, I drive out in my 1967 split-screen VW camper with my wife, and we pretend we live somewhere where we could drive for more than thirty-odd miles without plunging into the sea…

Q. What are you reading right now?

A whole bunch of things. I’ve just finished Theresa Schwegel’s brilliant OFFICER DOWN, which blew me away with its energy and its compelling first-person narration. Meantime, I’m switching between John le Carré’s TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY, Steve Hamilton’s THE LOCK ARTIST, Lee Child’s THE ENEMY and Peter Millar’s 1989 THE BERLIN WALL – MY PART IN ITS DOWNFALL.

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

The five I’ve just mentioned would be great right now, since I’ve been enjoying every one of them. But five alternative favourites would include:

Raymond Chandler’s THE LONG GOODBYE;

Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD;

Paul Auster’s ORACLE NIGHT;

Margaret Atwood’s SURFACING

Susan Hill’s THE SMALL HAND.

Q. What’s your favorite movie?

It changes daily. For now, I’d say Stand By Me. Or maybe Gattaca.

Q. What’s your favorite food?

At the moment, I’m really hankering after those big American breakfasts. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, coffee…

Q. Cats or dogs?

Dogs, no question. And our loyal hound, Maisie, in particular.

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

I had a wisdom tooth removed under general anaesthetic just the other day, and I’m on pain meds at the moment, so I apologise if my responses could make more sense!