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05/11/2010

Tuesdays with Friends Welcomes back Stephen Liskow

Steve Liskow 19 small

KdBlog welcomes back, friend of the blog, Stephen Liskow. Stephen's book, Who Wrote The Book of Death? Will be in stores on Saturday. We're tickled to help Stephen introduce his baby to the world. Welcome back to KdBlog, Stephen.

Scene of the Crime                        5/11/2010

 

My first novel, Who Wrote The Book of Death?, comes out Saturday, and I hope you’ll buy it, love it, and tell all your friends about the cool cover and even cooler story.

 So far, three people like it. My cats are still waiting for the reviews.

 A friend challenged me to write a romance novel and this started out as one. Once I had a romance novelist as a main character, though, that seemed like overkill so she became a stand-in for a romance novelist. The real writer is a man, but who ever heard of a romance writer named Norman Roberts, Dan Steel, or Jeffrey Crusie? That’s why he needs someone to appear at book signings.

 Literary New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston have so many PIs on call that you shouldn’t find a criminal within a hundred miles. On the other hand, few mystery writers have used Connecticut so I decided to use New Britain, just south of Hartford. I taught there for years and heard stories about where the bodies are buried.

 Called the Hardware City since the early 1900s, New Britain once housed 15 manufacturing firms, including Stanley Hardware, and the technology grew faster than rust. Natives held nearly 1500 patents for machine parts, window sash pulleys, various tools and door hardware, and the prototype for the wire coat hanger.  The Stanley Works employed half the population and funded two parks—one designed by Frederick Olmsted—a library, a museum, and a hospital.

 The demographics and the economy have shifted over the last 40 years, but the town still boasts two community theaters, a symphony, the ConCora vocal group, an industrial museum, the newly-renovated Museum of American Art (Which I mention in the book), and the largest public high school in Connecticut, alma mater to two of the state’s governors. Central Connecticut State University, originally Connecticut Normal School, the oldest teachers college in the country, resides on Stanley Street.

 The industry spawned wealth, and the older architecture can still make you catch your breath. I spent a weekend taking pictures of houses that would bring seven figures in Palm Springs or Beverly Hills. Now, alas, they provide office space for realtors, dentists, and lawyers. I decided that my male writer lived near the museum and invented the house’s floor plan from studying the pictures I took. The Hospital for Central Connecticut looks downhill at that house and over the band shell of A. W. Stanley Park.

 All this local history gave my characters places to go and things to do when they got there. It also gave my killer places to lurk, handy when you’re stalking a woman who can’t even tell her bodyguard she’s not really writing a book.

 But if she’s not really writing a book, why does someone want to kill her? Well, since you asked…

 Like I said, so far, three people like it.

 Kate Flora, who has encouraged me since critiquing an earlier novel says, “A great book...really fast out of the box and the pace never lets up. You won't be able to put it down."  I hope she’s right.

 Jeremiah Healy, author of The Only Good Lawyer and Turnabout, says "… Steve Liskow has injected a major booster shot into our genre… I highly recommend this debut." My detective, Greg Nines, shares some traits with Healy’s John Francis Cuddy, and they could definitely follow each other’s conversation.

 The third person is my publisher.

 I hope you’ll be the fourth.

 

Who Wrote...Cover concept - Copy

 Steve Liskow has published stories in three collections of New England crime writing and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. He is currently researching another novel set in New Britain. Learn more at www.steveliskow.com.


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Sounds great Steve, can't wait to read it!

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