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The Orphan Scrivener.
Issue 56 of our newsletter

Eric's Blog
Ramblings and links

Poisoned Pen Press
Our publisher.

The News
On the writing front.

The Reviews Page
Recent reviews of our books


We were recently interviewed by Jean Henry Mead for her blog Mysterious People.

Over at Christine Verstraete's Candid Canine, Mary offers a writing tip: Nicknames.

There's an interviewlette with Mary at Suite 101, as part of Janice Hally's series "The Mysterious Writing Habits of the World's Top Crime Writers."

Mary and I talked to Kim Malo about our books and writing. Which of our characters would we like to change places with for a day? Read our interview at MyShelf.com to find out.

Over at Fatal Foodies Christine Verstraete blogs about mystery books featuring food. One of the books is Seven For A Secret.

Our interview with Michelle Moran at History Buff concentrates on women of the past, particularly Empress Theodora.

Mike Glyer interviewed us for his science fiction news magazine File 770. You can download a pdf of issue 153 at eFanzines and read "The Secret History of John the Eunuch."

Mary and I talk about our writing and books at Lorie Ham's No Name Caf.

Mary and I were recently interviewed by fellow Poisoned Pen Press mystery author Betty Webb and you can read the result now on WebbsBlog. We talk about writing and Seven For A Secret but of particular interest are Mary's tips about online book promotion.

Courtney Mroch, writer and Petscribe blogger on families.com, recently grilled us like kippers about animals in our mysteries and pets past and present. We suspect few of her interviewees have laid claim to plots featuring such unusual but vital characters as a herd of fortune-telling goats and a mechanical whale and his real life counterpart!

We were honoured to be interviewed by Su Kopil for the November issue of The Motivated Writer. The topic was setting and its effects on story.

Mystery author Julia Buckley has an interview with us on her Mysterious Musings blog.

We're honored to be featured in a ProFile interview at MYSTERY*FILE, the crime fiction research journal where Steve Lewis has continued Ed Gorman's popular feature.

There is an interview with Mary at Alan Bishop's new Criminal History website. She answers questions about writing in general and writing the John the Eunuch novels in particular.

Recently we chatted at length about John's world with Carolyn Chambers Clark, at BellaOnline Our thanks to Carolyn for this opportunity to bend the virtual ears of her readers.

An interview with Eric, who dabbles in writing computer text adventures (a.k.a. Interactive Fiction) appears in the November issue of Inside Adrift Newsletter (Go to the Archive).

Deborah O'Toole conducted an interview touching on such arcana as how the Dorj mysteries came about (it all had to do with Molotov....) and the (dis)similarities in our backgrounds.

And don't forget our previous interview online at the Writer's Room Magazine.

Have we contradicted ourselves? Read 'em to find out!

The Writer's Room Magazine is a quarterly e-magazine for writers/authors to submit their work to be published. Furthermore, it's a resource site with book reviews, author interviews, helpful links and contacts to publishers.

more interviews...


How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries We're honored to be quoted in Kathy Lynn Emerson's How To Write Killer Historical Mysteries. The book draws on the author's experience in researching, writing, selling, and sustaining both her Lady Appleton series, set in Elizabethan England, and her Diana Spaulding series, taking place in the U.S. in the 1880s. It also includes the contributions of more than forty other historical mystery writers.

The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries Our Mongolian detective, Inspector Dorj, is faced with solving a locked circus caravan murder. The new short story, "Locked in Death" is included in The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries, an anthology edited by Mike Ashley.

Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits coverIn the The Oracle of Amun, a strange Egyptian ritual helps Herodotus solve a mysterious death. The short story is included in The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits: Volume III, 2005, ed Mike Ashley, Robinson (UK) 1845290046, and The Mammoth Book of New Historical Whodunnits: A New Collection of Captivating Murder Mysteries from Ages Past, Carroll & Graf (US) 0786715715

Now we're cooking! Or, at any rate, we have a recipe, "Justinian's Minimalist Egg Curry," in: A Second Helping of Murder. More Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers, edited by Robert Weibezahl, from Poisoned Pen Press.

We have a new John the Eunuch story, "The Finger of Aphrodite," in Mike Ashley's Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits, published by Carroll & Graf in the US and Constable & Robinson in the UK.

From the Publisher: A host of totally new stories written by some of the most popular writers of historical mysteries brings to life the glorious and nefarious world that for nearly a thousand yearsfrom the founding of the Republic in 510 B.C. to the deposing of the last emperor, Romulus, in 476 A.D.was ancient Rome. Events from the turbulent reigns of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Caligula, and Nero provide the colorful background to tales ingeniously contrived by contributors like Paul Doherty, Gillian Bradshaw, and Richard Butler. While John Maddox Roberts offers a new SPQR story, Steven Saylor, Marilyn Todd, Rosemary Rowe, Darrell Schweitzer, and Michael Kurland challenge their sleuths Gordianus the Finder, Claudia, Libertus, Pliny the Younger, and Quintilian with baffling new cases. Mary Reed and Eric Mayer conjure new intrigue for John the Eunuch, and Peter Tremayne sends his Fidelma on the trail of a Roman legion lost in Ireland. In addition to the original stories specially commissioned for this volume, this book also includes such rare reprints as a Slave Detective story by Wallace Nichols and one of the earliest historical mysteries to be set in Rome, "De Crimine" by Miriam Allen de Ford. which features Cicero as the investigator. There's also a story by our fellow Poisoned Pen Press author Jane Finnis

We have a new short story, "Chosen of the Nile" in The Mammoth Book of Egyptian Whodunnits, edited by Mike Ashley. Our detective this time is Herodotus! The collection features stories by Elizabeth Peters, Lynda Robinson, Paul Doherty, and Lauren Haney, among many others.

"The tales are educational, entertaining, witty and wonderfully exotic." --Maxim Jakubowski in The Guardian .

"This is the sort of book that makes a great gift - one to dip into again and again for some good entertainment. Recommended." --Rachel A. Hyde at MyShelf.com.


We're happy to announce that ONE FOR SORROW has been published in John's native land -- Greece! Thanks to Govostis Publisher S.A. John, and his friends finally speak in the language they, and most Byzantines, actually used. The title is -- -- or loosely translated, Crime in Byzantium.

Byzantium Ablaze Two For Joy has appeared in a Greek edition from Govostis. In Byzantium Ablaze. John gets to speak in his native tongue!


Mary writes about oral wills, one of which underpinned the plot of Five For Silver, at Postcard Mysteries , historical-mystery writer Catherine Mambretti's blog about the jury system and courtroom rhetoric.

Eric writes about researching historicals for Bob Sabella's zine Visions of Paradise. You can find Issue 132 over at the Visions of Paradise page at eFanzines. Or you can download the issue directly. (It's 971 kbs)

Mary has written an essay, In praise of Golden Age mysteries for The Cozy Library.

Mary has written about her path to publication for Heidi Ruby Miller who has made the essay available at myspace, blogspot, and livejournal.

Mary has an essay, Tom, Dick and Harassment: Naming Your Characters, in Gayle Trent's Writing Up A Storm Newsletter.

Mary's article Oops...how authors of historical fiction avoid pitfalls. appears in the November-December 2007 issue of Cozy Times Many thanks to Diana Vickery, owner of the Cozy Library site and editor of Cozy Times, for the opportunity to pass along a few helpful (we hope!) thoughts.

Mary has an article about RAFFLES at Steve Lewis' online Mystery*File (The Crime Fiction Research Journal).

The stories about the gentleman burglar and Bunny, his devoted accomplice, were written by E.W. Hornung around the turn of the last century. Take a trip back in time as Mary retells their criminal history, and how redemption came at the end.

Mary explains how our detective John came to be at M.J.Rose's Backstory blog -- "where authors share the secrets, the truths, or just the illogical moments that sparked our fiction."

Eric's penned a short article about writing historical mysteries. Want to know why the fiction writer's burden of proof is the opposite to the historian's? For his low down, hie thee over to myshelf.com.




Suite 101
An interview conducted by Lorie Ham.
The Charlotte Austin Review
An interview with John the Eunuch.
An interview in conjunction with the release of TWO FOR JOY.
An interview concentrating on co-author Mary Reed
The Charlotte Austin Review Interview
Mystery Place
Read the transcript of our chat with Stephanie Shea here.
Eric has filled in the Amazon.com interview form


The Mystery Reader
We answer some questions about ourselves and our writing in the New Faces column. Also, Mary writes about some book signing experiences.

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