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News From the Writing Front
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I don't want to speak too soon but it looks like we may finally be getting caught up. I can't remember a year when I've been more pressed for time. Now, though, quite a few projects seem to be nearing completion. I won't bore you with the various legal articles, vital as they are to us. On the fiction front, however, there are a few notable things going on.

A couple days ago our editor at Poisoned Pen Press, Barbara Peters, advised us that we were done revising so the next Byzantine mystery, Seven For A Secret will be told, (regardless of what the rhyme says about "never to be told") come next April.

As the catalog will describe it:

The day after meeting a mysterious woman who claims to have been the model for the little girl in his study mosaic, John finds the woman's red-dyed corpse in a subterranean cistern. Who was she? Why had she sought John out? Who wanted her dead -- and why?

The answers seem to lie among the denizens of the smoky streets of that quarter of Constantinople known as the Copper Market, where artisans, beggars, prostitutes, pillar saints, and exiled aristocrats struggle to survive within sight of the Great Palace and yet worlds distant.

John encounters a faded actress, a patriotic sausage maker, a sundial maker who fears the sun, a religious visionary, a man who lives in a treasure trove, and a beggar who owes his life to a cartload of melons. Before long John suspects he is attempting to unravel not just a murder but a plot against the empire.

John is going to be busy because Four For A Boy has been released in the UK. One For Sorrow, John's first appearance at novel length, will follow this autumn, with the rest of the adventures out in due course. Info on these and other PPP novels can be found on the website of Poisoned Pen Press (UK), the publisher's British arm UK subscribers may be interested to hear that while the site features the publisher's catalog, printed copies can also be requested.

Finally, a new mystery short story is on the way, featuring Charles Dickens' Mr Pickwick. Accompanied by Mr Tracy Tupman, that jolly fellow Mr Samuel Pickwick will be off to Kent in an investigation overshadowed by "The Three-legged Cat of Great Clatterden." The story will be appearing in Mike Ashley's forthcoming anthology The Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits. Intended to celebrate Dickens' fascination with crime, the collection will be published towards the end of the year and includes stories by Edward Marston, Charles Todd, Peter Tremayne, Robert Barnard, and Kate Ellis among others.

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