What is Mutual Admiration from the Asylum Department? Good question. Jaki and Lynne met in a writers critique group and discovered a mutual taste for homicidal humor. We're happy to share our MAADness in the form of newsletters to anyone who sends their snail mail address to murraymade@aol.com.




Girdner's new book demonstrates what happens at an author event when Death Hits the Fan

Includes sample pages and recipe!!!!!

Murray Contemplates Book Signers Remorse



By Lynne Murray

Madwomen? Mutual admiration? What's that about, you may well ask. As different as Jaki Girdner and I may be, one thing we have in common is a need to get in touch with our inner Gracie Allen. While this disqualifies us to operate heavy machinery or own things with sharp edges it has its fun moments. Alas, when you start off a little dizzy, several weeks of intensely scheduled public performance type events can take your doors of perception totally off their hinges.

After surviving my first season on the local San Francisco Bay Area loop of the book promotion trail I'm definitely in admiration mode for authors like Jaki Girdner. She has managed for several years now to do Olympic quality schmoozing for a few months and then leap back into the fictional world and produce another book.

For those of us who enter a crowded room looking wistfully for a potted palm tree to hide behind, the book promotion process is a roller coaster ride with occasional descents into zombiehood. It only seems right to use this space to beg the pardon of anyone who had the misfortune to run into me when I was in the aforementioned semi-living condition. Please forgive me if I:

A. Should have known you but forgot your name (sorry, Mom!)

B. Got you mixed up with someone else of the same age/ sex/ race/ political affiliation. This happened more than once and in circumstances so appalling that even I, who will usually quote anything for a laugh, am reluctant to discuss it in print. Suffice it to say I am an equal opportunity idiot when it comes to mixing people up, and I hereby apologize.

C. Said or worse wrote in ink (aiii!) in someone's personal copy of Larger Than Death something inane, embarrassing or misspelled -- all I can say is, I wish there was a "Backspace-Erase" key for the real world. That's why I spend so much time in front of a computer. I keep wanting to bring a bottle of correction fluid to signings, but I've been told that doesn't inspire confidence.

One reason I spend so much time in the fictional realm is that you can re-write to your heart's content.

Speaking of re-writing, I just finished the second Josephine Fuller book -- Large Target (wherein Josephine gets involved in the murder of defense contractor in San Diego and the kidnapping of an Admiral. The question: Is the Admiral's world-class dysfunctional family involved, or is it espionage?).

Orloff Press plans to publish Large Target this fall. If you are not familiar with Orloff (a fairly new publisher) let me just quote Publisher John A. Miller (who is also an accomplished mystery novelist of the more hard-boiled variety -- his Cutdown came out from Pocket Books in 1997 to great acclaim, with a sequel Cause of Action on its way late this year). When asked what kind of books Orloff publishes John said, "Our only editorial requirement is literary quality." Translation -- lots o' re-writes. But as I said above, I love rewrites. So I'll see you on the next roller coaster.


Death Hits the Fan by Jaqueline Girdner

Excerpt by permission of Berkley Prime Crime



Come, meet some of the finest crossover artists writing today, successfully combining the genres of science fiction and mystery:

S.X. Greenfree, author of CIRCLE OF DEATH, "Beautifully constructed and executed. A masterpiece of mystery and conscience."

Ted Brown, author of REVENGE BITES, "A passionate... disturbing story."

Yvette Cassell, author of A SMALL DETECTION, "A delightful tale of whimsy and old-fashioned sleuthing."

But who knew that Crossover Night involved the Ferryman of Death? Certainly not S.X. Greenfree, who came to do a simple authors' signing and died unnoticed in front of her audience instead while her fellow author, Yvette Cassell, read one chapter too many of A SMALL DETECTION. Now, Kate must figure out why S.X. Greenfree cried out her name before collapsing, not to mention finding the popular writer's murderer.

Kinda makes you want to stay alert at authors' signings from now on, doesn't it?

And it kinda gives Kate an aversion to leprechauns after her visit to the troublesome Yvette Cassell's house, thus the final recipe in Death Hits the Fan:




1 large onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon each dried basil, sage, rosemary and thyme
4 ounces crumbled soy sausage or minced, marinated tofu
1 15-oz can vegetable broth
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon hot prepared mustard
Leftover vegetables (optional)
1 tablespoon comstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water


Cook onion, garlic, parsley, herbs, soy sausage or tofu in sesame oil and + cup of vegetable broth until wilted (5-10 minutes).

Stir in Worcestershire, maple syrup, hot mustard, and leftover vegetables if desired.

Thicken with cornstarch.

Serve over rice, pasta, or 1 boiled leprechaun.

Yield: 4 servings

(Note: No leprechauns were harmed in the preparation of this recipe.)

Reprinted by permission of Berkley Prime Crime.


Available from Berkley Prime Crime

Available from Berkley in hardcover: A Cry for Self-Help: at a seminar to plan their own wedding ritual, Kate and Wayne witness a local guru taking the plunge -- over a cliff to the rocks below. Available in paperback from Berkley: Adjusted to Death (introducing Kate Jasper, the sexy Wayne, Marvelous Marin); The Last Resort (Kate and Wayne ride to the rescue of Kate's falsely accused ex-husband); Murder Most Mellow (a corpse in the hot-tub); Fat-Free and Fatal (death by Salad Shooter); Tea-Totally Dead (the family reunion from hell); A Stiff Critique (why are writers so sensitive?); Most Likely To Die (should auld acquaintance be electrocuted?).


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All content © 2002-05 by Lynne Murray and Jaqueline Girdner. Web site by interbridge.