Gunther-Gram August 2009

The Official Archer Mayor Newsletter

AM Press Baby #16!!
Avaliable, late August

Hold it. Number 16?? There are only 12 AMPress books currently out. What happened to 13, 14, and 15? Okay, bear with me. When Warner Books (or Hachette, or Mysterious, or Grand Central — they changed names a few times) put my titles out of print, they generously returned the rights to me, which I then republished under my own imprint. Because I see all these stories as a sequential series (sort of) I came up with the notion of numbering them on the spines. Most librarians and booksellers LOVED the idea, since people were always asking about the proper order of appearance. But then I was given Number 16 (since the intervening titles are still in print.) Oops! So, feel free to spread the word clarifying this apparent glitch, and feel even freer to buy a copy, in a couple of weeks, at my web site.

LIKE THE COVER?? For this new edition, my friend, designer Dede Cummings, took a picture that Nancy loaned me of her family’s barn, taken in 1960. Sadly, just as in the book, this iconic local barn burned later, which in part (along with the slightly mysterious flair of this photo) inspired me to use it for ST. ALBANS FIRE.

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August Calendar Events

A couple of things happening this month, just before the beginning of the Fall’s publicity blowout for the upcoming THE PRICE OF MALICE (check my “Appearances” calendar for an updated listing of those.)

On Aug 20th, I’ll be chatting with folks in Warren, VT at the Public Library, at 7pm, as part of the VT Festival of the Arts – Mystery Series. Call them at 802-496-3913 for details if interested. (Some of you eagle eyes noticed that I messed up this listing last month. Sorry about that. This is the real deal, though.)

Aug 22nd will see me at the Terry Lodge, on Isle La Motte, in the middle of Lake Champlain, not far from Burlington (but oh, so different!) Nancy and I will be guests there over the weekend, and I’ll be chatting with diners and others after the meal that night. Make sure to call the lodge for details, via email or by phoning 802-928-3264.

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The News

Yup, this is Gunther Number 20, almost ready to come off the delivery trucks. I’ve shown you this cover already, of course, but what’s new this time is that the critics are already beginning to weigh in! Traditionally, before any book’s actual appearance, four major “pre” reviewers are eagerly anticipated: Booklist, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and The Library Journal.

And this is what they’re saying!!

“As always, Mayor delivers rich characters, solid police procedural details, and a rich sense of place. A solid addition to a fine series.” — Booklist

“In the 20th of this estimable series […] the even-tempered Sage of Brattleboro is as appealing as ever.” — Kirkus

“Two mysteries preoccupy Joe Gunther in Mayor’s engaging 20th novel […] Mayor manages to keep the suspense building and the reader guessing until the end. Series fans will appreciate the local cultural insights and the authentic cop lingo.”
— Publisher’s Weekly

“Mayor […] shows why he is one of the most respected American writers of procedurals. For readers who miss Ed McBain and find it difficult to wait for the next Michael Connelly.” — Library Journal

Way better than a stick in the eye, eh? I have to admit, even after so many years of spinning tall tales, I still can’t wait to hear the first few reviews, so I am delighted with these.

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Other Stuff:

The GET-YOUR-NAME-IN-A-BOOK finally has a winner!!! After receiving all your checks and gifts in the mail (TOTALLY kidding here) we reached deep into the pile of recent AMPress book buyers at Joe Gunther Central and pulled out the name of PETER HILDRETH!! I immediately phoned him and discovered that he was crazy enough to want his name in an upcoming book, and so — as they say — it shall be done. I will work hard to find a home for Peter in the book I’m working on right now, tentatively entitled, Red Herring.

As a result, I’ll be putting up another contest on the web site so that someone else might join Peter and so many others like him who over the years have won “name” auctions and spent a little quality time with Joe and the gang.

The free VBI bumper stickers are still sailing out the door. Read the instructions under the contest box and place your orders.

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Last but Never Least:

Many, many thanks for all your support, letters, and suggestions. It’s always fun to hear from you, and speaking of which, I chose not to run a puzzler this time, in part to see if I get a reaction. I have no idea if anyone’s enjoying them, so let me know if I should keep them coming or not. And, of course, if the answer is “yes,” then don’t be shy about contributing. All you need to do is submit a list of 20 questions, tops, with the answers. Not to worry, I’ll make the actual puzzle.

Much appreciated, as always, and…

thanks for keeping the BUZZ alive!!!

Enjoy the rest of the summer and cross your fingers for a little sunshine if you live in New England.

Archer