You know, it seems like only a week ago that I celebrated Orange Wednesday by giving away Kindle downloads of a Matthew Scudder story, “Looking for David,” and…

Oh, right. It was only a week ago.

Well, I have to say it was a great success. Over 1200 of you downloaded the story, and I can only assume that some of you actually read it. (In fact two of you were thoughtful enough to review it—thanks!) And now it’s Wednesday again, and an Orange Wednesday at that, and it’s John Warren Wells who’s going on the free list:


Hmmm. That gets the point across, but it’s not the book’s actual cover. You can see that by clicking here. Then one more judicious click and the book is yours. And, as the title and cover suggest, there are no strings attached. This offer, you should note, is worldwide; outside of the US, go to the appropriate Amazon site—,,,,,,,—well, it’s an ever-lengthening list, and I may have left somebody out, but you get the idea.

But wait. There’s more…

Earlier this year I recorded my collection of Matthew Scudder stories, The Night and the Music, for AudioGo. Now Ambling Books has made the book’s title story available as a free download. You just click here and you can hear all about Matt and Elaine and a perfect New York night. (And if you like it, you can purchase the entire audiobook at a discount. But the story’s free. No strings, remember? Not on Orange Wednesday…)

I’ve narrated audiobooks in the past. I find the task satisfying, but can’t help wondering if I’d be better served by the professional voice artists who’ve performed my work over the years. So it was heartening to read these lines in Steve Steinbock’s article on audiobooks in the current issue of The Third Degree, the Mystery Writers of America newsletter:

“There are men and women who make a living narrating audiobooks. They know what they’re doing. They’ve been trained in theater, proper breathing, accents and enunciation. That doesn’t mean an author can’t do a good job narrating his or her own work. Frank McCourt gave an unforgettable reading of Angela’s Ashes, nuanced in ways that no one else could hold a match to. Many excellent narrators have performed Lawrence Block’s books, but Block himself is able to breathe his own unique style and wit into his characters when he narrates his books.”


As you probably know, Keller returns in Hit Me, with Mulholland’s edition going on sale February 12. Here are links for pre-ordering thre book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Other Retailers

Keller made his first appearance in Playboy, with a story called “Answers to Soldier” that served as the first chapter of Hit Man. Indeed, most of Hit Man‘s chapters ran in the magazine, and I’m happy to note that Playboy is running an extract from the new book in their January issue. For a further taste of Hit Me, you might want to have a look at “Keller in Dallas.” It’s the new book’s opening episode, and the eVersion has been a strong and steady seller for a while now. (The link is to Amazon, but the story’s available for all platforms—Nook, Kobo, Apple, Sony Reader, etc. Y’all are resourceful; you’ll find it.)

The Matthew Scudder stories are all included in The Night and the Music, but I’ve recently made them eVailable individually as well, and evidently some of you appreciate the convenience. So I may do the same with some of Keller’s assignments. “Keller’s Adjustment” initially appeared in Transgressions, Evan Hunter’s star-studded anthology of novellas; it subsequently served as a key section of Hit Parade, the third Keller book. I’ve now made it available as a Kindle eBook @ $2.99. Here’s what it looks like:


The thunderbolt on the cover reminds me of the new 7-day Mayan forecast:


Hey, you never know. But just in case the world keeps on keeping on, you’ll want to have something to read. Here’s David’s report from LB’s eBay Bookstore:

“I keep restocking the shelves and you keep emptying them. LB had two oversize cartons full of anthologies containing stories of his. All one-of-a-kind, all priced right, and they don’t last long. Both boxes are empty now, so there won’t be any more when these are gone.”

Ah well. That’s what the Mayans said, isn’t it? But I’ll give David the last word:

“A comforting number of you have ordered the Limited Philatelic Edition of Hit Me, and not a few of you have let us know that your copy hasn’t arrived yet. We’d hoped to get books to you by Christmas, but small-press schedules are notoriously capricious, and we’re running later than we’d have preferred. LB’s hair is long gone, and I’ve been tearing mine out—not that it does you any good. The good news is that the book is off-press, and should be on its way very shortly; the bad news is you don’t have it yet. What you do have is our apologies, and the assurance that, as soon as we can, we’ll get the book to you.”