Posts Tagged ‘The Rich and the Dead’


Posted on April 27, 2011 - by

Ready for my Close-up, Mr. DeMille

Tuesday night before the Edgar activities found the party at the Mysterious Bookshop at the booksigning for the new MWA anthology, THE RICH AND THE DEAD. I was too busy yakking and signing books with 15 other authors to take a lot of photos, but this was the view from my end of the table: Mr. DeMille, Michael Connolly, Dan Hale, and happy fans.

Aside from greeting old friends and new, my goal was to have my picture taken with Nelson DeMille, the anthology’s editor. Thanks to my friend and neighbor Lyn for serving as photographer. I had my own copy signed by the contributors and enjoyed starting the stories on the train ride home.


Posted on April 19, 2011 - by

Adventures in Publishers Weekly

The gold standard of what’s happening in the publishing business has always been Publishers Weekly. A starred review or even a solid mention can make a big difference in a book’s launch–or so I’ve always imagined. With the magazine’s concentration on hardcover releases, none of my eight paperback original titles made it past the gatekeeper.

So I was very excited when my good buddy Mike Wiecek (soon writing as Mike Cooper) sent me a link (via his fabulous sister Sophie Littlefield) to the recent review of THE RICH AND THE DEAD. It contained this paragraph:

“Standouts include Michael Connelly’s “Blood Washes Off,” in which detective Harry Bosch makes a welcome appearance in the interview room; Harley Jane Kozak’s “Lamborghini Mommy,” which plays a nice variation on look-alikes; and Roberta Isleib’s “The Itinerary,” in which widowed Connecticut detective Jack Meigs vacations in Key West, but can’t keep his cop instincts from sniffing out crime instead of tourist attractions.”

Woo-hoo! Not every day your name gets mentioned in the same paragraph with Michael Connelly and Harley Jane Kozak. (Like never!!) So here’s a nod and a thank you to the PW publishing people. And fingers and toes crossed for Lucy’s debut…


Posted on March 25, 2011 - by

The Rich and the Dead

Each year the Mystery Writers of America puts out an anthology of stories edited by a well-known author. This year Nelson DeMille is the editor of THE RICH AND THE DEAD, due out the end of April (Grand Central.)

I (that is, Lucy’s alter-ego Roberta) was delighted to have a story included. “The Itinerary” features Detective Jack Meigs from the advice column mystery series and takes place in Key West. Last year while visiting KW, we noticed a cruise ship passenger running down the gangplank with his suitcase, baring making it onboard before the ship pulled away. Bingo–inspiration! My sister and brother-in-law and husband helped me brainstorm the bones of the story.

What if staunch Yankee Detective Meigs was forced to go on vacation in tacky, tropical Key West (his words, not mine:)? And what if he witnesses a man leaving the ship with bags when everyone else has loaded? And what if the local paper runs an article the next day about a woman missing from her boat? Bored to death by his inactivity, Meigs can’t help offering an assist to the local cops.

Here’s the opening:

Detective Jack Meigs knew he’d hate Key West the moment he was greeted off the plane by a taxi driver with a parrot on his shoulder. He hadn’t wanted to take a vacation at all, and he certainly hadn’t wanted to come to Florida, which he associated with elderly people pretending they weren’t declining. But his boss insisted, and then his sister surprised him with a nonrefundable ticket: He was screwed. A psychologist had once told him that it took a year for grief to lift, and that making major life changes during this time only complicated the process. Which was why he’d gone to work directly from the funeral, and every day in the three months since. There was no vacation from the facts: His wife Alice was dead and she wasn’t coming back.

The driver packed him into a cab that smelled like a zoo and lurched away from the curb. Then the bird let loose a stream of shit that splattered off his newspapered roost and onto Meigs’s polished black leather loafers. The cabbie hooted with laughter.

“That means good luck, man,” he said, gunning the motor and grinning like a monkey in the rear view mirror. “Mango doesn’t do that for just anybody.”

I had a blast writing this story–hope you enjoy it. THE RICH AND THE DEAD can be pre-ordered from all the usual suspects, including my local independent bookstore, RJ Julia booksellers.



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