Monday, April 25, 2011


So these three authors were hurtling along a highway

One thing about a car full of mystery authors hurtling along highways for days: they will never run out of things to talk about. The topics on our southern rampage included:

The weather: I will not bore you with these endless discussions but they frequently revolve around how glad we were to leave endless winter behind. So long snow!

Food: Is it time to eat yet? Where will we eat? Can we hand out bookmarks to the other diners without getting thrown off the premises?

How to kill people and who to kill: I can’t reveal names, but I suggest that everyone reading this remain vigilant and be very very nice to us, especially when it comes to comments on our headgear. Check it out.

The police: the topic of how to win friends among the constabulary and what useful information police officers can provide was like a rolling workshop.

Books: what we’re reading, what we’ve read, what we’re looking forward to reading, what we’ve added to our To Be Read lists based on these conversations. Again, a fertile source. Of course as Vicki Delany’s latest Among the Departed is about to be on the shelves and we spotted the first paperback copies of Elizabeth Duncan’s new book A Brush with Death in Fearrington Books in North Carolina, so those are naturally on our lists, as is, ahem, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder: the fifth Charlotte Adams mystery, in case anyone missed it on April 5.

Headgear: what should be the appropriate Canadian headgear for our trip? We settled on toques, although we noticed that Elizabeth Duncan said she’d take the pix rather than be in them. Hmmm. Let’s hear your opinions.

We can’t drive far without talking about bookstores: as the trip wears on it is obvious that the three of us are besotted with them. Eventually on a road trip you get where you’re going, in our case North Carolina which has some wonderful bookstores. So the love affair continues. I figured that if you read this blog you would also love bookstores so have included their links. Have a quick visit! On Friday we were in Fly Leaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (home of the University of Carolina Tarheels for those who know what that means) for a luncheon and signing. Fly Leaf is a year and a half old and is obviously run by people who live for books.

As always on book tours, we met congenial, interested readers. We were as pleased to meet them as they are to meet us. The food? Wonderful sandwiches catered by Sara Foster (whose restaurant is conveniently located next door). I felt pampered. Food, books, readers, a beautiful bookstore made for a great start to our tour.

We also buzzed the delightful Quail Ridge Books (in Raleigh) which is providing the books for the non-bookstore portion of our trip. Again, this is a bookstore that I could move into and just live there. So far, North Carolina seems to be a state with very special bookstores.

Saturday afternoon we had a wonderful welcome in Fearrington Books in the legendary (but real) Fearrington Village. This was the first bookstore that I have heard described as luxurious. We enjoyed meeting readers who knew and loved the mystery genre and were eager to learn about authors new to them. Also enjoyed seeing the Tennessee fainting goats which weren’t all that far from the bookstore. NC is obviously a state full of surprises.

We are grateful to our wonderful hostess and tour coordinator Molly Weston! We can’t stop talking about that either!

We have three book events left before we leave for Malice Domestic. Stay tuned for further conversations. And keep looking over your shoulder. Beware of toques.

Mary Jane Maffini rides herd on three (soon to be three and a half) mystery series and a couple of dozen short stories. Her thirteenth mystery novel, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder, which hit the bookshelves this month, is brimming with names, no two the same.


  1. I can feel the fun. But Fainting goats? Who knew?

  2. Nothing like a car load of mystery authors! Sounds like such fun.