Quid Pro Joe
Mother and Father Know Best

Welcome, New York Times Subscribers!

So you read about me in Marilyn Stasio's column in the New York Times Sunday Book Review and you decided to set aside your mug of free trade Guatemalan coffee, turn down NPR, and do a little Googling. Well, thank you! It's an honor to have you here! Allow me to make introductions.

I am the cute, clever and idiosyncratic Steve Hockensmith. (I know Ms. Stasio said my books were cute, clever and idiosyncratic, not me, but where do you think they got it from?) You can read a slightly out-of-date biography of me here. (Or maybe it won't be out of date. It depends on whether I have time to update it today. You can add "busy" to my list of descriptors. For the reason why, just check out the last line of my bio -- the one that mentions kids.)

I write the "Holmes on the Range" mystery series. It started in a short story you can find here and has continued through several more stories and four novels: this one, this other one, then this one, and now this. From time to time, I venture out into public to discuss my writing (and whatever else people want to chat about), and you'll find a schedule of my upcoming appearances here. I also have an e-mail newsletter you can sign up for (by going here) and occasionally drop in on book clubs discussing my novels (via an offer you can read about here). On top of all that, I'm quite the generous son of a buck: If you buy The Crack in the Lens in the next, oh, three days, I'll send you a paperback of one of the earlier books. (You can go here for more details. I'm extending the deal to accommodate all my new Times-reading admirers, like you. I hope.)

What else do you need to know about me? Well, my turn-ons include black humor, beer and kung pao chicken, my turn-offs are mean people, tramp stamps and Ethan Hawke, and my measurements are....

Then again, maybe you didn't need to know all that about me. So I think I'll just stop here.

Steve Hockensmith
August 1, 2009



Some of us loved you before you were famous. :) Or at least before you were famous in New York.

Does this mean that the local B&N will now carry the paperback of the Black Dove? What kind of bookstore carries the hardback of a new novel and doesn't get have the rest of the series in stock?

No wonder times are so hard in the book business.


Thanks, Lynn -- I'm feeling the love! As for Barnes & Noble...well, the love's a little harder to feel there. And forget Borders: No hate, but no love, either. Here's the deal.

As you mentioned, B&N's carrying THE CRACK IN THE LENS, but the order wasn't huge, so there's no guarantee it'll be in every store. Ditto with THE BLACK DOVE: If you weren't one of the first folks in your local B&N looking for it, tough darts. And Borders, I've been told, isn't carrying the new book at all.

So what does that mean for my legions of would-be readers? Well, if you're not lucky enough to have a super-fab indie store in your town like Murder by the Book or "M" Is for Murder or Poisoned Pen or the like, there's a good chance you'll have to order my stuff online. Kind of a bummer, but hey -- thank god for the Interwebs, right?


Shawn D. Hilton

Just a suggestion, but if you don't see the books on the shelves of these book stores go straight to the first associate you see and ask for it.

Keep asking for it.

I would have to think that if enough people start asking for a book they might order a few more copies.


Now that you're famous will you have time for the Gang anymore?

Congratulations for making the Times!


Thanks, Lee! And of course I'll always have time for -- whoops. Phone's ringing. Caller I.D. says it's my new pal Salman Rushdie. He must be calling about the wing-ding over at J.D. Salinger's place. Man, can those literary cats swing. Sorry, gotta go.


Ann Parker

Wow! Congrats, Steve! This is super (and well-deserved) plaudits for you and the Amlingmeyer gang. Big Red's hit the big time!! :-D And I snapped up my copy of Crack in the Lens from Denver's Murder by the Book, so I'm ready to read...


You hit a two-fer there, Ann -- buying CRACK, and supporting such a super store while you were at it. Double thanks! Hope the tour's going great for you. I can only assume you've got a ton of fans out Colorado way!


John Schramm

Awesome review, Steve. You really deserve this recognition of your work.

Great seeing you at your signing tonight.


Thanks, John! It was really nice to finally catch up with my old Bouchercon roomie. Too bad you won't be in Indy, but hey -- that just gives you another weekend to work on the book. Remember: a finished novel and short story by Bouchercon '10, right?


John Schramm

Sir! Yes, sir!


Shanna Derringer

Steve, you are the coolest! I got my Japanese book and magazine. Thank you so much!

And it's about time you got some major recognition. I'm so excited for you!

And what's all this about not liking tramp stamps??? I have one and I'm quite proud of it, thank you very much!


Oh, Shanna -- there's been a misunderstanding! If you'll read closely, you'll see that my turn off was "tramp stamps and Ethan Hawke." Meaning I wouldn't want to see a tramp stamp on Ethan Hawke. They look great on everybody else! Sorry for the confusion....


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