The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

March 11, 2010

SRO: Craig McDonald

It was standing-room only last night at Foul Play Mystery Books for native son Craig McDonald. Okay, so maybe that's a bit misleading as the store's square footage doesn't exactly rival that of a chain store. But it's a rarity nonetheless to have the little store quite so crowded for any author. And it was the first time in my memory that the store ran out of copies of an author's newest book, in this case PRINT THE LEGEND, before demand was satisfied. May all his future book signings be plagued with such good fortune.

A huge thanks to Craig, whose busy workday would leave most of us staggering under the pressure, for making time not only to appear and sign, but to truly give of himself during his talk. I know that I was not the only one delighted and intrigued by the bizarre bits of history Craig wove throughout his presentation.. A good blend of humor, history, mystery, and crime -- just like his books. When an author can make his audience feel like they've been clued in to government secrets, behind-the-scenes details surrounding Hemingway's death, and the bizarre events involving a nationally prominent family -- hell, yes, we were lining up for the Kool-Aid.

Book buyers also came away with a special prize from Craig: a chapbook containing Colt, a short story that details how Hector Lassiter came by the 1873 Colt Peacemaker that is his truest companion throughout his life. Don't think for a moment that this is just some fluff story to make the book buyer feel like he got a bargain. This story is a matched bookend to The Last Interview, the first published story to feature the Lassiter character. And of course, he wouldn't be The McDonald if he didn't use the story to blend fact with fiction, and fiction with fiction, and generally mess with your head just a little into the bargain.

Adding to the special nature of the event, it was a pleasure to meet Pete Guzzo, a fan of Corey's blogging for some while. I know Corey has friends, but who knew he has fans? Thanks for making yourself known, Pete.

And thanks to everyone else present, particularly the gracious author, who all tolerated my fangirl behavior and helped me with all the books I needed signed. (No, Jen, I wasn't quite as bad as that guy in Dayton but it was a near run thing, if I may quote the Duke of Wellington.)

In case you missed last night's event, Craig is also scheduled to appear:

Saturday, March 13 at 1 p.m.
Books & Company at the Greene
4453 Walnut Street
Dayton, OH
(937) 429-2169

Saturday, March 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Aunt Agatha's
213 South 4th Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI
(734) 769-1114

Tuesday, May 18 at 7 p.m.
Marysville Friends Author Series
Veteran's Memorial Auditorium
233 W. 6th St.
Marysville, OH
(937) 642-1876

Wednesday, July 28
Thurber House
77 Jefferson Avenue
Columbus, OH
(614) 464-1032 

These books by Craig McDonald are available at a fine indie store near you or online by clicking the links:

The Hector Lassiter series:

ART IN THE BLOOD: Crime Novelists Discuss Their Craft
ROGUE MALES: Conversations & Confrontations About the Writing Life


  1. Wish I'd have been there. Sounds like a fantastic stop, Naomi. I'm holding out for the audiobook for PRINT THE LEGEND come May since Tom Stechschulte does such a great job as Lasso and all the historical legends in the books. I hope Mr. McDonald finds his way out to the left coast (I was hoping he'd come out to the L.A. Times Festival of Books this year). Thanks much for this.

  2. Craig said he got to choose who read the book for the audio version. Of course, he's close to someone who works for Recorded Books so he may have more insight into the audio biz of books than most authors. Would have been so cool if you could have been there, Michael. Any chance for B'con 2011 in St Louis?

  3. Craig is truly a great man. I'm glad you had a good time, Naomi

  4. Given Jen's involvement and Robert Crais being the man of the hour, it's my long term plan to come to B'con 2011. Thanks.

  5. My deepest thanks to all who turned out. To say I was floored to see all those friendly faces upon arrival would be heroic understatement. And special thanks to my gracious hosts at Foul Play.

    Naomi: Thank you for the great conversation at the after-party.

  6. Yeah, Craig, you were really into the Longaberger discussion, huh?

    Joking aside, thanks for sticking around. You must have been exhausted, so it was especially gracious of you.

    Keith: How could I not? He da man!
    Michael: Seems like a long time off, but probably not.

  7. Naomi, it was great to meet you last night. It was a fun evening. Craig is as interesting a speaker as he is a writer (and that is saying something).