SavvyBookWriters has questions about Treasure of Saint-Lazare and its tale of stolen Nazi treasure

Doris-Maria Heilman of and was nice enough to request an author interview. I thought her questions about Treasure of Saint-Lazare were pertinent and interesting, and I enjoyed answering them. I hope you’ll find them interesting. There’s been a lot of interest in stolen Nazi treasure, and of course I’m happy to keep it going.

Click here for the interview:

This is a good chance to say again: Thanks to all of you who bought Treasure of Saint-LazareIt’s been out 18 months and is still selling well, and I’ve seen a lot of interest from reviewers — I think it proves the point that there’s no reason for ebooks to ever go out of print.

I’m well along in writing the sequel, whose working title is Last Stop: Paris.


Book Review: Rita’s big adventure

Cover from

Decades as an elementary-school teacher left Rita Major-Hallerdin with a keen desire to write about child safety. If her first effort is a good predictor, “Quincy’s Theme Park Adventure: A Lesson Learned” will be the first of a significant series designed to teach reading skills — and at the same time improve parenting. Hers will likely be an adventure as big as Quincy’s.

Her slim book was written to be read to and with young children, and to help their parents keep them out of trouble in big and troublesome Disney World (although she used a different name for the park, which is Disney’s loss).
It’s been well received so far. Both the Kindle and paperback versions have begun to move up in Amazon rankings, and should improve as more reviews come in.

Local reception has been good, too. Two dozen interested readers — grandparents rather than parents, considering where we live — came to Rita’s presentation one sunny afternoon at the Meadows Country Club in Sarasota, where they had the chance to question her and the capable illustrator, Kathy Houghton, without whom Quincy’s adventure would not have worked.

I’m very pleased that Rita’s book came out so well. I saw it in draft, without the illustrations, and (even though children’s books, and children, are not my thing). But if they’re yours, you will enjoy it and may come away from it with some useful ideas from the pertinent suggestions on the final pages.

Quincy’s Theme Park Adventure: A Lesson Learned is available from in Kindle and paperback editions.
You can also find Rita on Facebook


MY FAVORITE RECENT BOOKS – McEwan, Grossman, Kushner, Tartt, Patchett

I sat down this afternoon to answer Doris Heilman’s interview questions (which in the course of time will appear on, and it made me think more deeply about my own reading.

I read for pleasure and to admire the workmanship of my betters, so I was not surprised to find that my list included exactly zero books from my own genre, historical mysteries (example one and only so far is Treasure of Saint-Lazare, which hit #25 on the Amazon historical mysteries best-seller lists. It will be followed by a sequel, whose working title is Last Stop: Paris). Click the cover image at right to see the current book’s page.

Although I write about Paris, I don’t read much about Paris, short of the métro and bus timetables, and even those have been replaced by an iPhone app. I look for books by good writers, wherever I find them.

In no particular order, here are the books I listed in my answers to Doris. I hope you’ll look at them and, if you do, will enjoy them as much as I did:

– ATONEMENT, Ian McEwan (2003). A deep book about morality. (Its successor, Solar, was about the same subject, but not so satisfying. Still, I enjoyed it, too. Sweet Tooth was more Cold War-ish but daring in its execution. Read all three.)

– TO THE END OF THE LAND, David Grossman (2010). An Israeli novel, masterfully translated, about family and country. Beautifully written. It’s hard to overstate the impact of this book.

– THE FLAMETHROWERS, Rachel Kushner (2013). Italy in the time of anarchy, the Salt Flats in the time of motorcycle racing. Masterful, by a writer who says her neighbors think she’s a housewife who doesn’t sweep her porch often enough. Her earlier novel, Telex from Cuba, was almost as good.

– THE GOLDFINCH, Donna Tartt (2013). Stephen King said it was “a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind,” which is fuzzy but unarguable. A must read, but BIG – 700+ pages.

– BEL CANTO, Ann Patchett (2009). I had read exactly zero Ann Patchett until I started hearing about her new story collection, which prompted me to read more about her and land on this book. Recommended.

This list omits a lot of books, but it’s a place to start. Try them — your life will be better for it.