Mystery Review: Flesh and Gold by Ann Aptaker

Flesh and Gold (Cantor Gold Crime)Flesh and Gold by Ann Aptaker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the writing in this series. It’s pithy, wise-cracking, noir talk crackling with wit, intelligence and magnificent metaphors. I’ve always wanted to go to Cuba, especially the sparkling, exotic, forbidden Cuba of the 50’s and Flesh and Gold gave me more than I could have imagined. It’s all there: the pastel buildings, the formidable sun, the white-walled tires, the architecture, and the rum. And now I know about Cuba’s darkest side: sinister, sinful, and dangerous. I’ll still go to Cuba. But now I’ll avoid some of the backstreets. Great storytelling.

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Sister Crime Writers

From Cozies to Noir.  Here are a half-dozen mystery-writing friends whose work I adore.  Try them.  You’ll like them.  It would be a crime not to.

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Thanks to Alexia Gordon for the concept, and thanks to her designer, Leslie Lipps.

Bouchercon: Where Hard-Boiled, Noir and Cupcakes Converge in Crime

Logo Bouchercon was held in St. Petersburg, Florida this year.  More than a thousand mystery/crime authors, bloggers, publishers, bloggers, readers and others who love the genre come together to rekindle friendships, make new contacts, conduct business, teach/learn the craft and celebrate the best in crime fiction and non-fiction.

It was my very first Bouchercon, and I had a blast.  This conference is overwhelmingly immersive.  I was pleased to participate in an event on the first day of the conference called Coats of Many Colors where authors were tasked with sharing a name or two of other authors who Coat of many colorsdeserved more attention.  I listed Stefani Deoul (On a Larp); Stephen Mack Jones (August Snow) and Penny Mickelbury (The Gianna Magglione/Mimi Patterson mystery series).  Later that day, I was honored to be on a panel that discussed the tropes of the private investigator genre with five experienced practitioners of the craft.

On Saturday, I paired up with a DC area writer friend, John Copenhaver, to do the Author Speed Dating event.  John and I gave our two-minuteAuthor Speed Dating spiels to nearly 80 readers moving from table-to-table, while breakfast eaters munched on pastries and listened attentively.  It was exhausting and exhilarating.

The 3-day conference was filled with panels, presentations, interviews of celebrity crime writers, book signings….

and cupcakes.

cupcakes

 

 

Michigan Mini Book Tour-Good to be Home.

I met some amazing readers, librarians, and indie bookstore owners during my recent Book 2WMWIObook tour for Wake Me When It’s Over.  I had five events starting in Detroit; and then on to Lansing and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Wilder Branch Library of Detroit’s public library system invited me to chat with their book club. This vibrant group of women (and one man) were voracious and knowledgeable readers.  Librarian, Annette Stocks and book club Wilder Book Club

Alice Hudginscoordinator, Alice Hudgins  wSusan and RJ Foxere superb hosts.

Then it was on to Pages Bookshop in northwest Detroit. It’s a beautiful, neighborhood bookstore managed with care by owner Susan Murphy.  Susan had invited Detroit Author, RJ Fox to interview me.  RJ has a superb book called Awaiting Identification.

RJ Fox book

 

 

 

 

At the Elmwood Park Branch Library, the book club asked specific questions about Book 1 in the Charlie Mack Motown Mystery Series, Bury Me When I’m Dead, and purchased book 2. The book club members were a committed, lively, friendly group.

signing-carmen garcia

In Lansing, at the Everybody Reads Books and Gift Shop (thank you Scott); I was joined by authors, David Pratt, Beth Burnett, and Marianne K. Martin.

Pratt, Burnett, Martin

In Ann Arbor, Keith (the owner of Common Language Bookshop) introduced our writers & music group-we called our event Queerly Michigan-and served wine!

reading at Common Language in Ann Arbor

My mother and my kid joined me for part of the book tour.  It was good to be home!

BookPeople’s Mystery Bookstore-within-a Bookstore in Austin, TX

 

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I appreciate Scott Butki of Mystery People for this great interview.  Thanks!

“Cheryl Head is a fresh voice whose mysteries include references to diversity and tolerance, in addition to humor and good plot twists. This is all on display in her new book, Wake Me When It’s Over, the second in her Charlie Mack Motown Mystery series..”

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OutWrite and My Queery Q & A.

It’s been a while since I posted anything to the blog.  I’ve been doing a whirlwind of interviews, planning for a book tour, and writing/editing.

I’ll be doing a reading, and a panel discussion at the OutWrite LGBTQ literary festival in Washington, DC on Saturday, August 4, 2018.  But, last week I answered the Washington Blade’s QUEERY questions.  Here’s a link to the online post.

And here’s the nice photo that accompanied the 20 Gay questions

Photo by Michael Key for the Washington Blade

Photo by Michael Key for the Washington Blade

 

OutWrite 2018 crime-mystery

 

 

Outwrite writing black and queer

The Times They are A’Changing

Aside

Wow. It has been a wild season of change which has kept me away from my blog.

I’ve been crazy busy.  Mostly dealing with life. The ups and  downs of it. The personal things that can drain your energy, and monopolize your time and attention.

Not necessarily listed in order of importance, but just as the events present themselves in my mind right now:

I’m helping my brothers and sister to find an Assisted Living Facility for my 90-year old

Mom and me in 2014

Mom and me in 2014

Mom.  She is feisty, and extroverted, and opinionated, and a force of life to be reckoned with.  It is only in the last 3 months that she has decided she doesn’t want to live independently.  We all love her, and want what’s best for her. She will stay with my sister and her family, for now.  It is a good, short-term solution.

I live in a home in Washington, DC that was built in 1850. The city Historical Homeowner’s Office wants me to rehabilitate the front facade of my Capitol Hill row house to its original look. 20170602_110138
It has been a one-year back-and-forth to apply and receive a grant to do this work which is now scheduled for this already disruptive summer.

I’ve had a change in my relationship status. That’s all I’ll say about that.

My ex-husband passed in May. He was a good man who helped everyone he could, whenever he could. He was full of jokes, laughter and fun. Our child, AJ, and I are still grieving his loss.

Book 2WMWIOI had a new book released in late May.  I have not had the time or space to be out and about with my latest Charlie Mack Motown Mystery, but she has received some positive reader reviews which I hope will continue.  I’ll be out on the first phase of a book tour starting in July at the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) annual meeting in Vegas in July. I’m also happy to announce a mini-book reading/signing tour in Michigan in late August where I will appear at two Detroit Public Library branches for book club discussions, as well as a reading at Pages Bookshop in the Detroit neighborhood where I lived twenty-five years ago. I’m so excited to be promoting my book in the city that gave me my roots.

There will be more details on the Book Tour on my Events page.  Please come out and see me if you can, and feel free to drop me a note, or comment, as the spirit moves you to do so.

Cheers