So here we are in our new digs. I miss Criminal Brief but I admit to a certain delight at a fresh start. It feels like all my crimes have been pardoned, my sins forgiven, my Permanent Record run through the shredder and the statute of limitations run out. In other words, all the mistakes I made at CB have been forgotten and I can make them all over again. I can hardly wait!
It is tempting to do now what James Lincoln Warren asked us not to do in the last weeks of CB: namely, get all weepy and nostalgic about the good old days back there. But a better idea might be to ruin James’ reputation by revealing to the world exactly how incredibly generous, hard-working, and thoughtful he was throughout the whole project. Wouldn’t that serve him right?
But no. Even James deserves a fresh start. And in that regard I am going to assume you may not be familiar with me so I think I should tell you a little bit about the person who hopes to steal a few minutes of your time on 76.9% of your Wednesdays. (Neil Schofield will be filling this slot on the second Wednesday of each month, and I am delighted to have him on board.) But getting back to me, here are some Fun Facts:
- I am a librarian.
- I live in the Pacific Northwest.
- I am the author of forty-plus short stories and a novel.
- My most recent publication is a non-fiction piece entitled How Overdue Library Books Caused the Civil War.
- I am the winner of a Derringer Prize and a nominee for an Anthony. So far the Edgar, Oscar and Nobel have narrowly escaped my grasp.
- I am considered by some to have a bizarre imagination.
- I was Dashiell Hammett’s inspiration for the character Wilmer in The Maltese Falcon. (Frankly I don’t think Elisha Cook Jr. captured my innate charm.)
- I have built a 1:20 scale-model of Nero Wolfe’s office, entirely out of popsicle sticks.
- While I write under my own name now I am perhaps best known for my work under the names Ngaio Marsh and Erle Stanley Gardner.
- I know who killed Roger Ackroyd, who framed Roger Rabbit, who Teddy Villanova is, who killed Cock Robin, what Mrs. McGillicuddy saw, and where Carmen Sandiego is.