Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Parker in Paperback

YES, IT’S TRUE. Parker Noble and Murder Most Holy will be featured in a new mass market paperback late next year or early in 2009. World Wide Mysteries, a division of Harlequin Publishing has purchased the rights to Murder Most Holy for its mystery book club.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interview with Parker Noble, Main Character in Murder Most Holy

Q. Thank you, Mr. Noble for taking time to visit with my blog readers today.
A. It is my pleasure.
Q. Before you joined the attorney general’s office, where did you practice law?
A. When I first graduated from law school I took a job in the legal department of a large insurance company.
Q. You defended insurance companies?
A. Yes, and I really wasn’t happy there. I was offered a job as assistant county attorney and began my public career representing the state in juvenile matters. Later one of my classmates called about an opening at the AG’s office, I applied and have been there ever since.
Q. How did you get the rank of Deputy Attorney General?
A. Another classmate was elected AG and offered me the job directing area prosecutions. The title came with the position.
Q, And just what is “area prosecutions”?
A. Most of the criminal work in the AG’s office is appellate; we defend criminal cases on appeal from lower courts. However, there are some cases that the AG’s office prosecutes in the trial court and that work is turned over to the team we call “area prosecutions.”
Q. So you have had experience prosecuting criminals all over the state?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. And your reputation was as a top-notch litigator.
A. I won’t dispute that.
Q. Then you didn’t get your judicial appointment and you quit the courtroom. Why?
A. I don’t want to talk about that.
Q. But you were kept on in the AG’s office.
A. I work with the state police now. I guess you would call me a liaison to the attorney general’s office.
Q, Is that how you get involved in solving murders?
A. I do what the work requires.
Q. And how are the police to work with?
A. As a prosecutor they can be your best friends or your worst enemy. They are friends because they work the same side of the street I do. They can cause trouble when they don’t quite grasp some of the legal or evidentiary issues a prosecutor needs to consider. They sometimes can get too involved in the case and lose some objectivity that, I hope, a good prosecutor can dictate.
Q. And how is working with Detective Stankowski?
A. Stanley is a good cop. He has a lot to learn, but his is a good cop. Sometimes he gets sidetracked with his women, but all in all, he’s a good cop.
Q. And Stan’s friend, Buffy Cole?
A. She’s smarter than she acts, but its hard to figure out if she is more interested in Stanley or a career. That’s the problem with women professionals . . .
Q. Speaking of women, who is Mrs. Skosh?
A. My landlady, why do you ask?
Q, Is she married?
A. It’s none of your business, but she is a widow lady.
Q. And you’re a widower.
A. I think we’re done with this interview. I need to get home to feed Buckwheat Bob.
Q. Your dog?
A. Right.
Q. Well, thank you for your time. Before you go, can I buy you a beer or something for talking with me?
A. No beer.
Q. Why?
A. Anybody who drinks beer will steal.

End of interview –
www.mikemanno.com – Murder Most Holy

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brownback’s Ticket Home; Huckabee’s Ticket Up

KANSAS SENATOR SAM BROWNBACK’S anticipated withdrawal from the GOP presidential race may give former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee a first-class ticket out of Iowa on caucus night.

I have opined before that conservatives and evangelicals were starting to coalesce behind Huckabee. This became evident after his surprising second-place finish at the Iowa Republican straw poll in Ames earlier this year. It became even more obvious as his strong debate performances started pushing up his poll numbers. And the good news for the Huckabee camp kept coming: this week two major polls put him in the Iowa top three.

Senator Brownback – a Catholic convert – had been the other logical choice for evangelical conservatives, receiving a lot of attention from the right-to-life folks who will show up on caucus night. His departure leaves Huckabee – an ordained Baptist minister – their obvious next choice.

While it is too early for the Huckabee people to start whistling “Hail to the Chief,” the thought of a “President Mike” doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bella, The Movie

MY WIFE AND I RECENTLY HAD THE UNUSUAL opportunity to preview the movie Bella, which will open in theaters later this month. It is the story of a hot-shot world soccer player who through a tragic event has lost everything.

Mexican heartthrob Eduardo Verastegui is the ex-soccer player, now working as a cook in his brother's Mexican restaurant. After losing all, he finds redemption offering unconditional friendship to the young waitress his brother had just fired. Tammy Blanchard is the waitress who suddenly finds herself without a job at the most critical time of her life. It is a story about friendship, faith, and unconditional love.

I don't normally do movie reviews, but this one is a must-see. The winner of the Toronto Film Festival, the Heartland Film Festival, the Legacy Award by the Smithsonian Latino Center, and White House Honors from First Lady Laura Bush, Bella opens in theaters October 26.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Bridges of Madison County

WINTERSTE, IOWA IS HOSTING its annual Covered Bridge Festival this Saturday (October 13). Winterset, you will recall, is the setting for the book and the movie “The Bridges of Madison County.”

As part of the festival, the local library is hosting several local authors. We will be at the library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are planning on going to the festival, please stop by the library and say “hello.” If you are not planning on coming, but are in the area you might want to re-consider. It is a fun festival in a very nice community that will be rolling out the red carpet for its visitors.