Happy Halloween, folks. No parties for me tonight; instead, I'm running the box office for Gaslight Theater's production of Private Lives, which continues tomorrow and next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. (If you're in central Maine, come see it; the performances are terrific, and it's very funny. Also, my living room sofa is part of the set.)
Our production of Private Lives is set in 1970s Maine, rather than 1930s France, so I'm toying with the idea of dressing up as a '70s hostess: wearing my mother's black-and-gold Moroccan caftan, teasing my hair very big, and laying on the blue eyeshadow.
My fear is that people will not recognize this as a costume; instead, they'll tell me how nice I look, and in the bar afterwards they'll shriek with laughter (or just shake their heads in sorrow) about my feeble attempts to make myself presentable.
What are you going to be for Halloween?
What I Read This Week
Karen Olson, SHOT GIRL. Karen's my friend, but I liked her Annie Seymour series before I met her. Annie's one of the most believable characters in crime fiction, a moody single woman who swears too much, bickers with her mother, and would sometimes rather be a good reporter than a good person. SHOT GIRL, the fourth book in this series, is far and away the best; it starts with Annie's discovery of a dead body who happens to be her long-estranged ex-husband. He's on the ground next to Annie's car, surrounded by bullets that appear to have come from Annie's gun. Annie herself is an unreliable narrator; it's a bold risk for a late book in a series, but it pays off.
Declan Hughes, PLAYS: Digging for Fire, New Morning, Halloween Night, Love and a Bottle. Meeting Declan Hughes was one of the great pleasures of this year's Bouchercon. I'd admired his novels before I met him, but my friend Richard Brewer asked, "Have you read his plays?" So now I have, and they are just as impressive as the novels: passionate, funny, and uncannily insightful, especially about their female characters. New Morning and Halloween Night are explicitly ghost stories, but all four plays are haunted by a kind of broken-hearted rage that feels specifically Irish.
Tim Maleeny, BEATING THE BABUSHKA. Tim was someone else I met at Bouchercon, and also just delightful; Bobby and others at The Mystery Bookstore have been raving about his books for years, and I'm embarrassed that I'm just reading them now. This is the second Cape Weathers investigation, but I didn't feel I'd missed anything by not having read the first (though now I'll go back to it). The San Francisco PI investigates the apparent suicide of a Hollywood producer who went off the Golden Gate Bridge, and finds himself poking a hive of Russian gangsters. Great fun, owing as much to Carl Hiaasen as to Dashiell Hammett, with a wonderful sense of place.