MysteryPeople Q&A with Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods joins us at BookPeople Monday, April 11, at 7 PM, to speak and sign his latest Stone Barrington novel, Family Jewels. He will be joined by David C. Taylor, speaking and signing his second Michael Cassiddy novel, Night Work.

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

In Stuart Wood’s latest Stone Barrington novel, Family Jewels, the attorney/fixer gets involved with a lovely divorcée, a dead hooker, and a choker with a colorful history, all moving toward a suspenseful sting as the novel’s climax. We caught up with Mr. Woods to talk about the book, the stone, and to get some writing advice.

MysteryPeople Scott: The McGuffin of the title is a choker with a history tied to the Nazis. Is this part of your fiction based in fact?

Stuart Woods: Yes it is. They made a movie about the painting it’s seen in, The Woman In Gold. The painting found its way to the rightful owner, but the choker was still lost. That gave me a set up for the plot.

MPS: The book has many different aspects – mystery, thriller, and sting. Was there a particular part you enjoyed working with?

SW: I like giving the reader these variations. It allows me to play with things. I enjoyed the mystery element regarding the choker, because it was an actual unsolved mystery that allowed me to go wherever I want.

MPS: How did the creation of Stone Barrington come about?

SW: For New York Dead, I had this idea of a woman falling from a great height, whose night gown billows and acts as a parachute as she plummets into the dirt. I needed a witness for the event and came up with Stone.

MPS: What made him a character worth returning to?

SW: It was a while before I returned to him. Four or five books later, I wrote Dirt and needed a protagonist who had many of Stone’s qualities, so I decided to use a character I already had, fully formed.

MPS: As someone who has spent over three decades as a working author, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?

SW: Write something. Some people forget to do that in their aspirations.


Stuart Woods joins us at BookPeople Monday, April 11, at 7 PM, to speak and sign his latest Stone Barrington novelFamily JewelsHe will be joined by David C. Taylor, speaking and signing his second novel, Night WorkYou can find copies of Woods’ latest on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. All BookPeople events are free and open to the public. 

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