Crime Fiction Friday: “The Writer’s End” by Jonathan Woods

Jonathan Woods comes to BookPeople to speak and sign his latest romp, Kiss the Devil Good Night, on Sunday, November 20, at 5 PM. He’ll be joined by Ben Rehder and Lance Hawvermale. Thanks to Jonathan for sending along a crazy crime fiction Friday to get us all psyched for the event, and thanks to Dahlia for her beautiful, bloody illustrations!


The Writer’s End: A Key West Story

By Jonathan Woods

Illustrated by Dahlia Woods

Sitting on the porch of a white frame house dating from the 19th Century in Old Town Key West, the writer writes. He wears white cotton shorts, his pale linen shirt unbuttoned. With one hand he accidentally brushes back his thinning apricot-colored hair.

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Meat Salesmen and Wiggle Picks: MysteryPeople Q&A with Ben Rehder

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Ben Rehder’s latest Blanco County novel, Point Taken, has his hero John Marlin playing straight man in a murder involving arrowheads, one scary meat salesman, and the redneck Abbott and Costello, Red and Billy Don, now flush with cash.

Ben will be joining Jonathan Woods and Lance Hawvermale for what is bound to be a fun discussion on Sunday, November 20th, at 5 PM. We got to him a little earlier to ask him these questions.

MysteryPeople Scott: While still very funny, this book came off a little darker than some of the other Blanco books I’ve read. Was that intended?

Ben Rehder: No, I didn’t intend that, and you’re actually the first person to make that comment. But I can see it. In hindsight, I have no problem with it being darker, and for a deeper explanation why, see the next answer…

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Strangers Join Hands: MysteryPeople Q&A with Lance Hawvermale

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery


Gabe Traylin, the hero of Lance Hawvermale’s thriller Face Blind, suffers from a condition where one cannot distinguish the characteristics that make up someone’s face – not a great thing when he witnesses a murder from his NASA observatory in Chile. He ends up with a motley crew of characters, on the run, trying to find the killer he can only distinguish as “The Rifleman.”

We talked to Lance about the book, his characters, the setting, and his influences. Joined by Jonathan Woods and Ben Rehder, Lance Hawvermale comes to BookPeople to speak and sign his latest on Sunday, November 20th, at 5 PM

MysteryPeople Scott: What drew you to a protagonist with face blindness?

Lance Hawvermale: I wasn’t so much drawn to Gabe Traylin as haunted by him. Ever since I first learned of face-blindness, years ago, Traylin’s story has been growing behind my eyelids whenever I try to sleep. I can only imagine that sense of isolation, of not even recognizing your own mother. How could you ever really trust anyone? A protagonist like that certainly deserved to have his story told.

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Bad Boys and Tough Cookies: MysteryPeople Q&A with Jonathan Woods

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

The term “normal” or “boring” will never describe Jonathan Woods’ writing. Fusing beat sensibility to crime fiction, his gonzo noir is kinky, absurd, and allows you to have a lot of fun rolling around in the dirt with him. This is no more reflected than in his latest, Kiss The Devil Goodnight. Bill Derringer, college dropout and war vet, goes for revenge against Aunt Ida, a femme fatale of operatic proportions, who set him up to take a five year stretch for a gun show robbery and took his wife.

We talked to Jonathan about the book, writing, and badass women. Joined by Lance Hawvermale and Ben Rehder, Jonathan Woods comes to BookPeople to speak and sign his latest on Sunday, November 20th, at 5 PM

Scott Montgomery: As a writer, what makes Bill Derringer a good protagonist?

Jonathan Woods: I think of Bill Derringer as part of a long line of bad boy antiheroes from Tom Jones and Barry Lyndon to Sebastian Dangerfield in Donleavy’s The Ginger Man and Charles Highway in Martin Amis’ The Rachel Papers, to Sailor Ripley in Barry Gifford’s Wild at Heart and Ray Midge in Charles Portis’ The Dog of the South. In Bill Derringer I wanted to create an antihero who was crazed, hallucinatory, hardboiled and profane but, at the same time, sympathetic. I hope I have achieved that.

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Crime Fiction Friday: “Kay Chart” by V. P. Chandler

MysteryPeople_cityscape_72 Introduced by Scott Montgomery

We’re happy to have an original story from Austin crime writer V. P. Chandler to share with y’all this week.  The tale below might be in the Western category of fiction, but its’ content is plenty murderous enough to be featured on Crime Fiction Friday. Chandler’s short story “Rota Fortunae” is included in the Austin Mystery Writers’ short story collection Murder on Wheels, which you can find on our shelves or via

“Kay Chart” by V. P. Chandler

“Hurry up with them biscuits and gravy, old woman!”

Cooter laughs and wipes brown spit from the corner of his mouth. Damn if we wasn’t having fun. Things have been going our way since we left San Antone last week even though folks warned us not to venture so far west. Said the Comanche were still riled up after skirmishes with the Rangers.

But I got plans. Plans for me and Becky. And I can’t wait any longer to get money. When I heard she was engaged to that son of a bitch Whitney, it took the wind right outta me. So Cooter and me have been working our way west, raiding homesteads as we go. Since the Comanches have been hitting the farms, we thought we’d do some raiding of our own.

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International Crime Fiction: Spotlight on Spain

  • Post by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz

2016’s been a prolific year for crime fiction set in Spain, ranging from tales of 16th century rebellion against the Inquisition to 1970s punk protests of Franco’s fascist regime. The volumes below remind us that, in Spanish history, just as in the Pyrenees, there are many highs and lows. All make for fascinating backdrops…to murder. 

9781101982730Devils of Cardona by Matthew Carr 

The Spanish king sends a trusted converso judge, Bernardo de Mendoza, to investigate a priest’s bloody murder in a region known for the tolerance of the local gentry and the suspicions of the local Inquisition. More murders have occurred by the time the investigating judge and his party arrive – the mutilated corpses of four drovers point a finger at the area’s former Muslim inhabitants, yet Mendoza suspects the murders stem from another force looking to persecute Moriscos, or Muslims forced to convert to Catholicism. This story speaks to the brutality of the 16th century and the rising xenophobia of our own day. With The Devils of Cardona, Matthew Carr has created a visceral historical mystery and a passionate plea for tolerance. You can find copies on our shelves or via

9781616956288Blood Crime by Sebastia Alzamora

While I normally read about anarchist Barcelona from the other side, I thoroughly enjoyed this bizarre tale of bloody murder, told from the perspective of priests attempting to leave Republican Spain and join their brethren in the South of France. As they negotiate with an anarchist leader whose sister, herself a nun, has convinced him to aid in their escape, a vampire picks off priests and altar boys amidst the chaos. A strangely endearing mixture of gothic horror, murder mystery, and political commentary, originally published in Catalan and brought to US audiences by SoHo Press. Copies are available via special order in-store or via

9781501131677The Sleeping World by Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes

This political thrill-ride of a novel follows a group of teens who attack a policeman at a protest in 1970s Spain, and must go on the run and hope that a regime change happens sooner, rather than later. Along the way, they discover lingering graffiti tags from the protagonist’s disappeared brother, mapping a path of mourning for the unnaturally lost across the landscape. Fuentes vividly recreates a time of massive shifts in Spanish politics and the rebellious power of a punk-rock lifestyle under a fascist regime. You can find copies on our shelves or via

9781632061096The Winterlings by Cristina Sanchez-Andrade

After beguiling Spanish critics and winning the English Pen Award, The Winterlings, an eerie tale of lingering secrets from Cristina Sanchez-Andrade, now makes its way across the pond by our friends at Restless Books. The Winterlings tells the strange story of two sisters who return to their village after a long exile. Their initial reason for leaving? Their father’s brutal murder during the Spanish Civil War. Their reason for returning? A secret to the curious villagers, but not to the sisters… You can find copies on our shelves or via

The Quirky Homicide Detective: Guest Post from Peter James

My Path To David Gaylor

Guest post from Peter James

My path to David Gaylor, the inspiration and role model for my character, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, began 30 years ago, when I was burgled! I subsequently became friends with the young detective who dusted my house for fingerprints. Knowing I was midway through writing a thriller involving police officers he told me one day: ‘There’s this quirky homicide detective you might like to meet …’

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