New reprints

Posted by: Barbara

New reprints - 05/17/06 04:24 PM

Maggie Topkis, owner of the Partners & Crime bookstore in New York, has started a new publishing venture she's calling Felony and Mayhem. F&M will be printing trade paperback editions of previously published mystery novels that have gone out of print. This is a small-scale venture right now, but the benefit to writers is terrific -- seeing one's older books back in print again.

Two of mine Maggie is reprinting are The Fourth Wall and Your Eyelids Are Growing Heavy. The former will be available in July; I don't have a pub date for Eyelids yet.

I'm especially glad about The Fourth Wall. That was my first mystery novel and I still have a soft spot for it.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: New reprints - 05/17/06 05:05 PM

Great news, Barbara. Might the opera mysteries be on the agenda eventually?
Posted by: Kay

Re: New reprints - 05/17/06 05:24 PM

Posted by: Rita

Re: New reprints - 05/18/06 09:24 PM

They -- or I guess I should say she -- chose two completely different kinds of mysteries. The body count in one is on the high side, while the other doesn't have a murder at all. I'm sure that was deliberate, like pairing Kill Fee with He Was Already Dead When I Got There. Tragedy and comedy.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: New reprints - 05/19/06 02:59 PM

Eyelids is my "lightest" book -- written quickly, containing no seemingly insurmountable menace, no blood spilled. Not really a comic novel, though; I'd have thought Already Dead would fit that label better. But Maggie Topkis is paying for it, so she gets her choice.

Andrew -- no, alas, nothing is in the works for the opera mysteries. Didn't you once post that you'd never seen those?
Posted by: Scribbler

Re: New reprints - 05/19/06 04:23 PM

This is good news! Interestingly enough, after recently reading my way (re-reading, actually, except for 2) through all the Mrs. Pollifax books, I was idly thinking and bemoaning that I only have copies of a couple of your books. I wondered if I'd be able to find copies anywhere. (I read all the others in library copies.)

I need to double check which titles I acutally have, though. Heh.
Posted by: Julia

Re: New reprints - 07/01/06 11:51 AM

Excellent. :-) (A bit late with the congratulations, I'm afraid --I havn't even glanced at the board for a couple of months, because I've been fighting with a new laptop and the current book.)

I'm pleased to see that The Fourth Wall is amongst the first releases. That's one of my favourite mysteries, but it's a bit awkward pushing it at people when it's out of print.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: New reprints - 07/01/06 06:15 PM

Hi, Julia. Yes, it's a little hard to push a book that's no longer available, dernit. People used to ask me where they could find my books and I'd say, wonderingly, "In a bookstore." (A friend of mine always answers that question with "At the laundromat.") But OP books can be pretty elusive.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: New reprints - 12/10/06 08:54 PM

Just in time for Christmas!

Unfortunately, the Felony & Mayhem website is undergoing a facelift and doesn't have much info yet.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: New reprints - 12/11/06 10:05 AM

There's a phone number there, and an e-address, but no prices. I called earlier today, but they weren't open yet. I never had the hardback copy, and my Popular Library paperback fell apart long ago, so I'm happy to see this new edition.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: New reprints - 12/11/06 06:06 PM

The Bantam paperback is still holding together, but it needs careful handling. Barbara, is this new edition a trade paperback?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: New reprints - 12/13/06 01:22 AM

Yes, it is, but one of the smaller-sized trades. If either of you is planning to buy a replacement copy, I should warn you there's a slight change in the opening that I made at the request of Maggie Topkis, the publisher.

You know about mystery-lovers and cats, don't you? They go together like Cav and Pag. More than once I've heard some writer or other on a panel say "Wholesale murder is okay, but never harm a single hair on a cat." And that's precisely why I started The Fourth Wall with the beheading of a cat; to a mystery/cat-lover, that would be shocking.

But Maggie has run a mystery bookshop for years, and she says that so many times she's watched customers read the first page of a book and decide to buy or not to buy solely on the basis of that first page. She's afraid the cat opening will cause me to lose new readers. I grumbled a lot but eventually decided she could be right. So I changed the cat into a much safer bird; it's not likely I'll start getting hate mail from bird-lovers.

If this were the first publication of the book, I would have said no. I said no to the English editor who wanted to change the title of Prima Donna at Large to Death of a Baritone. And I resisted considerable editorial pressure to change the ending of Kill Fee. But this is The Fourth Wall's sixth publication, so I figured it wouldn't kill me to give in this one time.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: New reprints - 12/13/06 04:17 PM

Aha! An instant collector's item! ("And the Final Jeopardy question is...what mystery writer substituted a bird for a cat in a decapitation scene?")
Posted by: Jon

Re: New reprints - 12/13/06 10:19 PM

This is the sort of thing that will literary scholars of 2095 all kinds of fun, trying to figure out if the author could possibly have approved such a fundamental change.

It's true, though, that you can kill all the human beings you want in a story, but never a cat. How well I remember the cries of outrage when Marilyn the cat on Prison Break was offed; there were three other killings in that episode, but nobody seemed to care much about that. My cries that this was a fictional cat, after all, and no real kitties were harmed, etc., seemed to fall on deaf ears.