Back in L.A.

I just got back from a quick trip to New York for the Mystery Writers of America annual meeting and the orientation for new Board members, which is why there have been no new posts from me here and why I've been tardy posting your comments. My wife and daughter came with me, so we squeezed in some sight-seeing, some shopping, a horse buggy ride through Central Park and a Broadway show in between the MWA stuff, and meetings with my editor and my agent. It looks like there's probably going to be more MONK books in my future, so that's good news. I also got some very good news on one of my spec scripts, but it's too soon for me to share more details on that publicly just yet. 

We spotted lots of character actors on the street in NY — mostly bad guys and lawyers from the various versions of LAW & ORDER — and Al Sharpton, who I was surprised to see, since I saw him on CNN on the plane saying he was catching a flight right away to Haiti. 

It's great to be back home and I'm eager to start writing again tonight.

Don’t Forget Your Dentures

Here's an excerpt from my mom Jan Curran's memoir ACTIVE SENIOR LIVING. It's the list of "house rules" for the dining room at her Active Senior Living facility:

1. No sleeping in the dining room.

2. Please use tissues rather than the cloth napkins for blowing your nose.

3. No baseball caps or other head gear in the dining room.

4. Women should not dine with rollers in their hair.

5. No bare feet.

6. No pajamas, nightgowns or robes in the dining room.

7. No wine service with breakfast.

8. Motorized scooters in designated areas only.

9. Wait staff will not be responsible for partials or dentures left on dining tables.

10. Wait staff will not be responsible for hearing aids left on dining tables.

11. Second helpings on dessert only.

Oddly enough, those are the same rules they have at the CBS commissary.

Active Senior Living

Mom's Cover My mom Jan Curran's "fictionalized memoir" ACTIVE SENIOR LIVING is now available for purchase as a trade paperback or in a download version. Here's the cover copy:

Jan Curran, a vivacious socialite and newspaper reporter, reluctantly moves
into an Active Senior Living complex to recuperate from a brutal battle with
cancer. She tackles the surprises and challenges of her new life with warmth,
wit, and courage, meeting a colorful cast of unforgettable characters in an often hilarious yet profoundly moving story of friendship and hope.

It's the perfect book for anyone you know who is dealing with cancer…or is facing the daunting prospect of moving into a retirement home after a life on their own.

The book will soon be available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can find out more at the Active Senior Living blog and at Jan Curran's Facebook Fan page.

Mr. Monk and the Thrill of it All

Monk and the Dirty Cop

Chris Well at The Thrill of It All has given MR. MONK AND THE DIRTY COP some love. He says, in part:

Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop is a real-deal whodunit that will have you turning the pages as Monk puts each clue in its proper place. But at its heart, this isn't just a another book where Monk works through his OCD long enough to solve a murder mystery — it's also a book that challenges some of our preconceptions about the relationships Monk has with Capt. Stottlemeyer and with Natalie. By the end of the journey, we've learned something about these people — and they've learned something about themselves.
Whether you're a fan of the TV show or not, Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop is a gem for any fan of mystery fiction.

Thanks Chris!

Mr. Monk and the Troublesome Review

Alan Cranis at Bookgasm has flattered me with a rave review for MR. MONK IN TROUBLE. He says, in part:

Once again, Goldberg expertly sails along the fine line of character quirks that make Monk so infuriating, and yet so endearing. His obsessions with order and cleanliness are on full display here. As usual, they are enough to make you want to give up on him completely and leave him to his scrubbing and reorganizing (as the long-suffering Natalie has often done). But, again as usual, Goldberg balances these irritations with enough reassuring humor and sheer crime-solving fun that you find yourself cheering for Monk by the conclusion.

But, wait — there’s more! The author includes several excerpts from Guthrie’s recollections of Artemis Monk and the crimes he solved in the old days of Trouble. These serve as full-fledged short stories within the novel — a sort of “Monk in the Old West” bonus, every bit as entertaining and fun as the present-day story itself.

Thanks, Alan!

Mr. Monk and the In-Jokes

I've had lots of emails from readers who've spotted some of my western related "in-jokes" in MR. MONK IN TROUBLE. So far, only one reader has caught most of them, and that was Mike Galbreath. He caught all of these (if you want to find them yourself, DON'T READ ANY FURTHER):

Abigail Guthrie — an homage to A.B Guthrie Jr., author the "The Way West."

Artemis Monk — an homage, of course, to Artemis Gordon, from "The Wild, Wild West"

Harley Kelton — an homage to the late Elmer Kelton, one of my favorite authors.

Billy Crider – an homage to my friend, author Bill Crider

Edward Randisi – an homage to western author Bob Randisi

Bob Gorman – an homage to my friend, and enthusiastic supporter, author Ed Gorman

Doris Thurlo – an homage to my friends, Aimee and David Thurlo, authors of the Ella Clah novels.

George Gilman – an homage western author George G. Gilman, creator of "EDGE"

Jake Slocum —  An homage to the hero of 300 western novels

Ralph DeRosso – an homage to western pulp writer H.A. DeRosso

Leonard McElroy — Another homage to Elmer Kelton. Lee McElroy was Kelton's pseudonym and Kelton grew up on the McElroy ranch

Clifford Adams — an homage to western writer Clifton Adams

The McMurtry mine — a homage to Larry McMurtry

Sheriff Wheeler — a little hat-tip to western author Richard S. Wheeler, who was a big help on the book.

Parley Weaver — an homage to the two actors who played Chester on GUNSMOKE, Parley Baer (radio) and Dennis Weaver (t.v.)

Bart Spicer — an homage to the author of of "Blues for the Prince," and a couple of fine westerns.

Bogg's Saloon — a hat-tip to western author Johnny Boggs

Lydia Wilder — an homage to author Laura Ingalls Wilder

Elmore Portis — an homage to authors Elmore Leonard (3:10 TO YUMA) and Charles Portis (TRUE GRIT)

Pete Cooley — a hat-tip to western actor Spade Cooley

Jonas Dehner — a hat-tip to actor John Dehner played Palladin on the radio and guest starred in just about every TV western that was ever made.

Mike Galbreath was very, very good, but he missed a few references. Here's what he didn't spot:

Manny Fiekema —  was an homage to western writer Fieke Fiekema, who changed his name to Frederick Manfred. He was the author of LORD GRIZZLY and RIDERS OF JUDGEMENT. 

Gator Dunsen — an homage to a character John Wayne once played (named Dunsen, not Gator) 

And, finally, the entire set-up in Trouble with Sheriff Kelton is a spoof of Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone, an alcoholic cop who becomes a police chief in Paradise, a fictional town outside of Boston (Bill Crider is the only one so far to catch that one).

UPDATE: I forgot about:

Lute Asper – an homage to Quint Asper, the character played Burt Reynolds on GUNSMOKE

Alvie Bartell – an homage to Harry Bartell, a character actor who often appeared on the GUNSMOKE radio show. 

Mr. Monk and the Bon Mots


I'm pleased to say that two more positive reviews for my MONK books have come in. One is from book critic Debra Hamel, the creator of the incredible Twitterlit feed (which tweets memorable first lines from books), who really liked MR. MONK IS MISERABLE. She says, in part:

As usual with this series, Mr. Monk is Miserable offers readers a winning combination, a good mystery wrapped in humorous dialogue and occasional bits of pathos. I am impressed by how consistently enjoyable the Monk books are.

My friend Ed Gorman got a few chuckles out of MR. MONK IN TROUBLE. He says, in part:

Lee Goldberg's story is rich with lore about the old Gold Rush in general and mining towns in particular. It is equally rich in Monk lore. I can't think of any other mystery character who makes me laugh out loud as often as Monk does. And in the current novel Monk is loopier than ever. Thank God.

Thanks Debra & Ed!

Call of the Mild

9780451228765 William Rabkin's  hilarious CALL OF THE MILD, his latest original PSYCH novel,  is now out at bookstores everywhere. Here's the skinny:

Shawn Spencer has convinced everyone he's psychic.

Now, he's either going to clean up-or be found out…

Shawn Spencer has always hated the wilderness-by which he means anything outside the delivery radius of his favorite pizza place. But Psych has been hired to solve a baffling case of industrial espionage, and the only way to catch the spy is to join their client's bonding retreat-a grueling seven day backpacking mountain trek.

But when one of the campers turns up with a bullet in the head, Shawn and Gus soon realize that sheer cliffs, rampaging bears, and freeze- dried pineapple aren't the greatest threats they face…

How can you resist? Go out and buy it now.

Book Fest Revisited

I just discovered that is selling a recording of my panel discussion with authors Stephen J. Cannell, Craig Johnson, Jan Burke, and Robert Dugoni at last years Los Angeles Times Book Festival for $5. I haven't heard it yet, but people said nice things about it and I'm sure it will kill the time pleasantly next time you're stuck in a traffic jam or if you're burning calories on a treadmill.