Party Hearty

The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood and the Mystery Writers of America are hosting a big pre-Book Festival party at the store on Friday night, April 24, 5-9pm. Here's the skinny:


Join us for this annual celebration of crime fiction, featuring food, drink, and visits from dozens of our closest friends. Our guest list is always subject to last-minute changes, but these are some of the folks who have promised to join us:

Shilpa Agarwal, Brett Battles, James Scott Bell, Cara Black, Marc Blatte, Carol Higgins Clark, Mary Higgins Clark, Dianne Emley, Tom Epperson, Christa Faust, David Fuller, Michelle Gagnon, Victor Gischler, Lee Goldberg, Chris Grabenstein, Robert Greer, Denise Hamilton, Naomi Hirahara, Gregg Hurwitz, Sue Ann Jaffarian, Craig Johnson, Leslie Klinger, John Lescroart, Paul Levine, Sheila Lowe, Lisa Lutz, Robert Masello, George Mastras, T. Jefferson Parker, Gary Phillips, William Rabkin, Cornelia Read, Patricia Smiley, Susan Arnout Smith, Mark Haskell Smith, Eric Stone, Kelli Stanley, Louise Ure, Sarah Weinman, Stuart Woods, Robert Dugoni, Jeri Westerson, John Morgan Wilson and Edward Wright!

This and That

Yesterday I had lunch with my buddy David Breckman, writer-producer-director on Monk. He's an even bigger TV geek than I am, which means we always have a lot of fun talking about old TV shows. He shared with me a terrific Banacek-esque plot that he wants to use if the pilot he's working on ever goes to series. I shared with him my take on a feature rewrite that I am in the running for. I guess the lunch was inspiring because I got home and finished up my outline for the next Monk book and sent it off to his older brother Andy.

I got a pass on jury duty again today and I'm hoping my luck holds and I get skipped tomorrow too, ending my week without getting called. Tomorrow night is the big MWA party at the Mystery Bookstore in Westwood, which I am looking forward to.

I'm heading back to London in mid-May for more meetings with networks and production companies, so I am making travel arrangements for that today and then, once that is done, I'm going to scrape the rust off of my creativity and get back to the "stand-alone" crime novel I set aside to finish my last Monk book.

Scarpetta Movie is Bourne Again

Fox has nabbed the movie rights to Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta books as a potential theatrical "franchise" for Angelina Jolie. But Variety reports that they aren't going to adapt the books, but rather use them as inspiration for new tales in the same way that the Bourne movies have used the original Robert Ludlum novels. In other words, they'll be taking the titles and not much else…which makes some sense, since the forensics that seemed so cutting edge when "Post Mortem" first came out have been done to death on the small screen with the three CSI series, NCIS, etc. 

The movie rights to the Scarpetta books have been optioned many times, and actresses as diverse as Helen Mirren and Demi Moore have been attached, but the project has always stalled (as have attempts to make Thomas Perry's Jane Whitefield and Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels into movies). It will be interesting to see if this one actually goes forward.

Whining and complaining

I've been slightly jet-lagged since I got back from Munich, and I've been on-call all week for jury duty, and there's been a heatwave, but none of that is bugging me. It's the writing. Actually, calling what I've been doing this week "writing" would be generous. I've been doing a lot of staring at the screen. I'm having a hard time plotting the latest MONK book and I've been trying to pick-up where I left off three months ago on my "stand-alone" crime novel. It has been going sluggishly…when it's going at all. I'm hoping I'll get back in the groove soon. 

Festival of Goldbergs

The Goldberg Brothers are going to be all over the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend at UCLA. I'll be kicking off the Festival by moderating the first panel on the first day — at 10:30 in Dodd Hall with authors Steve Cannell, Jan Burke, Robert Dugoni and Craig Johnson. The panel will be followed by a booksigning. The Mystery Writers of America is sponsoring all the mystery-track panels in Dodd Hall throughout the weekend, so you can pretty much park yourself there all day and count on having a good time.

My brother Tod is moderating a panel at 3:30 on on Humor & Race with writer/producer Larry Wilmore, Lalo Alcaraz and Christian Lander. And he's got another panel at 12:30 on Sunday, also about humor, where he'll be yukking it up with Carolyn Kellogg, Seth Greenland and Ben Greenman.

Me, Tod and honorary Goldberg William Rabkin will be signing our books at the Mystery Bookstore booth on Sunday at 2 pm. 

There's also a Danny Goldberg who is going to be at the Festival, too, but he's no relation to us and doesn't have our rugged, Redford-esque good looks.

Help a Writer Restore His Life’s Work

Weinbanner Writer Len Wein’s house burned down, incinerating all the comic books that he wrote. My friend Mark Evanier is leading an effort to rebuild Wein’s collection:

You know Len Wein. Award-winning comic book person. Co-creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine and various other X-Men. Editor of Watchmen. Writer, at one time or other, of all the major characters: Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk, you name it. That Len Wein. A great guy.

On April 6, 2009, a fire destroyed most of the home he was sharing with his wife Chris and their son Michael. As Len tells us, Chris was out when it happened. The men were home and asleep. He awoke to find the world in flames around him and he managed to get himself out and to save Michael, as well. Sadly, their beloved dog Sheba perished that day.

So did Len’s collection of books and toys and games and artwork and those things we accumulate that help define and enrich our lives. You have stuff. He had stuff. Insurance will fix the house but many things, including his comics, were not covered. Some of us thought it would be grand if his friends and fans pitched in to help him recreate those shelves of the comic books he’s worked on.

You can get the details here.

Mr. Monk and the Galley Giveaway

I have two extra, bound galleys for MR. MONK AND THE DIRTY COP which I will be giving away at random. Here's the deal…post a review of your favorite MONK novel on Amazon and send me a copy of it by June 1st at: lee AT Leegoldberg DOT com.

I will put the names into a hat and select two winners at random to receive a signed galley. Please be sure to include your snail mail address in the email. Winners will be announced here.

Fanficcers say “Uncle”

!BQZC7Z!BWk~$(KGrHgoH-CsEjlLlzPB1BJ4prspev!~~_12 That delusional TWILIGHT fan isn't the only one trying to sell fanfiction on eBay…fanficcers L. Lazarus & A. Morrisetti have copied the look of the original MAN FROM UNCLE tie-in paperbacks from the 1960s to sell their unauthorized UNCLE novels on the auction site for $21.95 each:

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Continued…


148 pages of sheer thrills and adventure just as you remember it from the original series. This book and the rest to come in this series are near exact replicas of the original paperbacks…but with new stories. Written by an actual screenwriter, you will feel you are seeing what you are reading.

A MUST HAVE for any U.N.C.L.E. fan.

Make room on your bookshelf right next to the ACE books you have loved and cherished for all these years.

They offer this laughable "disclaimer" :


And yet, they have copied the Ace books and they are selling them on eBay, trying to make money off a property they don't own. 

One of the two idiots, who purports to be a "professional television writer with credits to include 'Hart to Hart''" is also selling an UNCLE novella for $18.00.

This is, of course, a blatant copyright violation, but my guess is that the guys think they can slide by because the underlying property is so old. My guess is that they are wrong.

UPDATE 4-19-2009:  They have revised their "disclaimer": 

These books are fan fiction and are not meant to infringe on any rights held by ACE Publishing, Warner Brothers, or any other entity who holds any rights to the Man from U.N.C.L.E., the television series or the previously published series of books. These books are NOT intended for mass distribution and are for fan use only!

I have news for these dimwits. Saying that you're not infringing on rights while you are doing just that doesn't make it okay. That's like saying "I'm not stealing your car even though I've just hotwired it, sped away in it, and am trying to sell it on Craig's List for money I will spend on hookers and blow. The car is intended for fan use only."