What's New At?

The Orphan Scrivener.
Our newsletter

Eric's Blog
Ramblings and links

Poisoned Pen Press
Our publisher.

The Reviews Page
Recent reviews of our books

Other Appearances
Interviews, stories, essays
in anthologies etc.








News From 2014

Mary writes about the amazing automatons envisioned by Heron of Alexandria and the uses we made of them in the John the Lord Chamberlain mystery Three for a Letter, including a mechanical whale: Type M for Murder

At Buried Under Books, Mary reflects on stories of ordinary people. Did You Ever Hear That Story About.

At Kings River Life, Mary writes about cats-meat men, organ grinders and other vanished professions in Grinding Out A Living

Mary and I answered The Dames' Dozen (questions that is) over at Dames of Dialog.

At Joanne Tropello's Author's Corner Blog, Mary offers new way to measure the weather:The Sock Index

We're in The Interview Room at Terry Odell's Terry's Place to talk about such diverse topics as which kitchen utensil we would be and the strangest thing we've done done in the name of research.

We're interviewed at Holli Castillo's Twelve Question Tuesday -- one question was whether we would be food or fighter were the zombie apocalypse to happen.

Suzanne Adair's Relevant History blog is graced with Mary's essay on spontaneous combustion, occurrences of which took place in Two For Joy, not to mention Bleak House, at Fiery Death: Spontaneous Combustion in Literature and Life.

Mary writes about Mark Twain's opinion of relics in The Innocents Abroad at Jean Henry Mead's View From My Mountaintop.

News From 2013

Over on Joanne Tropello's site Mary set forth some thoughts on the value of websites for authors and others, not least their round-the-clock promotional presence. Guest blog at Mustard Seed Marketing

At Poe's Deadly Daughters we talk about inventing a religion for one of our mysteries. Or at least we thought we were inventing one....Inventing a Religion...or Not

In the April SPAWN newsletter Mary writes about how our Byzantine mystery series began with a very short story in an anthology. Anthologies? We Love 'Em

News From 2012

At Lelia Taylor's Buried Under Books, Mary writes about the November 5th British holiday known as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night: Desperate Men Remembered

A Halloween story by Mary at King's River Life: Or Equivalent Experience

Diana Hockley interviews Mary at Kings River Life.

At Jenny Milchman's blog, Suspense Your Disbelief, Mary has a piece about our use of magic our mysteries and a real historical villain, who purportedly employed magic, whom we used for fictional purposes.

In The Devil's Nine Questions at the Dames of Dialogue blog, Mary writes about riddle songs from a 19th century collection of English and Scottish popular ballads.

Mary and Eric are interviewed at Anne Albert's Muriel Reeves Mystery blog.

Our sleuth John the Lord Chamberlain is interviewed Susanne Alleyn's Historical Mystery Blog.

There's a short excerpt from Nine for the Devil up on author Chris Redding's blog.

Nine for the Devil was Pierce's Pick for the week of March 5 over at the Rap Sheet.

Mary talks about old leap year customs in Gloves and Garlands at Ivy Truit's Manic Readers blog.

In Mythraic Myths, on Suzanne Adair's blog, Relevant History, Mary writes about what ancient misrepresentations about the Mithraic religion can teach us about religious misapprehensions today.

News From 2011

Over at Killer Crafts and Crafy Killers, the blog of Lois Winston, author of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, Mary writes about how mystery authors hide cluses in lists: One and One Make Clue

At Murder Must Advertise, Mary gives some examples of Spontaneous Publicity

On Amy Corwin's Fiction Writing and Other Oddities, Mary writes about Misleading Readers, a skill that all mystery writers must cultivate.

We have a new interview up at Ivy Truitt's Manic Readers. Ivy asked us about various aspects of our books and writing, including what books and characters are our favorites, how we write together, and the challenges involved in research.

Mary writes about the Gourd, a real life Byzantine villain who got up to no good in Four For a Boy. See "Thursday's Thugs" over at Gwen Mayo's blog.

At Dames of Dialogue Mary writes about fog in literature in her essay A Touch of the Trollenberg Terror

News From 2010

Mary and Eric have an interview at Mayhem and Magic the blog for Pamela James and Terri Parsons.

At Jenny Milchman's Suspense Your Disbelief we have a "Made It Moment" answering the question, when did we know we had made it?

In The Distant Roar of Violence at Poe's Deadly Daughters, Mary and Eric talk about depicting the riots during which EIGHT FOR ETERNITY is set, without resort to the graphic descriptions they both dislike.

At Kaye Barley's Meanderings and Muses Mary presents Bridges to Memories an essay about seeing places she's lived (such as Newcastle and Oxford) on-screen.

Mary and Eric answer ten questions posed by Chris Redding whose latest novel is the wonderfully titled The Corpse Whisperer. Want to know how we decided we wanted to write, how many rejections we had subsequently or what three things we'd want on a desert island? Those questions and more are answered more or less.

At Dames of Dialogue Mary writes about curry in history, literature and at casa maywrite.

J. Kingston Pierce who has helped us get the word out about our mysteries since the very beginning kindly asked us for an essay for the Rap Sheet on the occasion of our eighth novel. We describe how and why we started writing about a Byzantine eunuch detective and about some of the changes we foresee in future books. We also reflect on things we might have done differently along the way. Hope you'll go over and read The Story Behind the Story at The Rap Sheet.

Mary has a new review of The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective by Catherine Louisa Pirkis at Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

Mary tackles the subject of how we write together, but does so in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan, at Janet Rudolph's Mystery Fanfare.

News From 2009

Poisoned Pen Press works are becoming available in various formats for the visually impaired via ReadHowYouWant which produces large print editions with varying type sizes as well as Daisy and Braille versions, and we are pleased to announce that Four For A Boy, prequel to the series, is available from this source.

We are included in Kris Swank's article advising librarians who wish to write mysteries which will in Writing & Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook, edited by Carol Smallwood and published by the American Library Association.

Christine Verstraete's Candid Canine offers the first sentence of our short story "Locked in Death" as part of her "First Graphs" series.

We were recently interviewed by Jean Henry Mead for her blog Mysterious People.

Mary reviews Revenge! by Robert Barr for Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

Mary reviews Midnight by Octavus Roy Cohen for Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

News From 2008

Over at Christine Verstraete's Candid Canine, Mary offers a writing tip: Nicknames.

Mary reviews The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton for Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

Mary reviews R. Holmes & Co by John Kendrick Bangs for Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

Mary reviews The Spiral Staircase by Ethel Lina White for Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

There's an interviewlette with Mary at Suite 101, as part of Janice Hally's series "The Mysterious Writing Habits of the World's Top Crime Writers."

Mary writes about oral wills, one of which underpinned the plot of Five For Silver, at Postcard Mysteries , historical-mystery writer Catherine Mambretti's blog about the jury system and courtroom rhetoric.

Eric writes about researching historicals for Bob Sabella's zine Visions of Paradise. You can find Issue 132 over at the Visions of Paradise page at eFanzines. Or you can download the issue directly. (It's 971 kbs)

Mary talks about Ethel Lina White's Some Must Watch for the "books you have to read" feature at J. Kingston Pierce's Rap Sheet.

Mary reviews a Golden Age mystery, The Scarab Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine at Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

Mary and I talked to Kim Malo about our books and writing. Which of our characters would we like to change places with for a day? Read our interview at MyShelf.com to find out.

Over at Fatal Foodies Christine Verstraete blogs about mystery books featuring food. One of the books is Seven For A Secret.

Our interview with Michelle Moran at History Buff concentrates on women of the past, particularly Empress Theodora.

Mike Glyer interviewed us for his science fiction news magazine File 770. You can download a pdf of issue 153 at eFanzines and read "The Secret History of John the Eunuch."

Mary reviews a Golden Age mystery, The Abandoned Room by Wadsworth Camp at Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

Mary reviews a Golden Age mystery, The Cat's Eye by R. Austin Freeman at Steve Lewis' Mystery*File.

Mary reviews a Golden Age mystery, The Safety Pin by J. S. Fletcher, at Alan Bishop's Criminal History.

Mary reviews a Golden Age mystery, The Benson Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine, at Alan J. Bishop's Criminal History.

Mary and I talk about our writing and books at Lorie Ham's No Name Café.

Seven For A Secret was Pierce's Pick of the Week for April 21 at January Magazine.

Mary and I were recently interviewed by fellow Poisoned Pen Press mystery author Betty Webb and you can read the result now on WebbsBlog. We talk about writing and Seven For A Secret but of particular interest are Mary's tips about online book promotion.

Seven For A Secret is available in a Blackstone Audio edition.

Mary has written about her path to publication for Heidi Ruby Miller who has made the essay available at myspace, blogspot, and livejournal.

Mary has an essay, Tom, Dick and Harassment: Naming Your Characters, in Gayle Trent's Writing Up A Storm Newsletter.

Although it has been more than eight years since the publication of our first Byzantine mystery novel, One For Sorrow is still available in trade paperback and Kindle editions and has also been released in a UK edition. Thanks to Karm Holladay, who recently reviewed One For Sorrow for BellaOnline and Martin Edwards who reviewed it for Tangled Web UK.

We're happy to announce that One For Sorrow, Two For Joy, and Four For A Boy have been released in Kindle editions.

Courtney Mroch, writer and Petscribe blogger on families.com, recently grilled us like kippers about animals in our mysteries and pets past and present. We suspect few of her interviewees have laid claim to plots featuring such unusual but vital characters as a herd of fortune-telling goats and a mechanical whale and his real life counterpart!

Mary reviews a Golden Age collection, Ronald Standish, by Sapper at S.T. Karnik's The American Culture.

Mary reviews a Golden Age collection, A Master of Mysteries, by Robert Eustace and L.T. Meade, at Alan J. Bishop's Criminal History.

News From 2006 and 2007

Mary's article “Oops...how authors of historical fiction avoid pitfalls.” appears in the November-December 2007 issue of Cozy Times Many thanks to Diana Vickery, owner of the Cozy Library site and editor of Cozy Times, for the opportunity to pass along a few helpful (we hope!) thoughts.

The Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunits We're pleased to have a story in Mike Ashley's Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits (Carroll & Graf in the US and Constable & Robinson in the UK). In The Three-Legged Cat of Great Clatterden that jolly fellow with the scientific bent, Samuel Pickwick, investigates an ancient Kentish hill figure and a puzzling disappearance.

The anthology presents a mix of specially commissioned new stories and lesser known reprints, by writers such as Hilary Bonner, Anne Perry, Charles Todd, Kate Ellis, Alanna Knight, Martin Edwards and Gillian Linscott. Mary has an article about RAFFLES at Steve Lewis' online Mystery*File (The Crime Fiction Research Journal).

We were honoured to be interviewed by Su Kopil for the November issue of The Motivated Writer. The topic was setting and its effects on story.

Mystery author Julia Buckley has an interview with us on her Mysterious Musings blog.

We have been featured in a ProFile interview at MYSTERY*FILE, the crime fiction research journal where Steve Lewis has continued Ed Gorman's popular feature.

The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries Our Mongolian detective, Inspector Dorj, is faced with solving a locked circus caravan murder. The new short story "Locked in Death" is included in The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries, an anthology edited by Mike Ashley.





Byzantium Ablaze Two For Joy has appeared in a Greek edition from Govostis.

In Byzantium Ablaze. John gets to speak in his native tongue!






News From 2005

Eric's interactive fiction WAX WORX was voted winner in the "Most unusual Adrift setting/plot" category of the InsideAdrift Awards 2004. It finished second in the game of the year category.

Check out the award certificate.

News From 2004

FOUR FOR A BOY was published as a mass market paperback in June 2004 by ibooks, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. If you look for it at your local bookstore you'll find that the cover is different from the one pictured here, and all over the web.

FIVE FOR SILVER is one of "Pierce's Picks" for February-March. Check out The Rap Sheet , January Magazine's Crime Fiction Report.

Recently we chatted at length about John's world with Carolyn Chambers Clark, at BellaOnline Our thanks to Carolyn for this opportunity to bend the virtual ears of her readers.

FOUR FOR A BOY was one of three nominees for the Bruce Alexander History Mystery Award established by Left Coast Crime 14 to honor the memory of author Bruce Alexander (Bruce Cook). Congratulations to fellow Poisoned Pen Press auther Ann Parker (Silver Lies) and to winner Rhys Bowen (For the Love of Mike).

Five for Silver, the fifth John the Eunuch adventure will appear in hardcover in March.

News From 2003

For the holiday season, here's an unpublished story in the form of an interactive game. The Thorn can be played online (needs java). This is a bit of an experiment and it may not work on all machines. You can also download a version for PC here although it isn't guaranteed to work in the newest Windows.

Eric has moved his blog and given it a new look. There are some mini articles on writing and other subjects.

The December Orphan Scrivener is out with Eric adressing audiences and Mary writing about Doc Savage.

An interview with Eric, who dabbles in writing computer text adventures (a.k.a. Interactive Fiction) appears in the November 2003 Inside Adrift Newsletter .

The October issue of our newsletter, The Orphan Scrivener is out, featuring news, writing nuts and bolts and Byzantine anagrams.

Now we BLOG! Drop by Eric's blog for more stuff about writing and other topics.

| Home | Our Fiction | Links |

| News | Other Appearances | New Reviews |