Friday, October 22, 2010

Felony Deflowering ... But First, Meet Your CMers!

By Shane Gericke

Before I tell you why poor Detective Emily got herself thrown in jail the other day, I want to show you a photo. It's a portrait of all the Criminal Minders who attended Bouchercon, the world's biggest mystery conference, last week.

Our den mom, Kelli Stanley (right, in orange chapeau), who a little over a year ago organized this tuna boat of love we call CM (well, I do, anyway; the others are much more sophisticated than me), arranged for us to brunch at a lovely restaurant in San Francisco, one of the world's true garden spots. We sat outdoors. It was breezy and nice, and near the water, and across from this weirdly wonderfully big rocket statue, and there was a view of the bay and bridge.
(Not the Golden Gate, the other bridge, Oakland I think it's called, which is even longer than the Golden, and thus more beautiful to look at, even if it isn't slathered with Anti-Rust Orange.) The talk flowed, as did the coffee, and I tried a gin smoothie at 11 in the morning, and it was Good, and I was delighted to finally meet the few CM'ers I've never seen face to face. So check us out, your all-star CM lineup! From left to right we are: Joshua Corin, Michael Wiley, Shane Gericke (me!), Kelli Stanley, Tracy Kiely, Rebecca Cantrell and Meredith Cole. To see the rest of the zany crew--Graham Brown, Bill Cameron, Gabriella Herkert, Jeannie Holmes and Lois Winston,plus our occasional All-Star Guest Stars--you'll have to wait till next time we gather, so I can finish the family portrait. Till then, check out their nice photos shots in the column on the right side of this page.

And now, what you've all been waiting for, this week's topic, "Why would your protagonist be arrested?" . . . in Shane-o-Vision!


It's kinda weird, arresting a cop.

But it's Chinatown.

Uh, Naperville.

Her name is Emily Marie Thompson. Em for shoret. She's a Naperville Police detective. She has the right to stay silent, to have an attorney present during questioning, and all that.

Her crime?


Of flowers.

Only in Naperville ...

The tony Chicago suburb in which I live prides itself on its pride. In real Naper-life (as opposed to in my books, where mayhem flows like whisky and platitudes at book convention) there is very little "real" crime: murders, rapes, arsons, like that. So, our 150,000 citizens have a fairly low trigger on what constitutes a reason to call to 911 in a lather. In Chicago, 30 miles to the east, a call to 911 for, say, a noisy motorcycle will get you laughed at openly. In Naperville, that's practically a felony, and demands a police response. Yes, we have high, uh, expectations, of our boys and girls in blue.

So, who did poor Detective Thompson kill to get herself put in the literary pokey?


From TORN APART, where a serial killer has just kidnapped a young girl and shot two citizens and is being chased on foot through a neighborhood by Emily and her partner, SWAT commander Annie Bates:

    “Naperville nine-one-one—”
    “People are running through my yard,” the woman complained. “They made a mess of my chrysanthemums. I want you to arrest them.”
    “What do they look like, ma’am?” the dispatcher said.
    “Well, they’re purple and yellow and in very full bloom—”
    “The runners,” the dispatcher interrupted. “Describe the runners.”
    “Oh,” the woman said. “There’s two. One’s a short blond, the other’s brunette—”
    “I found ’em,” the dispatcher shouted.
    “Why do you keep interrupting me?” the woman said. “Don’t you know I pay your salary?”

Like I said . . .

Shane Gericke (pronounced YER-kee) is the national bestselling author of TORN APART and other crime novels. His work is in translation worldwide, and Suspense magazine calls him “one of the twenty-first century's favorite authors.” Past chairman of ThrillerFest and an original member of International Thriller Writers, Shane was a senior editor at the Chicago Sun-Times before switching to fiction. He lives in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, where his series is set and is also the home of famous crime-fighter Dick Tracy. He does not resemble Detective Tracy in any way except square jaw and steely glint. Catch him at He mentions this here because Shane has only told you about himself 75 or so times, and he knows that repetition is the key to having someone besides his mom buy his books. 


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

What a great looking group!!!

Sad to have missed B'Con this year - hope to see you all in St. Louis!

Sophie Littlefield said...

awwwww i cannot believe i missed that lunch!!!! pouting.

Shane Gericke said...

Kaye and Sophie, you should have been there! You could have been our guests of honor!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks for the pics, sweetheart--that was a fun brunch, and wonderfully decadent with the Gin Mimosa thing you were drinking. :)

The bridge is the Bay Bridge; and of course, we even had a zeppelin on hand in honor of Rebecca!

Miss you all!!


Rochelle Staab said...

So good to meet you in the elevator at Bouchercon - who knew you were a member of this great looking group?

I enjoyed your post! The Tiny Tim clip was actually quite entertaining (the KISS photo was my favorite.) And your arrest scene? Very funny!

Shane Gericke said...

Hi, Rochelle, and thanks for the very nice comments. See what happens when you talk to strange men on elevators--you wind up reading their blogs and have even less time for yourself :-)

But seriously, welcome to CM. It's a fun group, and on Fridays, you can usually count on a serious, sober video like Tulips to ease the transition into the weekend.

Shane Gericke said...

Oh, for any of you who have written to me over at this week and I haven't responded, don't fear, I will. Moving pretty slow right now--I caught influenza AND an ear infection at Bouchercon and am just now starting to feel human. Apparently I didn't drink enough Scotch at the bar at night to kill the Nasties, and they attacked starting Tuesday. Have to rectify that oversight next time. For health purposes, naturally.

I'm managing to keep up with CM and FB, sorta, and slowly am working through e-mail. So you will hear from me, honest.

Mysti said...

Shoot -- since husband and I missed you at the bar, feeling responsible for you not drinking enough Scotch & getting sick!

Next time we'll fill you full of Osha Thai, that food can kill any micro-villain. Plus Scotch, of course!

Shane Gericke said...

Mysti, osha-thai sounds terrific and I can't wait till next time already!