Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm a Man With a Mission in Two or Three Editions

By Kevin Guilfoile

When you have a five-year-old you watch a lot of Cartoon Network, which isn't a really big deal. What is really maddening is that you watch the same shows--the same episodes--over and over and over and over. One of the things that gets me through the multiple viewings is the fact that Sean Chercover looks exactly like this unmasked villain on Scooby-Doo.

I mention this because it makes me laugh, but mostly because last weekend at Bouchercon Sean's terrific debut, Big City Bad Blood won a much-deserved Shamus award for Best First Novel and, as if on cue, his follow-up Trigger City is being released today. If you haven't read Big City, do it now. If you have read Big City, you don't need me to tell you to buy the new book. You probably already have.

If you live in New York, Sean will be appearing at Partners & Crime in Greenwich Village Tuesday night (October 14) at 7 PM with Zoe Sharp. He has a million other signings in a million other bookstores, many with The Outfit's own Marcus Sakey (whose Good People is every bit as awesome, and it sounds like I'm just saying it but it's not. Seriously, it is a privilege to call these guys friends but even if I hated them with the heat of a family-sized pancake griddle I would begrudgingly admit that that you had to read their books because they are that good).

Also Sean is now pretty much committed to having the word "City" in the title of all Ray Dudgeon novels for the rest of time.

We're taking suggestions in the comments. The one that makes me laugh the most gets a free book, courtesy of a publicist who didn't realize I already bought all of Sean and Marcus's books on my own. If you can wait a week or two I might even be able to get some ink on the title page.


Kevin Guilfoile said...

I'll start.


"When his sister-in-law returns from Japan, Ray finds himself pulled into the corrupt and dangerous underworld of life-sized origami."

Jared said...


"After an intesne session with his therapist, getting at the root of his sensitivity to emotion, Ray hits the apple cider hard and awakens under the weather."

Kathryn Fox said...


"Ray is thrust into relationship hell when the woman he lusts after turns out to be his long-lost half-sister's cousin-in-law once removed who had once born a child with his grandfather..."

Jude Hardin said...


Ray drives a convertible into a swimming pool and suddenly finds himself a victim of "shrinkage."

Pete said...


"Ray is hired by The Common Sense League to slap some cold reality into the leaders of a large Midwestern city, particularly its imperious Mayor Hizzoner, who are so enamored of their city's charms that they lustfully dream of hosting the 2016 Olympics, diverting billions of dollars to the event while its infrastructure and public schools are already in tatters."

Kevin Sagerson said...

"Here City City City"

Ray was already inclined to refuse a job finding a missing cat for his bio-chemist neighbor, but he can't figure out why so many bad people want to make sure he refuses. So he takes the job, only to learn that the feline in question is a clone that could prove all the benefits of stem cell research...but only if found alive.

Sara Paretsky said...

I was at the Oklahoma Humanaities Festival during Bouchercon & didn't know Sean won the Seamus--that's very wonderful news!!

Sean Chercover said...

Oh my god - I really DO look like that Scooby-Doo villain.

Thanks for the shout-out, Kevin. Great suggestions, everyone!

Libby Hellmann said...


Ray goes to New Orleans (which I know from personal knowledge is a haunt of the author's), where he visits a voo-doo shop on Bourbon Street. While there, he learns that someone from the Mob has put a curse on him... a curse that can only be reversed if he captures the vampire that keeps biting the hand that feeds him.

Sara Paretsky said...

Bad Flood, Big Suttee

When Ray's girlfriend is found dead, Ray blames himself for her death and tries to fling himself on her funeral pyre. Unfortunately, the Chicago River floods and puts out the fire, forcing Ray to investigate...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Picks By Pat said...

The Naked City...Exposed

"Ray stumbled to the pavement to get the morning paper wearing only his bath towel. The slam he heard as he bent down to pick up the latest edition could mean only one thing...the front door closing shut as a gust of wind grabbed it. The same gust caught the towel and plastered it to his chest, and then whistled like the laughter of a couple of teen-aged girls. As he struggled to regain his composure, he realized it wasn't the wind's laughter but actually a couple of teen-aged girls, who continued to giggle as they walked away."

guyot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
guyot said...


"When a woman asks Ray to help prove her uncle was murdered, not stomped to death, Ray goes undercover in the world of professional bull riding, and finds he must step lightly to keep his boots clean, and cowboy-up to tell who's the real deal and who's full of BS."


"I held this book for the full 8 seconds!"
Harriet Klausner

David J. Montgomery

Rob said...


When a killer stalks members of a traveling Renaissance Festival, Ray is hired to protect the Duke and Duchess by going undercover as the court jester. But can Ray serve as the minstrel of justice when the criminal's crackerjack legal team insists, "If the tights don't fit, you must acquit?"


This time, Ray's gonna get medieval on your ass!

Kevin Guilfoile said...

Excellent all. It was close, but I think I'm going to have to give it to Kevin Sagerson's HERE CITY CITY CITY. Kevin was clearly smart enough to know that he could suck up to me with references to both cats and cloning.

Kevin, email your address to kevin(at)

Thanks all.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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