Parnell Hall, RIP


Standing third from the left, Parnell Hall one of the ways I remember him best: on the basketball court, where he had a funny (of course) one-legged stork shot that always went in. I remember him at the poker table, too, where he’d shake his head sadly at his cards, sigh at his luck, and leave at the end of the night with great piles of other people’s money. He was one of the first people I met in the crime-writing world. I was a last-minute substitute on a panel at Bouchercon Seattle in 1994. My first book had been out about an hour, I hadn’t expected a panel assignment, and I was terrified of being up there with the grownups. Turned out nothing I did mattered. Parnell and Donald Westlake spent 40 minutes being hilarious and ended the panel with a cream pie in the face. Parnell’s face, of course. He was generous, kind, funny, smart, and I’m going to miss him terribly.

A Q&A with me

Campaign for the American Reader did a Q & A with me and all you need to do is click the link to read it.

Publication Day!

It’s publication day for THE ART OF VIOLENCE!

Well, in truth nothing happens on publication day except some bookstores, the ones who hold off until then, put the book on the shelves. In this time of COVID, however, when even the bricks-and-mortar indies are wheeling and dealing online, that has gone by the boards. What is an important date, though, is the launch. Usually that’s in a bookstore; for THE ART OF VIOLENCE, it’ll be virtual, FROM a bookstore. Tomorrow, Weds. Dec. 2., 8pm EST, I’ll be chatting with the amazing Barbara Peters at Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ, where they have signed copies they will be happy to send you. The link is HERE. Please come!

2021 Calendars!


If you were wondering where the SJ Rozan 2021 photo calendars were, they’re here!

Get one, get two, get ’em all! 2021, here we come!

Small business Saturday


Writers are very small businesses. Independent bookstores are pretty small, too. Support your local indie, either by shopping there today (and every day) or by shopping at where they’ll send you your books just like the big guys, shipping is free through Monday Nov. 30, and they share the profits with indie bookstores. (What a business model!)

And if you’re wondering where to get a signed copy of THE ART OF VIOLENCE, wonder no more. Order one from Poisoned Pen — they shipped me boxes and boxes of them to sign and ship back — or if you shop at Mysterious Bookshop, Three Lives and Co., or Greenlight Bookstore, or any other NYC shop, either in person or online, I’ll go there and sign your book before you pick it up or they ship it. Show them this blog and tell them to email me

and I’ll be there.

And speaking of Poisoned Pen, I’m launching the book there by the miracle of Facebook Live on Weds., Dec. 2. 8pm EST. Work it out in your own time zone (their page says 6pm because they’re in Scottsdale AZ) and come on by!

Thanksgiving 2020

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. It occurs to me that if we’re gathering in spirit and not in person, many more of us can be together than would actually fit in my living room. You’re all invited over in spirit to share gratitude and hope. And spirit pie.


Book of the Day!

The New York Public Library has made PAPER SON their Book of the Day for Oct. 17!


How cool is that? Thank you, Patience and Fortitude!



Welcoming our new International Conspiracy partner!

Dark Shadows Air is pleased to announce the addition of Antifa Airlines to our group. Now local and international travel for mercenary mayhem is easier than ever before! With Antifa Airlines joining Dark Shadows Air, as well as land partners Underground Railways and Good Trouble Bus Lines, and sea-going Red October Cruises, International Conspiracy proudly offers outside agitators a broad choice of travel modes and destinations. You will earn valuable Revolutionary Rewards points for each trip you take. These points are redeemable at any of our travel partners, and at participating church basement sleeping quarters and vegan meal stops.*

*Masks are required on all trips and at all destinations. Regulations on black uniforms and soup cans in luggage vary. Check your carrier.

Preaching to the Choir

I know most people who read me think as I do about the political and cultural moment we find ourselves in. That means I’m preaching to the choir, but here’s the thing about the choir: a lot of choir members don’t sing. They come in on the “Amens” but their voices are missing in the long passages.

Mike Pence says, “The hard truth is you will not be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” Well, do you feel safe now?

People of color, do you feel safe?

People out of work, do you feel safe?

People depending on Social Security, do you feel safe?

People depending on Obamacare, do you feel safe?

People trying to educate your children, do you feel safe?

People suffering the effects of climate change — monster hurricanes, forest fires — do you feel safe?

People with disabilities, do you feel safe?

People who live on fracked land, do you feel safe?

People who want to control your own bodies, do you feel safe?

If you don’t, it’s because you’re not. So go beyond the “Amens.” Work from now until the election for the Democrat of your choice. VOTE and get other silent choir members to VOTE. We can raise our diverse voices in a never-before-heard harmony in this country, the aural equivalent of the gorgeous mosaic we are, if everyone will sing.


A parable

God on His golden throne looked down on the earth and sighed. He called unto Himself all the smartest people in Heaven and they came, trailing clouds of glory, to hear His will.

“I despair,” said the Lord. “I meant for humankind to be the pinnacle of my Creation. Yet behold, they choose for their leaders the most selfish and evil among them. They persecute and kill each other and they lay waste on all sides. If they continue on this course they’ll soon destroy the emerald planet I made for them. What shall I do?”

From the smart people came the chorus, “Smite them! Smite them!”

“No,” the Lord said. “Honestly, I could have thought of that without you all clogging up my throne room. But I promised humankind free will. They must be allowed to choose their fate but they must NOT be allowed to proceed as they are doing. You were all human once. You know how they think. Who among you can make a suggestion?”

Silence fell among the smart people. Until finally one spoke up.

“Well,” said Charles Darwin, “I have an idea.”