Monday, December 31, 2012

Scene of the Crime with Author Libby Fischer Hellmann!

The first person who ever exclaimed, "So many books, so little time!" described the pain of thousands upon thousands of confirmed readers. I know that it certainly describes mine. Back before I ever had this blog, I read and enjoyed the very first Ellie Foreman mystery, An Eye for Murder, and I vowed to read more books about this suburban mom who makes video documentaries. Did I? To my shame, I have to admit that I didn't-- and I admitted this to Libby Fischer Hellmann in an email. When she said yes to an interview, I knew I had the best opportunity ever to read another of her books. Stop by tomorrow to read my review of Libby's latest book, A Bitter Veil. (As we say back home, it's a good'un!)

Libby Fischer Hellmann

Here's more information about this very talented writer so you can learn more and connect with her:

Now let's get to the fun part-- the interview!

What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

I remember my mother reading Blueberries for Sal to me. I must have been 3 years old. I loved how “plink, plink, plink” sounded as the berries landed in the tin pail. I also loved the fact that in that book, at least, bears were not animals to be feared.

Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?

Read, read, read. Listen to music. Surf the net. Watch movies. Swim. Eat.

If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)

English Cottage Kitchen of the Queen Anne Period
One of my favorite places in Chicago is the Thorne Room at the Chicago Art Institute. Dozens and dozens of miniature modeled rooms from earlier times and cultures, all carefully constructed on a 1 inch= 1 foot scale. They are incredible!

I also recommend Greek Town for dinner. It’s delicious and reasonably priced.

[I'm in! The Phoenix Art Museum has twenty of the Thorne rooms, and they are fabulous!]

You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?

Jodie Foster

Ashley Judd. Or Jodie Foster. Or, if we’re emphasizing comedy, Joan Cusack. (My kids still recite the scene of her in her wedding dress in the middle of the road from In and Out.)

Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

Right now, I’d have to say Gabriel Allon and Shamron, Daniel Silva’s characters. But that changes, almost daily. I also love Mickey Haller, Michael Connelly’s lawyer. I tend to gravitate toward the darker edge of crime fiction.

If you could have in your possession one signed first edition of any book in the world, which book would that be? Why that particular book?

Decisions, decisions...

I was tempted to say The Bible… but will reconsider. I wouldn’t mind having a signed copy of The Great Gatsby, Gone With the Wind, or To Kill a Mockingbird.

How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published? What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore?

I didn’t really celebrate… I was too stunned. I went to a friend’s house—she was my mentor and cheerleader—on my bike. She was cleaning her garage. I helped her clean and told her the news.

The first time I realized it was real was when I saw An Eye for Murder in a bookstore. I was an author. Who knew?

Name one thing on your Bucket List.

 Travel to Australia.

You've just received a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice. Which bookstore are you making a bee-line for?

I know it might be sacrilege, but I’d have to say Amazon. It’s easy, convenient, and they have the widest selection of in-stock books from which to choose.

Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Libby. We really appreciate the chance to get to know you a little better.

May your book sales do nothing but increase!

Speaking of book sales, if you have a Kindle, you have a chance to buy one of Libby's Ellie Foreman mysteries, A Shot to Die For for just 99¢. This U.S. price is good January 1-2, so I hope you won't miss this opportunity to sample her writing. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you became hooked!


  1. Hi Cathy,
    I always enjoy your posts, but I did not know there were books about Wallender by Henning Mankell until I stumbled on one in one of your sidebars or older posts today!! I love Wallender on PBS.
    Thanks, and I'm also looking forward to the new Ian Rankin book too!
    Happy New Year,

    1. Happy New Year to you and yours, Dorothy! You may be in for a treat because I prefer Mankell's books to any film adaptation I've seen. :-)


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