Tuesday, October 11, 2011

David Handler

David Handler has written eight novels featuring the mismatched crime-fighting duo of Mitch Berger and Des Mitry. His first, The Cold Blue Blood, was a Dilys Award finalist and BookSense Top Ten pick. He is also the author of eight novels about the witty and dapper celebrity ghostwriter Stewart Hoag and his faithful, neurotic basset hound, Lulu, including the Edgar- and American Mystery Award--winning The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald. Handler lives in a two-hundred-year-old carriage house in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

His new Berger-Mitry novel is The Blood Red Indian Summer.

Earlier this month I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I'm currently up to my hips in the climax of my next Berger-Mitry mystery, The Snow White Christmas Cookie. I've found that when I'm focused real deeply on the complexities of one of my own plots I can't keep track of someone else's. If I try to do that my head feels as if it's going to explode. Too much information. So I don't usually read novels during this stage of the creative process. Yet I still need to read myself to sleep at night. Can't fall asleep unless I have a book in my hands. The solution that I came up with is short stories.

I am a huge fan of John O'Hara, Irwin Shaw and James Thurber. All three of them were masters whose collected works I'm continually re-reading. Another of my favorites is Jack Finney, who wrote one of my all-time favorite novels, Time and Again, as well as The Body Snatchers, which was made into the 1956 sci-fi classic film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Finney was also a tremendously gifted short story writer. A volume of his stories called About Time happens to be the book that's sitting on my night stand right now. The stories are incredibly imaginative, enchanting, sprightly and funny. I especially love "The Third Level," which is about a thoroughly modern man who becomes convinced that he has found a secret third level below Grand Central Station where it's still the year 1894. I first read this story at least 30 years ago and yet to this day I always think of it every time I walk through Grand Central. I promise that you will, too.
Visit David Handler's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue