Thursday, June 27, 2013

David Housewright

David Housewright is the Edgar Award and three-time Minnesota Book Award-winning author of the Rushmore McKenzie and Holland Taylor novels as well as other tales of murder and mayhem in the Midwest.

His new book, The Last Kind Word, is the 10th of Housewright's Twin Cities P.I. Mac McKenzie novels.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I just started The Yellow Admiral, one of the nautical adventures featuring Lucky Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, by Patrick O’Brian. I’ve been hoarding these books, knowing that there are only twenty (this is number 18).

I used to read six, seven mysteries and crime novels for every non-mystery - which is probably why I became a crime writer. I was so immersed in the genre that my stories always seemed to have a man coming through the door with a gun in his hand. My first book - Penance - was meant to be about political corruption, not unlike the stuff written by Gore Vidal. Yet as I was outlining it, it occurred to me that if I threw a few dead bodies on the floor it would make a cracker-jack mystery. I did. It won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. And so it goes.

But now - fifteen books later - I find that I am reading six, seven non-mysteries for every mystery. Partly, it’s because I understand the structure of the crime novel so well that I can usually figure out whodunit quite quickly. But mostly it’s because I want my crime novels to be about much more than who killed Mr. Body in the library with a candlestick. I want them to deal with the issues and themes that you’ll find in “literary” works.

So, these days you’ll find me reading E. L. Doctorow, Louise Edrich, and Khaled Hosseini as well as Dennis Lehane, William Kent Krueger, and James Crumley.
Visit David Housewright's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Kind Word.

--Marshal Zeringue