Friday, April 1, 2011

A request from author Jason Goodwin

I am much looking forward to bringing my 17 year old son on the US book tour for An Evil Eye in April – he’s never been to America, but he plays guitar and the name Robert Johnson means something very good to him.

Now, the Telegraph newspaper in the UK has asked me to keep a travel blog on its pages, kicking off with a print piece on detectives and travel, and I’d really appreciate the help of Poisoned Pen blog readers here.

I want to match crime writers to their locales, because I believe that it’s in crime novels that some of the best ‘travel’ writing is being done these days. I mean, a trip to Venice is much enhanced by following Donna Leon’s Brunetti through the watery streets, just as London will remain, for generations to come, the city of fogs and rattling horse-drawn cabs depicted in Sherlock Holmes. And when James Lee Burke gets going on Louisiana, I smell the swamp – don’t you?

So I want some tips from you guys – who, in your opinion, really captures the scents and sights, not to mention the seamy underbelly, of some of the places I’m set to visit on this compendious book tour?

Let’s see: Jackson, Mississippi. Alabama. New Orleans. Austin, Texas – does Austin have a fictional crime fighter I should know about? Houston? And what about your very own state – who’s the go-to writer for Arizona?

I can do Raymond Chandler for LA, obviously; less obvious to me is San Diego. Give me a few top tips for San Francisco, too: who really puts the Bay Area on the page? We wind up in Portland, Oregon. Is there a murder mystery I don’t know of, set in the city?It’s a parlour game, really: try it, and drop me a line if you can.

You can find me at and all suggestions are welcome. I also blog at  If the writer you propose is published in the UK, so much the better – but let’s leave no stone unturned here! Maybe we can blast somebody really good across the Atlantic…

Jason will be signing the latest novel,  An Evil Eye, April 16, 2011 at 7pm. For details click here


  1. What, you're not coming to Alaska?

  2. I think that John Lescroart may provide a good introduction to San Francisco. Yours is a great project. Good luck!

  3. Alaska! Doh! Why am I not coming to Alaska?

  4. And thanks, Martha. I've had some good feedback - I'll be posting what I discover at

  5. Some goodies from the folks at Vroman's in Pasadena