I’ve been fortunate to write over a hundred reviews for New Mystery Reader over the past five years. During that time, I have been ever luckier to deal almost exclusively with NMR’s patient and long-suffering editor, Stephanie Padilla.Stephanie has made sure books got to me and interviews were set up, so I rarely had to deal with the major publishers’ publicists. For that I am eternally grateful.

Earlier this week a publicist slipped through my previously effective cordon and sent me an
email directly. She must have got my address from a predecessor, as I don’t recognize her name, but I did speak with a few publicists at Bouchercon a couple of year ago. Anyway, this (presumably delightful young) woman (since aren’t all publicists that way) sent me an email with the following subject line, which has been tastefully redacted:

A brilliant blend of fact and fiction, XXX unravels one of the greatest unsolved mysteries …!

The body of the email was not only awfully familiar for someone who probably doesn’t know
me, but made it clear by the end she doesn’t know me at all:

How are you? I wanted to check to see that you received a finished copy of XXX. Offering a fresh, contemporary spin on a fascinating period, XXX paints a lively world XXX, expertly capturing the panorama of social change and rich historical intrigue XXX. It is a fascinating work that I hope you will seriously consider for reviews and features in your publication or an interview with the author on your show. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

I had to ponder a suitable reply for a few days. This is what I came up with:

Dear XXX,

I am fine; thanks for asking. Sorry for my delay in replying, but it’s been a hectic week.Who would have thought the Prince George’s County jail doesn’t take Discover? (Visa and Master Card only.)

As I have not received a copy of the book, I must reserve judgment for the time being as to whether it truly is “a brilliant blend of fact and fiction” that “[offers] a fresh, contemporary spin on a fascinating period in XXX’s history.” Nor can I determine if the lively worldXXX paints expertly captures the panorama of XXX.

If the book arrives, I will happy to give it a look, though you need not send another, as I am currently between review publications and do not have a either a radio or television contract, much to my dismay.

Thanks for thinking of me.

What the hell. It’s not like XXX was thinking of publishing me anytime soon. Even I
should get to have some fun in the publishing business, right?

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Comment by Dana King on June 27, 2010 at 5:52am
I'm on a self-imposed hiatus from reviewing. Frankly, I'm burned out with it, and a lot of my writing tasks in general. If you'd like to be considered for the site I review for, here's the submission information for the site. The editor is great to work with.

We welcome the chance to review new authors and titles at New Mystery Reader. If you are interested in sharing your book with us, and more importantly, our readers (!), please write us at editor@newmysteryreader.com. Because of our several reviewers, we would appreciate a brief synopsis of your book, along any other relevant information so that we can forward it to the appropriate party. We appreciate and value any effort made in the creation of words strewn together in order to create the next masterpiece, so please share with us, so that we may share with others.....
Comment by I. J. Parker on June 27, 2010 at 1:09am
:) So what's the deal? Do you still review? And how does one get reviewed?
Comment by B.R.Stateham on June 26, 2010 at 2:29pm
oh, you cad! (grinning impishly)

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