D. R. Martin & Richard Audry Books


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St. Paul Pioneer Press Reviews Mary MacDougall

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Two of my Mary MacDougall books just received a very nice review from Mary Ann Grossmann of the St. Paul Pioneer Press—one of the Twin Cities’ two major daily papers. Here is some of what she had to say:

“In the spirit of Nancy Drew and the Corner House Girls… Likable Mary is a bright, inquisitive young woman, although she’s sometimes too headstrong. It’s an old-fashioned series in the best sense of the word. Audry captures the turn-of-the-century period perfectly, when young women like Mary were trying to burst out of Victorian expectations to become their own person.”

You can read the whole review here, as a part of Mary Ann’s Minnesota authors roundup.


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Third & Last Johnny Graphic Under Way

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It’s been three years since I published the second Johnny Graphic novel. And I’ve been thinking about the third and final tale on and off since then. Well, one can brainstorm and outline only so much. Which is why, a couple of weeks ago, I started writing the thing. The working title—which may become the actual title—is Johnny Graphic and the Last Ghost.

You’ll recall that Johnny and his friends had just helped vanquish the zombie threat in the Royal Kingdom. Now it’s off to Okkatek Island to search for the dark mage Morbrec, who taught Percy Rathbone his evil tricks. Johnny, though, has other plans—plans that get him into big trouble.

Though the Johnny Graphic books are classified as “Middle Grade,” I’ve had lots of very positive reviews from grown-up readers, too. One of them even said that I did for ghosts what Isaac Asimov did for robots. That’s high praise indeed. (Pats himself on the back.)


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Vivian Maier Legal Dispute Resolved

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Many months ago I did a post here about the Chicago street photographer Vivian Maier. She was the children’s nanny who, over several decades, shot tens of thousands of street photos. Her work, of very high quality, was only discovered after her death, when photography collectors bought the bulk of her negatives at an abandoned goods auction. In 2013 there was a riveting documentary about Maier called Finding Vivian Maier. I highly recommend you check it out.

Well, subsequently a fly flew into the ointment, in the form of an attorney who located a cousin of Maier’s. This cousin, in all likelihood, owned some or all of the rights to her images. This led to the legal standoff just now apparently resolved.

On one side you had collectors who owned the negatives needed to make and sell prints and posters and other imagery involving Maier’s work. On the other side was the cousin who owned the intellectual property rights, without which none of the images could be sold. Kind of a legal deadlock.

But now, hopefully, we can begin to see more of the photographic riches that Maier mined over the course of her adult life.

Go here to read the Chicago Tribune story on the settlement. The details are being kept confidential by order of the judge.


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King Harald & Johnny Graphic Updates

It was about a year ago that I published my second canine cozy mystery, King Harald’s Heist. I’m happy to report that the first draft of Harald and Andy’s third adventure is better than half completed. Its working title is King Harald’s Snow Job and it finds our two heroes snowbound in a luxury resort with the indomitable Aunt Bev, and several hundred other women. Needless to say, mayhem and mirth ensue.

In a cozy mystery, the clockwork of the plot is always challenging to work out. But in humorous cozies, such as the King Harald series, equally challenging is how to earn laughs without waxing corny. Sometimes to know if you’re doing it successfully, you have to put some distance between yourself and the story. So I’ve decided to let King Harald’s Snow Job marinate for a week or two, while I think it over and come back to it fresh.

During my break from Andy and Harald, I’ll be starting the third and final book of the Johnny Graphic trilogy—tentatively titled Johnny Graphic and the Last Ghost. I’m excited as heck to return to Johnny’s world, c. 1936. All hell is about to break loose, and only Johnny and his friends can stop it.

While Johnny Graphic isn’t primarily a humorous story, there are plenty of laughs and smiles. But unlike King Harald, the jokes in Johnny Graphic arise naturally from the people and ghosts and situations. I’m not looking for them—they just happen. It’s an easier type of humor to write. Just consider some of the classic kids’ stories, in books and in film. From Inside Out and Matilda to the early Harry Potters and Wind in the Willows. Serious stories unfold, but funny things happen along the way. They’re tales with humor, but not humorous tales.

I think that most authors would agree that humorous tales are hard to write. Simply consider the humorous yarns of P.G. Wodehouse. Those gut-busting waves of gags with Jeeves and Wooster were the result of meticulous, obsessive hard work—charted on walls like a military campaign or a complex piece of architecture. Humor, as they say, is a very serious business.


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New Paperback Edition for Travis McGee & Me

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A couple of years ago I took my twenty-two blog posts about the adventures of Travis McGee and turned them into an e-book. I’m happy to note that it has been a steady seller ever since. Now I’ve put Travis McGee & Me into print in this slender paperback edition. I guess it’s an appropriate sort of commemoration of my eight years of blogging on John D. MacDonald’s famous fictional hero and related topics—my first foray into blogging.

You can order it from Amazon here. To get the book from CreateSpace, click here.

The book will become available from other leading online booksellers in coming weeks. If your local bookstore has the capacity to order print-on-demand books, you will be able to buy the book there as well.


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Daughter’s Doubt Blog Tour Now a Wrap

My blog tour for A Daughter’s Doubt wrapped up yesterday and it was a successful one. I more than doubled my Facebook likes and collected some very nice reviews. Thanks to Lori of Escape with Dollycas for managing the tour.

“I LOVE great historical fiction and this book delivers. From the descriptions of the tableaux vivants in the beginning of the book to details of travel, dress, and healthcare, this book is written with a deep understanding of the time period that pulls the reader in.” ~I Read What You Write!

“I loved this book with its historical aspects and I also enjoyed learning about the fun things they did in the summer in Mackinac Island …” ~Community Bookstop

“No motor cars, no cell phones, just horses, buggies, trains, and the brains God gave her Mary does everything she can to expel A Daughter’s Doubt and it was a perfect escape for me!~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

“The mystery itself was interesting and fast paced. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen until it was revealed …” ~I Wish I Lived In a Library

“This historical cozy mystery was an enjoyable read that I didn’t want to put down until Mary found out ‘whodunit’.” ~Brooke Blogs


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Record Store Day at Hymie’s

Today is Record Store Day and I thought I would hike up to Lake Street in Minneapolis to check out the celebrations at the leading vinyl emporium, Hymie’s, in my neighborhood. Musically speaking, it is hipster central in these parts.

There were hundreds of folks up there listening to music acts. The blues duo you see is Crankshaft. And there were hundreds of free LPs given away. As I write this, I expect those fine Lawrence Welk sets seen below are still waiting for that special someone. Is it you?

The second photo down shows old album covers repurposed as notebook covers. Only $15 each.

You may wonder: Am I into vinyl? Sorry, no. I had thousands of albums at one point, but am now down to about 50 LPs. I like CDs just fine. I know this dates me, but what can you do?

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