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Showing posts by: David Handler click to see David Handler's profile
Aug 17 2017 1:15pm

Dog Handler: Why David Handler Included a Canine Sidekick

Read David Handler's exclusive guest post about why he included his sidekick dog Lulu in his acclaimed Stewart Hoag mystery series, then make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of the long-awaited return of Hoagy and Lulu in The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes!

I confess. I never intended to give a sidekick to Stewart Hoag, that major American novelist turned major burn-out case turned preeminent ghostwriter of celebrity memoirs. And I definitely never planned to give him a sidekick with short legs, long ears, and a taste for 9Lives mackerel for cats and very strange basset hounds.

This was back in 1985 when I was a very young writer. After I’d drafted the first 50 pages of the first Hoagy novel, The Man Who Died Laughing, I sent them to my agent, the late Roberta Pryor. It was my first stab at crime fiction, and I was hungry for feedback. Roberta kindly gave me hers: she hated it. Thought that Hoagy was a bitter, dislikeable loser. “No one will spend their hard-earned money on this,” she informed me. “They can already get it at home for free.”

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Feb 19 2016 2:00pm

The Lavender Lane Lothario: New Excerpt

David Handler

The Lavender Lane Lothario by David Handler is the 11th Berger and Mitry Mystery where a feud between families ends in murder, and NYC film critic Mitch Berger and Connecticut State Police Resident Trooper Des Mitry have to work together to solve the mystery (Available February 23, 2016).

Every year, the Gant family performs an annual ritual desecrating the tomb of Aurora Bing. The Gants have held a grudge against the legendary silent film star for almost eighty years, but for Sherm Gant and his son, things have become personal. Aurora's only grandchild, Hubie Swope, has shut down Sherm's notoriously rowdy beachfront bar, and refuses to allow The Pit to reopen until Shem undertakes expensive upgrades. This means war. And when The Pit catches fire and Hubie Swope's charred remains are found in the rubble, it also means murder.

Who killed Hubie Swope? Crime-fighting duo Mitch and Des have no idea. Not only are Sherm and his son prime suspects, but so are the women in Hubie's life. To their surprise, Mitch and Des discover that Dorset's building inspector, a quiet widower who repaired cuckoo clocks in his little house on Lavender Lane, was secretly juggling four girlfriends at once. And then there's Gaylord Holland, a builder who had a beef of his own with Hubie. Dorset is in turmoil, and only New York City film critic Mitch Berger and Connecticut State Police Resident Trooper Des Mitry can put it back together.

Chapter 1

“I MUST SAY, MASTER Sergeant. This qualifies as the most unusual date we’ve ever been on.”

“It’s not a date.”

“Are you sure? It feels like a date.”

“It’s not a date.”

[Read more from The Lavender Lane Lothario here...]

Mar 21 2014 9:00am

The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb: New Excerpt

David Handler

The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb by David Handler is the tenth book in his Berger and Mitry Mystery series, and this time, long overdue construction on a quaint New England road uncovers a body of a missing friend from long ago (available March 25, 2014).

The historic New England village of Dorset has actually elected a living, breathing woman as its First Selectman. And now she’s about to undertake the Historic District’s biggest public works project in a generation–the widening and re-grading of Dorset Street. The job has needed doing for ages but the  previous First Selectman, Bob Paffin, always opposed it. So did a lot of Dorset’s blue-blooded old guard. 

The long put-off dig uncovers a body buried underneath the pavement in front of the Congregational Church. It belongs to Lt. Lance Paffin, Bob Paffin’s older brother, a dashing U.S. Navy flyer who went missing off his sailboat the night of the country club’s spring dance more than forty years ago. Everyone had assumed he just left town. But now it's clear Lance has been under Dorset Street this whole time, and that he was murdered.

Des and Mitch soon discover that there are deep, dark secrets surrounding Dorset's elite, and some very distinguished careers have been built on lies.



Des still couldn’t get used to it as she idled there in front of the firehouse in her Crown Vic, heater blasting on this damp, chilly April morning. She couldn’t get used to these privileged, pigment-challenged high school kids blasting gangsta rap on the sound systems of their BMWs and Mini Coopers as they came roaring through the Dorset Street Historic District to school, slowing their preppy selves down to the twenty-five mph speed limit only because they saw her there. How was it possible that these Jennifers and Trevors from the gem of Connecticut’s Gold Coast got off on some thug rapper lipping about a life that would totally freak them out if they ever actually experienced it for themselves?

Ba-boomp-boom-pah … Ba-boomp-boom-pah …

Dorset’s Resident Trooper didn’t get it, possibly because she was the only woman of color currently residing in this New England WASP Eden, population seven thousand, at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Then again, maybe if she were ten years younger she’d get it. Instead, these kids made her feel, well, not young. Spring’s arrival was doing that to her this year. For the first time in her life, the season of renewal was making her feel, well, not new. Her twenties had started to disappear in her rearview mirror. And on a raw, cold morning like this, she got out of bed feeling what her time on the job had done to her. The ache in her right forearm from when she’d gotten shot with a .38 up at Astrid’s Castle. The stiffness in her lower back from that time a crack dealer shoved her down a flight of steps in the Frog Hollow projects. A tightness in her right hamstring for which she had no explanation at all. Face it, her body was not as limber or forgiving as it once was. Not like these teenagers cruising past her.

Ba-boomp-boom-pah … Ba-boomp-boom-pah …

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