Members of Murder Among Friends and Lisle patrons had a rare opportunity to connect (by phone!) with one of the greatest writers of crime fiction, when Dennis Lehane called in to our discussion on Mystic River on Thursday, May 15th. Dennis answered all questions – both concerning the novel and about various aspects of writing and his career in a pungent, honest, and thoughtful way. His sense of humor, along with an inadvertent guest “appearance” by his young daughter totally charmed the group. (Dennis was literally in the middle of a move when he took the time out to call us.)
We couldn’t let him leave without a couple of questions concerning his guest appearance on the TV show Castle where he, and Michael Connelly got to join Castle’s infamous poker game. We also asked him which female suspense writers he’d suggest that Castle invite to a future poker game. He easily came up with Laura Lippman, Tami Hoag, and Elizabeth George (to class things up a bit). Everyone burst out laughing when he went on to say that as a TV actor he was a decent writer - & that it was fairly embarrassing when you can’t be believable playing yourself.
We didn’t get a chance to answer that he was far too hard on himself -- & that he definitely held his own compared to Michael Connelly and James Patterson (who has appeared in a different poker game episode). It was truly heartening to explore this well-crafted novel and find that its author is one inspiring, funny, and generous guy. Thank you Dennis – and thank you Chris Ming – for spending time with us!
See Dennis’ cake we had to celebrate his call-in below. There are also links for the Mystic River Cast of Characters, a bibliography of all his books, and a link (Click here) to a wonderful piece he did that appeared in The Boston Globe that again shows his strong commitment to libraries.