16 April 2014

Carlson, P.M.: Audition for Murder



Audition for Murder

By P.M. Carlson

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9781932325218-PerfectAUDITION FOR MURDER (Maggie Ryan 1967)

Actors Nick and Lisette O’Connor need a change. They leave New York City for a semester as artists-in-residence at a college upstate, where they take on the roles of Claudius and Ophelia, two of the professional leads in a campus production of Hamlet. Threats and accidents begin to follow Lisette, and Nick worries it might be more than just petty jealousy. Maggie Ryan, a student running lights for the show, helps investigate a mystery steeped in the turmoil of 1967 America.          

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About AUDITION FOR MURDER (Maggie Ryan 1967)

“It’s a triple pleasure, a sophisticated theatre story, a knowing campus tale and a topnotch suspenseful mystery, with excellent characterizations and honest plotting.” — Judith Crist

“An extremely well-written tale, with a plotline that offers a jolt per page.” — CF, Booklist

“Very literate, sprinkled with surprises and offering that rarity of rarities — fully fleshed out characters.” — Bob Ellison, Los Angeles Daily News


MEDIA KIT Carlson 5Mysteries


New York City, late 1960’s.

Nick O’Connor  put down the telephone, his broad, muscular body sagging a little.  So she hadn’t been merely tired.  Hell.  He changed to worn jeans and his old leather jacket, and made a mean face at the mirror.  Nick the hustler tonight.  Man of a thousand faces, said his agent, and every one of them homely.  A regular one-man Dickens novel.  Nick headed out for the West Forties.

The snow was not sticking much.  It made the sidewalks shine darkly, splashed with gold and rose and white reflections from bars and street lamps, and pasted down scraps of paper that otherwise would be scuttling across the streets in the bitter wind.  His way led past whores, pushers, tired old men huddled over warm grates.  Without a hurt, the heart is hollow.  No hollow hearts on this street.

Franklin’s place was halfway down the block.  A worn brass door handle, chipped paint.  Nick wiped a few snowflakes from his thinning hair and pushed through the crowd to the end of the bar.  In a moment the bartender, black, with a trim mustache, had worked his way down to him.

“Hey, man, where ya been?”

“Is she here, Franklin?”

“Been here for hours.”

“Yeah, I was working tonight.  I just heard.”

“She said she got fired.”

“Hey, we can’t all be self-employed minority success stories.”

Franklin chuckled.  “You watch your honky mouth.”  He went off to break up a loud argument about whether or not the Vietcong were winning, served a whisky, and returned  to Nick.  “Room 6B,” he said.

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MEDIA KIT  PM Carlson PhotoP.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun.  She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

Social Media:

Author Website  http://www.pmcarlson.net:

Publisher Website:  http://www.crumcreekpress.com/carlson

Purchase Link:

Print, Kindle, Nook, other e-books: http://www.crumcreekpress.com/shop/

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2-minute video chat (AUDITION FOR MURDER):



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Posted April 16, 2014 by Room With Books in category "Book Tour", "Virtual Book Tour


  1. By Rita Wray on

    I enjoy reading mysteries because you feel involved in the story.


  2. By Elise-Maria Barton on

    What I find most enjoyable about a really good mystery is the fact that I actually become engaged in the story rather than just an observer. A great mystery book will keep a reader on the edge of the seat guessing, and deciphering clues like a super slueth! Thanks for sharing.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

  3. By Doris H. on

    I love it when mysteries keep me guessing. The mystery/suspense is the thrill of reading.

    1. By P.M. Carlson on

      Yes, I think a good fair-play puzzle is more exciting than a shoot-out! Fair-play is a problem for the writer, though, because if you’re like me and want to write about bright characters, you have to make the information available to the reader, but withhold information from the characters until it’s time for them to figure it out. In the Maggie Ryan mysteries, I follow two (or three) main characters in each book. For example, in AUDITION FOR MURDER Nick O’Connor, the professional actor, knows part of the truth, and Ellen Winfield, the student stage manager, knows another part. Each main character learns part of the answer, and Maggie puts it all together at the end. Of course they’re all so busy putting on the play they aren’t paying much attention to other things until murder happens!

  4. By CJ S on

    I love the suspense! I love getting chills down my spine wondering what is going to happen next. Mysteries are my favorite genre!! Thanks for sharing

    1. By P.M. Carlson on

      Yes, I agree! Even when the characters relax at a picnic in a park or a glitzy party in a penthouse, you know that something scary may happen any minute. The mysteries I like best are the ones where you really care about the characters and what they want from life. In the Maggie Ryan books, I usually start with the scenes that show people already struggling to reach their goals, like actor Nick O’Connor in the excerpt above as he tries to help his depressed wife despite the challenges of their demanding careers. I think it makes the murder threat even scarier!

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