News, Events and Doug Moe
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Mystery to Me meets Sherlock...
Despite giving us an extra day, February blew by us pretty quickly. We've been busy scheduling events and working through the vagaries of doing our inventory. All is well and we're happy to report that our list of discrepancies wasn't as long as we'd feared! February was also filled with several meetings with representatives from publishers. Always fun and always overwhelming. There are so many wonderful new books being published - we hope you'll stop by soon to check out the new releases and bookseller favorites. We've also been busy reading the books written by the authors who will be visiting us soon. See below for the event schedule and/or visit our website for more details. The link to the author's website is also available. 
Hope to see you soon. 
A Fan’s Notes on Jim Harrison
By Doug Moe

For some of us, a new book by Jim Harrison is nearly always a cause for celebration.This season brings two – a poetry volume called Dead Man’s Float, and The Ancient Minstrel, a collection of novellas.
         Their publication has me thinking how it’s almost 40 years now that I’ve admired Harrison, who grew up in Michigan, and has long been associated with the state, although recently he’s divided his time between Montana and Arizona.
         I first read Jim Harrison in college at UW-Madison. Esquire published the novella Legends of the Fall, the longest piece of fiction ever in the magazine. It’s a tale of high adventure involving three American brothers who ride horses to Canada to enlist in World War I, an epic story condensed to 80 pages.
         The hardcover, which came out in 1979, included two more novellas. I still remember buying it. I had sold a book review to the Milwaukee Journal and received a check for $30, the first money I was ever paid for a piece of writing. I cashed the check and bought Legends of the Fall.
         I still have that first edition of Legends. It doesn’t have its dust jacket – lost while on loan to an old girlfriend – and that’s significant, if only because the jackets of all Harrison’s books are illustrated with the beautiful landscape paintings of his friend Russell Chatham.
         My wife and I have two Chatham prints hanging in our living room. The books encased below include a number of Harrison titles. He has been astonishingly prolific – a dozen novels, an equal number of poetry books, many collections of novellas.
         His work reflects his passions – nature, food, wine, sex, Native American history. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Judith Freeman noted: “Harrison’s books aspire to an enlarged and generous vision of a troubled but remarkably beautiful world, where a sensuous passion for life may be not just the best but the only revenge.”
         Harrison has been knocked for his overtly masculine themes, but in fact some of his best stories feature strong female protagonists – the novel Dalva, and the novella The Woman Lit by Fireflies. My wife read Fireflies at my suggestion on a plane trip before we were married. I won’t say it carried the day for me, but it didn’t hurt.
         Now 78, Harrison is revered by other writers, particularly in his native Midwest. Wisconsin author Mike Perry told me reading Harrison’s nonfiction collection, Just Before Dark, changed his life. I can still see the pain on Lodi author Jim Campbell’s face when he told me about once passing up a dinner invitation from his agent, not realizing Harrison would be at the table.
         I saw Jim Harrison one time, at an American Booksellers Association convention at McCormick Place in Chicago. I was seated at a table, signing copies of my first book, The World of Mike Royko, for booksellers, when a murmur went through the crowd. I looked over maybe 50 yards away, and saw a burly man in a black T-shirt settling into a chair behind a table. I knew instantly it was him. I couldn’t summon the nerve to approach him.
         It may be that college crushes are the hardest of all to shake. Around the time Legends was published, a friend sent me a Washington Post profile of Harrison, written by Gordon Chaplin, and titled “More Mad Dogs and Fewer Street Lamps.”
         It portrayed Harrison as devoted to his writing, but equally intent on living life full-out. He was an artist, but refused to be gentrified. Of course I wanted to be Jim Harrison.
         I haven’t come close – few have – but I’ve also gained some perspective in the decades since. Harrison has misfired with a few books, including his last novel, The Big Seven, in which the aging protagonist crossed the line – or so it says here – from rogue to something very unappealing.
         I’m happy to report that two of the novellas in The Ancient Minstrel, the new collection, are vintage Harrison, including the title story as well as “Eggs,” which features a female protagonist. Dead Man’s Float, the new poetry book, is terrific – but then Harrison’s poetry has always been consistently excellent.
         Nearly all of his books are in print, and can be ordered from Mystery to Me. You’ll be doing yourself a great favor to try one. At the very least, he’s a singular voice. I’d love Jim Harrison if he’d never written anything more than my favorite line of his poetry: “Death steals everything except our stories.”


TONIGHT!!   Thursday, March 3
7 pm
Journalist Doug Moe interviews John Powless and biographer Dan Smith 
A Life Well Played

Friday, March 4
7 pm
Journalist Doug Moe interviews Andrea Thalasinos about her newest book Fly By Night

Saturday, March 5
1 pm
Join Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzak to celebrate their newest collaboration, When Spring Comes

Sunday, March 6
12:30 pm
History's Mysteries Book Club Meets
Rubicon by Steven Saylor

Tuesday, March 8
7 pm
Journalist Doug Moe interviews debut author Steven Coss about his new book Fever of 1721

Thursday, March 10
7 pm
Brian Freeman returns to our store with his new book Goodbye to the Dead

Tuesday, March 15
7 pm
Annelise Ryan is back with her next book in the Mattie Winston series -- Stiff Competition

Friday, March 18
7 pm
Journalist Doug Moe interviews Kathy Cramer about her book Politics of Resentment Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker,

Tuesday, March 22
7 pm
Libby Fischer Hellmann returns to Mystery to Me with her new mystery Jump Cut. Journalist Doug Moe will interview her about the series and her past career in journalism.

April 1 -- We officially return to our regular store hours - and we're always open later for events! 
Tuesday - Friday: 10 am - 7 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday: 11 am - 4 pm
Closed on Monday -- but always open on-line at

Friday, April 1
7 pm
Skype with memoirist Melissa Cistaro about her book Pieces of My Mother

Saturday, April 2
11 am
Join children's author Susanne Bentor for a reading of Big is Small and Small is Big - there are sure to be some fun activities too!

Sunday, April 3
12:30 pm
History's Mysteries Book Club
The Queen's Man by Sharon Penman

Sunday, April 3
2 pm
Eleven-year-old Isabella Hollenbeck talks with us (and her dad, Chris) about her book Secrets of Detention

Tuesday, April 5
7 pm at HotelRED
Erin Elizabeth Clune discusses her new book: Sh*tty Mom for All Seasons 

Thursday, April 7
5:30 pm
Madison Writers' Studio
Students read from their most recent work!
Susanna Daniel’s class – Fiction
Michelle Wildgen’s class – Advanced Short Story
Tuesday, April 12
7 pm
Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden discuss their newest mystery Death on a Starry Night

Wednesday, April 13
6 - 8 pm  Monona Public Library
Join authors Maddy Hunter and Nicholas Petrie as they discuss their mystery novels. Chef Joel will be on hand with a surprise treat meant to represent the books. 

Sunday, April 16
11 am
Celebrate Poetry Month with Coffee in Greece with poet (and bookseller) Andrea Potos

Sunday, April 16
7 pm
Neal Griffin returns to Mystery to Me to be interviewed, once again, by journalist Doug Moe. Neal's newest mystery is titled Voice from the Field

Wednesday, April 17
5 - 7 pm - Union South, UW-Madison campus
Kathy Cramer discusses Politics of Resentment Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker

Friday, April 29
7 pm
Join WPR's Erika Janik and journalist Doug Moe to learn more about Erika's new book Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction

Sunday, May 1
History's Mysteries Book Club
Dead in their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley

Sunday, May 7
1 pm
Elly Griffiths (author of the Ruth Galloway mysteries) will SKYPE with us from England!

Friday, May 20
7 pm
Mary Kubica - author of the NYT bestselling book The Good Girl - will be here to discuss her new suspense novel Don't You Cry

Saturday, May 21
8:00 am -- Walk for Dyslexia
Join the Mystery to Me Team to support this important cause! 

Sunday, May 22
3 pm
Agatha Christie Book Club
Nemesis - Marple

Sunday, June 5
12:30 pm
History's Mysteries Book Club
Poor Tom is Cold by Maureen Jennings

Sunday, July 3
12:30 pm
History's Mysteries Book Club
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

Sunday, July 24
3 pm
Agatha Christie Book Club
Dumb Witness or Poirot Loses a Client - Poirot

Saturday, July 30
Time and Details to be determined
It's a Harry Potter Party! The 8th Harry Potter Story - nineteen years later -  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Books will not be sold until midnight...

Saturday, August 6
1 pm
Pat Zietlow Miller is here with Doug Moe. Pat will read from and discuss her new books: The Quickest Kid in Clarksville and the sequel to Sophie's Squash - Sophie's Squash Go to School

Sunday, August 7
12:30 pm
History's Mysteries Book Club
Billy Boyle by James Benn

Calling All Authors!
The Children's Dyslexia Center - Madison invites you to work with Mystery to Me to support the Center by walking together at the 2016 Walk for Dyslexia on May 21. We'd love for you be there to tell the kids who are working so hard to READ that you support their efforts! If you're interested in donating one of your books to them, sending in a donation and/or if you'd like to walk together as Mystery to Me authors let us know!
Please call Joanne at (608)283-9332 or email her at 



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