The Racketeer was one of Amazon's mystery/thriller Best Books of the Month picks for October. A Q&A with the author:
Describe The Racketeer in one sentence.
A federal judge is murdered, and our hero in prison knows who did it, and why.
What's on your nightstand/bedside table/Kindle?
Ian McEwan's latest novel, Sweet Tooth; a friend's manuscript; and a Kindle Fire loaded with daily newspapers, magazines, and about three dozen books.
Top 3-5 favorite books of all time?
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; A Confederacy of Dunces; The Grapes of Wrath; Little Drummer Girl
Important book you never read?
There are so many. Atlas Shrugged, though I've been told for the past 30 years that it's unreadable.
Book that made you want to become a writer?
To Kill a Mockingbird made me question race for the first time in my young, insulated, white life. It also inspired me to try and write something great.
Memorable author moment?
I received a note from Harper Lee, along with an autographed first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird.
What's your most prized/treasured possession?
A first edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, signed by the author.
Pen envy - book you wish you'd written?
Harry Potter - he's the only dude I can't outsell.
Author crush - who's your current author crush?
I'm 57 years old. Crushes are for sophomores.
What's favorite method of procrastination? Temptation? Vice?
Don't get me started. I can waste enormous amounts of time, and with no guilt whatsoever. Currently, I'm doing so on the golf course, playing a game that I took up only four years ago and is driving me nuts.
What do you collect?
First editions, primarily Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck.
Best piece of fan mail you ever got?
The letter began: "As the newly elected President of the Arkansas Bar Association, it is incumbent upon me to suggest various topics for your future novels......" I don't think I finished reading the letter.
What's next for you?
I'm hard at work on Theo 4 - "Theodore Boone, The Activist."
>See all of John Grisham's books.
>Read a New York Times review of The Racketeer
(author photo by Bob Krasner)