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Hello Mystery Readers,

It has been a very busy fall and winter beginning with the release of The Black Minute in September. Besides Minnesota, I traveled to North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Mexico for signings. Once again, I had the wonderful opportunity to introduce myself to new readers as well as to see familiar faces. Some authors will say how much they dread the “book tour” but I have had nothing but great experiences. It helped that the severe winter weather held off until just before Christmas.

Recently, I was notified that The Black Minute is a finalist for the Reader View’s Choice Award for Best Mystery of 2009. You may recall that Reader Views chose White Tombs as Best Mystery of 2008. Winners will be announced soon.

I have more signings and events scheduled this spring, including a live appearance with Pat Evans on KARE 11 this Friday, March 12, between 4:00-5:00 p.m. If you live in the Twin Cities viewing area, please tune in to the interview. Also, I’ll be signing books at the Write of Spring event at Once Upon Crime from 1:00-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 20.

On April 7 I’ll be discussing White Tombs and The Black Minute at the Criminal Cocktail Hour, an event sponsored by the Valley Bookstore and hosted by the Dock Café in downtown Stillwater beginning at 4:30 p.m. Please join me for cocktails, appetizers, and a lively discussion. On April 20 I’ll be returning to the Chateau Barnes & Noble bookstore in Rochester, one of my favorite places. And on April 26, I’ll be meeting with the Maple Grove Barnes & Noble mystery book club at 7:00 p.m. Please check my website for more information on upcoming events.

Having the opportunity to meet with book clubs continues to be a great source of pleasure, and I have a number of them scheduled in the coming months. Last February, I spoke to the Osseo Book Club, a group with over 100 members. After a great lunch at the Hennepin County Technical College in Brooklyn Park, we moved to the auditorium where I spoke for 45 minutes about my background and crime writing. Then I answered questions and signed copies of my books. It was a wonderful time, and I want to thank June Long for the invitation and for being a fan of John Santana, and Pat and Gary from Once Upon A Crime for bringing the books to the event.

Santana will return in the third installment of the series entitled Bad Weeds Never Die. The draft is finally complete though the publication date has not yet been set. In the novel, a case Santana is working in St. Paul leads him back to Colombia where he must deal with Alejandro Estrada and the Cali cartel, and where he begins his search for his sister, Natalia.

I’m often asked what authors I enjoy reading. One of my favorites is James Lee Burke. I took one of his paperbacks, Purple Cane Road, with me recently when my wife and I spent a week in St. Maarten. Also, I enjoyed reading C. J. Box’s book, Blue Heaven on the trip. In the non-fiction realm, I recently read Dexter Filkins sobering account of his experiences as a correspondent in Iraq and Afghanistan entitled, “The Forever War,” a terrific book.

A number of you have chosen to send me an email about the books. I would love to hear from you, so feel free to contact me at


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Christopher Valen
387 Bluebird Alcove
Woodbury, Minnesota 55125

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