Between 1990 and 1995, I wrote six Los Angeles mysteries featuring an overeducated private eye named Simeon Grist. The first of them to be completed, Skin Deep, was only the third novel I'd ever written, and the first two were awful, so it's something of a miracle that Skin Deep turned out as well as it did. About ten days after I gave it to my agent, I had a three-book contract.
Publishing companies work slowly. By the time New American Library was getting ready to go to work on Skin Deep, I finished The Four Last Things and turned it in. They liked the new book better than Skin Deep (or maybe it was just fresher to them) and they decided to publish it first.
So they did, and when they were once again getting around to Skin Deep, I turned in Everything but the Squeal, and once again, Skin Deep got postponed.
The funny thing, reading the books all these years later, is that Skin Deep is pretty damn good. I actually read it with some trepidation because I figured it must stink. In fact, it's a good strong book, and it deserved the good reviews it got way back then.
The publishers bought three more Simeon Grist books and then gave up and let Simeon toddle off to the limbo where series heroes go when they're dropped.
And there he's stayed, until miraculously resurrected by the wonder of the e-book. All six of them are up on Amazon in Kindle form now, and they've gotten a great reaction.
Welcome back, Simeon.
Here's the actual order of the Simeon Grist novels:
- Skin Deep
- The Four Last Things
- Everything but the Squeal
- The Man With No Time
- The Bone Polisher
And, maybe some day . . . Pulped
These books were produced for e-book distribution by Kimberly Hitchens and the covers were designed by Allen Chiu.