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Vol V, No. 11
In this issue:
Deadly Threads Give an Autographed Copy of a Josie Book this Holiday

It’s not too late to have any or all of the Josie books personalized for holiday-giving. Write Jane directly for instructions on how to get it done quickly!

Jane Receives One of Rex Stout’s Tiles

rex stout tile As many of you know, I'm a huge Rex Stout fan, and an active member of the Wolfe Pack, the literary society that celebrates all things Nero Wolfe. (Nero Wolfe is Mr. Stout’s detective.) Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Stout built a house in Brewster, New York, called High Meadows. The bathroom featured lush yellow tiles with occasional feature tiles. The feature tiles show a flower with a crown, i.e., Rex…get it? jane receives rex stout tile When the current owner, a family member, renovated the bathroom, she saved as many of these tiles as she could. I’m thrilled to report that I was the lucky recipient of one of them. Here I am receiving it from Mr. Stout's daughter, Barbara.


The Politics of Stolen Art—A Visual Lecture

klimt On Thursday, January 12, 2012, Jane will deliver a visual lecture on The Politics of Stolen Art , use the photo of the Klimpt] at MIT’s spectacular Endicott House in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Jane says, “According to Interpol, nearly 25 percent of all Western Art was stolen by the Nazis and as many as 100,000 objects remain missing. In the face of competing political agendas, sometimes governments conspire to keep the art.

“During the lecture, I show dozens of examples and tell the rousing tale of how one women in her 90s took on the Austrian government—and won. I’ll be sharing other stories of political intrigue as well–from the theft of priceless paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum to the Polish claim for consigned to death St. Thomas Becket’s casket, now in the hands of the British—plus a novel idea on how to stop the flow of stolen antiquities once and for all.”

Jane has been speaking on this subject since she discovered the magnitude of the problem while researching her first Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Consigned to Death. Please join her for her visual lecture and a sumptuous global-inspired meal prepared by Endicott House’s Executive Chef. Contact Mike Fitzgerald, General Manager, MIT Endicott House, at 617-715-4901 or via email at mrfitzg@MIT.EDU.

Women in Jeopardy—What Questions Do You Have?

woman reading Jane will be moderating a panel at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ conference next February in Chicago. The panel, “Women in Jeopardy,” addresses the issue of how female authors’ experiences in publishing differs from males’.

Jane said, “No matter what metric you examine: advances, sales, review inches, or overall earnings, female authors do less well than male authors.” This panel, which includes Danielle Egan-Miller and Joanna MacKenzie, both of Browne & Miller Literary Associates, and authors Jamie Freveletti and Julie Hyzy, will discuss why this disparity occurs, whether the situation is equally challenging in all genres, and what can be done to counteract it.

Do you have any questions on this issue? If so, please pass them on… Jane will ask them and report back on the experts’ answers.

Antiques Collecting Fact: Nina, a Smuggling Doll—North vs. South

nina doll Hollow-headed dolls have been used for smuggling for centuries. Nina, a Civil War-era doll owned by the Museum of the Confederacy, is thought to have come from Europe with her papier mâché head filled with morphine and quinine, an effort orchestrated by Southern sympathizers to get medical supplies past the Union blockade and into the hands of sick Confederate soldiers.

Sometimes, as Josie knows, the value of an antique is increased by its association to a person, event, or activity that adds allure or interest or celebrity. To some buyers, a smuggling background does just that. Depending on the other factors relating to value (i.e., rarity, scarcity, condition, and provenance), smuggling dolls from this era might sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

Ask Jane: Josie’s Dad’s Wise Sayings—Is There a List?

globe Ask Jane: Susan Grimsdell from New Zealand writes, “I was impressed with the advice Josie's father gave her, snippets scattered through the books.  I wish I'd copied them as I went, because I would like to put them together to give to my grandchildren. I agreed with all of them, and I only wish someone had told me those things early in my life.  I thought I' d write to ask if you happened to have them in a list.”

Jane replied: “What a lovely note… thank you so much. I do have a list of Josie’s dad’s sayings. I tracked them for the first three books in the series, then stopped. I stopped mostly because Josie got ‘better,’ and stopped quoting him so frequently.” Click here for the listing.

Susan then asked this follow-up question: “Thank you very  much!  I'm glad you had the list, and thanks for sending it.  Have you thought about writing a non-fiction book based on these wise insights? I agree with Publisher's Weekly [note, Susan is referring to a review in which PW said the series was ‘engaging and ingenious’], but I think your books are far more than ‘engaging and ingenious’.  I found Consigned to Death un-put-downable, and full of life-lessons, mainly through the character of Josie, and articulated via her father's advice. In my view it was a serious book, while being so enjoyable.”

Jane replied: “Thank you, Susan. Your words made my week! I set out to write a serious book, so it’s wonderful to know I succeeded. I’m intrigued by your idea about converting Josie’s dad’s sayings into a book. As a first step in considering the project, I’ve been posting them, one every day or so, on Facebook and Twitter. That will let me know how much interest there is out there. If you enjoy them, or if you find that one of them is especially meaningful to you, please ‘Like’ it and/or re-Tweet it. Thanks. ”

Jane adds, “What do you think? Is gathering them together in a book a good idea? Please let me know your thoughts.


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The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. "Ingenious ... engaging!" Publishers Weekly. Jane does Business Communications training work, too!

P.S.  Please add "" to your address book!