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Prescott's Antiques: The Newsletter
A periodic newsletter for fans of Jane K. Cleland's
traditional mystery series featuring Josie Prescott
An Antiques Roadshow for Mystery Fans
Vol. V, No. 4
Vol V No. 4
In this issue:
neo wolfe It’s Not Too Late to Join the Fun! The 2nd Annual Rex Stout Banquet!

Please join us at the fantabulous October 15, 2010 banquet. We eat! We drink! We sing! We toast! We’re the Wolfe Pack and we love hosting parties to honor Rex Stout, the creator of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.

gayle lynds Meet members of Mr. Stout’s family! Hear Gayle Lynds, the New York Times bestselling author, often called the “Queen of International Espionage,” discuss, “Nero Wolfe: The Spy.”

Jane says, “The banquet will be held at the magnificent Payne Mansion and celebrated chef Michael Goldstein will cook the six-course French menu from Rex Stout’s Too Many Cooks. We'll be serving wine that matches each course... naturally, Mr. Wolfe wouldn't have it any other way! We’re very fortunate that Allison Davis, , a Wolfe fan, took on the role of my ‘west coast partner-in-crime.’ She did all the leg work to find the venue and chef. Cheers to Allison! For details, here’s the flyer.”

The Payne Mansion is easy to get to from the Bouchercon hotel… cab up and walk down! We’ll be providing you with an easy, fun (and free) walking tour map!

To register, please send the names of those attending and a check for $195 per person (Wolfe Pack members, spouse or partner, and immediate family, $175 each), made out to the Wolfe Pack to: Jane K. Cleland ▪ P.O. Box 3233 ▪ NY, NY 10163-3233. ▪ Not a member of the Wolfe Pack? Join today! It’s easy: Add $35 to your check; get a 2-year membership in the Wolfe Pack and receive the discounted price to the banquet.

cat In Deadly Threads (Out in April 2011) Josie Gets a Cat:
Meet Hank

I’ve known a cat named Hank would figure into one of my books for years, ever since I met the real Hank. Let me tell you about him.

My husband is a musician; he plays classical bass trombone. Generally, he subs on Broadway and plays in regional orchestras, but for a number of years, he toured with Les Misérables. The chief electrician was a big, tough-looking teamster named Steve. Steve had traveled with the show for years and his constant companion was an orange tabby named Hank. Hank was more than mellow. Hank was warm and prideful and cute as a bug. Hank hung out backstage and was known for sweet-talking the ladies—and some guys, too—out of kitty treats. After every run, Steve oversaw the set breakdown from an electricity point of view, then he and Hank would climb on the crew bus and sleep their way to the next city. And then one day, someone complained that he was allergic to cats, and just like that, Hank got the boot. Hank was no longer allowed on the crew bus.

Steve posted a notice on the personnel bulletin board asking for a ride for Hank. Joe, my husband, was driving that leg of the tour, and being a cat person, was quick to volunteer. I happened to be there, staying with Joe for a week or so.

I witnessed Steve place Hank in his carry case on the back seat and unzip it. I saw Steve lean in close to give Hank a kiss. And I heard this big, tough-looking teamster whisper, “I’ll see you in Fresno, Hank. Be a good boy… this is your only chance.”

I’m pleased to report that Hank was a better-than-good boy, and as far as I know, Steve and Hank are still touring… Steve traveling on the crew bus and Hank traveling with whichever actor, musician, or crew member happens to have a car—and no cat allergy.

I fell in love with Hank. He was sweet and adaptable and cuddly. He was a pleasure to be around. So when it came time for Josie to get a cat… I named him Hank.

But the photos you’re seeing are of Louis, one of my cats. I love cats… and Josie does, too.

Read excerpts of all the Josie books! and order your copy today. Don’t forget to ask your librarian to order copies, too!

books and martini Watch a Short Video--Jane Explains
What You’ll Learn at the
Aspiring Writer’s Weekend—January 14-16, 2011
at MIT’s Endicott House

Jane will be hosting and facilitating a weekend writer’s event at MIT’s magnificent Endicott House (in Dedham, MA, a suburb of Boston) over next year’s Martin Luther King weekend, from January 14 (arrive by 5:30 p.m.) to January 16 (depart after brunch). During this writing weekend, which is packed with hands-on writing exercises and inspirational experiences, you’ll be able to find your unique writer’s voice.

“Aspiring Writers Weekend is designed for people who know they want to write, but aren’t sure what they want to write,” Jane explains. “In a supportive and encouraging environment, we’ll ‘sample’ six different genres as we each work to find our unique writer’s voice. For each unit, the structure will be: how to find inspiration/ write/ debrief. The six units are: Creative Non-fiction; Cookbooks; Memoirs; Literary Fiction; Mysteries & Thrillers; Children’s Literature.”

quill pen Jane continues: “There will also be facilitated discussions of the writing process and next steps. The inspiration modules include observing the Endicott House’s Executive Chef prepare a dish; touring their spectacular conservatory; seeking out clues in the trophy room, and others.”

An experienced instructional designer, curriculum developer, and trainer, Jane teaches various writing courses and workshops at LIM College and Manhattanville Colleges and at The Hudson River Writers' Center the Westport Writers Workshop. Jane has published fiction [Minotaur Books, an imprint of the St. Martin’s Publishing Group]; non-fiction [McGraw Hill and NAL, an imprint of Penguin Putnam]; short stories [Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine]; and articles [various industry journals].

While the program description isn’t yet posted on Endicott House’s website, information about the venue itself is at

endicott house The two night, all-inclusive package includes: two nights’ lodging in their antiques-filled rooms, each with private bath. Friday: no-host bar cocktail reception and dinner (wine included); keynote speech; Saturday: breakfast, lunch, no-host bar cocktail reception, dinner (wine included); Sunday: continental breakfast, brunch. All days, coffee breaks & wine with dinners; all sessions and materials; a goodie bag including a CD filled with music sure to fire your creativity and one of Jane’s book’s personally autographed.

$$495.00 (double occupancy; single rooms available for a small premium), plus service charge & tax (without lodging, $375.00++).

Online registration will begin soon. If you’d like to hold your place right away, Mike Fitzgerald, the director, invites you to contact him directly. You can reach him at mrfitzg@MIT.EDU or at 781.251.6364.

Any questions about the programming or content? Watch Jane's video and Contact Jane directly.

swan chair Antiques Collecting Fact: Did You Know?
What Makes an Antique an Antique Anyway?

Many antiques dealers use 50 years as the mark of an antique. Josie, being more conservative, uses a 100 years: an object must be 100 years old before Josie will market it as “an antique.”Think about this… if a dealer uses the 5o-year measure, the 1958 “swan” chair (shown to the right) is an antique! (In “as is” condition, this Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen Danish chair is likely to sell for close to $4,000.)

Want to pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the professionals? Visit the archives of the free, fun challenge we ran for years called What’s It Worth? You Be the Judge.

Ask Jane:
Q: : Your mother, Ruth Chessman, was a writer, too. What did she write?

bound for freedom A: She wrote in a variety of genres from mysteries to true romance to middle school novels. Although her books are out of print, they still have impact. Here’s an email I recently received. (I told her how Denise could acquire a used copy.)

Hi Jane - In the 60's when I was in school I found a copy of Bound for Freedom. Now I find that it may be a relative of yours that wrote the book? I've been trying to find a copy for 25 years now with no success at all. If you know where it can be purchased it would be the fulfillment of a lifelong (or adulthood long) dream. The book changed my life - and taught me the value of family, love, loyalty and freedom. I wish I had the book now to share with my young family. Thank you. Denise Note from Jane: You know what I said when I first read this? WOW.

orchidCalling All Nero Wolfe Fans

Will you be in San Francisco during the Bouchercon mystery conference? Ira Matetsky, the Wolfe Pack's Werowance, invites you to stop by and say hello on Saturday, October 16, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Hyatt hotel bar. Jane will also be at this no-host informal get-together and is eager to say hello! Also attending will be Nero award readers, Wolfe Pack members, and fans! See you there!

For more information about the 2nd annual Rex Stout banquet, please visit




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