Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book three in the Charlotte McNally Mysteries

Hank is hijacking Jungle Red today.

To say thank you.

We've done almost 400 posts at Jungle Red. Which just takes my breath away.

When we started, several years ago! I was a new new author, stepping my toe into uncharted waters and one hundred per cent clueless.

Lots of good things happened. Lots of not-so-good, too, but by far-the wonderful outweighed the weird.
And now, today, my third book hits the bookstores.

Here's what's important:
Thank you thank you thank you.
And now, it's time for

"Sassy, fast-paced, and appealing. This is first-class entertainment."
—Sue Grafton

"Loved it! Smart, funny, fresh, intriguing and thoroughly
entertaining—I highly recommend this series."
—Suzanne Brockmann

It's never a good thing when the flight attendant is crying.

That's the first line of AIR TIME! And this newest adventure takes reporter Charlotte McNally undercover and carrying a hidden camera to investigate the high-stakes world of high fashion and counterfeit couture—and the secret back rooms of big-city airports. Someone is ripping off the valuable original designs of one of the industry's most prestigious lines and selling counterfeit merchandise as the real thing. Turns out "faking it" is the pathway to multi-million dollar profits. Charlie goes undercover to uncover who's trading secrets about trade secrets, and soon discovers when the purses are fake—the danger is real.

But going undercover is not her only dilemma—how about under the covers? Charlie's long been married to her career, but now, at 47, there's a man in her life. Is he—finally—"the one?" Personally as well as professionally: how can she tell the real thing?

Wait a minute, I hear you saying. You're a reporter, Hank. And you've gone undercover a million times. And you're probably carrying a hidden camera right now.

Fine. I admit it. It's been there, done that. After 30 years in TV—I've had some real life adventures of my own.

But as a mystery author, I'm always wondering—what if. And I began to imagine the fascinating possibilities in designer duplicates. One of the things I love to do in my novels is take something that's familiar and give it a twist or two that turns it into something unexpected and unpredictable. Because I already knew the inside scoop—that helped me create a truly workable scheme for my fictional crooks. (I can tell you, when I revealed it to law enforcement sources, they sheepishly admitted my plan was completely plausible!).

"Hank had me from the first line. In her latest addictive page-turner AIR TIME, real-life TV reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan once again thrills us with her terrific counterpart, investigative reporter Charlotte McNally. AIR TIME isn't only exciting and sexy and even funny—it's also damned well written."
—David Morrell, Founding co-president International Thriller Writers

AIR TIME is on the cover of the all-new RT BookReviews Magazine! So look for that at your local bookstore... or hey, subscribe!

And watch for an article on my real life adventures undercover in the next issue of Mystery Scene Magazine. (Or hey, subscribe!)

"The most fun I've had reading in a long time. Hank Phillippi Ryan has given us one of the best heroines to emerge in a long while, and her stories zip along as fast as news bulletins. AIR TIME is a fun, fast read with a heroine who's sexy, stylish, and smart. I loved it."
—Nancy Pickard

"AIR TIME is a thrill ride from the first page to the last. This story will tickle your funnybone and touch your heart. Hank Phillippi Ryan is a fabulous new talent."
—Susan Wiggs

"Excellent! Hank Phillippi Ryan knows how to create characters that come to life and capture your heart. Don't miss this engrossing story."
—Brenda Novak


I do hope you'll join me at one—or all!—of the
AIR TIME events we have planned. There'll be goodies, discount coupons, and lots of surprises!

First—I'll be debuting the new
AIR TIME at Borders at Boston's Downtown Crossing on Tuesday, August 25, 12-2.

Thursday, August 27, I'll be at Boston's Logan Airport Borders Books—in Terminal A from 2:30-5:30. (Get it? AIR TIME?)

Friday, August 28, starting at noon I'll be at Barnes & Noble at the Boston's famed Prudential Center.

And from 5-7 pm at BORDERS Boston/Back Bay.

Saturday, August 29 from 10-12 (so you can stop by, pick up your books, and then head off to the beach!) I'll be at the amazing
Tatnuck Books in Westboro, Massachusetts.

Check the
EVENTS page on my website for all the appearances I'll be making around Boston and New England (I hope there's one in your neighborhood!), and at your favorite mystery bookstores across the country—more are posted every week!

There's a special event (with lots of special treats!) at
The Mystery Company in Carmel, Indiana on September 11 at 7pm, and lots more that weekend in INDY! Check my schedule for details.

And want an autographed
AIR TIME with free first-class shipping? No problem. The mavens at Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA have specially arranged to provide that for you! Just click here. (And check out their ultra-special offer! All three of the TIME opening trilogy—with a special limited edition bookbag!)

Finally, my deepest appreciation for all your enthusiasm. I'm still on the job at Channel 7 in Boston—and loving it. That's a fact. But this new step into fiction is so exciting and rewarding—I'm delighted to be able to share it with you.

With much gratitude


Oh wait!


Though the Charlotte McNally novels are a series, each can stand on its own. The Agatha-winning
PRIME TIME (in bookstores now) is your introduction! Here, Charlie suspects some of that spam clogging her computer is really hiding secret messages! It's a chock full of cliffhangers—with such a workable scheme you'll wonder why someone hasn't tired it.

"...a wonderful mystery...The author juggles plot and character
very deftly with Charlie emerging as one of the
wittiest and brightest protagonists in current crime fiction."
—Joe Meyers, Connecticut News

FACE TIME, book two, (also in bookstores now!) Charlie learns she must get beneath the exterior—of a face, of a relationship, of a photograph—to discover what she really values: justice, her journalistic reputation, the extraordinary bond between mothers and daughters, and true love. Sara Paretsky calls it "a gripping thriller, with a important story line and a heroine we can root for."

But wait, there's more! Did you make it this far in the blog? Then yay, you may be rewarded. Just leave a comment. (Because we're talking about AIR TIME, tell us about how often your luggage gets lost. Or whether you've ever purchased a knock-off purse. Or, hey, just say hello.)

And we'll choose three random winners! To each, I'll send a signed copy of PRIME TIME, FACE TIME or AIR TIME. (Or if you choose--a signed copy of any of the Jungle Red Writers' mysteries!)

Thanks, everyone. (Tomorrow, we return to our usual programming with book promotion genius Megan Kelley Hall.)


  1. Having put in more than a dozen years as a full-time daily journalist, (and still being a journalist in a magaziney kind of way), I've always been intrigued by behind-the-scenes views of the world. Sounds like you've spun that into page-turning gold. And no, I've never bought a designer knock-off purse. No, really.
    plastic santa

  2. Yay, Hank! I just ordered my signed copy. (I carry the same handbag I have for 15 years: leather with woven fabric that I bought in Niamey, Niger - never really understood the designer bag thing, but maybe I will after I read Air Time!)


  3. Hey Plastic! Yes, I truly believe you about the no knock-offs. No kidding, I do. Hope you love AIR TIME.

    Edith, it'll be fun to hear what you think after reading! And I bet you'll still use your gorgeous bag.

    Roberta, my dear JRW sister--can you believe it?

  4. Congrats Hank! A chocolate biscotti has been eaten in your honour.

    When we came home from Beijing with the munchkin, the airline lost our luggage between Vancouver and Montreal. I'd been up for 24 hours--12 of them flying with more than four dozen babies and I was not in a good mood. The munchkin's cute little welcome home outfit was in that luggage because my carry-on was full of diapers, formula and bottled water. I put my head on the customer service counter and sobbed. They were unmoved.

    The airline went under about a year later. Yes, I gloated a little.

  5. Thank you, Hank, for having a main character that is 47 years old. As much as I enjoy reading about the exploits and love lives of younger women, I am ecstatic to find a main character with a few more miles under her belt. I'm 51 years old, and I don't think the younger girls should have ALL the fun!
    As far as purses, I wouldn't know a designer one if it bit me in the a--. I buy really big, sturdy leather sacks that can hold up to my abuse. (I really am brutal on purses and shoes!)

  6. Congrats on the book debut. What a fun premise! Can't wait to get a copy. I've never bought a knock-off purse--I just carry a wallet--but I bought knock-off watches when I was stationed in Thailand and Korea. I never see someone wearing a Rolex without thinking "knock-off."

  7. Hey, Hank --

    Congratulations! Looking forward to surprising you at one of your events.

    And yes, I can believe it...having witnessed your hard work and talent. You have earned this... hope you break the sound barrier with this one!

  8. I'd do my impersonation of a singing telegram to congratulate you on the release and awesome reviews, but my voice is so bad, even virtual singing makes the dogs howl. *wink*

    I don't do designer anything. (Unless my Ariat western boots count...hrm...) And *knock wood* I've never lost luggage. That said, I was an airport rescue-firefighter in a former life and those rooms down under the terminal? Uhm...yeah!

  9. Luggage lost...twice. Once, a day of delay, and I was on the return leg home, so I wasn't left without. The other time, however, it was my dog, and it was a VERY BIG DEAL.

    I don't fly any longer...

    Hope your signing is stupendous!

  10. Yeah Hank!
    Hope you have fabulous events, reviews and sales of the new book.
    As one who flies frequently lost luggage is a minor problem compared to sitting for hours trapped in a plane on the tarmac, which seems to happen almost every time I fly these days.

  11. 'It's never a good thing when the flight attendant is crying.' Great first line. Definitely demands attention. Can't wait to read the book.
    Luckily, I've never had my luggage lost. But then I don't travel much and that's ok with me.
    Congratulations on the success of the series, and like other commenters, I'd like to thank you for a heroine that is not 25 years old!

  12. Congrats on AIR TIME, Hank--you're awesome!

    While I've never lost my luggage, I did manage to pack our boarding passes inside and check the suitcases before we boarded the plane home from our honeymoon in Maui. Whoops! (But we made it back, so it's all good. Not that we really wanted to leave, but...)

    Wishing you an abundance of sales...


  13. Yummy, a new book! I never get tired of new releases, and ok, even old(er) books. Congrats on the new release!

    Old handbag,nice and comfy! Worth less than the contents, lol, which is not saying much these days.

  14. Thanks, Kara C. And funnily enough, in AIR TIME there's a very important character named Keresy.

    And oh,I'm a luggage loss magnet. Honestly, I now pack half my stuff in Jonathan's bag, because it's just SO likely that mine'll be gone.

    John, that's too funny. YOu were probably just so happy, you forgot.

    SIlver, thanks for the singing telegram. Nice job on that...! ANd yes, the boots count.

  15. Congratulations! I loved Face Time as you well know from my prior gushing. ;)

    This beach reads idea and not having to wait a year for the next installment - primo. Tell MIRA I said so.


  16. Hi all! I didn't purchase a knock off but I own one my daughter bought me (and I am currently carrying it). It's a knock off of a Channel.
    Air Time sounds great! I'll be looking forward to seeing what all Charlie has been up to since the last time I checked in with her. : )

  17. I'm about half way through Prime Time and am loving it. My tie in with Air Time is that I do most of my reading either on or waiting for airplanes.

    We have signed copies of the first two books, and can't wait to get the newest one.

  18. My luggage usually shows up, and, no, I've never bought a knock-off handbag. Instead, I haunt TJ Maxx looking for the good deals. But I've been wanting to read your books. I've read some great reviews. And I always take a minimum of 3 books on a plane trip in case I get stuck on a runway for hours.

  19. Oh! Oh! Oh! I'm so happy for you, Hank! And terribly sorry that I'm not going to be in the area of any of your events. :(

    Enjoy! I can't wait to have my very own Hank-signed copy!

  20. Hey Laura--thank you so much..and I know we'll cross paths soon.

    Keizerfire..welcome! And you do have the right idea.

    Doranna: They lost your DOG?? What happened?

    Ah, Hallie and RHys..you are so amazing.

    Hey Glenda and Dani--two of my fave cyber-mavens!

    Nancy--were you stuck on a plane with Rhys? She says this always happens to her..

    Karen: thanks! So nice to see you here!

    And Jim--thank you so much. Yes, I know the feeling--and AT is perfect for the plane! And flight attendants are in the dedication.

    LAura: I'm with you! I can't help but judge now..I know too much.

    Darlene...karma will out.

  21. Tomorrow--Megan Kelley Hall--on the secrets of promotion! (Ask Brunonia Barry how well it wored...)

  22. Hank--

    They didn't log him in on the outgoing flight (he was coming to me from the breeder, Arizona to NY at the time, because he needed rehab work as a brain-injured boy--this is Jean-Luc-Picardigan). So they had no record of him anywhere, didn't know which flight he was on or where he'd been sent. They had some ideas but no one could find him or confirm where he was. There was a transfer to be made and they had no record of him there, either. The breeder and I spent the day calling cargo crews between here and there...

    In the end I just had to go meet planes. And he was actually where he was supposed to have been all along, but no one knew it right up till the moment they pulled his crate off the plane.


  23. Congrats, Hank, on the release of AIR TIME. I finished reading PRIME TIME a couple days ago. Couldn't put it down -- bad news for me right now, as I'm in the home stretch of book 5's first draft. I guarantee I'll read more of Charlie, but not while I'm writing a first draft. :-)

    No luggage lost to airlines, but that's because I make sure I bring only carry-ons.

    Suzanne Adair

  24. Back rooms in airports caught my interest, however stews crying seems normal to me.
    One bag in 15 years? Wow, more line 15 bags in one year. On the other hand the one 'crime' I can't garner any emotion over is ripoffs of designer stuff. Thousands of dollars for a bag or a pair of shoes is nonsense. Rip away!

  25. What a fabulous RT cover, you gorgeous "older woman" you! Love your books, your character, and especially the attitude you create for Charlie. I use excerpts from your books in my all-day workshops on voice because that attitude is such a great clue to how you establish your unique writer's voice.

    Congratulations on the release of AIR TIME and I wish you sales to break the sound barrier.

    Chris Roerden

  26. Yea, Hank! This one sounds fantastic - just like your first two were. Can't wait to read it!

  27. Patg, hi! But what if..there's more to it than that?

    Chris, thank you so much! Yes, the cover is pretty cool. I havent seen tht ritlce yet, thogh. Crossing fingers.

    And Suzanne--thank you! Good luck on your writing..book 5! Hurray.

    Doranna--what a story! (And what a good thing for a book, hmmm)

    As fo you, June--muchas smoochas, (as my little sister used to say!)

  28. Contest winners soon--you can enter all this week!

    Thursday--the world according to Jane.

    And don't say: Jane WHO?

  29. Ah, I thought I was too late for the contest, but I see that I can still win a copy of Air Time. (I own the other two and have the lip gloss to prove it!)
    My lost luggage story is boring, but my not-quite-lost luggage story is better. By the time I got to baggage claim in Phoenix one time, all the bags from my flight had cleared the carousel. So I went to the area where the agent was and saw a bag exactly like mine. Except it wasn't mine. It didn't have my tag on it. It had come in on the same flight, though, so I immediately figured out that the owner of this bag had grabbed mine by mistake.
    So I haul this bag over to the desk and explain my theory. The agent, appearing totally bored with his job, takes out a form and starts filling it out at about the speed of a turtle. I spell my name several times. I give him my address and my son's address and several phone numbers which he can't seem to get right.
    Then the killer question: What does the bag look like?
    So I lift up the one in my hand and say, "It looks exactly like this one!" (Remember, I'd already gone through the switched bags theory to start off with.)
    He writes something on the form, then asks, "How long is it?"
    Pointing at the bag in my hand again, I say, "Exactly as long as this one."
    Anyway, you get the picture. Eventually I got him to understand that he should call the owner of this bag, whose number I was sure he could get based on the flight tag attached to it and exchange the bags. It took over a day, but I finally got my suitcase.

  30. I love discovering authors that I haven't read before and this blog is great for that! I can't wait to read Air Time! I love to travel, but hate the feeling of turning over a suitcase of my own personal belongings to numerous people that i don't know!

  31. Elise, that's too funny! I can't wait for you to read AIR TIME.

    And cb, I was signing at the airport today--it was such fun. And some baggage handlers came to say hi--one bought a book for his wife. (HI Yvon and LInda!) They were telling me stories about the kinds of bizarre things they found in peoples' luggage. Their favorite examples--suitcases that vibrated.

    Can you imagine?