Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ice on the Bay by Dale E. Lehman

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dale E. Lehman will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I've had a lifelong interest in mysteries. When I was in junior high school, I owned a book called "Two Minute Mysteries" which contained a collection of very short crime stories that the reader was invited to solve. I suppose the intellectual challenge drew me in. I was always a much better math/science student than a language/humanities student. Later in life, I came to appreciate how mystery novels can illuminate the human condition and spirit. Today it's a bit of both. I don't attempt to solve mysteries anymore when I read them, but I do want them to be intellectually satisfying when I get to the end.

What research is required?

I try to minimize necessary research, because I'm a terrible researcher. Kathleen (my wife, editor, and in "Ice on the Bay" co-author) is a far better researcher than I, so if I mess it up she can usually correct me. Lucky me! However, I have researched a questions related to police organization and procedure, medical questions, and firearms. I do a lot of location research via Google Earth, which is far cheaper than traveling all over the place.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine

Hmm . . . well . . . this is entirely inconsequential for most of us, but I learned from Detective Rick Peller that there's a statute of limitations on vehicular homicide. That caused him a lot of personal grief, because the person who killed his wife in a hit-and-run can no longer be prosecuted for it. Obviously it wasn't inconsequential for him, or for anyone else who has been touched by it. I don't think I've learned anything terribly profound from any of my characters, though. Not yet, anyway.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
Not that I'm aware of. Kathleen still writes her manuscripts longhand and only enters them into a word processing document when she thinks she has it mostly the way she wants. But I'm completely boring where writing procedure is concerned. I start typing on my computer keyboard and eventually I have a scene.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

A bit of both. I seldom plot out a novel in great detail. I do generally have an idea of where I'm starting and where I'm going to end up, and maybe some key plot points in between. But I find that I have to see the characters in action before I know what they are going to do. Most of the time, if I plot in too much detail I end up forgetting the plan, and the characters do what they want to do anyway. So what's the point? If I make a mess of things, I untangle it during the revision process.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Unfortunately, we're sitting in an ER treatment room as I answer this, so what I see is the curtain over the door to the room. Kathleen has faced a series medical issues of late, and here we are again. But I don't want to alarm you. She's doing reasonably well. She'll have pulled through long before you read this.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

My fourth Howard County Mystery is now in the works. I've completed a science fiction/humor novel, which is now seeking an agent. Titled "Space Operatic," it deals with a spacefaring opera company that lands in the middle of a corporate power struggle on the fringes of the solar system. That may not sound very funny, but if you've ever lived on the fringes of the solar system, you know that everyone out there is a lunatic. I'm also working on a crime/humor novel featuring a husband and wife team of thieves hired to steal a silver statuette of a pine marten. What's a pine marten, you ask? It's a European species of weasel. Why would anyone want to steal something like that? Not because it's cursed, that's for sure. There must be more to the adorable little thing than that! The novel, at any rate, is titled "Weasel Words."

Do you have a question for our readers?

Since your readers must like it when it rains books (otherwise why would they hang around a place where it is?), I'd be interested in hearing how they like their mysteries: straight up, or mixed with other genres? And if the latter, which genres?

The forecast: Record cold. The crimes: Colder still.

A saintly young veterinary technician disappears on Christmas Eve, leaving behind only a broken window and smears of blood on his clinic's back steps. Two years later, his disappearance remains a mystery. A home in an exclusive area burns to the ground, mirroring fires ignited the previous year by an arsonist who now sits in prison. Is the new fire a copycat, or has the wrong man been convicted? A criminal with a long list of enemies is shot dead, and not even his friends are sorry. While temperatures plummet, cold cases collide with new crimes, and somewhere a killer with blood as icy as the waters of the Chesapeake Bay watches and waits.

Read an Excerpt:

Without bothering to thank Peller, Dibble ate half of his sandwich before asking, "What do you want?"

"Same as you. To know why your house was torched."

"Seems obvious to me. Sergeant Montufar said arsonists get their kicks from setting fires."

"Sometimes. Not always."

Dibble maintained focus on his food. Peller took a long pull on his soda and waited patiently for him to answer, but no answer was forthcoming, so he decided to shake things up a little. "You don't think it was random, Mr. Dibble."

Dibble looked up sharply.

"Tell me I'm wrong.”

"I . . . I don't know."

Peller settled his drink in the cup holder and gazed at the trees, stark in their winter slumber. "Sergeant Montufar told me a story. Last year, an arsonist torched three houses. We caught him and sent him to prison. A set of fingerprints lifted from a mailbox near the street gave him away. The investigator might not have thought to check for prints there, except one of the victims remembered receiving a juvenile sort of warning in her mailbox. At the time, she took it for a stupid teenage prank. Fortunately she remembered it, and told the investigator about it.”

Dibble, his mouth drawn into a tight line, looked out the windshield as though studying the woods, but Peller knew he was seeing a ghost from his past. "What's your point, Lieutenant?"

"Anything, even something that seems unconnected, even something that seems stupid, could be important. And to be perfectly frank, I think you know what it is. Why don't you tell me about it?"

About the Author:
Dale E. Lehman is a veteran software developer, amateur astronomer, and bonsai artist in training. He is the author of the Howard County Mysteries series (The Fibonacci Murders, True Death, and Ice on the Bay ). His writing has also appeared in Sky & Telescope and a couple of software development journals. With his wife Kathleen he owns and operates One Voice Press and Serpent Cliff. They have five children, five grandchildren, and two feisty cats.

Author website and blog:

The Fibonacci Murders:
rue Death:
Ice on the Bay:
Amazon buy link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Good morning! Thank you for having me here today. I look forward to meeting everyone and answering any questions you might have.

  2. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you :)

  3. Replies
    1. You're quite welcome! I hope you enjoy the book!

  4. Thanks for hosting the giveaway. This looks like a fun read. Thanks for sharing. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. You're quite welcome, and I hope you enjoy "Ice on the Bay"!

  5. I do enjoy mysteries. Especially historical mysteries.

    1. I hope you'll enjoy this one, although it's not historical. It's modern-day.

  6. Thank you for having me today. I enjoyed the visit and meeting everyone. I'll stop by from time to time to answer any other questions that are posted.

  7. That's a really interesting excerpt.

    1. Glad you liked it. I hope you enjoy the full book as much!

  8. The "Ice on the Bay" tour has about come to an end. Best of luck to everyone on the raffle. Please visit me at my website, and if you can pick up a copy of "Ice on the Bay." (Links are above.) Thank you all for following along!


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?