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Mystery Q and A with Boston Cream's Howard Shrier

Howard Shrier is clearly doing something right. His first crime novel, Buffalo Jump, won him the Arthur Ellis Debut Fiction award. The following year, his second book in the Jonah Geller series, High Chicago won the Arthur Ellis best book award. Boston Cream is his third book in the series and with detective Jonah Geller back in Boston to find a missing transplant surgeon, the only real question (other than will he solve the crime) is: will three times be a charm for the author?



Indigo Blog (IB): For a crime series to work it seems fair to suggest the detective at its centre has to be pretty special and/or likeable. Your detective, Jonah Geller, who has now been optioned for a TV series, certainly fits the bill. So I have to ask that old Actor’s Studio question: how much of Howard Shrier goes into Jonah?

Howard Shrier (HS): [laughs] I think tons. You know, if I was twenty years younger, three inches taller, had a full head of hair and knew krav maga (Israeli martial art) I’d be a lot like Jonah. You know Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep) was once asked to describe the difference between him and Philip Marlow (his great creation), and he of course wisecracked about it and said: biggest difference is my favourite weapon is a twenty dollar bill. You know that old Borges thing? I am Borges but Borges is not me. I’m Jonah but Jonah is not me. I’m Jonah in my sense of humour, in the way I look at the world, but he’s clearly more fit and able to do something about it. In the first chapter of Buffalo Jump there’s this big nasty thug whose behaving badly and Jonah winds up pitching him off of the streetcar and I’ve said I wouldn’t be that guy I’d be the guy hiding behind my wife while she called 911.

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