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The Finishing School
Most Wanted



February 24, 2009: Notorious is now on sale in paperback!

January 4, 2008: Cover-Up has been nominated by Romantic Times Magazine as one of the Best Mystery & Suspense Novels of 2007 in the category of "Best P.I./Procedural"! The three other nominees are Innocent in Death, by J.D. Robb; The Ever-Running Man, by Marcia Muller; and Bones to Ashes, by Kathy Reichs, so just being nominated is a big thrill.

December 1, 2007: Mystery book reviewer and blogger extraordinaire, Stacy Alesi (AKA the BookBitch), has chosen Cover-Up as one of the Ten Best Thrillers of 2007! Thanks Stacy, and be sure to check out her website and blog.

March 9, 2007: I've just learned that The Finishing School has won the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Mystery & Suspense Novel of 2006 in the category of "Best P.I./Procedural"! I will be appearing at the Romantic Times Convention in Houston April 27th to accept the award in person. Can't wait!

February 1, 2007: Cover-Up has just been named a "Top Pick" by Romantic Times Magazine! They call it "intensely riveting from the first page".

January 29, 2007: The Finishing School has been nominated by Romantic Times Magazine as one of the Best Mystery & Suspense Novels of 2006 in the category of "Best P.I./Procedural"! The three other nominees are The Mephisto Club, by Tess Gerritsen; The Art of Detection, by Laurie R. King; and End in Tears, by Ruth Rendell. I simply couldn't be in better company!

January 9, 2007: Kirkus Reviews loves Cover-Up, calling it "fast-paced", "suspenseful" and "sexy".

January 8, 2007: Publishers Weekly, the "bible" of the publishing industry, has given Cover-Up a much-coveted "starred review" (which it reserves for "books of outstanding quality"). Here's what they have to say about Cover-Up:

"The brutal rape and murder of Suzanne Shepard, a scandal-mongering New York City TV journalist, provides a welcome high-profile case for Melanie Vargas in Martinez's stellar third thriller to feature the sharp and sexy federal prosecutor (after The Finishing School). Melanie accompanies her boyfriend, FBI agent Dan O'Reilly, to the grisly crime scene in Central Park, where someone, later dubbed the Central Park Butcher, has carved 'bitch' into the victim's stomach with a hunting knife. In the ensuing joint state-federal investigation, Dan, Melanie and NYPD detective Julian Hay pursue a number of slippery suspects, including a well-known politician who the media claim is getting special treatment. Then Melanie starts receiving threatening e-mails. Could it be the same guy who stalked Shepard, or a celebrity cosmetic surgeon, a fitness trainer who also deals drugs, or a suspicious witness? Martinez, herself a former federal prosecutor, supplies plenty of insider savvy as she juggles the large cast with élan."

December 15, 2006: Wow! I've just learned that I've been named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States for 2006 by Hispanic Business Magazine. It's a huge honor, of which I'm very proud.

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November 30, 2006: Great news! Cover-Up has been chosen as a Featured Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild, Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs!

August 21, 2006: Today I did my first stint as a guest blogger over at The Lipstick Chronicles. This is one of the few blogs I read every day. It's sometimes light and breezy, sometimes serious and controversial, always tremendously entertaining. Beginning in late September I'll be guest blogging on the second and fourth Mondays of every month, writing about everything from books to marriage to life in the big city to . . . well, you name it! Be sure to check it out.

July 10, 2006: I've finished writing Cover-Up, the third book in the Melanie Vargas series, and I'm really really happy with it! I wish you could all read it now, but it takes months to put together the cover art, marketing and publicity campaign, tour schedule, and print the books and get them in the stores. I'm always amazed at what a complex process it is, but the folks at HarperCollins do a bang-up job of it. What I can do now is share with you the "catalog description" of Cover-Up, to give you an idea of what's coming early next year:

Television reporter Suzanne Shepard was a ruthless celebrity scandalmonger with a roster of high-profile enemies. But which one left her mutilated, lifeless body in the dark recesses of New York's Central Park? Federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas needs to find out.

Was it the trendy personal trainer selling recreational drugs on the side? Or a sinister Park Avenue plastic surgeon? Or the ambitious city powerbroker who is also the father of one of Melanie's closest friends? Sifting through the scandals that fueled the dead reporter's career keeps Melanie from obsessing about her own intense affair with sexy FBI agent Dan O'Reilly.

But there's more at risk than Melanie's heart. An anonymous "admirer"
has been tracking the investigation -- and her every move. If Melanie doesn't find the killer soon, it will be her own death that makes the headlines.

May 16, 2006: Having spent eight years working the mean streets of Brooklyn as a prosecutor, I couldn't resist the opportunity to contribute a short story ("The Last Honest Man in Brooklyn") to the fabulous collection of short stories called Hardboiled Brooklyn being released today. Edited by Reed Coleman, it includes classics from such great writers as Jason Starr, S.J. Rozan, Peter Spiegelman, Ken Bruen, Ralph Pezzulo and others. Pick up a copy and you can almost smell the hot dogs along the Coney Island boardwalk!

May 15, 2006: Spasibo! Russian rights to The Finishing School have been bought!

April 10, 2006: If you're a fan of horseracing, or just love great gritty suspense stories, be sure to pick up a copy of the new collection of short stories Murder at the Racetrack: Original Tales of Mystery and Mayhem Down the Final Stretch from Today's Great Writers, which just went on sale. Edited by the legendary Otto Penzler, there are terrific stories by such writer greats as John Lescroart, Joyce Carol Oates, Jan Burke, Ken Bruen and others. Oh, and little ol' yours truly somehow snuck in there with a story titled "The Long Shot," which -- I warn you -- is a bit "darker" than the Melanie Vargas books. But it was a blast to write. Check it out. As Booklist Magazine said, the stories "will fill an idle hour with delicious suspense."

March 20, 2006: Sudamlik aitah! Estonian rights to Most Wanted have
been bought!

March 6, 2006: If you like to listen to audio books, check out the terrific review of The Finishing School in today's Publishers Weekly: "Melanie Vargas, the protagonist from Martinez's first book, Most Wanted, is back with some of the same characters, plus a handful of new ones who will not be easy to forget . . . Vargas takes the listener on a wild ride of hunches, risks and action. Broadway and television actress Anne Twomey does a superb job of performing all parts . . . The fear Twomey generates is palpable, as is the longing and desire felt by Vargas as she is partnered with her former crush, FBI Agent Dan O'Reilly." Bravo Anne!

February 28, 2006: What a great review of The Finishing School in today's USA Today! "Michele Martinez was a federal prosecutor who came out with her debut novel in 2005. Most Wanted was a refreshing entry into the crowded mystery genre. Her new novel, The Finishing School, is equally smart and gritty. . . . Martinez's special spin is a Latina single mother, [Melanie Vargas], as the heroine who takes way too many chances on and off the job. Vargas adds texture to a realistic, of-the-times story."

February 19, 2006: I'm thrilled with today's review of The Finishing School from Oline Cogdill of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (as well as what she says about Most Wanted): "In her second novel, author Michele Martinez wastes little time proving that the high standards she set in Most Wanted were not just beginner's luck. Most Wanted, one of last year's best debuts, introduced a character who is being pulled from all sides. Run-ins with bad guys pale as New York federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas copes with a consuming career as well as the demands of motherhood and a failing marriage. . . . [In The Finishing School, Martinez] skillfully delivers a gripping story with a muscular plot and fully realized characters. Martinez goes to the head of the class with The Finishing School."

January 14, 2006: A wonderful review of The Finishing School from Joe Hartlaub of BookReporter.com. He writes: "A funny thing happened to me on the way to the bookshelf. Michele Martinez, in the short space of two novels, has become one of my favorite thriller writers, and her protagonist, federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas, one of my favorite characters. This was not entirely unexpected; Martinez's first novel, Most Wanted, was an extremely impressive debut by any standard. She fulfills and surpasses the promise of that work with The Finishing School." Click here to read the entire review.

January 8, 2006: The New York Daily News reviews The Finishing School
and raves that the "second Melanie Vargas thriller hits the spot" and calls it a "suspense-filled ride" that's "the real deal".

January 5, 2006: Great news! Most Wanted has been nominated for Best Mystery of 2005 in the category of "first mystery" by Romantic Times Magazine.

December 28, 2005:
Justice Magazine calls The Finishing School "excellent", and I love how they sum it up: "Take a top-drawer episode of Law & Order, mix in a little Sex and the City and garnish with some Carl Hiaasen, and you'll see why Martinez is considered an up-and-comer in the mystery biz."

December 14, 2005: Top mystery reviewer Oline Cogdill, of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, has just named Most Wanted one of the twenty "Best Mysteries of 2005"!

December 2, 2005:  Romantic Times Magazine has named The Finishing School as one of its "Top Picks"!

December 1, 2005:  The American Booksellers Association has named The Finishing School one of its Book Sense "Notable Picks" for January! This is a terrific honor from America's independent bookstores, and I'm just delighted.

November 30, 2005:  The fabulous Poisoned Pen bookstore, in Scottsdale and Phoenix, run by the equally fabulous Barbara Peters, has named Most Wanted as one of the top debut mysteries of 2005! Thanks guys!

November 23, 2005:  A great new review of The Finishing School from Latina Magazine! "Move over John Grisham . . . [Martinez] returns with a page-turning follow-up to her breakout novel, Most Wanted."

November 17, 2005:  Just finished reading Nancy Martin's "Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die," and if you're looking for an absolutely delightful, laugh-out-loud mystery, then look no further! Featuring the wild and witty Blackbird sisters, it mixes murder, mayhem and the introduction of the world's most remarkable bra, in a non-stop romp that kept pulling me away from writing my own next book. I'm back at work now, but can't wait for the next book in Nancy's series!

November 1, 2005:  Great news! Library Journal has given The Finishing School a "starred review" (reserved for books "of outstanding quality"). Here's what they say: "Manhattan federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas returns in this entertaining sequel to Martinez's debut, Most Wanted. This time out, Melanie's separation from her cheating husband has made juggling the demands of her job and her one-year-old daughter even more complicated. Then two Park Avenue prep school girls overdose on heroin and a third girl goes missing, prompting a middle-of-the-night summons from Melanie's difficult, politically scheming boss. Melanie's assignment: get the dealer and get him jailed, pronto. One of the girls is the daughter of a U.S. senatorial candidate, and things heat up even more when FBI hunk Dan O'Reilly gets assigned to the case. But there is more to this story than fast times at Holbrooke High and the twists keep coming. The romance is hot and the suspense high in this absorbing, fast-paced thriller. Highly recommended."

November 1, 2005:  The American Library Association's prestigious Booklist Magazine loves The Finishing School: "Martinez generates plenty of suspense while painting a vivid picture of Manhattan life and exposing the underbelly of an elite prep school. . . . [An] intoxicating brew."

October 28, 2005:  I’m thrilled to be honored as the ?005 Rookie of the Year?at this year’s wonderful Cape Fear Crime Festival. What a great time was had by all.

October 15, 2005:  The always hard-to-please Kirkus Reviews says The Finishing School “never stops throwing colorful subplots at you and never lets up the pace.?/font>

October 1, 2005:  Library Journal names Most Wanted to its list of top debuts for 2005, and says “Clearly this work has wide appeal: it was a Book Sense selection, a Romantic Times Magazine top pick, and a favorite of the Murder and Mayhem bookclub.?And I’m just thrilled to be on the same short list as the likes of Elizabeth Kostova and Curtis Sittenfeld.

September 27, 2005:  Spasibo! Russian rights to Most Wanted have been bought!

September 12, 2005:  Publishers Weekly calls The Finishing School “gripping,?and raves that “the author draws from her own background as a lawyer and special prosecutor with years of experience in drug cases to raise this well above the common run of suspense novels.?/font>

September 1, 2005:  Danke! The German edition of Most Wanted (called Mitten ins Feuer) goes on sale in Germany.

June 30, 2005: Domo arigato! Japanese rights to Most Wanted have been bought!

June 30, 2005:  ¡Gracias! HarperCollins’s Rayo imprint will be publishing both Most Wanted and The Finishing School in Spanish in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Se Busca (aka Most Wanted) will be on sale in paperback November 29th.

March 10, 2005:  Check out USA Today for a great article about yours truly -- I can’t believe that’s really my picture in the paper! Click here to read it.

March 1, 2005:  Hurray again! Most Wanted is named a “Top Pick?by Romantic Times Magazine.

March 1, 2005:  Hurray! Most Wanted is named a Book Sense Pick for March. As the American Booksellers Association describes it, "Each month, independent booksellers nationwide choose the most noteworthy of recent books, a selection based on hundreds of booksellers' recommendations." Needless to say, I’m thrilled to receive this honor.



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by Michele Martinez
author of Notorious,
Cover-Up, The Finishing School
, and Most Wanted

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