I’ve been working on this cover for Play Dead for quite awhile. I think I’ve finally got it pretty close to how I want it. I’m still conflicted about it though. Since this is going to be our first book with a real print run we need to count on catching the eye of more than just the usual suspects.

From the beginning I knew we needed a cover that would appeal to a broader crowd. I think crime noir fans and mystery readers would definitely enjoy this book too. So I tried to get something a little dark and gritty yet also somewhat playful and mysterious. Unfortunately I may be cursed with a perpetual dark eye. Those are just the things that appeal to me.

So what do you guys think, is it too dark? Will it appeal to mystery and crime readers or scare them away?


  1. I kind of like it. D’ya think you might want to give her something to hold, like an axe or a knife? Maybe have the one queen holding a feather, and the other holding a knife, to add a little creative assymetry to the blend?

    Looks cool, Mike.

  2. 1. i like it – it’s dark, but in an artistic way [would depend on what you put in the hands for me to agree with that thought]
    2. who is that?! looks familiar
    3. when does my review copy arrive *cough cough*

  3. Ahem. Yes, (nervously holding up hand). I’d love a review copy.

    Me and Mike Arnzen, grew up in the old country together. Rode polka dotted hankerchiefs, swaddled about the necks of gypsy suckling pigs, dandled on the knees of Lithuanian giraffes, run hopscotch and tag games, widdershins in reverse. We broke bread at the same bar mitzvah, sang Opa amidst the breaking dishes of a dozen Greek weddings, fiddled on the rooftops of a score of burning Annotevka’s, and marched the trail of tears, sucking on twin Apache opals to remember the song of our thirst…

    (man, I’ve really got to go back to my writing…)

  4. LOL… mike and i did NOT grow up together, although i was at his ‘room party’ at hfw, and yes, don’t you have something you should be writing?? =)

    no nervousness in my hand at all… gimme gimme gimme!!

  5. Good suggestion

    This would definitely be cool, though I’m not sure I can do it since the photo has already been taken but I think I will try to see if I can match the perspective with an arm. Mike really liked the idea too and suggested one holding a knife and one a camera which goes really well with the story.

  6. advanced reader copies

    The ARC’s are still being printed and it may be awhile until we get them, plus we will only have a limited number to mail out but anyone who wants to do a review and wants a sneak peek can have the PDF version. Since the book is going to be released in August it would be great to have some reviews start appearing May-July to build the hype!

  7. Thanks!

    I’m glad you guys like the cover. Sometimes I’ve worked on something for so long I just can’t see it anymore. Thanks for being fresh sets of eyes!

  8. Anonymous

    I quite like the cover. It’s just dark enough, but not too dark. It’s also rather classy. Well done!


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