First in a new mystery series, hemingway deadlights is coming to stores  August '09!

Email Mike at mikeatkinson@


August 19, 2009: I'm interviewed by super-endowed guest-blogger Jill Dearman at Barnes & Nobles Unabashedly Bookish blog!


August 18, 2009: HEMINGWAY DEADLIGHTS is officially
released by St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books.


BULLETIN: The Mysterious Bookshop in downtown Manhattan is hosting a book release party for me, on August 20, @ 6:30 PM! Be there!


Reading! At Rocky Sullivan's of Red Hook, 7PM, Sept. 2, '09! Be there!

From writers and reviewers who have read HEMINGWAY DEADLIGHTS:

A ripping interview and early review from Library Journal, from 3/09.

A prophetic rimshot from The Boston Phoenix, 7/09!

Raves from Genre-Go-Round, 8/6/09!

"A rip-roaring, hilarious read, as brash and daring as Papa Hemingway himself. Michael Atkinson will blow you away with his creative genius. I loved this book." --Tess Gerritsen

“In Michael Atkinson’s Hemingway Deadlights, a world-famous and world-weary Hemingway seeks his standby cure for writer’s block: becoming part of a hell of an adventure that he can put down on paper. Post-Nobel, stymied by the murder of a Key West drinking buddy--the weapon is a harpoon--he starts an investigation that takes him to 1950s Cuba and back, facing down local cops, international smugglers, the FBI, CIA, Batista’s henchmen, Meyer Lansky, Che Guevara, and Castro. Atkinson, never losing sight of the accident-prone Hemingway’s womanizing, risk-taking legend, scrutinizes the man’s politics and loyalties with comic flair. Right from the start, you can smell the rum, lime, perfume, and danger on the salt air.” --A.J. Zerries, author of The Lost Van Gogh

"What would a genre mystery by Ernest Hemingway read like? Say, a story about a heavy-drinking, womanizing, professionally frustrated amateur sleuth in Key West and Cuba? Great characters, great setup--what's that you say? Hemingway Deadlights is not by him, but about him? Wow. Just, wow. You could've fooled me." --Laurie R. King, author of The Beekeeper's Apprentice

“Hemingway's terse yet moody style paved the way for legions of hard-boiled detective writers. Now Michael Atkinson lets America's most famous author finally horn in on the mystery game. Atkinson packs Hemingway Deadlights with hilarious dialogue, irreverent literary shoptalk, and so much excellent sun-soaked atmosphere that you'd best consume it along with a few pitchers of something cool.” --Ed Park, author of Personal Days

“Michael Atkinson has crafted a hard-boiled mystery drenched in tequila and scorched by the blazing Key West sun. That Ernest Hemingway, with his volatile temper, ready fists and emotional entanglements, would take on a murder investigation when one of his drinking buddies is mysteriously killed, makes for the most fascinating amateur sleuth to hit the pages since the invention of the gin and tonic. Atkinson mixes in politics, Cuban revolutionaries, crime bosses, and literary giants of the twentieth century with a deft hand, creating a vision of Papa Hemingway pursuing a seemingly lost cause in the winter of his life.” --James R. Benn, author of Billy Boyle 

"Set in 1956, Atkinson’s rollicking debut neatly captures the personality and uproarious lifestyle of an American literary icon. When Key West fisherman Peter Cuthbert, a friend of Ernest "Papa" Hemingway, gets harpooned to death and the local police don’t seem to care, Hemingway, who’s suffering from writer’s block and feeling like "a big, fake water buffalo con artist," decides to find Cuthbert’s killer. The Nobel Prize winner’s daring quest takes him to Batista’s impoverished Cuba, where he meets such luminaries as high-living mobster Meyer Lansky and even Fidel Castro in the revolutionary’s mountain hideaway. From Che Guevara he learns Cuthbert was anything but an ordinary fisherman. Back in Key West, Hemingway finds himself caught in a spat between the FBI and the CIA, who are both funding Batista’s corrupt government. Atkinson deftly mixes fact and fiction with graphic sex and violence in a mystery sure to please Hemingway aficionados." -- Publishers Weekly

"If Edna Ferber can become a fictional sleuth, shouldn’t he-man Papa have been solving crimes long ago? Making up for lost time, Hemingway takes a page out of Sam Spade’s book when he learns that a drinking buddy has turned up in Key West’s harbor impaled by an antique harpoon. (Spade felt that when your partner was killed, you had to do something; Hemingway feels the same about derelict fellow boozers.) By setting his story in Key West and Havana in 1956, first-novelist Atkinson gives us Hemingway on the verge of serious decline: the booze taking its toll, the writing stalled, the paranoia that would eventually lead to his suicide beginning to assert itself. All that gives the tale a nice psychodramatic edge, but the mystery itself is perfectly satisfying, too, as Hemingway jumps from Key West to Havana, dodging CIA stooges and assorted gangsters and even spending a drunken evening chugging rum with a couple of revolutionaries named Fidel and Che." -- Booklist

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