Author’s Ferndale Based Mystery Launched at Lawrence Street Gallery

Author’s Ferndale Based Mystery Launched at Lawrence Street Gallery

(Crystal A. Proxmire, The Ferndale 115 News, Feb. 1, 2012 ed.)

Eight years ago, Donald Levin stood up on the stage at AJ’s Café and read a group of poems.  It was the first of many poetry readings organized by the Ferndale Arts and Cultural Commission, and an event that former Commission member Doug Davis won’t forget.

“He was the start of a five year tradition of poetry readings.  It’s kind of something seeing him here with a book out,” Davis said, referring to Levin’s Jan. 21, 2012 launch of his crime novel “Crimes of Love.”  The book takes place in Ferndale, and involves the search for a missing seven-year-old girl.

Levin’s book signing was held at Lawrence Street Gallery (22620 Woodward), a place that is also mentioned in the book.  (see video below).

Dozens came out to show their support, and buy autographed copies.  Levin read a few passages and talked about the conflicts in the novel.  “It’s set in Ferndale.  If you know Ferndale you’ll recognize streets and establishments.  But you’ll also recognize that it’s a community in transition.

“One of the central plots is not just cops versus killers, but the conflict of old versus new.  The older generation that is resistant to change,” he said.

Elizabeth Sims, author of the Rita Farmer and Lillian Byrd mystery series, helped Levin edit the book.  She raves about its quality.  “Crimes of Love delivers all the elements of a solid police procedural, including a missing child, a determined detective with a fractured heart, slimy suspects, and a surprising ending. I commend Don Levin for bringing realism to an outrageous story of love and violence.”

Ferndale resident Mary Shapiro had already read Crimes of Love, but wanted to get a signed copy.  “It’s really a page-turner.  I love the fact it’s all about Ferndale and the Detroit Area,” she said.  “I love how he writes about West Woodland and calls it the Gold Coast.  It’s things like that I think are interesting.”  She added “I didn’t know I had a famous author living up the street.”

Levin, who lives in Ferndale, is also the author of THE HOUSE OF GRINS (1992), a novel; and two books of poetry, IN PRAISE OF OLD PHOTOGRAPHS (2005) and NEW YEAR’S TANGERINE (2007). Widely published as a poet, he is professor of English and chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages at Marygrove College in Detroit and lives in Ferndale. He has just finished the first draft of the second Martin Preuss mystery.

His daughter Lisa drove in from Buffalo to attend the book launch, which his wife Sue helped to organize at Lawrence Street.  She is an artist there, and Levin said it seemed like a good place since it was mentioned in the work.

To find out more about Levin and Crimes of Love, visit www.donaldlevin.wordpress.com.  For more on Lawrence Street go to http://lawrencestreetgallery.com.

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