Fan Mail #168: Questions, Questions, Questions

Again, I’m beginning a blog entry with an apology. I haven’t been keeping up with it lately, after five years of consistent effort. I have a few excuses, but really, who cares?

I am not giving up this blog, but I will likely de-emphasize it in my life. It will be here, I will continue to share a sampling of fan mail, and whatever else might come.

Thanks for stopping by, and please come again.

Here’s one from California!

Apologies for the scan . . .

(Gosh, I’ve got to stop apologizing and START LIVING!)

I replied, in part:

Dear Jullianna:

I’m glad you enjoyed my book, The Case of the Great Sled Race. In that story, I paid tribute to another book, Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner. It’s terrific and you should read it. Just like Jigsaw Jones did in his class.

Though, I should warn you, it might make you cry a little tiny bit.

But hey, I like to cry. I do! It means I’m feeling something, my heart swells, I’m alive. Okay, laughter is best – but crying is good, too. Seriously!

I searched and searched for the envelope you included in the letter, but I couldn’t find it. I either lost it (probably) or you forgot to include it (maybe). No worries. I did a little investigating because I had to find your zip code, and out of curiosity I jumped on Google Maps and started looking at houses on your actual block. Crazy, isn’t it?

Seems like you live in a nice part of the world. Well played, Julianna!

You asked so many questions in your letter. You can find the answers to most of them by going to my site at and digging around a bit. I hope that doesn’t seem too lazy of me, but I created the site for readers exactly like you -– and to spare myself, admittedly, from having to answer the same questions over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.

My best,

James Preller


  1. Luke says:

    We love your books. I have read almost all of them to my 7 year old son.
    I HAVE A QUESTION about a picture in the book “The Case of the Missing Falcon.” In the first chapter there is a picture of Jig Saw sitting at his desk talking on the phone. His shadow looks alot like Alfred Hitchcock holding a bird. Is this what you were going for or am I just reading WAY too much into this.
    Either way…we love your books.
    My son and his cousin send secret codes back and forth to eachother about your books. Its so cute!
    Looking forward to more of your great stories.
    Thanks again,

  2. jimmy says:


    That book was a true labor of love, and (mostly) a tribute to “The Maltese Falcoln” by Daishell Hammett.

    For the page 4 illustration, that was purely the idea of illustrator Jamie Smith.

    I also lifted an idea for the opening chapter from another favorite writer of hardboiled detective fiction, Raymond Chandler.

    So, to answer your question, no, not thinking way too much. It’s all in there for a reason.


  3. Gou says:

    dear mr. preller – today I finished the case of the mummy mystery. It was the second book by you that I read. It was good. Because Joey Pignatto wanted to eat a worm. the first book i read was the case of the snowboarding superstar. it was funny.

    how did you think of writing stories?

    Sincerely, me

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