The Alibi: a Booked ezine

Issue 10, November 17, 2005
ISSN: 1715-9105

Watch BOOKED Investigates Howard Engel's Memory Book (all times EST):

  • Saturday, Nov. 19, 8PM on ACCESS Television
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22, 12:30PM and 8:30PM, and Wednesday, Nov. 23, 4AM on BookTelevision
  • Friday, Nov. 25, 9PM, and Saturday, Nov. 26, 1AM, on CLT
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, 7AM, 6PM, and 11PM on CourtTV Canada
BOOKED Announcements

Starting next week, BOOKED is moving from 8PM EST to 11PM EST on ACCESS Television. Show times on other stations will not change.

WEBISODES ARE NOW ONLINE! Visit the Webisodes page of to check out the first four in a series of expert interviews that will be added over the coming weeks. Be sure to check back next week for four new ones!

Writer Rap Sheet/Case Book: Howard Engel
Crime Author Howard Engel

Like his detective Benny Cooperman, crime author Howard Engel has alexia sine agraphia – he is unable to read, but still able to write. “Benny Cooperman got hit on the head, I had a stroke. So there’s a basic difference between what happened to me and what happened to Benny, but I wouldn’t have been able to put him in that hospital bed if I hadn’t been there before him.”

“One of the things that I was trying to do in Memory Book was show what it’s like from this side of the experience," says Engel. "Professionals could tell me the sorts of things I’d run in to, but everything changed, from my field of vision to the way my memory worked. These were all new things that I wanted to get down on paper. Benny is forgetful, he can remember six causes for the Persian Wars but he can’t remember the name of the person he’s talking to – these are things that happened to me, so they happened to Benny.”

Engel is working on his twelfth book, as Benny Cooperman heads off to the Andaman Sea. “Benny’s alexia won’t impair him too much in Southeast Asia, because he doesn’t read the language anyway. I don’t expect that I will get to go there to check my facts, but there are a lot of guide books and my son has lived there for some time, so he’s been a major source of help.”

“In writing a long-running series, you’re challenged to keep throwing new things at your detective, just to keep yourself alert and your creative juices flowing. So probably two or three books from now I’ll have him on Mars or something," laughs Engel, "but practically speaking, it’s fun to watch the character develop. Benny is a comfortable person to be with. He’s good company and I try to keep him that way.”
Get the podcast of our interview with Howard Engel.

"I wonder now when I think of Arthur Conan Doyle pushing Sherlock Holmes off a cliff to get rid of him because he’d become such a weight to carry. Everybody wanted to know what was Sherlock Holmes going to get into next, and that got in the way of what Doyle thought was his real work. Benny is my real work, and I find him a comfortable companion. We help each other along.”

--Author Howard Engel

Booked Television: November 19-30
Graphic: BOOKED investigates Howard Engel's Memory Book

Memory Book by Howard Engel ISBN: 0143016652

Bashed on the head and left for dead in a dumpster, Benny Cooperman isn’t the only one in a conundrum. BOOKED experts piece together this mysterious case and meet Benny’s true life alter ego, author Howard Engel.

In this episode, our host Fred Yackman is joined by:

Graphic: Booked Experts
Last Words

Coming up on BOOKED Television:

BOOKED investigates James O. Born’s Shock Wave. Expert lineup for this show: Book Reviewer, Paul Bergen; Emergency Response and Terrorism Specialist, Ryna Brideau-Thombs; Police Detective, John McNeilly
Check Broadcast Dates and Times

Look for the next Alibi – we’ll introduce you to writer James O. Born, and talk to Explosives Technician Grant Jongejan about bombs.

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Here are the upcoming books, in order, that our experts will be dissecting in the weeks ahead.
Get reading!

Shock Wave - James O. Born
Cross Bones - Kathy Reichs
He Who Fears the Wolf - Karin Fossum

For more information about the booklist or upcoming shows, visit

The views expressed in this ezine are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Reel Girls Media Inc.

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