More About the Author
Award-winning movie critic, John Howard Reid, is also the creator of fictional detectives, Merryll Manning and Michaela Morris. Reid has worked in the publishing industry all his life. Starting at the bottom of the ladder, he gradually worked his way up to the editor's and publisher's desks. In his copious spare time, Reid contributed numerous movie reviews and articles to magazines such as "Films and Filming", "Photoplayer" and "Presence du Cinema". At one stage, Reid found himself working for TWO city newspapers, due to a friendly exchange of information between their "rival" editors. For the second paper, of course, Reid was forced to use a pseudonym, "Tom Howard" (which is actually more or less his middle name). Back at his real job, Reid had another stroke of good fortune. When a promised manuscript failed to materialize from a talented but notoriously unreliable author, "Tom Howard" stepped into the breach with a series of mystery thrillers, commencing with "The Health Farm Murders" in 1985. This debut novel was a rousing success with both critics and public. The first edition quickly sold out, and the reprint likewise. A new edition with a new dustjacket that quoted liberally from critics' comments also disappeared within a matter of months. The Large Print rights were sold for a flat sum (a mistake, as it later turned out -- Reid's agent should have asked for a percentage) and an American publisher purchased the U.S.-Canadian rights for $20,000. The American then sat on the book without publishing it for 20 years. When the rights eventually reverted to the author, "Merryll Manning: The Health Farm Murders" finally made his debut in the U.S.A. in 2008.