Saturday, September 12, 2009

Christopher Valen - The Black Minute

The Black Minute

by Christoper Valen
North Star Press

ISBN: 978-0-87839-332-9

After his highly acclaimed debut, White Tombs, Christopher Valen brings St. Paul Homicide Detective John Santana back in a suspenseful novel filled with tension and action that doesn’t let up until the final, explosive ending.

The body of a young Hmong woman is found on Harriet Island near the Mississippi River. It appears to be a simple case of murder and revenge. But what begins as a routine investigation soon morphs into something far more sinister. Trusting his instincts and determined to find justice, Santana relentlessly follows clues through a maze of political intrigue and deadly secrets, all the while wondering who he can trust, and whether he can survive long enough to resolve the case, save the city from a catastrophe, and keep the woman he loves safe.

Christopher Valen’s first novel, White Tombs, featuring John Santana, won the Reader Views Choice Award for Best Mystery and the Garcia Award for Best Fiction.

Although I have traveled widely, I have primarily lived in and around the Twin Cities. I played a variety of sports growing up and was a junior Golden Gloves champion and an all-state and college baseball player. I also attained the rank of brown belt in Tae Kwon Do.

I got interested in reading as a child when a cousin gave me his old collection of Hardy Boys mysteries. I took a journalism course in high school and debated whether to major in journalism or teaching in college. I finally settled on teaching and acquired a B.A. in English, an M.A. in special education and an educational administration license. I worked with juvenile delinquents and as a teacher and principal before becoming a college professor.

I really didn’t get serious about writing until I took a course from Will Weaver, author of A Gravestone Made of Wheat, which was made into the very successful Hollywood movie, Sweet Land. I’ve published both non-fiction and fiction.

Valen lives in Minnesota with his wife, Martha.


“WHITE TOMBS is a superb police procedural starring a fascinating lead detective who has a history in his homeland. Santana is a wonderful new addition to the sub-genre as he cares about victims, even dead ones, but especially their grieving loved ones; in this case he pledges justice to Julio’s widow. Alcoholic Anderson is as dedicated in his own way. Readers will appreciate this strong whodunit with a stunning late twist that no one will see coming as Christopher Valen argues that a person’s collective past makes the person’s present as experiences lead to current actions and reactions”. —Harriet Klausner for Midwest Book Review

“John Santana of the St. Paul Police Department is a man you will not soon forget. The book is a great read and Santana is destined to become one of my favorite detectives. Truly a 5-star read from this author.” — Patricia Reid for Armchair Interviews

“Santana is an intriguing character. St. Paul readers will enjoy Valen’s sense of place.”
—Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press, (From 3-16-08 full page feature)

Books available through your favorite independent bookstore, mystery bookstore, bookstore chains, and

Saturday, September 19, 10 a.m. – Noon
Book Signing
A Novel Place
202 County Rd 81

Osseo, MN 55369

Sunday, September 20, 2-4 p.m.
Meet & Greet, Signing
Borders Books & Music
8472 Tamarack Bay Wood

Woodbury, MN 55125

Thursday, September 24, 7-9 p.m.
Killer Cocktails @ Midwest Booksellers Association (Not open to the public)
Common Good Books
165 Western Ave N, Ste. 14
St. Paul MN 55102

Saturday, Sept. 26, 1:00 p.m.
Midwest Booksellers Association
Trade Show (Not open to the public)Christopher Valen appearance at North Star Press booth
St. Paul, Minnesota

Tuesday, September 29, 7:30 p.m.
Meet & Greet, Signing
Common Good Books
165 Western Ave N, Ste. 14,
St. Paul MN 55102

Saturday, October 3, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Meet & Greet, Signing
Lake Country Booksellers
4766 Washington Square,
White Bear Lake MN 55110

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