Obsession: Or, I Really, Really Want It

Obsession is a strange thing. I used to be obsessed with Steiff stuffed animals when I was a kid. Okay, truth be told, I’m still semi-obsessed with them. But how far do you let a compulsion go? I’ve met stamp collectors, coin collectors, Barbie doll collectors and folks devoted to … Read More

They Put What Inside Where?

What do smugglers like to do besides smuggle things? What they really like to do is smuggle two different entities together in the same shipment for one nifty price. Think of them as the ultimate savvy shopper. What kinds of things? you might ask. Well, all sorts of things but … Read More

The Good, The Bad, and The Yikes!

Why is it that people tend to think of butterflies as angelic creatures? Let’s face it—they’re nothing but bugs with big wings. Even so, they’re universally loved. It’s probably due to the words that are used to describe them—colorful, pretty, and innocent. Butterflies rank right up there with unicorns, fairies, … Read More


Okay, I admit it.  I’m superstitious.  I don’t walk under ladders, or step on a crack, and I never fly on Friday the thirteenth.  If I’m working on a book, and the writing is going well, I’ll continue to wear the same clothes until I hit a bump in my … Read More

Your Tattoo or Mine?

Am I seeing things or do butterflies suddenly seem to be everywhere? I spot them on T-shirts, lunchboxes, pencil cases, notebooks, book bags, hairclips, dresses, plates, salt and pepper shakers, bathroom faucet handles, mosaic panels, bed sheets and even tablecloths. Have I possibly left anything out? Most likely. Butterflies have … Read More


How popular can beetles possibly be? You wouldn’t believe it. They’re a national addiction in Japan where beetles are more popular than dogs and cats.  Rhinoceros and stag beetles are considered “must have” pets for young Japanese boys are are passionate about collecting and fighting them. Bugs are more than … Read More

The Queen of Butterflies

“You’ve written a book about butterfly smuggling?” More than one friend has asked this question. Yes, my next book is about butterfly poaching. The title is Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World’s Most Notorious Butterfly Thief and will published by William Morrow next April. The story involves smuggling and … Read More

The Winged Obsession Blog…

…Or Why I Decided to Write a Nonfiction Book and (temporarily) Stop Killing People I started out writing magazine articles on endangered species. Then a book contract came along and, the next thing I knew, I had ten Rachel Porter mysteries under my belt. What could be more fun than … Read More