Describe your latest book.
Mr. Peanut tells the story of David Pepin, a successful video game designer who may or may not have killed his wife, Alice. He's being investigated by two detectives, Sam Sheppard and Ward Hastroll, and as the procedural proceeds, you not only learn about the marriage of the prime suspect but also about the marriages of the two detectives. I like to say it asks whether marriage can save your life or is the beginning of a long double-homicide. In other words, it's a tragic comedy.
What's the strangest or most interesting job you've ever had?
The summer before my freshman year of college, I did field research for NASA on shark hydrodynamics. I was part of a team helping the Navy build quieter submarines that made an amazing discovery about mako shark physiology: they have micro-scales that create an effect called laminar flow, which further reduces drag and contributes to their astonishing speed. But what made the job interesting — maybe insanely exciting is more accurate — was how we caught the sharks. We rigged ...