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VA Regains Access to Medical Records

Author, Author!

Seems Robert Andrews, deputy undersecretary of defense for counterintelligence, former Green Beret and former CIA officer, has his own after-hours job. Andrews, it turns out, is a novelist and, we're reliably informed, an excellent one.

None other than publisher Otto Penzler, owner of the Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan and the first and last word on American mystery books, last week notified Andrews that his short story "Solomon's Alley" had been picked for inclusion in the 11th volume of Houghton Mifflin's Best American Mystery Stories 2007, to be published in October.

Penzler says he picked about 50 stories from around 1,500 submitted. All were published in 2006. Then Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen, mega-best-selling author of some of the funniest novels ever written, selected the final 20.

Andrews is the author of four novels dealing with the spy business and three detective mystery stories set in the District. One involves the murder of a Washington Post diplomatic reporter.

Will Bolton Tell All?

Speaking of authors, John Bolton's tell-all book on his days at the State Department and as ambassador to the United Nations could be coming out as early as the end of this year.

All right, maybe not a classic "tell-all" -- perhaps just a "tell-some" -- but top folks in Foggy Bottom and at the United Nations are most surely not going to be happy when this one comes out. The buzz is that it's going to focus mostly on Bolton's work at the United Nations, where he's said to be still upset at his inability to lop off 10 of the building's 38 floors that he had said were expendable. The book is likely to rank the floors in order of those most expendable.

Unclear how Bolton will treat his most recent bosses, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. His view of Rice may have altered a bit after last week's agreement with North Korea on its nuclear program, an agreement Bolton and other conservatives have criticized as "a bad deal." There are others at State sure to come in for their share of abuse.

No working title yet and no publisher, although several have expressed interest. But if this is to come out before Christmas, he'd better get typing.

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