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5Q :: New 'Murder' book traces Glensheen case developments

The fourth edition of "Will to Murder" has been updated with the latest information on the ever-evolving story of the Glensheen killings. Submitted art

No matter what they tell you at Sunday brunch, people will never cease to be intrigued by greed, rage and adoptions gone wrong. So, it should come as no surprise that "Will to Murder," X-communication's account of the infamous double homicide at Glensheen, has been the local publishing house's greatest commercial success to date.

For an operation of its size, selling 10,000 copies in the book's first month out on the streets was huge. And now, six years after its release, publisher Tony Dierckins and the book's three authors are preparing to release a fourth edition of the hit.

"Our book takes the high road," Dierckins told the Budgeteer in a 2007 interview, explaining its staying power.

With the new edition right around the corner, we thought it was high time to bother Dierckins again:

Budgeteer: What prompted the fourth edition of "Will to Murder"? What kinds of changes can those already familiar with the book expect?

Dierckins: Marjorie Caldwell Hagen has been up to her old tricks -- she was recently sentenced for crimes related to the mysterious death of a Tucson man -- so we wanted to update the book with the latest information.

We've added some photos and many other tidbits related to the story and a diagram missing in previous editions.

I know you always have a lot of different pet projects going on, so ... do you ever get sick of continually reworking the same book?

Oddly, no, and I'm not a big fan of true crime or mystery writing. But this story is full of fascinating twists and turns, and, with Marjorie's ongoing exploits -- well, it's often stranger than fiction.

And we're not really reworking it, just keeping up with an ever-evolving story.

Speaking of other projects, does X-comm have anything coming down the pipeline you're willing to share details about?

Nothing this year, but we have two books coming out in 2010.

One will celebrate Duluth through the work of local photographer Dennis O'Hara.

The other, "Lost Duluth," is about all the buildings and landmarks we have lost over the years, whether by fire or wrecking ball.

Have you embraced Kindle/the e-book movement with your product line? Is that something that's even feasible for publishing houses of X-comm's size?

Kindle is a great idea, but not for the type of books we're striving to make.

I really want to get people interested in our region's history, and that involves a complex marriage of text and images designed so that readers don't feel like they are reading a textbook.

So these complex "coffee table histories" we publish, like "Zenith" or "Crossing the Canal," would not translate well in that media.

Finally, on a somewhat-related note, it's summer and we're heading to the beach but the water makes our feet numb, so ... what should we bring to read? Any suggestions, besides the obvious?

Well, you have to cross the canal to get to the beach, so if true crime isn't your bag I selfishly suggest "Crossing the Canal: An Illustrated History of Duluth's Aerial Bridge."

Otherwise pick up a novel or memoir by a regional writer -- you'd be surprised by the talent we have right here.