In 2017, I had what was for me was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I served as guest of honor for a mystery conference. It was Magna cum Murder, which was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, on October 20-22, 2017.

Magna began in 1995, with Ralph McInerny, the distinguished academic and award-winning mystery writer, as its guest of honor. Michael Z. Lewin was another honoree at that initial conference. The subsequent guests of honor have included most of the big names in crime writing, including Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Connelly, and S.J. Rozan.

It was a very nice weekend for me. The highlights included meeting the international guest of honor, Andrew Taylor, an award-winning author of crime novels and historical fiction, and the luncheon interview, which was conducted by William Kent Krueger, another award-winning author and a former Magna guest of honor.

Magna is sponsored by Ball State University, which explains its academic sounding name. It's known for its intriguing and challenging panel topics and for the easy interaction between writers and readers, a byproduct of Magna's small size and of its venue, the Columbia Club, a wood-paneled private club on Monument Circle, Indy's geographic center.

I'd like to thank Kathryn Kennison, Director of Ball State's E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center, and Diane Watters, her partner in crime, for making the weekend possible.


Play a Cold Hand by Terence FahertyIn December 2017, the latest novel in my Scott Elliott series, PLAY A COLD HAND, was published by Perfect Crime Books as the inaugural title of its Perfect Crime Casebook imprint. As readers of this series know, Elliott is a former actor and soldier who works in postwar Hollywood for a sometimes shady security company, Hollywood Security, career savers of last resort. COLD HAND, the fifth novel in the series, is set in 1974, with an extended flashback to 1952. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine called it "a masterpiece of hardboiled narrative style."

Perfect Crime also recently issued a new edition of the Scott Elliott short story collection, THE HOLLYWOOD OP. In addition to new cover art, the second edition features a new introduction by me, which explores Elliott's place in the noir tradition.

If you'd like to read more about COLD HAND and HOLLYWOOD OP and the other titles in this series, please visit the Scott Elliott page of this web site.

I had a second new book in 2017, FILES OF THE STAR REPUBLIC, the second collection of my Star Republic short stories, which feature an Indianapolis reporter who solves mysteries with paranormal elements. In FILES, those elements include poltergeists, precognition, parallel universes, and past life regression. Six of the thirteen stories in the collection were published previously and seven appear in print for the first time. A companion volume to 2016's TALES OF THE STAR REPUBLIC, FILES OF THE STAR REPUBLIC is available as an eBook, in Kindle and Nook formats, and as a trade paperback. It can be ordered using the following links: amazon.com - barnesandnoble.com.

Short Stories:

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine published another of my Sherlock Holmes parodies, "The Noble Bachelor," in its January/February 2018 double issue, bringing the total published so far to seven. The entries in this series purport to be from the recently unearthed notebooks of Dr. John Watson, and as such, they represent true and unadulterated (and irreverent) versions of Holmes's famous cases.

My latest Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine story, "The Hawaii Murder Case," came out in the magazine's January/February 2017 double issue, so I'm due for another one. Be on the lookout for "Margo and the Red Carnation," the fourth adventure for spy-smashing radio sleuth Philip St. Pierre and his reluctant sidekick Margo Banning.