Huntingdon County Library – This Saturday (11/4)

Four mystery authors will be at the Huntingdon County Library in Huntingdon, PA, this Saturday (Nov. 4, 2017) at 11 a.m. Please join us if you can!

The lineup includes Jane Kelly, Don Helin, Susan Thibadeau, and me. We’ll be talking about “The Long and the Short of Mystery” — discussing what goes into writing both novels and short stories.

The library is located at 330 Penn St., Huntingdon, PA. The event, organized by Mystery Writers of America, is free and open to the public. I hope to see you there!

Huntingdon County Library

Noir at the Bar Crawl: May 19-21 (Richmond, DC, Baltimore)

The first-ever Noir at the Bar Crawl is taking place in Richmond, Washington, DC, and Baltimore on May 19-21. Click on the flyer below for all the details:

All the events are free, feature great authors reading great stories, and there’s a good chance you might win a book.

Noir at the Bar is always a great time, and I’ll be reading a story on Sunday, May 21, in Baltimore. Hope to see you there!

Baylee Schultz Wins Second James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship

Baylee Schultz, a student at Wilmot High School in Wilmot, South Dakota, is the winner of the second annual James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to graduates of Wilmot High School who display an aptitude in creative writing by authoring a short story.

Baylee’s story, “The Market,” was chosen as the winner by novelist Merry Jones and the scholarship selection committee.

“The Market” opens with a compelling and disquieting question — “Have you ever wanted to just fall out of your own body?” — and explores the terror of human trafficking.

Baylee was presented with the $250 scholarship during Wilmot High School’s Academic Awards Program. She also received a signed copy of Merry Jones’ latest thriller, Child’s Play.

Special thanks to Wilmot High School principal Larry Hulscher and especially English teacher Danielle DeGreef for all of their help.

You can learn more about the scholarship, including the reason it goes to a student at Wilmot High School, right here.


If you’d like to make a tax-deductible (at least in the U.S.) contribution to the James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship Fund, the South Dakota Community Foundation makes it easy.

You can contribute with a credit card online. (If you contribute online, SDCF covers all transaction fees. There’s no cost to you or the fund.)

Or you can contribute by sending a check made payable to “James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship Fund” to:

South Dakota Community Foundation
P.O. Box 296
Pierre, SD 57501

No contribution is too small. Thank you!

Best Wishes to Bob McGinn

Since 1984, Bob McGinn has covered the Green Bay Packers. First for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, then for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

I’ve been reading Bob’s work regularly since the Internet first gave me access to the Journal-Sentinel. His articles and columns are among the very best sportswriting you’ll ever read. Heck, they’re among the very best writing, period. His day-after-the-game stories are always the best, his in-depth game analyses later in the week are uniformly outstanding, and his NFL draft coverage is without equal.

Yesterday, the Journal-Sentinel announced that Bob’s retiring.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Although we’ve never met, Bob’s like a member of the family. Dad and I had too many conversations to remember which began with something Bob wrote about the Packers. He was diligent, fair, tough, and knowledgeable. He was exactly what you want in a sportswriter.

To quote from the Journal-Sentinel article about his retirement, “In 2011, he was selected by the Pro Football Writers of America as recipient of the prestigious Dick McCann Award for long and distinguished reporting, placing him in the writers’ wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In Wisconsin, he is a six-time winner of the Sportswriter of the Year award from the National Sports Media Association.”

In January, Sports Illustrated featured an in-depth profile of Bob, written by Greg Bishop. Reading that piece is a great way to understand why Bob was so revered by fans, players, and writers alike.

To Bob and his wife Ann, I offer my best wishes. Thank you for all of your work covering the Green Bay Packers, and thank you for your dedication to a job well done.

New Episodes of the Word Crimes Podcast

Word Crimes Podcast LogoSeason 4 of the Title 18: Word Crimes podcast is underway!

We’re three episodes in, and all three have featured an outstanding new reader, Mary Wilson, a reporter and producer at Slate’s The Gist.

So far, Mary has read “Thoroughly Murdered Millie” by April Kelly, “Knockout” by Eryk Pruitt, and “A Nice Pair of Guns” by Nick Kolakowski.

We have a lot more great crime fiction lined up this season, including stories by Lawrence Block, James Grady, Lyndsay Faye, and many more! I’m completely pumped about season 4 and I hope you enjoy it, too. (Our longtime partner in crime, Scott Detrow — though busy with his gig at NPR — still plans to contribute a few stories this season.)

Check out the Title 18: Word Crimes podcast at, on iTunes, on Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Interviewed by the Lebanon Daily News

Years ago… well, decades ago, I was a reporter for the Lebanon (PA) Daily News. I covered the courthouse and politics and whatever else I was assigned. (My boss, editor Paul Baker, once had to remind me — strongly remind me — that my job included covering stories that were somewhat less interesting than a murder trial. He was, needless to say, correct.)

So I’m particularly excited to be interviewed in the LDN about my crime writing.

I talked to Les Stewart — a reporter straight out of Central Casting, and a reporter who taught me a lot during my time there — about my short story collection THE THROES OF CRIME, the Lebanon County roots of the story “The Murder of Ernest Trapnell,” playing board games, and much more.