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.

Interviewed in The Interrogation Room

Waiting to be ForgottenTom Leins recently interviewed me in his Interrogation Room about my contribution to the anthology WAITING TO BE FORGOTTEN: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak Inspired by The Replacements.

You can read the interview here.

The collection, published by Gutter Books and edited by Jay Stringer, includes 25 stories by David Accampo, Hailey Ardell, Gorman Bechard, Eric Beetner, Kristi Belcamino, Jerry Bloomfield, William Boyle, Angel Luis Colón, Jen Conley, Rory Costello, Josh Flanagan, Ed Kurtz, S.W. Lauden, Tom Leins, Mike McCrary, Franz Nicolay, Rick Ollerman, Eyre Price, Manuel Royal, Alex Segura, Johnny Shaw, Josh Stallings, Jay Stringer, Liam Sweeney, and me. (Easy to see why I’m pumped to be included, right?)

My story, “Election Day,” is about a television news reporter whose past catches up with her in an unexpected way. I hope you like it.

Audio versions of “Election Day” and S.W. Lauden’s story “Customer” are available on the Title 18: Word Crimes podcast, or you can listen right here.


“Customer” by S.W. Lauden and “Election Day” by Erik Arneson on the Title 18: Word Crimes Podcast

Nancy Drew: Mystery of the Fallen Angels

Nancy Drew 1My wife and I recently watched an episode of the old Nancy Drew television show on Netflix. (It left Netflix at the end of last month.)

We chose the episode (1977’s “Mystery of the Fallen Angels”) basically at random and loved the fact that it featured a number of stars who would go on to greater acclaim later in their careers.


A Martinez, who’s probably best known for his work on Longmire and the soap opera Santa Barbara.

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Robert Englund, who’s definitely best known as Freddie Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies (but has also done a lot of other work).

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And Jamie Lee Curtis, who went on to fame in films like Halloween, Trading Places, True Lies, and The Tailor of Panama.

Nancy Drew 4

Looking Back at 2016

2016 was a great year in many ways and a sad year in many ways, but it certainly was never a dull year. Here’s my annual look back at the now-past year.

In October, I released my first book — THE THROES OF CRIME, a collection of 26 short stories and six true-crime essays.

In May, Beth and I traveled to Wilmot, South Dakota, to present a check to the first winner of the James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship. It was an amazing trip, and we were overjoyed to both help remember the way my parents encouraged me and my sisters and to pass on a little bit of that encouragement.

In terms of new short stories, Shotgun Honey published “Heritage” in January, “Election Day” was included in the Replacements-themed anthology WAITING TO BE FORGOTTEN, and “Swing and a Miss” was featured in the anthology CLOSE TO THE BONEYARD.

On this website, I published four more stories in Spanish: “American Beauty,” “Noose of Trust,” “The Murder of Ernest Trapnell,” “A Decent Hand.”

Season 3 of the Title 18: Word Crimes podcast was a sort of mini-season featuring a group of authors named Erik/Eric/Eryk reading each other’s stories.

I hosted two Noir at the Bar events in Harrisburg (on May 9 and Nov. 8), and read my work at N@B events in Philadelphia (twice) and Queens.

I also wrote true-crime essays for issues #8, #9, and #10 of Duane Swierczynski’s great comic book The Black Hood, appeared on The Crime Scene with Eryk Pruitt, appeared on The Comics Panel, was interviewed by Spinetingler Magazine and by Christopher Irvin, wrote columns for Shotgun Honey and Sirens of Suspense, and had a great time at Broke Hack Mountain.

Like I said, 2016 was never dull. Here’s to a great 2017!

How to Hide $400 Million

“A few weeks after she realized her husband was finally leaving her, Sarah Pursglove flew down to the Bahamas to figure out how much money he really had.”

So begins an excellent article by Nicholas Confessore in the Nov. 30, 2016, edition of The New York Times Magazine. It dives deep into one example of how things work inside “a worldwide financial system catering exclusively to the very wealthy.”

“In recent decades,” Confessore writes, “this system has become astonishingly effective at ‘offshoring’ wealth — detaching assets, through complex layers of ownership and legal planning, from their actual owners, often by hiding them in another country. Created by lawyers, accountants and private bankers and operating out of a global archipelago of European principalities, former British colonies and Asian city-states, the system has one main purpose: to make the richest people in the world appear to own as little as possible.”

Pursglove’s husband was Robert Oesterlund, an entrepreneur of sorts whose companies included a direct-mail firm called Credit Key Express, which promised credit cards to people with bad credit, a series of Columbia House-style online membership clubs, and a company which sold banner ads and software, including ‘toolbars’ that promised to clean viruses off your computer or free up space on your hard drive.

According to the article, he worked very, very hard to hide his true net worth.

Read the full article here: How to Hide $400 Million

The Throes of Crime – $0.99 for a Limited Time

the-throes-of-crime-finalHappy Black Friday! The Kindle edition of my short story collection THE THROES OF CRIME is on sale for 99 cents! (That’s 80% off, and less than 4 cents per short story.)

On Tuesday, the price increases to $2.99 and then it goes back to $4.99 one week from today.

So get it while the getting’s good:


If you prefer a hard copy, THE THROES OF CRIME paperback is available for $9.99 — and you’ll get the Kindle version absolutely free with Amazon’s MatchBook program.

All proceeds from THE THROES OF CRIME benefit the James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship Fund.