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TWO SHORT NOVELS
 
I am getting ahead of myself.  Or I should say I am getting ahead of my publisher.  I have completed three novels-- two short and one longer -- which haven't yet seen the light of day.  The two short ones will be brought out by Viking this coming November.  They will appear in one paperback volume entitled The Staggerford  Murders  The first of them, The Staggerford Murders, is based on a play I wrote a few years ago, which in turn was based on an early short story of mine entitled "Yesterdays Garbage."  It features three men: Dusty, a retired garbageman, Grover the elderly desk clerk as the rundown Ransford Hotel, and Ollie, an itinerant preacher who is Dusty's  nephew,.  All three of them live at the Ransford and one day their attention is drawn back nine years to the unsolved murder of a prominent citizen and the puzzling disappearance of his wife.  In discussing the case they solve the two murders, at least to their satisfaction.


The second novel is called The Life and Death of Nancy Clancy's Nephew and it too is based on an early short story.  It features as the main character a retired and widowed farmer named W. D.  Nestor, who lives unhappily with his daughter and son-in-law on his turkey farm.  He finds companionship in a most unlikely place and person--the public library, where he meets and befriends a ten-year-old boy named Kevin Luuya, the son of Ollie the preacher from The Staggerford Murders.  This is the only connection between the two novels.


The novels are separate in tone as well.  The Murders despite the subject is a light and, I hope, funny story.  Whereas Nancy Clancy is much more serious and rather grim.  My proofreader Joe Plut considers it the  best thing I've ever written.  I will let my readers decide that.

                                                                                Jon

                                                                                August 4, 2004

 

 

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Last modified: August 04, 2004