Music oft hath such a charm
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
(Wm. Shakespeare; Measure for Measure)
Another O'Nelligan and Plunkett case...this time with a musical twist.
The Haunting Ballad
St. Martin's Press (Minotaur/Thomas Dunne)
The Séance Society
Introducing Mr. O’Nelligan and Lee Plunkett, an unlikely pair of sleuths on an equally unlikely case... involving murder with a supernatural flair. Plunkett and O'Nelligan are drawn into a murder investigation involving the “Spectricator," a machine designed to communicate with the dead. Soon, the sleuths are knee-deep in a suspect pool that includes a surly medium, a former speakeasy queen, a mysterious Spanish widow, and a slew of eccentric servants. The Séance Society is a fresh take on the traditional whodunit.
"Michael Nethercott’s nicely put together whodunit The Séance Society plunges us head first into a warm bath of nostalgia with its setting — a small town in Connecticut in 1956. The methodically constructed narrative is as neat as its locale." --New York Times Book Review
“This clever series opener offers a mid-century take on the traditional drawing-room mystery…There is a sweet charm to this mystery, ensuring that readers will want to see more from O’Nelligan and Plunkett.” --Booklist
"An intriguing and suspenseful mystery story. The first sentence sets the tone for the book: 'Heed well the dead...for they hover at our ears.'" --Irish American News
"A classically styled Holmesian whodunit.”--Publishers Weekly
I've pondered for some time the idea of writing a Western novel. (All those viewings of the original Magnificent Seven and old John Ford films should not go to waste!) Well, I did that very thing the past year and today signed the contract for my first foray into the literary prairie. THE BALLAD OF BLACK POWDER will be released next year by the Western publisher Five Star / Cengage. Yeehaw! See ya down the trail.
Very pleased to once again to have another of my stories appear in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (March/April 2021 issue.) “The Soul of Peg O’Dwyer” is the tale of a hypnotized woman who recalls the past life—and death—of a young Irish woman over seventy years before. It features my Celtic detective Mr. O'Nelligan and is set in Port Chester NY, my birthplace. I was inspired by the old account of Bridey Murphy from the 1950s.s
I was invited to contribute an essay to the blog FIRST TWO PAGES. The concept is for writers, generally in the mystery genre, to delve into the opening of one of their stories and explain their choices.
Pushcart Prize nominated story: For your perusal, here's a short tale of mine published in the online magazine Abyss & Apex. "Harbor Mist" is a quick read, a supernatural take on the Ellis Island experience:
The Vermont Public Radio interview discussing The Haunting Ballad.
The New York Times reviews The Séance Society
Public Radio interview for All Things Considered.
For anyone who uses eBooks, and has an interest in whodunits, art theft and/or World Series history: the short story "O'Nelligan and the Perfect Game" is available for download. Just 99 pennies!
It can be purchased here.