The latest from Charles John Harper:



My story, “Lovers and Thieves,” appears in The Best American Mystery Stories 2017, edited by John Sandford and Otto Penzler. It is a true honor to have my story chosen for such a venerable anthology, and a thrill to be included in the same volume with such brilliant writers as William Kent Krueger, C.J. Box, Geri Brightwell, Jeffrey Deaver, Brendan DuBois, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub, and others. It is certainly the highlight of my writing career. “Lovers and Thieves” first appeared in the April, 2016, issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, so you may have read it before. Nevertheless, I encourage you to buy this always-entertaining anthology. With that many great authors, you can’t go wrong. It’s published by Mariner Books through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other brick-and-mortar and internet booksellers.

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Booked and Printed

Excerpts from past Charles John Harper publications:


The Echoes:

The four quick rings of the telephone party line startled him. A shrill jangling that broke an empty silence.

Pope County Sheriff Dan Parrish, standing in his unironed uniform at the front picture window of his house overlooking Lake Minnewaska, felt a stir deep inside, a tangle of anticipation and dread. He checked his watch, careful not to spill any coffee on the living room floor. Seven fifteen A.M. Calls this early meant only one thing: Death.

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, March/April 2017, Vol. 62, Nos. 3 and 4.





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Charles John Harper, Writer

His story:


Charles John Harper, alias C.J. Harper, nee Charlie Rethwisch, is a writer trapped in a lawyer’s body. His noir short stories featuring 1940s P.I. Darrow Nash have appeared in the February, 2008, the March/April, 2008, and the July, 2009 issues of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Other stand-alone short stories include “Icarus,” which appeared in EQMM in the March/April 2011 issue, “No Uncertain Terms,” which was published in the January/February 2012 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and “The Echoes,” which appeared in AHMM‘s March/April 2017 issue.

The most recent Darrow Nash short story, “Lovers and Thieves,” appeared as the cover story for AHMM‘s April, 2016 issue. That story was subsequently selected for “The Best American Mystery Stories 2017” anthology edited by John Sandford and Otto Penzler and published by Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In 2007, C.J. Harper’s unpublished novel, “The Shadow of the Dead” was shortlisted for the British Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award. He was shortlisted again for the 2009 Debut Dagger Award for his first Darrow Nash novel, “Backdrop,” resulting in Harper being “highly commended” by the judging panel for that story. The judges stated that the novel had “a likeable PI protagonist and a solid time slip plot” and that “the 1950 Hollywood setting is sexy.”

He is currently putting the final touches on a new Darrow Nash novel.

His writer’s group, Creme de la Crime, includes the mystery icons William Kent Krueger, Monica Ferris, Carl Brookins, and Susan Runholt. He lives in Plymouth, Minnesota, with his wife, Dana, and now and then with their two itinerant children, Ellen and Bobby.

Be sure to follow him on Facebook!

To contact Charles John Harper, please leave a message on his Facebook page, or email him at cjharperbooks@comcast.net.

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