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About Gordon McAlpine
Gordon McAlpine is the Edgar Award nominated author of the literary mystery novels, Holmes Entangled, Woman with a Blue Pencil, and Hammett Unwritten, as well as other acclaimed novels and non-fiction. He is also the author of an award winning trilogy of novels for middle grade readers, “The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe”. He has published short fiction in journals and anthologies both in the U.S.A and abroad. A graduate of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at U.C. Irvine, he taught for many years at Chapman University in Orange, California.
In March 2018 Seventh Street Books published McAlpine's literary mystery novel Holmes Entangled, which Booklist, in a starred review, called "a fascinating read, smart and entertaining..." In 2015, Seventh Street Books published the Edgar nominated Woman With a Blue Pencil, about which Publishers Weekly wrote in a starred review: "McAlpine's greatest accomplishment is that the book works both as a conventional mystery story and as a deconstruction of the genre's ideology: whichever strand readers latch on to, the parallel stories pack a brutal punch." Joyce Carol Oates wrote that Woman with a Blue Pencil is a novel, "that Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov, as well as Dashiell Hammett, would have appreciated."
In 2013, Seventh Street Books published Hammett Unwritten, written under the pen name Owen Fitzstephen, to equally enthusiastic reviews. The Gumshoe Review wrote: "Hammett Unwritten raises questions about the nature of fiction and those who create it that will stay with you long after you finish the book." Paste Magazine raved: "Hammett Unwritten accomplishes the next-best thing to writing the unwritten--it satisfies the insatiable longing for another Dashiell Hammett novel... In a way far more satisfying than the truth could ever be, it answers the nagging question of why Hammett never wrote another book... [It] gives his life the hard-boiled second act it most certainly deserved."
Between 2013 - 2015, Viking published McAlpine's middle grade trilogy of novels, "The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe", which consists of The Tell-Tale Start (2013), Once Upon a Midnight Eerie (2014), and The Pet and the Pendulum (2015). Publishers Weekly referred to the series in a starred review as "Entertaining and original...Endlessly fun and ultimately very satisfying on every level." The audio version of The Tell-Tale Start was selected as Audible.com's Best Children's Book, 2013.
The Los Angeles Times called Mr. McAlpine's first novel, Joy in Mudville (1989), an "imaginative mix of history, humor and fantasy...fanciful and surprising", and The West Coast Review of Books called it "a minor miracle." Joy in Mudville was re-released in 2012.
The Way of Baseball, Finding Stillness at 95 MPH (2011), McAlpine's first book of non-fiction, was written in collaboration with Major League All-Star Shawn Green and was published by Simon and Schuster to outstanding reviews.
McAlpine's other novels include The Persistence of Memory (1998), and Mystery Box (2003).
He is a member of the Author's Guild, PEN USA, The Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He lives in Southern California with his wife Julie and their always-glad-to-see-you dogs, Finnegan and Diego.
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Titles By Gordon McAlpine
His path to success was as grounded in philosophical study as in ballpark wisdom. Striving to find stillness within the rip-roaring scene of Major League Baseball—from screaming fans to national scandals— Green learned to approach the sport with a clear mind. In the tradition of Phil Jackson’s Sacred Hoops,
Green shares the secrets to remaining focused both on and off the field, shedding light on a signature approach to living by using his remarkable baseball experiences to exemplify how one can find full awareness, presence, and, ultimately, fulfillment in any endeavor. Following his development from inconsistent rookie to established All-Star to aging veteran,
The Way of Baseball illustrates the spiritual practices that enabled him to “bring stillness into the flow of life.” Requiring mastery of perspective and continual management of ego, the game of baseball afforded Green the opportunity to explore his potential as more than just a ballplayer. A treasure of practical wisdom and an intimate look at what it really means to “let go,” The Way of Baseball illuminates the creative possibilities within us all.
With a mix of literary humor, mystery, a little quantum physics, and fun extras like fortune cookie messages, letters in code, license plate clues -- and playful illustrations thoughout -- this series opener is a perfect choice for smart, funny tweens who love the Time Warp Trio, Roald Dahl, and Lemony Snicket.
In The Tell-Tale Start, Edgar and Allan Poe (great-great-great-great-grandnephews of the legendary Edgar Allan Poe) managed to outwit the nefarious Professor P. Pangborn Perry, who was (and is) determined to kill just one of them, in order to prove a mad scientific theory. Now the boys are in New Orleans, about to play the young Poe in a feature film. But the role may cost them their lives, because now someone else wants them dead. But who? And can the twins—with the help of their co-stars, Em and Milly Dickinson, their ghostly forebear, and a pair of real ghosts—manage to outwit them?
Features brand-new stories by: Susan Straight, Robert S. Levinson, Rob Roberge, Nathan Walpow, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Dan Duling, Mary Castillo, Lawrence Maddox, Dick Lochte, Robert Ward, Gary Phillips, Gordon McAlpine, Martin J. Smith, and Patricia McFall.
Editor Gary Phillips is the author of many novels and short stories. He lives in Southern California.
—JOYCE CAROL OATES
What becomes of a character cut from a writer’s working manuscript?
On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Sam Sumida, a Japanese-American academic, has been thrust into the role of amateur P.I., investigating his wife’s murder, which has been largely ignored by the LAPD. Grief stricken by her loss, disoriented by his ill-prepared change of occupation, the worst is yet to come, Sam discovers that, inexplicably, he has become not only unrecognizable to his former acquaintances but that all signs of his existence (including even the murder he’s investigating) have been erased. Unaware that he is a discarded, fictional creation, he resumes his investigation in a world now characterized not only by his own sense of isolation but by wartime fear.
Meantime, Sam’s story is interspersed with chapters from a pulp spy novel that features an L.A.-based Korean P.I. with jingoistic and anti-Japanese, post December 7th attitudes – the revised, politically and commercially viable character for whom Sumida has been excised.
Behind it all is the ambitious, 20-year-old Nisei author who has made the changes, despite the relocation of himself and his family to a Japanese internment camp. And, looming above, is his book editor in New York, who serves as both muse and manipulator to the young author—the woman with the blue pencil, a new kind of femme fatale.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
As Dashiell Hammett closes his final case as a private eye, the details of which will later inspire his most famous book, he acquires at a police auction the bogus object of that case, an obsidian falcon statuette. He casually sets the memento on his desk, where for a decade it bears witness to his literary rise. Until he gives it away. Now, suffering writer's block, the famous author begins to wonder about rumors of the falcon's "metaphysical qualities," which link it to a powerful, wish-fulfilling black stone cited in legends from around the world. He can't deny that when he possessed the statuette he wrote one acclaimed book after another, and that without it his fortunes have changed. As his block stretches from months to years, he becomes entangled again with the scam artists from the old case, each still fascinated by the "real" black bird and its alleged talismanic power. A dangerous maze of events takes Hammett from 1930s San Francisco to the glamorous Hollywood of the 1940s, a federal penitentiary at the time of the McCarthy hearings, and finally to a fateful meeting on New Year's Eve, 1959, at a Long Island estate. There the dying Hammett confronts a woman from his past who proves to be his most formidable rival.And his last hope.
"An absolutely joyful novel . . . wonderfully funny and uplifting. A mixture of fact and fantasy, fiction and frolic, this novel skips, jumps, and ultimately flies." - West Coast Review of Books
"McAlpine is a gifted stylist, with clean, clear and muscular prose." - Publisher's Weekly
It’s 1932 and a new star has risen from the east, arching toward Los Angeles.
A man, woman and child set off by rail from Chicago to follow the star.
Along the way they’ll meet figures from the pantheon of the American imagination – figures who make us the people we are today: Woody Guthrie, Clark Kent, Al Capone, Babe Ruth, the Wizard of Oz and the ghost of Abner Doubleday.
And when the three find their fates, the stars that guide us all will be forever changed.