I’ve said in this space before that I’m by far not the only mystery writer working in the Queen City. Cathie and John Celestri (aka Cathie John), Jeffrey Marks, and Sharon Short all make their home here. The most famous among our number is Jack Kerley, who lives right across the river in Newport, KY.
What I did say was that I was the only writer doing PI fiction in Greater Cincinnati. In fact, like my most famous predecessor, Jon Valin, I even live in the city limits. Jon still lives here, but he reviews stereo equipment. For a time, it looked like Sharon Short was going to inherit Valin’s mantle, but her Patricia Delaney series came and went in three books. (And Sharon, if you’re reading this, ‘fess up. Allston was really Mt. Washington, wasn’t it? That nightclub had to be based on the late, lamented Doogies on Beechmont and Corbly.) So that leaves me. Ironically, I write about Cleveland.
Well, no more am I the sole PI writer in town. Jeff Marks yesterday announced he was working on a PI novel set right here in the Queen City. I won’t reveal the details, but the story is oh, so Cincinnati. Jeff’s been at this for years now, writing nonfiction tomes about classic mystery writers such as Craig Rice, churning out stories about Ulysses Grant, with whom he shares a childhood hometown, and editing numerous anthologies. Now Jeff is filling a void that’s existed since 1996, when Patricia Delaney last graced the bookstore shelves. Good luck, Jeff. I work downtown if you need to brainstorm over lunch.
Now, does anyone in Northeast Ohio know if Li’l John Rinaldi would like a cameo in the latest Nick Kepler novel? I already got an OK from Les Roberts.