Bulletin photos by Alastair Pike
Oreste P. “Rusty” D’Arconte, retired publisher of The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, Mass., and one of the ‘Murder Ink 3’ authors, reads an excerpt from his story, dressed in old-timey newsman garb.

At ‘Murder Ink 3’ launch, party’s over as series ends

By Julia Hutchins
Bulletin Correspondent

In a quiet room above the hubbub of the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s recent winter convention, industry professionals gathered for the launching of “Murder Ink 3.” The book is the third and final in a series of murder pulp fiction stories relating to New England newsrooms.

There was no podium or seated panel, unlike at other convention events. A microphone stand at the front of the room faced three rows of seats, but only five people were seated of about 20 people who attended the event. The rest were standing and greeting each other.

“My partner in crime! How have you been?” one woman asked in a group of fewer than 10 people.

The majority of those present were in groups at the back of the room exchanging hellos. The excited attitude set the tone for the readings of passages from the book and discussions that followed.

The Dent sisters, Karen (left) and Roxanne, read from their latest story in the ‘Murder Ink’ series.

The “Murder Ink” series is a collection of short stories, all of which are pulp fiction murders relating to the newsroom, usually with reporters as the main characters. The first book was published in 2016 and premiered at that year’s annual NENPA winter convention. A number of the stories in the newest collection are continuations of previous stories, but “Murder Ink 3” also brought new authors to the launch on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in South Boston.

George Geers, who in 2015 came up with the idea of a New England pulp fiction book, owns the company that publishes the series, Plaidswede Publishing Co. of Concord, N.H. After speaking about the book, he thanked the contributing authors for “a good run.” Previously, he and Dan Szczesny, who edited the series, have said that they always envisioned the series as one with three parts.

Of the 15 contributors to the book, nine were present:

Oreste P. “Rusty” D’Arconte, who writes under the pen name O. Lucio d’Arc, has written for the previous “Murder Ink” books. He is the retired publisher of The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, Mass., and continues to write as a columnist for the paper, where he has worked for almost 50 years.

Amy Ray wrote for the first “Murder Ink” book. She has another short story in “Murder Ink 3,” and has had her debut mystery thriller novel published recently.

Jason Allard is a writer who was first published in “Live Free or Undead,” which focused on horror stories taking place in New Hampshire and which was the first book of the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction anthologies.

Mark Arsenault is a reporter at The Boston Globe, where he covers casino development and gambling issues. He has written for the previous “Murder Ink” books. He has experience with fiction writing and is the author of the Billy Povich suspense series.

Karen and Roxanne Dent, or as they call themselves, The Sisters Dent, have written for the previous “Murder Ink” books. As prize-winning novelists, screenwriters, short story writers and playwrights, they write for various genres, including mystery, horror, and paranormal fantasy.

Lisa Eckelbecker is a first-time writer for the “Murder Ink” books. She is a business reporter at the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass. She has more than three decades of experience in the newsroom.

Victor D. Infante has written for the previous “Murder Ink” books, and is entertainment editor for the Telegram & Gazette. He occasionally contributes to OC Weekly, a free weekly paper distributed in Orange County, Calif., and is the editor in chief of Radius, an online literary journal. He also writes poetry and short stories.

Tim Horvath is new to the “Murder Ink” lineup, but is an award-winning writer and teaches creative writing at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. He occasionally blogs for BIG OTHER, a book blog, and is an assistant prose editor for Camera Obscura Journal of Literature & Photography.

The anthology is available for $19.03 online through New Hampshire Booksellers and Plaidswede Publishing Co.

Dan Szczesny, who edited the ‘Murder Ink’ books, speaks to the audience at the book launch for ‘Murder Ink 3’.