By Alejandro Serrano,
Gregory Norris reads his contribution to ‘Murder Ink 2’ to an attentive audience.
Reporters will go to great lengths to get to the bottom of something. Or so went Mark Arsenault’s short story, “Hashtag Splat,” from a new book, “Murder Ink 2.”
Arsenault, a metro reporter at The Boston Globe, read his tale about a man who climbs to the top of a bridge and demands to talk to a reporter. When a reporter showed up to the scene, he was met with more demands – even having to take off his pants, unveiling an embarrassing pair of underwear he was wearing – before getting to climb the bridge.
An audience made up of the book’s contributors and guests laughed after hearing that excerpt from Arsenault’s story at the launch of “Murder Ink 2” at a luncheon during the New England Newspaper and Press Association winter convention.
The book is a collection of pulp fiction murder stories with ties to New England newsrooms and features 16 new tales, a number of them continued from the first book, “Murder Ink.”
“We’re glad you’ve contributed,” George Geers, the book’s publisher, said at the book launch Saturday, Feb. 25.
Dan Szczesny, the book’s editor, provided information about the book and a brief introduction for each of the day’s 14 readers at the luncheon, which was at The Chart House at Long Wharf on Boston Harbor. Each reader had four minutes to read a part, if not all, of their story.
Victor Infante, entertainment editor at the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass., kicked off the readings by taking members of the audience to the scene of a nightclub shooting with his tale, “That Murder Music.”
Others, including sisters Roxanne Dent and Karen Dent, Gregory Norris and Dan Rothman, read about murders with all sorts of newsroom hooks, varying from a reporter following a lead on a local murder to a setting in the early days of print newspapers.
Patrick Sullivan, a general assignment reporter at The Lakeville (Conn.) Journal, read his tale about a beat reporter who longed for a murder in town, to spice up life on the job, until one day a dead body was found.
As authors read their stories, a number of them drew “Oohs” at plot twists from the audience of more than 35 people.
In between the serving of lunch and story readings, Szczesny announced that there will be a “Murder Ink 3” with the same guidelines as the first two books and no deadline (yet) for submissions. Meanwhile, “Murder Ink 2” will be featured at a book event May 2 at the Dunbarton (N.H.) Public Library. Szczesny said other book events are in the works throughout New England.
In 2015, Geers came up with the idea for a New England pulp fiction book. He has published both books through the company he runs with his two daughters, Plaidswede Publishing Co., based in Concord, N.H.
Szczesny said it was not surprising to see a third book being planned because he and Geers had always thought of the book series as having three parts.
“What has been amazing, though, is how much interest and support the series has picked up and how much talent is on display in the first two volumes. That’s what keeps me going and gets me excited about Vol. 3,” he said in an e-mail.
The following read excerpts from “Murder Ink 2”:
Writers Gregory Norris, S.J. Cahill, Robin Baskerville, Judith Janoo, Jeff Deck, and Karen and Roxanne Dent.
Journalists Victor Infante, entertainment editor at the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass.; Mark Arsenault, metro reporter at The Boston Globe; Patrick Sullivan, a general assignment reporter at The Lakeville (Conn.) Journal; and Dan Rothman, columnist for the New Boston Bulletin.
Teacher Jonathan Dubey, physicist Stephen Wilk, and Sarah Parker, who read for her grandfather, Oreste “Rusty” D’Arconte, retired publisher of The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, Mass.
The individual on the right read excerpts from ‘Murder Ink 2.’ All are the authors of the stories they read except Sarah Parker, who read the story written by her grandfather, Oreste ‘Rusty’ D’Arconte, retired publisher of The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, Mass.
Murder Ink 2
The audience at the launch of ‘Murder Ink 2’ included writers who contributed to the book and guests.