Writer / Matt Keating
Mystery Author Terence Faherty’s latest book, “Tales of the Star Republic,” is a collection of short mysteries featuring a newspaper reporter who investigates strange and unexplained stories with paranormal elements. Mystery and fiction aficionados, as well as fans of “The X-Files” and the old “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” television series will enjoy the book. The stories take place in Indianapolis and several other Indiana cities and towns.
Paranormal elements include ghosts, levitating stones, channeling, and phone calls from the dead. Many of the poignant and entertaining stories feature strong characters with human frailties and regrets. There is a strong mystery to each tale, but also a warm and humane touch as well.
Faherty, a longtime Geist-area resident, said the character of his Star Republic reporter has purposely remained nameless.
“I wanted the Star Republic character to be so focused on his story, he never quotes himself or brings himself directly into the story,” Faherty said. “He is able to keep an even tone in his stories without taking sides. It allows him to keep an open mind.”
Six of the “Tales of the Star Republic” stories were first published in other publications. One of the stories, “The Quarry,” first appeared in Indiannual 1984, a Writer’s Center of Indianapolis publication. Four others were published in the famous Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Another story, “God’s Instrument,” first appeared in the short story collection “Unholy Orders.” The other six stories are originals written for the collection. Another Star Republic book is already in the works.
“Each one of the tales has a different supernatural element that is different from the other stories, but they all feature characters with a unique story to tell the reporter,” Faherty stated.
Faherty, who has won several mystery writing awards, began his mystery-writing career attending Writer’s Center of Indianapolis writing workshops and publishing short stories in its annuals. The Writer’s Center is currently located in Broad Ripple.
Faherty published his first novel, “Deadstick,” in 1991. It is the debut in a series of Owen Keane mysteries and was nominated for an Edgar Mystery Writing award for best first novel. The Edgar Mystery Writing award is named after Edgar Allan Poe and is presented every year by The Mystery Writers of America.
The Keane series features Owen Keane, a one-time seminary student who dropped out of the seminary to become an amateur sleuth. The Philadelphia Inquirer called Keane “one of the freshest, most appealing figures in crime fiction.”
Keane’s pursuit of unsolved mysteries has taken him through eight novels and several short stories. In a prequel novel called “The Lost Keats,” the character investigates the disappearance of a fellow seminarian in southern Indiana. Early in the story, Keane’s investigation briefly takes him to the Castleton area. “The Ordained” is a sequel and is one of Faherty’s best novels. In it, Keane returns to Indiana, where he investigates the disappearance of Southern Indiana residents. The Indiana Statehouse is featured in an early chapter.
Another highly entertaining Keane novel, “Prove the Nameless” features a character named Geist. Faherty explained that Geist means “spiritual,” and the character claims to be a spiritual leader. The story revolves around a 20-year-old multiple homicide of all but one member of a prominent New Jersey family. The mystery has clever twists and has Keane working for a newspaper in Atlantic City.
Faherty is originally from New Jersey but has lived in the Geist area with his wife, Jan, for the past 30 years. He says Geist has been a great place to live, as well as to write short stories.
Faherty’s other mystery series focuses on Scott Elliott, an actor turned operative for a Hollywood Security Agency. One of the books in the Elliott series, “Come Back Dead,” won a Shamus award — given by the Private Eye Writers of America — for the Best Detective Fiction, Genre Novels, and Short Stories.
Faherty is currently at work on a new Elliott novel titled “Play a Cold Hand,” which involves a con against a movie studio producer.
Faherty, a lifelong mystery reader, is a big fan of the late mystery author Ross MacDonald.
“I like the way MacDonald had the past reaching forward to grab a character,” he said.
He also enjoys authors Lori Rader-Day and Noblesville resident Larry Swayze.
Faherty will be the guest of honor at Ball State University’s Magna Cum Murder Crime Writing Festival in October 2017 at The Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Faherty said. “It’s nice to be recognized for such a great event.”
Tales of the Star Republic can be ordered at Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.