October 19 - November 5, 2017

Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.
  • Colman Andrews
    Colman Andrews
  • Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman
  • Gordon Wood
    Gordon Wood
  • Gish Jen
    Gish Jen

Thomas O’Malley & Douglas Graham Purdy

Events: Mystery Night 2016

Book: We Were Kings

Thomas O’Malley is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and currently teaches creative writing at Dartmouth College. He is the author of This Magnificent Desolation, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and shortlisted for the 2013 Irish Novel of the Year Award, and In the Province of Saints, which was voted one of the ten best first novels of 2005 by Booklist and chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top twenty-five books of the year. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Shenandoah, and other publications.

Douglas Graham Purdy grew up in Boston and now splits his time between Brooklyn and Boston. He has worked in Film and Media Studies at MIT and is currently working on a collection of horror and a dark crime comedy.

O’Malley and Purdy are co-authors of Serpents in the Cold, which was hailed as a startling work of art, a beautifully rendered atmospheric tale of crime and punishment set in mid-twentieth century Boston.” Serpents in the Cold was a Boston Globe Special Feature and critically praised on Boston Magazine and on WBUR and NPR.

Their latest collaboration, We Were Kings, is set in 1950s Boston. The Irish Republican Army is running guns and killing witnesses. When a body is discovered at the Charlestown locks—tarred, feathered, and shot to death, it appears to be a gangland killing and is almost immediately dismissed. However, a Boston PD detective recognizes the murder style as the typical retribution for IRA informers. Combined with a tip-off about a boat coming into Boston weighed down with stolen guns and ammunition, the body in the locks hints that much more may be at stake than a one-off hit.