Fusilli, Jim 1954(?)-
FUSILLI, Jim 1954(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1954, in Hoboken, NJ; married Diane (a public relations executive); children: Cara. Education: Attended St. Peter's College, NJ. Hobbies and other interests: Baseball, travel, cooking.
CAREER: Writer, music critic, songwriter, and guitarist for rock bands. St. Peter's College, Jersey City, NJ, school newspaper and radio staff member; Wall Street Journal, music critic, 1983—; Boston Globe, mystery fiction critic, 2002-03; National Public Radio, music critic for All Things Considered.
"TERRY ORR" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS
Closing Time, G. P. Putnam (New York, NY), 2001. A Well-known Secret, G. P. Putnam (New York, NY), 2002.
Tribeca Blues, G. P. Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.
Hard, Hard City, G. P. Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A book on Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds, to be published by Continuum; another "Terry Orr" mystery; a standalone thriller.
SIDELIGHTS: Jim Fusilli is a music critic who began publishing his "Terry Orr" series of mysteries in 2001. The series is set in Manhattan and follows the title character—an author turned private investigator—as he searches for the madman who murdered his wife and infant son. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that Closing Time, the first book in the series, "mixes a noirish, suspense-packed story and sharply defined characters." Marilyn Stasio wrote in the New York Times Book Review that "the wised-up, hollowed-out characters . . . are vital citizens of Fusilli's gorgeous nightmare of a city." BookBrowser.com reviewer Harriet Klausner suggested that the storyline reveals "the emotional chopped meat of the hero's soul," and added that "Fusilli has written a powerful character study inside an engaging mystery novel."
Fusilli told an interviewer for Mystery One Bookstore that before writing Closing Time, he had already sketched out a storyline that would run through five or six books and had an outline for as many as nine. "I knew I wanted to have a strong, intimate relationship with my readers," he explained. "If you're writing genre fiction, you owe it to the readers to foreshadow properly." Closing Time was followed by A Well-known Secret, Tribeca Blues, and Hard, Hard City. In a review of the fourth book in the series, a Publishers Weekly reviewer called Fusilli a "serious novelist who excels in creating a noirish view of Manhattan and strong characters whose relationships continue to evolve with each book."
While Orr may be the primary protagonist of the series, the character's teen daughter, Bella, is the heart. Fusilli told Louise Jones in a Publishers Weekly interview: "I think that people have to understand how important it is to make being a parent the priority in your life. . . . An indication of Terry's failure as a parent is that he doesn't always go home, he isn't doing his most important job. . . . Bella is the character I most identify with. These books are about Bella."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2001, Connie Fletcher, review of Closing Time, p. 2096; September 15, 2002, Emily Melton, review of A Well-known Secret, p. 210.
Boston Globe, December 10, 2003, Andy Solomon, review of Tribeca Blues, p. C5.
Chicago Tribune, September 16, 2001, Dick Adler, review of Closing Time, p. 2; October 26, 2003, Dick Adler, review of Tribeca Blues, p. 3.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002, review of A Well-known Secret, p. 1078; August 15, 2003, review of Tribeca Blues, p. 1047; August 15, 2004, review of Hard, Hard City, p. 780.
New York Times Book Review, September 23, 2001, Marilyn Stasio, review of Closing Time, p. 23; December 1, 2002, Marilyn Stasio, review of A Well-known Secret, p. 22; October 19, 2003, Marilyn Stasio, review of Tribeca Blues, p. 25.
Publishers Weekly, August 6, 2001, review of ClosingTime and interview, pp. 64-65; September 23, 2002, review of A Well-known Secret, p. 53; September 1, 2003, review of Tribeca and interview, pp. 63-64; September 27, 2004, review of Hard, Hard City, p. 36.
Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2001, Elizabeth Bukowski, review of Closing Time, p. A16.
Washington Post, December 1, 2002, Katy Munger, review of A Well-known Secret, p. T13.
BookBrowser.com,http://www.bookbrowser.com/ (July 25, 2001), Harriet Klausner, review of Closing Time.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (March 21, 2002), Joe Hartlaub, review of Closing Time.
Jim Fusilli Web site,http://www.jimfusilli.com (October 27, 2004).
MysteryOne.com,http://www.mysteryone.com/ (October 13, 2004), interview with Fusilli.*