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Riley, Richard Anthony 1946-(Dick Riley)

RILEY, Richard Anthony 1946-(Dick Riley)

PERSONAL: Born May 31, 1946, in Youngstown, OH; son of Richard Anthony (in newspaper work) and Eleanor (Donnelly) Riley; married Marcia Jo Clendenen (a psychotherapist), August 23, 1975; children: Richard Ian. Education: University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1968; Columbia University, M.A., 1969.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Gloria Safier, Inc., 667 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10021.

CAREER: Associated Press and New York Post, New York, NY, reporter, 1969-70 and 1971-75; freelance writer, 1975—. Military service: U.S. Army, 1970-71; became first lieutenant.

MEMBER: Mystery Writers of America.

WRITINGS:

AS DICK RILEY

(With T. Harris and S. Maull) Black Sunday, Putnam (New York, NY), 1975.

Rite of Expiation, Putnam (New York, NY), 1976.

(Editor) Critical Encounters: Writers and Themes in Science Fiction, Ungar (New York, NY), 1978.

(Editor, with Pam McAllister) The Bedside, Bathtub, & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie, Ungar (New York, NY), 1979, 2nd edition published as The New Bedtime, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie, additional material edited by Pam McAllister and Bruce Cassiday, with foreword by Julian Symons, Ungar (New York, NY), 1986.

(With Pam McAllister) The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes, Continuum (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Pam McAllister) The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Shakespeare, Continuum (New York, NY), 2001.

Also author of Middleman Out (one-act play), first broadcast by National Public Radio, 1980.

SIDELIGHTS: Journalist, playwright, and freelance writer Dick Riley, along with coauthor Pam McAllister, has written "The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion" series. The series has included books on two important writers in the mystery genre, Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, including Doyle's well-known sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. Another book in the series covers one of the key figures in literature, William Shakespeare.

The books consist of numerous short, illustrated chapters, designed to be read in short bursts rather than extended sittings. The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes includes brief summaries of all stories in the Holmes canon, plus an essay on the traditional image of Holmes (complete with deerstalker hat), commentary on Holmes parodies and pastiches, and a short biography of Doyle. Also included is information on Victorian England, British government, illustrators of Holmes stories, actors who have played Holmes and Watson, contact information for Holmes societies throughout the world, and other browser-friendly data. Mary Carroll, writing in Booklist, remarked that "this new celebration of Arthur Conan Doyle's canon should have appeal," while a critic writing in Publishers Weekly called The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes "a thorough—and thoroughly entertaining—survey of Sherlockiana."

Similarly, The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Shakespeare provides plot summaries of thirty-six plays (Pericles and The Two Noble Kinsmen are excluded), plus information on the Bard's likely sources, assessments of each play's most notable aspects, and other concise material on Shakespeare and his works. Other chapters cover Shakespeare's sonnets, women's roles in Shakespearean times, Shakespeare's use of language, and more. "This irreverent guide invokes pop culture to unravel some of the mysteries and difficulties associated with Shakespeare," observed Sarah Hart in American Theatre. Jack Helbig, writing in Booklist, concluded, "The accessible little volume constitutes a fine introduction to Shakespeare for neophytes."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Theatre, December, 2001, Sarah Hart, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Shakespeare, p. 73.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact, February, 2000, Tom Easton, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes, p. 132.

Armchair Detective, winter, 1987, review of The New Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie, p. 73.

Booklist, January 1, 1999, Mary Carroll, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes, p. 820; July, 2001, Jack Helbig, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Shakespeare, p. 1971.

Bookwatch, January, 1999, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes, p. 6.

Library Journal, July, 2001, Shana C. Fair, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Shakespeare, p. 90.

New York Times Book Review, July 6, 1986, review of The New Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie, p. 24.

Publishers Weekly, February 22, 1999, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes, p. 70.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 1999, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes, p. 192.

School Library Journal, July, 1999, Pam Johnson, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes, p. 118.

Wilson Library Bulletin, May, 1980, Jon Breen, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie, p. 581, Charles Bunge, review of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie, p. 592.*

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