Shefchik, Rick

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Shefchik, Rick

PERSONAL:

Born in Duluth, MN; married, wife's name Barbara; children: Claire, David. Education: Graduated from Dartmouth College, 1974. Hobbies and other interests: Golf, playing guitar.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Stillwater, MN. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Journalist. Duluth News-Tribune, Duluth, MN, reporter, for three years; St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN, reporter and columnist, 1980-2006.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Best first novel nomination, Mystery Writers of America, for Amen Corner.

WRITINGS:

Amen Corner, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Rick Shefchik, a journalist who spent more than two decades at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, is the author of Amen Corner, his debut work of fiction. In the novel, Shefchik introduces Sam Skarda, a Minneapolis police detective on medical leave after being wounded in a shooting incident. A former collegiate golfer, Skarda receives an invitation to play at the prestigious Masters golf tournament after he wins the U.S. Publinx tournament. When Skarda arrives at Augusta National Golf Club, he learns that the body of the Rules Committee chairman has been found in the pond in front of the celebrated twelfth green. Though members of a feminist group protesting the tournament are initially suspected of the murder, the culprit is actually Lee Doggett, an ex-convict who has vowed revenge on media director Ralph Stanwick and flies into a rage when he realizes he has killed the wrong man. When a reporter is later found dead, Skarda is asked to investigate the crimes.

Though Shefchik reveals the killer's identity early in the book, "this in no way lessens the appeal of the mystery as the author is able, for the most part, to successfully maintain a high level of suspense throughout," noted a contributor to Mysterious Reviews. "The straight-ahead crime plot works best as a MacGuffin for a fact-packed roman à clef about a singular American institution," a critic in Kirkus Reviews stated, and Bill Ott, writing in Booklist, observed that Shefchik "combines a surprisingly grisly plot and a convincing villain with plenty of more or less realistic golf action."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2007, Bill Ott, review of Amen Corner, p. 36.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2007, review of Amen Corner, p. 105.

Publishers Weekly, January 1, 2007, review of Amen Corner, p. 35.

ONLINE

Harriet Klausner's Book Review,http://harrietklausner.wwwi.com/ (August 15, 2007) review of Amen Corner.

Mysterious Reviews,http://www.mysteriousreviews.com/ (August 15, 2007) review of Amen Corner.

Rick Shefchick Home Page,http://www.rickshefchik.com (August 15, 2007).