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Art Taylor Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

On The Road With Del & Louise (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Art Taylor is an American author of mystery thrillers and fiction, best known for penning several award-winning short stories, which have appeared in many critically acclaimed anthologies over the years. He made his debut in fiction when he published Murder on the Orient Express in 1995 in EQMM’s Department of First Stories. However, it was a long time before he published again, with his next active period the first decade of the new millennium. He has also ventured into novel writing with his first ever novel, On the Road with Del & Louise making the shortlist for the Macavity Award and the Antony Award in the Best First Novel category. Art Taylor is no stranger to awards as his short fiction has won him three Derringer Awards, a Macavity, and an Agatha. His work has been featured in many magazines including Smokelong Quarterly, Prick of the Spindle, Plots with Guns, PANK, Mysterical-E, Fiction Weekly, North American Review, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, Barrelhouse, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. His short fiction has been featured in the critically acclaimed Chesapeake Crime anthologies Storm Warning, Homicidal Holidays, and This Job is Murder. Art lives in Northern Virginia and teaches literature, composition, and creative writing in the English Department of the George Mason University. He is also a regular reviewer of mysteries for several Washington-based newspapers including the Washington Independent Review of Books, the Washington Post, and Mystery Scene among other publications.

Art Taylor has always loved writing and reading right from when he was a child. Book reading fuelled his interest in stories, which subsequently drove his interest in becoming a storyteller. Mystery fiction has always been one of his favorite genres right from a very young age with Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown among his favorite novels. When he was in the first grade, he told his teacher that he was writing a book about mice that would come out before Christmas. True to his word, he wrote the story about mice though he later lost it. His love for reading is what makes his novels what they are, as he asserts that it is through the different ranges and kinds of experiences in books that he is able to write such captivating short stories. Some of the people who have had the greatest influence on his professional writing career include his high school and university professors. Betsy Travis taught him how to read deeply so that he could write precisely. Grant Kornberg, his high school teacher gave him what he refers to as his best acceptance letter. An hour after he tucked his short story into his pigeonhole, he tracked him down to congratulate him and inform him that his story was going to make the school’s literary magazine. He also invited him to his senior creative writing workshop whose teachings form the foundation of his writing to this day. Angela Davis-Gardner of NC State University broadened his perspectives on the structure and shapes of short stories. However, his very first pieces of writing in high school were influenced more by Hemingway rather than by Hammett.

After years spent writing crime oriented short stories that appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and other renowned publications and receiving many accolades over the years, Art’s venture into novel-writing has been equally if not more satisfying. Taylor clearly exceeded expectations with the novel even as he has asserted that it is by no means a flawless literary work. Even so, the combination of humorous situations, convincingly eccentric characters, and pages full of fragile souls searching for hope as narrated by Louise, a sassy 27-year-old is sure to disarm and charm any mystery fiction enthusiast. Connecting with readers has always been one of Art Taylor’s strongest points and he does this very well in the short fiction and most of all in the novel. His novel On the Road with Del and Louise: A Novel in Stories is an exploration of what happened to Del and Louise, two characters that he had once written about in a short story that he had published for Ellery Queen. Most of his novels are on the theme of love – not necessarily romantic love, but rather love between family friends or close friends, and how it is complicated by external or internal danger. His works also analyze the themes of morality, betrayal, guilt, the making of important choices, and how these choices affects their makers down the road.

Parallel Play, a short story that Art published in Chesapeak Crimes: Storm Warning is one of his darkest yet and is more of a thriller rather than a mystery, as compared to his other short fiction. While this author’s short stories have won practically every award on offer in the literary world, the story is another excellent one that deserves the highest of accolades. He delves into the mind of the chief protagonist trying to understand what makes her tick when faced with a particularly evil and devious villain. A narrative full of tension that is at once terrifying and touching, in its telling of the lengths that a mother will go to, when the wellbeing of her child is threatened. The descriptions are nothing but exceptional, going on to show that Art is still one of the best when it comes to character study and the creation of tension.

On the Road with Del and Louise: A Novel in Stories is Art Taylor’s first novel. It follows the story of Del a small time crook with a moral conscience who robs convenience stores for his essentials such as tuition and books. Louise, a brash and sassy girl who is one of his holdup victims, follows him and becomes his accomplice and lover. Tired with a life of crime, they now seek a fresh start in life where they can build a family and live an honest life. But it is not that easy, as fate seemingly conspires to put ever more enticing temptations and steeper challenges against the two lovers. From a kidnapping in North Dakota, to a Vegas wedding chapel stickup to a real estate swindle in South California, Del and Louise cannot seem to stay on the straight and narrow, or on each other’s good side.

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