Gordon McAlpine has been described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a gifted stylist, with clean, clear and muscular prose.” A native Californian, he attended the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at the University of California, Irvine.
In November 2015, Seventh Street Books published McAlpine’s literary mystery novel, Woman With a Blue Pencil, about which Publishers Weekly wrote in a starred review: “McAlpine’s greatest accomplishment is that the book works both as a conventional mystery story and as a deconstruction of the genre’s ideology: whichever strand readers latch on to, the parallel stories pack a brutal punch.” Joyce Carol Oates wrote that Woman with a Blue Pencil is a novel, “that Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov, as well as Dashiell Hammett, would have appreciated.”
In February 2013, Seventh Street Books published Hammett Unwritten, a literary mystery novel that revolves around the life of the great detective novelist Dashiell Hammett. Reviews were stellar (Otto Penzler called the book “Spectacularly original”) and the novel appeared on top ten lists for the year.
Between 2013 – 2015 Viking published McAlpine’s “The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe” trilogy for young readers:
The Tell-Tale Start, published in 2013, is the first book in the trilogy. Publisher’s Weekly wrote in a starred review of the award winning audio version: “Entertaining and original….Endlessly fun and ultimately very satisfying on every level.” Audible.com selected the book as its best of the year.
Once Upon a Midnight Eerie is the the second volume in the middle-grade trilogy. Publisher’s Weekly described the book as a “gumbo of jokes, codes, treasure, history, mystery and assorted literary references.” Published in April, 2014, it received a Bank Street Book Award.
The Pet and the Pendulum , the final book in “The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe” trilogy, has been described by Publisher’s Weekly as a “fitting conclusion to a series as suspenseful as it is less-than-earnest, in which mad science, quantum entanglement, encounters with ghosts, and sly twists on literary figures and memes all figure.”
The Los Angeles Times called McAlpine’s first novel, Joy in Mudville, an “imaginative mix of history, humor and fantasy…fanciful and surprising”, and The West Coast Review of Books called it “a minor miracle.” Joy in Mudville was re-released in an e-book edition in summer 2012.
The Way of Baseball, Finding Stillness at 95 MPH, is a non fiction book and was published by Simon & Schuster in June 2011 to outstanding reviews. Written in collaboration with Major League All-Star Shawn Green, the book illuminates the spiritual practices that enabled Green to “bring stillness into the flow of life.”
McAlpine’s other novels include The Persistence of Memory and Mystery Box.
Additionally, he has published short stories and book reviews in journals and anthologies both in the U.S.A and abroad. He has chaired and taught creative writing in the Master of Fine Arts Program at Chapman University in Orange, California, as well as fiction writing classes at U.C.L.A and U.C. Irvine. In his twenties, he developed video games and wrote scripts for film and television.
He is a member of the Author’s Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and PEN. He lives with his wife Julie and their always-glad-to-see-you dogs, Finnegan and Diego, in Southern California.