Monday, October 22, 2007

Prodigal Sons: John Francis Cuddy by Jeremiah Healy

We asked Jeremiah Healy about what's going on with John Francis Cuddy, one of the most popular PI's of the nineties:
1) Will John Cuddy return?

Thankfully, Cuddy has not yet "gone away." Readers who visit my website: can order collections of my short stories featuring him (THE CONCISE CUDDY and CUDDY: PLUS ONE), and many of the backlist novels are available via: or

I also continue to write short stories featuring Cuddy for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery magazine as well as "solicited" anthologies (where the editor invites individual authors to contribute short stories, often on a theme, such as Jeffery [correct spelling] Deaver's HOT AND SULTRY NIGHTS).

2) Why haven't you written about Cuddy for some time now?

For novel-length works, the taste of the American public has changed. Thrillers have eclipsed private-eye novels and classic mysteries, UNLESS a substantial promotional budget is provided for those latter kinds of book. When my agent approached my publisher about a next contract for Cuddy, I insisted upon such promotion, but the publisher declined. Hence my movement (as "Terry Devane") to writing legal thrillers.

The GOOD news on the Cuddy front is that a long-time friend and executive producer of television series (MARTIAL LAW, THE NERO WOLFE MYSTERIES, DICK VAN DYKE'S DIAGNOSIS: MURDER) is "pitching" Cuddy as a television series. We would probably update Cuddy as a Military Police veteran from the Persian Gulf conflict rather than the Vietnam War, and we would likely replace Cuddy's visits to his wife at her gravesite by having an actress play the dead wife, whom only Cuddy can see (think MIKE HAMMER meets THE SIXTH SENSE).

However, if any publishers or television producers from OTHER countries are interested in translations of books or adaptations to the screen (cinema or television), please feel free to contact me via my website, and I'll put you in touch with the appropriate agent for me.

3) What's up next for you?

I'm currently writing a thriller, in which an unbalanced, former opposing client decides to avenge the suicides of her daughters by stalking and destroying the major Boston law firm she blames for their deaths.

I also have a screenplay intended for an independent film (few locations, low budget, and three excellent lead-acting roles) entitled THE BODYSHOP [American police jargon for the Homicide Unit]: In a medium-sized city, someone is killing the significant others of homicide detectives in its police department. Why would any murderer be so foolhardy?

Jeremiah Healy, a former Sheriff’s Officer and Military Police Lieutenant, is a graduate of Rutgers College and the Harvard Law School. Healy is also the creator of the John Francis Cuddy private-investigator series and (under the pseudonym “Terry Devane”) the Mairead O’Clare legal-thriller series, both set primarily in Boston. Healy has written eighteen novels and over sixty short stories, sixteen of which works have won or been nominated for the Shamus Award. He served as the President of the International Association of Crime Writers (“IACW”) from 2000-2004, and he was the International Guest of Honour at the 34th World Mystery Convention in Toronto during October, 2004. Currently, Healy is a member of the Mystery Writers of America’s National Board of Directors. For more information, please visit

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