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I used to say that I grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when, in truth, I only started growing older there. After nineteen years I left to go to college and, for the most part, spent the next twenty years aging somewhere else—New Jersey, Florida, Panama Canal Zone, Massachusetts, and Georgia. Then I returned to Tuscaloosa and continued the maturation process for another twenty-six years. In 2015 my wife and I moved to Vero Beach, Florida, where I hope to continue growing older for a good long time.
The locations I’ve lived in have had more influence on my mystery novels (the Needed Killing Series) than on the fantasies (Song of Narne). The town of Shelbyville in the NKS is based in large part on Tuscaloosa with some wrinkles from other locations thrown in to keep things interesting—and keep the inhabitants guessing. That’s not to say that the places I’ve been aren’t reflected in the fantasies—but most of the geography of Narne is imaginary
While growing older, I’ve tried my hand at a number of jobs—newspaper collator, darkroom technician, farmhand, factory worker, sailor, salesman, underwriter, account executive, accountant, systems administrator, information specialist--and professional writer. As an author I find that those earlier experiences contribute to what happens in my novels—again more in the not-as-fictional mysteries than in the fantasies. There’s just not enough magic in the real world
Interestingly, the event that crystallized my decision to start writing full-time is one that I haven’t used in any of my novels. The tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, destroying an eighth of the town—including the back half of my house—hasn’t made it into any of my novels. Shelbyville and Narne have both been spared.
On the other hand, the support, encouragement, and editorial assistance my wife provides have been part of every novel since the beginning.
I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.
For more information about my writing, visit my website billfittsauthor.com.
on Sep. 27, 2013 :
Even better than the first! I enjoyed the first book in the Needed Killing series and was delighted to discover the second. We continue to get to know Crawford and his friends as he sets out to investigate another murder. Solving this mystery requires Crawford to spend more time interviewing suspects than sitting at his computer, but his tech skills are still helpful. This is a "cozy" mystery with realistic, likable characters and a strong sense of place. I recommend it!
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)
on March 22, 2013 :
I enjoyed He Need Killing so I also read this second in the series and liked it even better. I particularly enjoyed the setting of the large university campus having spent my career on one! I recommended both these to my book club as anyone who enjoys a good mystery will have a good time reading these!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Feb. 18, 2013 :
Great fun and a good read. Love Crawford's relationships with his pets. Warms any dog or cat lovers heart. Looking forward to his next adventure.
(reviewed 40 days after purchase)
on Dec. 31, 2012 :
This is the cleverly titled second novel in the "Needed Killing series by Bill Fitts, featuring James Crawford, a retiree who unexpectedly becomes a private investigator. This time the victim is an unpleasant, rifle-loving fellow who runs the University Press. The story leads readers through the world of academic publishing and the personalities associated with it, some of whom are suspects and one who turns out to be the murderer.
Like the first book, this is a leisurely yet engrossing read. Occasional diversions into topics such as food, football and firearms, along with the intricacies of campus computer networks and relational databases add texture and interest.
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)
on Nov. 17, 2012 :
The second book about Crawford and his pets does not disappoint. Another murder follows hard on the heels of Crawford's first case and he must exercise all his "little gray cells" to find the killer. Like the first book in the Needed Killing Series, this one is distinguished by witty dialogue and all-round good writing. I eagerly await the next book about Crawford, Tan, and The Black. Set in the Deep South (which is lovingly, though objectively, portrayed), the novel should be well received by fans of Robert B. Parker and Dick Francis.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)