Gus Murphy

Created by Reed Farrel Coleman

Retired Suffolk County cop GUS MURPHY thought he was done with the whole cops-and-robbers thing, content to drive the airport courtesy van for the Paragon Hotel, shop at Costco and do an occasional low-key, P.I.-type favour for a friend.

Until his life hits the fan and he’s driven back into the game. Now he’s a private eye, prowling the meaner streets of Long Island, in a new series by Coleman’s that’s already drawing serious critical buzz, with the debut novel, Where It Hurts (2017), even garnering an 2017 Edgar nom for Best Novel.

Coleman is one of the good ones; a “hard-boiled poet,” according to NPR, and the acclaimed writer of the widely-acclaimed Moe Prager P.I. series, and the Gus Murphy series may be even better, according to some. Coleman is also the author of three novels featuring unorthodox investigator Dylan Klein, another series fearing New York gumshoe Gulliver Dowd, and, under the Tony Spinosa byline, writes about ex-cops Joe Serpe and Bob Healy who go into various businesses together, including oil delivery and private investigation. He has also recently taken over Robert B. Parker’s popular Jesse Stone series.

He’s a won the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel three times, and is a three-time Edgar Award nominee. He is an adjunct English instructor at Hofstra University as well as a founding member of Mystery Writers of America University. Reed lives with his family on Long Island.


  • “In February, I read Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman, first in a new series published by Putnam about ex-Long Island cop Gus Murphy, whose idyllic retirement is shattered by the sudden death of his son. I look forward to more of Coleman’s depiction of present-day Suffolk County, about as close to where I live as any fiction has come.”
    — Gerald So
  • “Gus Murphy is a former cop whose son died, not violently, just one of those things. An existential hero who’s given up, who buys all his clothes at Costco, who isn’t after redemption or revenge because those things don’t matter, but who tries to fill his days usefully—Coleman is a widely celebrated writer who’s also somehow underrated, and this is some of his best work.”
    — Sam Wiebe on Where It Hurts



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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