Novels & Novellas

Once, I had asked,“Why? Does it matter? No one seems to care. People apparently want to be lied to. That’s what politics is. That’s why they go to the movies, isn’t it?” Otto was firm in his answer. “Truth matters. You have to look for it. What our children know is our only legacy. That’s why I make my movies.”
An opinionated and iconoclastic bookseller, who has managed to live his life on his own terms for forty years while writing books about the things he values most and conducting a sui generis repository of what might be the best of literature, must come to terms at last with an America that has replaced the first amendment with political correctness.
The true story of William McGuire, an innocent in an age of cynicism, and a stranger in a strange land, who must find his own way in Homo sapiens society, as told by himself. Presented with four other unexpected tales: That Little Old Lady and MeSeely’s SurfsideShe Knows Her Onions, and If Blood Were Orange.
In his study of the past, John Finn can glimpse whole lives and imagine how they were lived. There he can even imagine his own life complete. Now, he has stumbled on love again, only to lose it. What is he actually good for? Perhaps only to find out what happened to a girl who was lost two hundred years ago—and to avoid getting shot in the meantime.
In the year 2162, an aging paladin in the dwindling Order of Pelagius must confront a greater power working to dominate the nations of Earth and the independent states of the heliosphere. John Holt attempts to keep his honor and fulfill his duty using railguns, railroads, dirigibles, steam trucks, river barges, and the help of a horse named Rosie.
1937. New York Daily Mirror photographer Hugh McNeill follows crusading reporter Cass Green as she investigates a possible serial killer: a prostitute doing away with her clients one by one. Cass’s investigation results in the attention of a rogue mobster who’s been moving in on Lucky Luciano’s prostitution rackets and is now trying to kill her.
In his second bibliomystery, Boston bookhound Henry Sullivan has a new girlfriend, a new apartment, and a shelfload of troubles.
Chaucer said “It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake.” Henry Sullivan, bookhound, is ready to be that sleeping dog: to settle down in his new apartment and enjoy life with his new girlfriend.
A bookhound, Henry Sullivan buys and sells books he finds at estate auctions and library sales around Boston and often from the relatives of the recently deceased. He’s in his late thirties, single, and comfortably set in his ways. But when a woman from his past, Morgan Johnson, calls to ask him to look at her late husband’s books, he is drawn into the dark machinations of a family whose mixed loyalties and secret history will have fatal results.

Blog Posts

About writing

This is what I know. Not much. But this. That writing is an absolutely individual endeavor. A writer can write in any way he wants, but he has to know, whatever he writes, his work reveals himself. Who he is. Why he is. If he wants acceptance by the largest possible...

Benedictions: a 19th century novel

Chapter One:  The forgotten order of things          This is what I remember. But someone else could say, “I know that place, and you've got the names all wrong.”          I'd have to...

In the Mask of Age

Watching your parents grow older was the hardest thing you did. Now, you wear that mask of age pretending to know something more. But you know less now--forgetting along the way--than you did before. You were stronger then. Sleep could be missed. The day was always...

An American Character

When a lone, forty-two-year-old Englishwoman, Isabella Bird, travelled by train from San Francisco into the Sierras in the late Summer of 1873, she sat with the miners and loggers and railroad men. She had little money and no prospects other than to make her way home...


We may live apart from our families,But we are a part of them all the same—Perhaps more so as, with absents,We have the time and space for reflectionWhile not emersed in an emotional swampOf the mundane, nor the drum of closeProximity to the petty or ungenerous.The...

(notes for a poem)

My youth of yore now seems like myth to me, A dream by day and night and twilight; A play of biblical acts and whimsey, Of proverbial meanings and meaningless chore, Made light even then by the learning and a joy of being; When the delight of knowledge and knowing...

Praise for Vincent McCaffrey’s Writing

“McCaffrey is never cloying or playing to demographic. He’s just telling a compelling, old-school yarn, the kind of story a man who knows his literature tells.”

Time Out Chicago

“Vincent McCaffrey is obviously a man so well read that he seems to have gleaned a deep understanding of human nature from his studies. His characters are appealing and sympathetic and his story well plotted. I look forward to his next novel after what was a most enjoyable debut.”

Gumshoe Review

“McCaffrey has a gift for crafting quirky characters and original dialogue…”

Anne Fortier

Author of "Juliet"

Recent Short Stories


A friend was recently reading the revised version of John Finn that appears to be making its way into print sooner than later and suggested that a particular chapter might stand on its own. It happens to be one of those I posted first about eight years ago when John...

Seeley’s Surfside

The hanging road sign for Denton Real Estate offered a constant chirping against an intermittent wind. It was a small and familiar voice to Burk as he approached Seeley’s Surfside Diner. The murmur of tires on passing cars was dampened by the new snow. With the hood...