Novels & Novellas

With a narrator not so much unreliable as imperfect, A Republic of Books might be a first refuge for scoundrels and saints. The perfect bookshop might not exist, but then again . . . a nation of books would have to be a republic as much as a state of mind.

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.

Though Michael James McGeraughty lives in something less than an existential world of better words and deeds, the FBI believes he is harboring revolutionaries, the IRS thinks his business practices are questionable, and the City of Boston is citing numerous code violations, even as his ex-wife wants him to close so she can sell the building. While his children have long since escaped to live their own lives, and his forthright opinions have made him too many enemies as well as faithful customers, a jaded and pragmatic reporter is writing a story about yet another bookshop closing and finding herself drawn to his idealism.

A Republic of Books is a novel of ideas.

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.

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.

Blog Posts

About Resolution 451

A dialog. “What’s this?” “What?” “This ‘Resolution 451’ business.” “Not a business. Just a revolution. Like a New Year’s revolution.” “You mean resolution.” “Well, yes, but it’s a revolting matter to have to deal with after all the ages..” “How so? What’s the matter?”...

An article of confederation

Years ago, in the midst of my bookshop battles and as some psychological relief, I began writing a comedy which was then entitled ‘Knox Books’ as both a homage to the great Boston bookseller of revolutionary days as well as a ‘play’ on the homophone ‘knocks.’ Such...

A Time for Books

I have finally done something I had promised to do here years ago. But it is posted at the Bookshop site under 'annotations.' https://avenuevictorhugobooks.com/annotations/

In the last days of the Republic

I first knowingly encountered the Administrative State in 1972 when I went to City Hall in Boston to get a peddler’s license so that I might sell books and magazines on the street. I was under the delusion (illusion is too kind) that the First Amendment to the...

About the knight’s tale

In related matters, my new novel, The knight’s tale, a story of the future, is now available in paperback from the mighty Amazon as well as in at least one fine bookshop. This novel was written a few years ago but only available until now in parts on my website. It...

Asger Hamerik

How is it that such a great composer as Asger Hamerik can be so forgotten? Can the mediocrity of our age actually be so overwhelming as to ignore even that rare genius who survived the smothering of the ‘modern’ to produce seven wonderful symphonies and an...

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

Small Men

September 12th, 1868 Dear Philip, As you might imagine, I was quite surprised to see a notice in the Herald that you had returned to New York and opened your own practice. Congratulations! I do hope you are well otherwise. Indeed, the notice refers to a Mr. and Mrs.,...

An Unusual Happenstance

You get to a point in life where you ought to make out a will. I’m passed that. You get to a point in life where you wonder if any of it—all the things you did or did not do—will be remembered, and for how long. Not whether or not any of it should be remembered....