Artist Profiles Header Graphic
Paul Revere

Massachusetts Bay Trading Co.
Artist Profiles

Al Blanchard: Author

Al Blanchard: Author

Al Blanchard, the author of numerous short stories and two mystery series, died suddenly of a heart attack on November 14, 2004. One of his two mystery series featured eighth grade history teacher, Steve Asher, and the other, James Callahan, a Boston homicide detective. The Mad Season of the Steve Asher series reached number eight on the Boston Globe's local bestseller list.

Blanchard lived his entire life in Massachusetts. He traveled widely, once driving across the United States on Route Twenty. Before he died, his home was in Lincoln, Massachusetts with his wife Enid and taught middle school in Waltham.

"A setting in a mystery isn't simply an arbitrary backdrop to a story," said Al regarding his home state. "A good setting makes things happen. It forms the characters and has a personality and life of its own. Massachusetts has cities, suburbs, farms, wilderness, mountains and the seashore. It also has a mixture of cultures, religions and languages. Basing my mysteries in Massachusetts gives me the opportunity to weave some unique tales."

Al got his start by rewriting Matlock and Murder She Wrote episodes in his head. As a kid he was fascinated by Perry Mason and devoured each of Agatha Christie's novels. He wrote a science fiction short story when he was ten. While the story is long lost, he still remembers the plot. Al started writing short stories during the nineties and decided to expand his storytelling to longer venues, thus the birth of his two mystery series.

A movie based on his short story Knock 'em Dead has begun production. Al was also working on a second screenplay and a pilot episode for a situation comedy. He was the president of the New England Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.