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,
Asher, and the other,
James Callahan, a Boston homicide
Mad Season of the Steve Asher series
reached number eight on the Boston Globe's
local bestseller list.
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.
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