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Jim Fusilli


Jim Fusilli

Jim Fusilli is an American writer who is the rock and pop music critic of The Wall Street Journal and author of seven novels and one nonfiction book. He resides in New York City.

In 2012, Fusilli launched a new mystery series with ROAD TO NOWHERE, the tale of a troubled drifter who witnesses a brutal assault on a young woman. When his estranged teenage daughter is threatened, he’s hurled into a turbulent world of violence and intrigue that careens from the Midwest to Hollywood and across the country to Wall Street. Its sequel, BILLBOARD MAN, was published in September 2013.

NARROWS GATE, published in 2011, is an epic set in the years surrounding World War II in a gritty Italian-American community in the shadow of New York City. Its principal characters include an Italian-American crooner, a collection of gangsters, military men and intelligence operatives, assorted Hollywood types --- and two young friends who must choose which path to take to escape the dangerous environment. NARROWS GATE is based loosely on Hoboken, New Jersey, where Fusilli was born.

A graduate of St. Peter’s College, Fusilli began his journalism career at the Jersey Journal. When The Wall Street Journal launched its Leisure & Arts page in the early 1980s, Fusilli began contributing articles on rock and jazz. He was named the Journal’s rock & pop critic in 2008, at which time he began writing a weekly column for the newspaper and its website,

Fusilli’s debut novel CLOSING TIME was the last work of fiction set in New York City published prior to the 9/11 attacks. The following year, Fusilli’s novel A WELL-KNOWN SECRET addressed the impact of 9/11 on the residents of New York City. Two novels for adults followed: TRIBECA BLUES and HARD, HARD CITY, which Mystery Ink magazine named its 2004 Novel of the Year.

In 2005, Fusilli wrote PET SOUNDS, his tribute to Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys’ classic album. Published by Continuum, the book, which Fusilli described as “an experiment in music journalism,” combines the rhythm and emotional weight of his fiction with the often-unorthodox observations of his music criticism. A favorite of novelists inspired by contemporary pop music, it was translated for a Japanese language edition by Haruki Murakami.

Fusilli served as the editor of, and contributed chapters to, the serial thrillers THE CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT and THE COPPER BRACELET. His novel for young adults MARLEY Z  AND THE BLOODSTAINED VIOLIN was published in 2008 by Dutton Juvenile.

Fusilli has written and published many short stories that have appeared in a variety of anthologies. “Chellini’s Solution,” which appeared in the 2007 edition of the Best American Mystery Stories, features Narrows Gate in the years following World War II. “Digby, Attorney at Law” portrays the fictional city in the early 1960s. It was nominated for the Edgar and Macavity awards in 2010.

Fusilli is married to the former Diane Holuk, a global communications executive. They have a daughter, Cara, a graduate of the New School.

Jim Fusilli

Books by Jim Fusilli

edited by Jim Fusilli - Anthology, Fiction, Mystery, Noir, Short Stories

CRIME PLUS MUSIC collects 20 darkly intense, music-related noir stories by world-renowned mystery authors Brendan DuBois, Alison Gaylin, Craig Johnson, David Liss, Val McDermid, Gary Phillips, Peter Robinson, and, from the music world, Galadrielle Allman, author of PLEASE BE WITH ME: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman and award-winning songwriter-novelist Willy Vlautin. Edited by novelist and Wall Street Journal rock and pop music critic Jim Fusilli, CRIME PLUS MUSIC exposes the nasty side of the world of popular music, revealing it to be the perfect setting for noir.

by Jim Fusilli - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Following the brutal murder of his wife, a man finds himself swept into a world of violence and danger. Freed by an unexpected savior, he is still a haunted man who remains the target of his estranged daughter’s scorn. But as he succumbs to sordid temptation and is accused of murder, he must find the real killer to clear himself. He is unaware, though, that his nemesis, a Wall Street power broker, has unleashed a killer on his trail --- and the trail of his daughter.

by Jim Fusilli - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

For years the drifter haunted the background of American life, roaming the side streets and highways that crisscross this vast country. That all changes when he witnesses a brutal assault on a young woman. By the time he reaches her, the assailant is gone, leaving a trail that is all too easy to follow. But playing the good Samaritan may be more trouble than it’s worth, when his moment of conscience hurls him into a shadowy world of violence, intrigue and deception.

by Jim Fusilli - Fiction, Historical Fiction

Jim Fusilli's new novel takes place in the dangerous immigrant neighborhood of Narrows Gate, overlooking the Hudson River. A young neighborhood boy named Sal Benno is pulled into the Mafia, and a complex web of secrets and crime gradually unfolds.