- Fiction & Literature
- Mystery & Crime
"On The Schraft Street Historical Preservation Society:
...ventures into the seedier--but lovable--side of Boston.
...exudes blue-collar charm...giving readers an emotionally resonant story that follows regular citizens who want to improve their community but face difficulties they couldn't imagine.
A sold crime novel, which, while flawed, may delight readers with its entertaining premise and real sense of place.
On Blue Collar Boston Cool:
...this tale embraces the city and working class charm...readers will take an immediate liking to him.
Connelly provides an enjoyable bit of entertainment, and he clearly knows and loves his city.
A fun but flawed mystery that offers ample urban escapism."
– Kirkus Reviews
AWARDS, PRESS & INTERESTS
Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
Retired from Corporate Finance
Unexpected skill or talent
Passion in life
Family, writing, exercise, Red Sox and Patriots
BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:
Connelly’s (Blue Collar Boston Cool, 2012) second installment in the series once again ventures into the seedier—but lovable—side of Boston.
Jim Herlihy has lived on Schraft Street all his life, counting its occasionally troubled, gruff residents as family, its bars and restaurants as home. The owner of a barely profitable gym and a sports bar, he cares for the misfits and cons, criminals and malcontents, serving as a pillar of strength in the struggling community. But Jim has a new girlfriend—young, successful attorney Janice Cochrane—who wants Jim to move into her upper-class downtown apartment and sell all the properties he owns on Schraft Street, including his beloved bar. Jim’s naturally hesitant, unsure if he should sell what he’s worked so hard to achieve. But when someone mugs and savagely beats local beloved character Little Lloyd Dolson, Jim recommits himself to his neighborhood, teaming up with patrons of his gym to form a vigilante group that aims to keep the neighborhood safe. Like its predecessor, this novel exudes blue-collar charm, hosting a cast of defined characters with some entertaining names (The Walrus, Mountain Bill) and a neighborhood instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up in a lower-middle-class urban environment. Connelly’s plot feels more developed in this second outing with these characters, giving readers an emotionally resonant story that follows regular citizens who want to improve their community but face difficulties they couldn’t imagine. Inauthentic sounding dialogue and unnecessary details, however, sometimes ding a rich, sound tale.
A solid crime novel, which, while flawed, may delight readers with its entertaining premise and real sense of place.
ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:
Connelly’s (A Man for the Times, 2012, etc.) fourth novel follows Jim Herlihy’s tumultuous life as a struggling businessman, a murder suspect and the object of a young stripper’s affection.
Set on Boston’s Schraft Street, this tale embraces the city and working-class charm. Herlihy, who loves his community, struggles to make ends meet, as he pours over his business finances in an effort to keep his gym afloat. Readers will take an immediate liking to him: He refuses to cut any of his employees’ salaries and strives for honesty in his work. His tragic life—he lost his mother at a young age—hasn’t affected his pleasant demeanor, and he isn’t overly prideful about his handsome appearance. One of his young tenants, a beautiful but confused stripper named Amy, has fallen in love with him—a serious complication, since Herlihy looks on her with brotherly affection. At various local haunts, readers see a close-knit group of people who, despite their gruff exterior, care for each other deeply. Serious difficulties arise, though, when a local thug named Hoary Harry threatens to rape Amy—then turns up dead. Sane but notoriously tough Herlihy is the obvious suspect, and now the police and the mob are out for justice. This well-constructed mystery isn’t without fault, though; in particular, dialogue can ring untrue (“You’re running the Big Jerk Capital of the world!”), and the story doesn’t immediately grab the reader. When the action slows down, the story can become tedious, as when the actual gym’s finances are relayed early in the novel. Still, Connelly provides an enjoyable bit of entertainment, and he clearly knows and loves his city.
A fun but flawed mystery that offers ample urban escapism.
AN INFORMAL BOSTON EDUCATION
CPA Kevin "Rocky" Collins needs his formidable sense of humor more than ever. He's still reeling from the sudden death of his charismatic but demanding and disappointed father, and his caustic wit and quirky Boston Irish personality have cost him his job. They've also sparked dangerous run-ins with a huge Mafia hit man and a biker strongman, and fostered a decided lack of way with women.
Fortunately, Rocky's old friends from the neighborhood--a power-lifting bouncer, an alcoholic Vietnam vet and aspiring author, a struggling gym owner, a philandering salesman, a disappointed ex-professional baseball player, and one pain-in-the-butt, got-it-together business superstar--are as supportive as always as Rocky gains rejuvenation in the gym, on the ballfield, and at the bar. But he finds his greatest comfort at a near-palatial summer house on Cape Cod, where there's a wild, summer-long party going on.
To find his own happiness, Rocky knows that he needs maturity, empathy, and perspective. Throw in a new job and a good woman, and he'll be all set. But getting to that point might be the most difficult challenge of all.
An Informal Boston Education humorously explores the Boston singles scene of the seventies, male bonding, the difficult relationship between fathers and sons, and life's endless trade-offs and transitions.
Published: June 30, 2008
MANDATE: A MAN FOR THE TIMES
The Federal Government--never good at long-term planning and recently coming up tragically short in near-term adaptive economic oversight--has also never been more gridlocked. Partisan politics, self-interest, economic misinformation, and mindless slogans rule the day--at one of the most critical and transitional times in our history. On the other hand, advances in technology continue, the United States has an incredibly powerful industrial engine and amazing productive capacity in place, and the potential is clearly there to address all the issues listed above. The novel Mandate: A Man For The Times is an optimistic, research-intensive, character-driven, humorous, and insightful "fantasy" of how the United States might reach its technology-fueled potential over the next twenty years. Growing up, future president Williams gets an intense, "hands-on" education in business and economics working in his father's turbulent GM auto dealership. Williams earns a PhD in economics from Yale and works with a charismatic professor, Dr. Lester Walden, who is leading an eminent team making groundbreaking advancementsin global economic modeling, simulation, and analysis. Williams also pitches for the Boston Red Sox, and becomes head of the Players Union. (MLBPA) Meanwhile, Internet marketing billionaire Don Reddy, who has earlier founded the "Sanity Party," a progressive, bi-partisan, economically astute movement as an offset to the overly dogmatic and ideological "Tea Party," is now making eye-opening progress in building a baseball fan's union. Williams will lead the MLBPAin complex and historic negotiations with the MLB Owner's Committee and new MLBFA, and eventually become a successful Congressman and Governor of Massachusetts. Governor Williams brings together Dr. Walden, Don Reddy, the "Sanity Party," and a meticulously assembled team of the "best and brightest" senior advisors to bui8ld a uniquely capable coalition that wins the presidency with gridlock-breaking mandate, and then brings superbly informed adaptive economic oversight to bear to finally make accelerating technological advance and globalization truly benefit the average hardworking American.
Published: Dec. 2, 2012
ONE BATTER ONE PITCH
The novel One Batter One Pitch is a sequel to An Informal Boston Education, which chronicled the chaotic, frenetic, and hilarious career, social, and romantic missteps of quirky, wisecracking, ballplaying, weightlifting, and beer-drinking young Boston CPA Rocky Collins; until, with the help of a good woman and promising new job, he finally gets his life under control.
But now he's approaching middle age, frustrated with limiting age-related physical issues and feeling increasingly out of tune with the culture; and, worst of all, the changing competitive landscape facing the company he's been successful with for twenty years has become an insurmountable problem. He's working too hard and long with disappointing results, and worrying that, despite his rewarding family life and a solid circle of old friends, he's going to end up a failed, essentially numerical man.
But his unrelenting drive and determination, intelligence and wit, along with the unwavering empathetic support of his equally hard-working wife, finally have him hooking up with a couple of charismatic, successful Boston venture capitalists, who not only appreciate his talent and work ethic, but also his imagination and combative Boston-Irish humor. He gets his career back on track by helping them turn around a couple of mid-size manufacturing companies, while also helping found a new independent baseball league with some very unique rules, equipment, and playing fields; designing The Penultimate Boston Sports Bar; and helping a black Boston area youth minister build a Life Training and Development Center.
Published: Dec. 4, 2008