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William G. Tapply


TapplyWilliam G. Tapply was born on July 16, 1940 in Waltham, Massachusetts.  A 1963 Harvard graduate, he was variously a high school history teacher, director of economic studies, housemaster, editorial associate, writing instructor, contributing editor for Field and Stream and a special correspondent for American Angler.

In addition to his prolific magazine writing, Tapply authored numerous fiction and non-fiction books, publishing more than 40 books in 25 years.  He is perhaps most well-known for his mystery series featuring Brady Coyne, a Boston attorney who becomes a crime solver for his wealthy clientele.  Coyne has been called “a skillful blend of amateur versus professional, serious versus frivolous, and intellectual versus physical.”  Coyne also views his career as a means to finance his avocation, fly fishing, which was Tapply’s great love and the subject of several of his nonfiction works.

coverTapply has been commended for writing “quietly and perceptively” and having excellent narrative skills.  He also has been called “among the smoothest storytellers around - his books glide along quickly and effortlessly.”  Tapply was reluctant to call his books mystery novels.  “I write novels that, like most worthwhile novels, contain mysteries.  I try to avoid formulas, although I suppose with a series character like Brady Coyne I have conceded that much.”  

Third StrikeIn 2001, Tapply started an interesting new writing collaboration with friend and author Philip R. Craig, who is known for his mystery novels featuring J. W. Jackson, a retired cop living on Martha's Vineyard.  Tapply and Craig brought their two styles together by alternating chapters in a trilogy of stories in which their two characters interact with each other as they solve various crimes.

coverIn 2004, Tapply started a new page-turning series featuring Stoney Calhoun, a Maine fishing guide who has lost most of his memory from a tragic event.  However, when a fellow guide is killed he starts to uncover his own past when he tries to find out who murdered his friend.

Just like the characters in his books, Tapply lived in New England and traveled widely up and down the East Coast and in Canada and the United States.  Most of these travels were in pursuit of fish and fishing stories.  Tapply died in 2009 after a two-year battle with leukemia.  Fans can take comfort in that he left behind several drafts that are being published posthumously.  His son, Mike, also maintains the website

Brady Coyne Mystery Novels

Death at Charity’s Point -1984 (LP only)
The Dutch Blue Error -1984
Follow the Sharks -1985
The Marine Corpse -1986
Dead Meat -1987*
The Vulgar Boatman -1987 (LP)
A Void In Hearts -1988 (LP)
Dead Winter -1989 (LP)
Client Privilege -1990
The Spotted Cats -1991
Tight Lines -1992
The Snake Eater -1993
The Seventh Enemy -1995
Close to the Bone -1996
coverCutter’s Run -1998
Muscle Memory -1999
Scar Tissue -2000
Past Tense -2001
A Fine Line -2002
Shadow of Death -2003 (LP)
Nervous Water -2005 (LP)
Out Cold -2007 (LP)
One-Way Ticket -2007 (LP)
Hell Bent -2009 (LP)

Brady Coyne & J.W. Jackson Mysteries co-written with Philip R. Craig

coverFirst Light -2001  (LP)
Second Sight – 2005 (LP)
Third Strike -2008 (LP)

Stoney Calhoun Novels

coverBitch Creek -2004 (LP)
Gray Ghost -2007 (LP)
Dark Tiger -2010 (LP)

Selected Nonfiction Works

coverBass Bug Fishing -1999 (799.1773 TAP)
Pocket Water: Confessions of a Restless Angler -2001 (799.124 TAP)
The Elements of Mystery Fiction: Writing the Modern Whodunit -2004 (808.3872 TAP)
Gone Fishin’: Ruminations on Fly Fishing -2004 (799.124 TAP)
Upland Autumn: Birds, Dogs, and Shotgun Shells -2009 (799.24 TAP)

* Please request at Information Services Desk
LP Also available in Large Print

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