Reed Farrel Coleman

Reed Farrel Coleman

Reed Farrel Coleman

Left Coast Crime, Denver, CO, April 2008
Born (1956-03-29) March 29, 1956
Brooklyn, New York
Pen name Tony Spinosa
Occupation Poet, crime fiction writer
Genre Crime fiction
Notable works Moe Prager series
Notable awards Anthony (2006)
Audie (2013)
Barry (2006)
Macavity (2010)
Shamus (2006,2008,2009)
Years active 1991 to present
Spouse Rosanne
Children Kaitlin, Dylan

Reed Farrel Coleman (born March 29, 1956) is an American writer of crime fiction and a poet.

Life and career

Reed Farrel Coleman, the youngest of three boys, was born and raised in the Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn. As a teenager, while walking to work, he heard a shot and saw a man lying in the street with a fatal stomach wound. That is when he realized, "People really do get hurt." He started writing in high school. He has worked at an ice cream store, in air freight at Kennedy Airport, as a car leasing agent, in baby food sales, cooking at a restaurant, as a cab driver, and delivering home heating oil. Coleman met his wife Rosanne at The New School in a writing class. They have two children, Kaitlin and Dylan. He now lives on Long Island.[1][2]

Coleman did not consider making writing a career until taking a Brooklyn College detective fiction class.[2] He is a multiple award winning author, particularly his Moe Prager series. Also published are series featuring protagonists Gulliver Dowd, Dylan Klein, and Joe Serpe. The Dowd character was based on a retired police detective that he had met. The Joe Serpe novels were originally written under the pen name Tony Spinosa, but are now available as Coleman titles. He has written the stand-alone novels Tower with Ken Bruen, Bronx Reqiem with Det. (ret.) John Roe of the NYPD, and Gun Church, as well as several short stories, essays, and poems. Coleman has won Anthony, Audie, Barry, Macavity and Shamus Awards.[3][4][5][6][7] His books and stories have additionally been nominated for Gumshoe and Edgar Awards.[8][9] The books have been translated into seven languages.[10]

He considers William Blake, Lawrence Block, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett to be early influences. Later he found significance in the writing of colleagues Peter Blauner, Ken Bruen, Jim Fusilli, S.J. Rozan, and Peter Spiegelman. He says, though, that his single greatest writing influence was his college poetry professor, David Lehman, who provided "permission to be a writer and...the first clues on self-editing".[2][11] NPR has referred to him as "a hard-boiled poet", The Huffington Post says, "Coleman is the resident noir poet laureate of the United States" and The New York Times has commented, "If you dragged one (of his books) across the asphalt, you'd half-expect it to leave a chalk outline".[1][12][13]

With a four book contract, Coleman takes over writing Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series with the September 2014 publication of Blind Spot. He has also been signed to a two book deal featuring retired Suffolk County (NY) cop turned PI Gus Murphy.[14] He is an adjunct instructor of English at Hofstra University, a former Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America, and a founding member of Mystery Writers of America University.


Dylan Klein series

Moe Prager series

Joe Serpe series

(writing as Tony Spinosa)

Gulliver Dowd series

Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone

Standalone novels

Essays and short stories

(a selection)





Anthony Award

Audie Award

Barry Award

Gumshoe Award

Edgar Award

Macavity Award

Shamus Award


  1. 1 2 Wilson, Michael (May 15, 2006). "Reed Coleman Writes of Crime and Brooklyn". New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 "Reed Farrel Coleman". Heirloom Bookstore. 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  3. "Anthony Award Nominees and Winners". Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  4. "Winners and Finalists". Audio Publishers Association. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  5. "Barry Awards". Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  6. "Macavity Awards". Mystery Readers International. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  7. "Shamus Award Winners". Private Eye Writers of America. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  8. Sobin, Roger M. (2007). The Essential Mystery Lists: For Readers, Collectors, and Librarians (2007 ed.). Poisoned Pen Press. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-59058-457-6.
  9. "Edgar Awards". Mystery Writers of America. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  10. "Reed Farrel Coleman". The Book Report. 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  11. "Reed Farrel Coleman". Beaks and Geeks Podcast @3:40. June 10, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  12. Corrigan, Maureen (May 14, 2009). "A Wise Guy Mystery Writer Makes Good". NPR. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  13. Pinter, Jason (October 6, 2010). "Books Uncovered - Indie Press Edition!". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  14. Deahl, Rachel (April 7, 2014). "Coleman to Handle Jesse Stone for Putnam". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  15. "Reed Farrel Coleman". Beaks and Geeks Podcast @9:20. June 10, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
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