Biography

Parnell Hall is the author of the Puzzle Lady crossword puzzle mysteries, the Stanley Hastings private eye novels, and the Steve Winslow courtroom dramas. His first novel, DETECTIVE, was nominated for an Edgar award by the Mystery Writers of America, and a Shamus award by the Private Eye Writers of America. His tenth Stanley Hastings novel, MOVIE, was nominated for a Shamus award for Best Private Eye Novel of 1995, and for a Lefty for the funniest mystery novel of 1995. His novel, SCAM, was also a Lefty nominee. Parnell worked for two years as a private detective in New York City. His experiences form the basis for his Stanley Hastings series. He has no courtroom experience, however, and owes his Steve Winslow series to a childhood spent reading Erle Stanley Gardner. He is also a newcomer to the field of crossword puzzle construction, and is learning with each new book. Parnell is an actor, who has done summer stock and regional theater, and appeared in a number of movies, including Arnold Schwarzenegger's first movie, Hercules in New York (in which he appeared clad in a leopard skin) and A New Leaf with Elaine May and Walter Matthau. He often acts in interactive dinner theater events for Bogies Mystery Tours. Parnell is a member of the Writers Guild of America East with several screenplays to his credit, including the underground horror movie C.H.U.D., which has been satirized on Saturday Night Live. Parnell's earliest professional writing was a song he sold to the folk singer Pete Seeger at the age of 15. It was called The Literacy Test Song, and made fun of voting tests in the South. Seeger recorded it on the Folkways album Gazette, Volume 2.