John Verdon, Best-Selling Author of the ‘Dave Gurney’ Thrillers,
To Speak At the Skene Saturday, January 14

John Verdon, Best-Selling Author of the ‘Dave Gurney’ Thrillers

John Verdon, Best-Selling Author of the ‘Dave Gurney’ Thrillers

Cool, competent, former NYPD detective Dave Gurney has retired to a farmhouse in the Catskills with his wife, Madeleine. But Gurney is too restless to stay away from the sleuthing he is so good at, as author John Verdon’s five best-selling thrillers about the ex-cop’s fictional exploits make abundantly clear.

Gurney’s creator, John Verdon, will appear at the Skene Memorial Library on Saturday, January 14, at 2:00pm, for a public reading and talk.

Much like his fictional hero, Verdon retired from a hectic job in the city to what he calls “the hushed landscape” of the western Catskills, where he has concentrated on bringing a fresh voice and his stunning new hero to the classic genre of detective writing.

This local author’s most recent book, Wolf Lake, published last summer, saw ex-cop Gurney confronting an eerie puzzle: the suicides of four unconnected individuals, all of whom had reported an identical nightmare. Set in a high-end inn on an Adirondack lake, a setting as spooky as the events the novel relates, Wolf Lake shows Gurney at his meticulous, obsessively analytical best.

Come hear this internationally best-selling author, who masterfully creates a high wall of palpable suspense, then breaks it down brick by brick.

All five of Verdon’s novels—Think of a Number, Shut Your Eyes Tight, Let the Devil Sleep, Peter Pan Must Die, and Wolf Lake—are available via the Skene from Four County Library System.

Skene Memorial Library – A Proud History

Sometime around 1894, summer resident Mrs. Alexander Skene  first proposed the idea of the creation of a Library for Griffin Corners.  (As known physician Dr. Alexander Skene had a summer home east of Griffin Corners, and enjoyed their time in the Catskills immensely.   It took several years, but plans progressed, and a Board for a Library Association (one type of Library then quite popular in New York State–not municipally -President.  Other prominent citizens such as DeWitt Griffin, Mrs. T. C. Banker, and Mrs. George H. Lasher were on the board.    Plans progressed slowly.

In July 1900, Dr. Skene died,  but Mrs. Skene continued to pursue the goal of creating a library, now to be named in his memory.   Funds were raised, including a $5,000 donation from famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie.   (Carnegie endowed many libraries all over the country, but this was special to him–he and Alexander Skene had been boyhood friends.)

The cornerstone for the building was laid in November 1901, and Griffin Corners finally had its library.   Skene Memorial Library is unusual for it is one of the few area libraries built AS a library.   As people and conditions changed, the Association Library structure no longer was working here, and in 1930 the building was turned over to the Village of Fleischmanns, and Skene became a Municipal Library.

In 2001, in honor of its centennial,  Skene Library was placed on both the New York State and the National Register of Historic Places. A special Postal Cancellation was held to observe the centennial.

Skene Library in Pictures

Skene Library History in Pictures

images courtesy of the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories