New in Detective Fiction: What the Spider Saw

Gary D. Kessler's new mystery novel, WHAT THE SPIDER SAW, is inspired by an historical and legendary murder case that occured in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1904 and is spun into a current-day fictional drama with many parallels.
What the Spider Saw
What the Spider Saw
March 5, 2012 - PRLog -- On the evening of September 4, 1904, Fannie McCue was strangled, clubbed, shot, and drowned in her Charlottesville, Virginia, home. On February 10, 1905, in the last execution to take place in the old city jail, Fannie’s husband, former Charlottesville mayor J. Samuel McCue, was hanged for her murder. The story has never died and still floats in legends. Some say McCue confessed after being told what a spider saw of the murder. And some say that McCue, in fact, escaped his hanging and died of old age.

WHAT THE SPIDER SAW is a work of fiction built on the foundation of the original McCue murder case, but set in a different century and with, of course, an entirely different set of characters. It uses the loose structure of a selection of the “facts” of the original case as a foil to twist the crime and basic associated characters to whole new possibilities and uses.

Wes Lederman, a private investigator from Harrisonburg, Virginia, has been hired by Charlottesville’s commonwealth attorney, Thaddeus Thornton, to pin the murder of his wife, Suzanne Thornton, to a man who turns out to be the husband of Thornton’s mistress. The web of events spins around downtown Charlottesville to the back roads of Earlysville, Virginia.

Advance Review:

"Rich in history and detail, Gary D. Kessler spins a web of intrigue in WHAT THE SPIDER SAW. In Wes Lederman it's also nice to see another fictional private eye trolling the streets of Central Virginia. Pavlicek and I will have to keep an eye out for him."

-- ANDY STRAKA, Shamus Award Winning Author of the Frank Pavlicek Mystery Series

ISBN 978-0-9839192-3-0 • Paperback
5-1/2 x 8-1/2 • 240 Pages • $18
Publication Date - March 1, 2012

Available Wholesale from Ingram & Publisher;
Online at,,

About the Author:

GARY D. KESSLER is a former news agency managing editor; CIA official; diplomat; newspaper columnist; stage actor, director, and producer and movie consultant; and is currently a freelance book editor and novelist. He is the volume editor for the Blue Ridge Anthology, the prose and poetry anthology of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Virginia Writer’s Club. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

FEATURED AUTHOR - 2012 Virginia Festival of the Book
Saturday, March 24, 2 PM, Charlottesville, Virginia Omni Hotel
Crime Wave Panel Discussion, “Thrilling Me Softly”

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Cedar Creek Publishing
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Source:Cedar Creek Publishing, Linda M. Layne, Publisher
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Tags:Mystery Suspense, Detective Fiction, Virginia, Charlottesville, Mayor J. Samuel McCue, Virginia Festival of the Book
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