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John Bellairs

American author John Bellairs (1938-1991) is perhaps best known for his gothic mystery novels for young adults. Prior to his first YA novel, "The House with a Clock in Its Walls," Bellairs published three ?adult? books: "St Fidgeta and Other Parodies," "The Pedant and the Shuffly," and the Tolkien-inspired fantasy "The Face in the Frost." Of all of Bellairs?s work, "St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies" remains the only title currently out of print.

John Bellairs was born in Marshall, Michigan. After earning degrees at Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, Bellairs taught English at various midwest and New England colleges for several years before turning full-time to writing in 1971. He maintained a lifelong interest in archaeology, architecture, antiques, bad poetry, traveling to England, History, and Latin. His favorite authors included Charles Dickens, Henry James, C.V. Wedgwood, and Garrett Mattingly, as well as the ghost stories of M.R. James whom he often borrowed story elements from and worked into his own fiction.

Bellairs died in 1991 at his home in Haverhill, Massachusetts. At the time of his death he left behind two unfinished manuscripts and two one-page synopses for future adventures. Author Brad Strickland was commissioned by the estate of Bellairs to complete the two unfinished manuscripts and to write novels based on the two one-page outlines. These would become "The Ghost in the Mirror," "The Vengeance of the Witch-finder," "The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie," and "The Doom of the Haunted Opera," respectively. Since then, Strickland has gone on to write eight more adventures based on the Bellairsian characters. In 1992, a historical marker was placed in front of the Cronin House in his hometown, noting that the house was the basis for his 1973 book. In 2000 John Bellairs entered the Haverhill Hall of Fame.

Below is a comprehensive list of the works of John Bellairs and those completed (+) and continued (*) by Brad Strickland:

St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies (1966)
The Pedant and the Shuffly (1968)
The Face in the Frost (1969)
The House With a Clock in its Walls (1973)
The Figure in the Shadows (1975)
The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring (1976)
The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn (1978)
The Curse of the Blue Figurine (1983)
The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt (1983)
The Dark Secret of Weatherend (1984)
The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull (1984)
The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost (1985)
The Eyes of the Killer Robot (1986)
The Lamp From the Warlock's Tomb (1988)
The Trolley to Yesterday (1989)
The Chessmen of Doom (1989)
The Secret of the Underground Room (1990)
The Mansion in the Mist (1992)
The Ghost in the Mirror (1993)+
The Vengeance of the Witch-finder (1993)+
The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie (1994)+
The Doom of the Haunted Opera (1995)*
The Hand of the Necromancer (1996)*
The Bell, the Book, and the Spellbinder (1997)*
The Specter From the Magician's Museum (1998)*
The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost (1999)*
The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge (2000)*
The Tower at the End of the World (August 2001)*
The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost (forthcoming in 2003)*

Internet resources:
The Compleat Bellairs
Behind The Books: A Closer Look At John Bellairs