Robert Lopresti. Authorfella.

Questions and Answers about GREENFELLAS

1. Who are you, anyway?

I’m Robert Lopresti, a librarian and author in Washington state.


2. How do you pronounce your name?



3. Last name, you idiot.

Sorry.  Low-PRESS-tee.  And by the way, the title of the book is GreenFELLAS, not GreenFELLOWS.


4. What is your writing experience?

I first submitted a story for publication in 1976; actually sold one three years later.  I have had more than fifty mystery stories published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, The Strand, etc.  My first novel, Such A Killing Crime, was published by Kearney Street Books in 2005.  A collection of stories, Shanks on Crime, came out last year.


5. Any writing awards?

Two Derringer Awards for best mystery stories.  One Black Orchid Novella Award.  Also, an Anthony Award nomination. Oh, and a third Derringer finalist story.


6. What’s your book about? 

Greenfellas is a comic crime novel, with issues.  Sal Caetano is happy being the brains of a New Jersey Mafia family, until the day his granddaughter is born.  While he’s celebrating that news he hears on the news that by the time she goes to college climate change will make the world a disaster area.  So Sal decides to fix the environment, using all his mob skills.  Along the way he copes with rival gangsters, crooked politicians, and ecoterrorists.


7. Why did you write this book?

I am the environmental science librarian at a university.  Working with students who are trying to make the planet a better and healthier place made me wonder what I could do to help.  I don’t have the skills to study, say, paleoclimatology, but I do know how to write crime fiction.


8. You live in the northwest.  Why set the book in New Jersey?

I was born in Plainfield and lived in the Garden State until I was thirty-three.  And N.J. and the mob just seem to go together, don’t they?


9. Where can people find your stuff for free, to see if they like it?

You can find a sample of GREENFELLAS at  Amazon.  And here is a short story for free.


10. Has anyone offered comments on the book so far?

I thought you would never ask:

Kings River Life Magazine listed it as one of the Best Mysteries of 2015. 


"Lopresti's multiple-viewpoint storytelling is peppered with clever juxtapositions and puns, but amidst the humorous aspects the characters also deal with betrayal, loss, and hope for the future... In GREENFELLAS, Lopresti defies the reader's expectations in a contemporary way, and the result is a fun and suspenseful read."   -Jackie Sherbow, ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE

"A hilarious, albeit chilling, eco-Mafia novel -- a new species.  Lopresti knows his mobsters, his New Jersey, and his science, and knows how to make it all sing” - SJ Rozan, Edgar-winning author (as Sam Cabot) of SKIN OF THE WOLF

“GREENFELLAS has a great concept and vivid characters, both criminals and commoners. Elmore Leonard fans (and everybody else) should snap this up immediately.” -Bill Crider, bestselling author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries


 "A very clever, extremely well-done romp that somehow manages to make the birth of a granddaughter, the Mafia and global warming all work brilliantly ensemble style.  A fine, fun story that is not without serious depth and warmth. I loved it.”  - Ed Gorman, writer of the Sam McCain series


“A funny, fast-paced crime story whose serious points pack the wallop of a forty-five.”  -Terence Faherty, Shamus-winning author of the Scott Elliott series.


“If Carl Hiassen and Al Gore had collaborated on RESERVOIR DOGS, it might have come out something like GREENFELLAS. Then again, it probably wouldn't.  Robert Lopresti… has penned a comic crime novel in which a New Jersey mobster with a bad comb-over decides to use his resources to save the environment for future generations. The dialogue is crisp and the situations darkly funny.” - Steve Steinbock, ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE.

11. Has anyone said they hated it?

Like I’d tell you.


12. If this isn’t too personal a question, do you blog?

I do.  I write about crime fiction every other Wednesday at SleuthSayers.  On Sunday I review the best short story I read that week at Little Big Crimes.  And at Today in MYSTERY HISTORY I write about some event that happened each day in our field.  If you are desperate for more news about me go to Robert Lopresti’s Author News.


13. What else is interesting about you?

I led the investigation that caught a man who stole books and maps from more than one hundred libraries. I’m a songwriter. I sold American Libraries an article titled “How Overdue Books Caused The Civil War.”


14. If you are so damned concerned about the environment, how do you commute to work?

Bicycle, twenty-seven years now.  Wanna race?