Jesse Kalfel
Mystery & Screenplay Writer

Jesse Kalfel’s New Book “Paper Ghosts: A Fenn Cooper Novel” follows a journalist who works to solve a series of grisly murders before his new friends end up dead.

Jesse Kalfel’s press release:

Jesse Kalfel, an author, and playwright, has completed his most recent book “Paper Ghosts: A Fenn Cooper Novel.” This newest work is a gripping tale that follows a journalist who uncovers a desperate murder plot and must find a way to stop the culprit before the next targets, two of his new friends, wind up dead. “Fenn Cooper is a journalist in trouble,” writes Kalfel. “His boss has given him one last chance to write a riveting story or lose his job. He decides to write about the eccentric people who work at a traveling circus in Ithaca, New York, where silent movies were once made. There he meets Zena, a ‘little person’ fortune teller with uncanny abilities, and her friend Holey John, a Vietnam vet whose side-show act is piercing his flesh for five bucks a pop, as penitence for what he imagines he did in Nam. “Marvin Brinks, a Hollywood exec for a big-time movie production company, alsofinds himself in trouble when he stumbles upon a one-hundred-year-old silent movie contract his company inherited. Wording in the contract would trigger an audit, and an audit would expose him for embezzling millions of dollars from the company. When he realizes that several copies of the contract are missing, he hires Leon, a ruthless assassin, to find the contracts and kill any heirs.

Kalfel writes, “As Fenn begins to write his story, he uncovers a connection between the long-forgotten contracts and a series of recent unsolved murders.
What’s more, he realizes that Zena and Holey John could be the killer’s next victims. As these players converge in Ithaca, a deadly game of cat and mouse

Kalfel, who identifies as an outsider, says that little people are underrepresented in literature, and he hopes readers will open their hearts to Zena and her adventures. Paper Ghosts is Kalfel’s love letter to the Mystery/Thriller genre—his all-time favorite.

Jesse Kalfel’s book is an expertly paced thrilling journey that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats as they follow Fenn on his mission to protect those he loves from the unscrupulous Brinks and his unending greed.

About The Author

Jesse Kalfel grew up in New York City where he went to the High School of Music and Art. He has bachelor’s in studio arts and film, and a master’s degree, both from SUNY Binghamton. He is the recipient of two Hatch Awards and grants from the New York State Council of the Arts and the Massachusetts Council of the Arts. Kalfel is also the author of, So You’re Cremated, Now What? His other work includes screenplays optioned by Orion Pictures. Kalfel also enjoys writing and directing “short” stage plays which have been performed in Newburyport, Boston, and Manhattan.

Paper Ghosts was inspired by a few events in his life. Growing up with a schoolmate who was a little person, Kalfel saw the biases of the world through his eyes. His experience working at a traveling circus with its midway let him to become close to the people who worked side-show acts. He also studied film with Nicolas Ray and film history with Ken Jacobs which exposed him to movies made during the silent movie era, especially in Ithaca, where Paper Ghosts takes place.

He says that his love of mystery and thriller novels led him to write Paper Ghosts. Currently, he is writing a screenplay about his mother who was in the Resistance in Paris during WWII. She passed away at the age of 105. Kalfel lives north of Boston with his wife, daughter, and their dogs and cats.