About Chris Orcutt

Chris Orcutt has written professionally for 25 years as a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, playwright and speechwriter. He has also taught high school U.S. history and college writing. As a newspaper reporter he received a New York Press Association award.

Chris is the author of the critically acclaimed Dakota Stevens Mystery Series. The first novel in the series, A Real Piece of Work, was an Amazon bestseller and achieved a #1 top-rated ranking in Literary Fiction for Kindle, and #4 in Mystery.

The novel received strong critical acclaim from reviewers, as did the sequel, The Rich Are Different. The third novel in the series, A Truth Stranger Than Fiction, has been called by one reviewer, “A very thought-provoking and engaging mystery with deeper implications, all wrapped up in humor and action. [A] highly entertaining read.” The fourth Dakota Stevens installment, The Perfect Triple Threat, debuted in December 2016 and received similarly high praise from readers and critics.

Although Chris is proud to have authored the Dakota Stevens novels, he considers himself first and foremost a general practitioner in fiction writing, and has written a great deal of non-genre fiction. He has had well over two dozen short stories published in literary journals, and his short fiction has won a few modest awards, most notably 55 Fiction’s World’s Shortest Stories. Chris’s short story collection, The Man, The Myth, The Legend, was selected by IndieReader as one of the Best Books of 2013.

In April 2014, Chris published a “literary” novel—One Hundred Miles from Manhattan. “However,” he says, “I don’t like saying something is literary fiction because a lot of readers will immediately conclude that it’s inaccessible or pretentiously written. It’s neither of those things. The writing is poetic when called for, but it’s also clean, clear and enticing. In my favorite short review of the novel, from the Chronogram, the reviewer calls 100 Miles…”

“High-thread-count dirty laundry.”

The novel—a modern pastoral in the tradition of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy—tells the story of Wellington, a fictional wealthy community in Upstate New York, where the village and the surrounding hills conceal tales of love, lust, tragedy and small wars. The novel is ten chapters in length, and each chapter is from a different character’s point of view. These characters include a trophy wife, a medical doctor, a single mother, a contractor/local Casanova, and a Manhattan book editor.

One Hundred Miles was selected by IndieReader as a Best Book for 2014, and in a review of the novel Kirkus Reviews favorably compares Chris to Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Cheever.

As a playwright, Orcutt has had some plays performed, including the following as staged readings with the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine:

  • Dark and Stormy Night
  • Microbrew
  • Kansas City, This Is Former Air Force One.

And, performed as a staged reading with the Half Moon Theatre Company in Poughkeepsie, New York: Front Page Above the Fold. In early 2017, Orcutt released The Ronald And Other Plays, which features a full-length political satire and five one-acts.

Chris was born in Maine, but he now lives in Upstate New York (with his brilliant wife & Muse, Alexas). He went to college in Boston, earning a degree in philosophy (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and has been a lifelong Red Sox fan.

Although Chris spends nearly all of his time writing, or thinking about writing, or reading about writing, or reading fiction, when he does take some time off, he turns to one of his few hobbies: golf, chess, movies, and travel.


Website: www.orcutt.net

Chris Orcutt’s Books

A Study in Crimson

In this thrilling prequel to the series, readers will encounter “a younger, devil-may-care Dakota at his charming, witty and resourceful best.” DAKOTA BEGINS…  Dakota Stevens has just thrown off the shackles of the FBI and launched his own private detective agency. But it’s not going well. His so-called cases are limited to tawdry divorce work,… [Read More]

Perpetuating Trouble

Dear Reader…have you ever wished you could earn a living by making stuff up? Have you ever fantasized about living the life of a writer? If so, Perpetuating Trouble is the humorous cautionary tale you need to read. “I avoided writers very carefully because they can perpetuate trouble as no one else can,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald. In… [Read More]

A Truth Stranger Than Fiction

He’s BACK. Dakota Stevens. The tough, wisecracking New York private eye. And so is his “Watson”: brilliant chess grandmaster Svetlana Krüsh. With her dry wit. Her runway legs. Her predator eyes. A Truth Stranger Than Fiction, the 3rd novel in the critically acclaimed Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, delves into the bizarre, interconnected world of foreign spies and… [Read More]

One Hundred Miles from Manhattan

One Hundred Miles from Manhattan is a novel about an upscale rural community (Wellington, NY), where the hills and the seemingly quaint village conceal lives of love, lust, adultery, tragedy and small wars. Unlike other novels in the pastoral tradition, which tell the story of a place and a time through the eyes of a… [Read More]

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Voted by IndieReader as one of the Best Indie Books of 2013. Chris Orcutt has riveted and delighted readers with his critically acclaimed Dakota Stevens Mystery Series. Now in his new short story collection, The Man, The Myth, The Legend, Orcutt applies his artistry and fertile imagination to the perfect genre for busy readers of… [Read More]

A Real Piece of Work

Introducing…Dakota Stevens, a modern New York private eye with the wit and grit of Spenser, the eloquence of Marlowe, and the sleuthing skills of Sherlock Holmes. And meet his gorgeous and formidable “Watson”—brilliant chess grandmaster Svetlana Krüsh. A Real Piece of Work, the 1st novel in the Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, delves into a world… [Read More]

The Rich Are Different

Dakota Stevens, the tough, wisecracking New York private eye, returns with his sexy and brilliant associate Svetlana Krüsh in a case that takes them both into the Old West… The Rich Are Different, the 2nd novel in the Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, enters the rarefied world of a Long Island heiress and her murdered brother… [Read More]

The Perfect Triple Threat

Before they took down global conspiracies… See tough, wisecracking New York PI Dakota Stevens and his brilliant associate Svetlana Krüsh in three of their early cases. The Perfect Triple Threat, the 4th installment in the critically acclaimed Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, features three novella-length mysteries that occur before or between the novels. In this mystery… [Read More]

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