The Tao of Doo

In his kind and generous review of my first mystery, DEATH NOTICE, author James Reasoner said the plot was vaguely reminiscent of something found in Scooby-Doo, only played seriously. He meant it as a compliment and I took it Read more


Another October, another release date. Since BAD MOON is my second book, you would think I'd be used to it. But nope, I'm not. BAD MOON's publication date feels as surreal as DEATH NOTICE's did last year. For readers, the Read more

Writing With ... Louise Penny

I am thrilled beyond words to welcome one of my favorite writers, Louise Penny, whose Armand Gamache mysteries have appeared on bestseller lists worldwide.  Her last book, BURY YOUR DEAD, won the Ellis for best mystery in Canada, and Read more

Is Browsing Dead?

I'll be the first to admit that I was a nerdy teenager. Not pocket protector nerdy, but no sports star, either. I was bookish, I guess you could say. I read A LOT back then, and nothing pleased me Read more

Why We Left Earth

Outer space has always been a mystery. Even before mankind fully grasped its vastness, they wanted to go there. Early astronomers, fascinated by the stars, invented ways to get a closer view. Think Copernicus, Galileo, Cassini. Writers not content Read more


Vicious Circle

Posted on by Todd Posted in News | Comments Off on Vicious Circle

Other than maybe “How do you get your story ideas?”, the question I get asked the most is “When is your next book coming out?”

It’s a very flattering question, to be sure. It means people like what I do and are excited to read more.

Yet creating a book takes time. A year or more, in fact. And when, as is the case with BAD MOON, my latest book has been in stores less than a month, I feel bad when the answer is, “Not for a while.”

Yet I have some good news for those readers chomping at the bit to read more about Kat Campbell and Perry Hollow. My next book is already out.

Sort of.

It’s called VICIOUS CIRCLE. It’s not a full-length novel. At roughly 70 pages, it’s more of a novella or a very long short story. And it’s also not a book. It’s an eBook, available on the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad and every other reading device you can think of. It’s fun. It’s suspenseful. And I hope it will tide my wonderful readers over until my next full-length work comes out.

Oh, did I mention it’s only 99 cents? In these lean times, that’s a bonus in and of itself.

Here’s the official plot:

Small towns don’t get much smaller than Perry Hollow, Pennsylvania. A charming mix of quaint streets and sprawling fields, it used to be a quiet and uneventful place. Then a serial killer struck, bringing the town unwanted attention and putting the life of its police chief, Kat Campbell, at risk.

Nine months have passed since then, and peace has returned to Perry Hollow. But when a local farmer discovers a crop circle in one of his fields, the town finds itself back in the spotlight. Was the crop circle the work of human hands? Or is something more mysterious — and unearthly — happening in the fields of Perry Hollow?

Reporting to the scene, Kat finds a pair of young farmers in over their heads, neighbors both friend and foe, and a vicious circle of jealousy, lies and backstabbing. And as she gets closer to unraveling the truth, Chief Campbell once again finds herself fighting for her life.

For those of you who haven’t read BAD MOON yet, don’t worry. VICIOUS CIRCLE is a standalone work that can be enjoyed by anyone. And if you haven’t read any of my books, then I think it’s a perfect place to start.


On The Road Again

Posted on by Todd Posted in News | Comments Off on On The Road Again

Pardon my lack of blog updates in recent days. I’ve been traveling. Quite a bit actually. My Magical Mystery Tour is now in full swing and I haven’t had much time to do anything other than promote BAD MOON. (I’m not complaining. I’m so proud of the book and want the world to read it.)

Last week saw the release of BAD MOON and a series of events in my home state of Pennsylvania. This weekend, the national part of my tour kicks off with a trip to Murder by the Book in Houston. I can’t wait! It’s a fantastic store in a fantastic city. And if you’re ever near Houston, you must drop by the store and say hi to McKenna, John and Co.

I’ll be taking a few pictures there, like I do at most bookstore stops. And speaking of pictures, here are some fun ones from my first week on the road.

My parents’ dog, Ty, gets ready to dive into a copy of BAD MOON. Or maybe he’s just thinking about napping on it.

One of the first stops on the Magical Mystery Tour was a stock signing at Doylestown Bookshop in lovely Doylestown, Pa.

Look! BAD MOON is right at the front of the store!

Another awesome store I visited in Pennsylvania was Aaron’s Books, in Litiz, Pa.

Lititz is a beautiful place, with a charming downtown and a very cool strip of park. If you visit, be sure to say Hi to the ducks there.

By Sunday, I was back home in New Jersey, signing at the Barnes & Noble in North Brunswick. Here’s me signing a copy for my friend Kristen.


Posted on by Todd Posted in Featured, News | Comments Off on BAD MOON Rises

Another October, another release date. Since BAD MOON is my second book, you would think I’d be used to it. But nope, I’m not. BAD MOON’s publication date feels as surreal as DEATH NOTICE’s did last year.

For readers, the release date is a chance for them to rush to their local stores (or, let’s face it, pick up their e-readers) and buy the latest from one of their favorite authors.

For authors, the pub date marks the end of a long, long road that probably began years earlier. I started preliminary research work on BAD MOON in May 2009. I wrote the bulk of it between March and August 2010. I took it to bed with me, writing late into the night. I took it on vacation with me, typing away on my laptop in a hotel in Walt Disney World. I took it to work, editing and revising the manuscript while my boss wasn’t looking. I loved it, hated it, loved it again, stopped caring because I just wanted to get it finished, then fell in love with it all over again.

Now it’s done. And available all over the country. And readers can get it in their hands, devour it and tell me what they think. Some critics already have, and I’m (no pun intended) over the moon about their reviews.

Here’s a sampling:

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Finally, it’s open season on a serial killer who’s gone undetected for years.

Perry Hollow, Pa., Police Chief Kat Campbell pitches in to help former state police officer Nick Donnelly solve a cold case. Years ago, when Kat’s father was chief, young Charlie Olmstead went missing. After his bike was found at the bottom of a waterfall, he was presumed drowned even though no body was ever found. Now his younger brother, famous author Eric Olmstead, is back in town to bury his mother. Her dying wish was for him to find Charlie, whom she always believed was still alive. Nick, injured and tossed out of the state police, now runs an agency specializing in cold cases. He is hired by Eric, whose high-school romance with Kat came to an abrupt end when he skipped town after graduation. Now the three team up to reopen the investigation of Charlie’s disappearance. A map and news clippings discovered in Eric’s house make the trio suspect that Charlie was just one of a series of vanished young boys. Now that the hard questions are being asked, a great deal of information missed in the original investigations, all thought to be accidents, is turning up—clues that may provide closure for grieving relatives.

Kat and Nick’s second (Death Notice, 2010) draws you in irresistibly and doesn’t spit you out till the very end, your head spinning with surprising revelations.”

Library Journal (starred review)

“July 20, 1969, was the day Neil Armstrong  walked on the moon, but it’s also the night that ten-year-old Charlie Olmstead, a boy entranced with all things NASA-related, disappeared. It looked like a case of drowning when his bicycle was found abandoned by a local waterfall that night: case closed. Turns out, however, his grieving mother never thought he drowned. After her death some 40 years later, Eric, the surviving son, discovers her copious research that indicates other young boys’ disappearances were tied to subsequent Apollo moon landings. Fully focused now, Eric, along with local police chief Kat Campbell and independent investigator Nick Donnelly, finds himself pursuing connections across rural Pennsylvania. What’s hardest to figure out is who had that much motivation and anger. VERDICT: Ritter’s second outing (after Death Notice) will captivate readers with a tone reminiscent of John Hart (Down River) and Chelsea Cain (The Night Season). Ritter was on ThrillerFest’s Debut Authors Class of 2010/11 panel. Catch him now!”

Publishers Weekly

“In Ritter’s compelling second mystery featuring Perry Hollow, Pa., police chief Kat Campbell (after 2010’s Death Notice), Eric Olmstead, a successful author and Kat’s former high school flame who’s recently returned to the area, asks Kat to look into the disappearance of his brother, Charlie, who went missing at age nine 40 years earlier, during the first moon landing. Kat uncovers not just one missing boy but several, all of whom disappeared during moon landings. As the evidence mounts, Kat must balance her duties as top cop and single parent to James, her fifth grader, who doesn’t appreciate her all-consuming passion for her work. Ritter does a fine job evoking the dreams, mores, and political upheavals of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, along with the evolution of the U.S. space program and its deceleration in the 2010s. Readers will find themselves ensnared by this unusual tale of love, loss, enduring pain, and betrayal.”

Now it’s your turn, readers. If you plan on reading BAD MOON — and I sincerely hope you do — be sure to tell me about it when you’re done. My e-mail address is I hope to see note from a whole bunch of you.

Until then, I sincerely hope you enjoy BAD MOON. I worked hard on it and I incredibly proud of the end result. Happy reading!