Write-up from

the Scotia Glenville Spotlight

October 2003

Thanks, Damian!



Lotsa Good Stuff!

Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx




Scotia man pens

rock and roll murder-mystery


Growing up, Scotia resident Harry Pellegrin dreamed of being a professional musician and/or a novel writer.

And while playing rock and roll and blues gigs in bars gave way to raising a family, Pellegrin recently realized his dream of becoming an author. His first work of fiction, a murder-mystery novel. titled “Low End,” will hit shelves this fall.

“I’ve realized a lifelong dream.” he said cheerily over coffee at his home on Filth Street in the village, surrounded by an impressive collection of music CDs.We’re just very excited this is all coming together.”

It took some time. Success for a fiction writer can he difficult in the competitive business of book publishing. Most major publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, let alone unsolicited manuscripts from first-time author. Pellegrin, who recently left his job as a print manager for a photo copy company, was a first-time author with an unsolicited manuscript.

It was a story based loosely around a friend’s death in Yonkers in the late 1980’s Pellegrin’s friend was killed by police officers responding to a loud domestic dispute. He said the officers mistook the baseball bat in his friend’s hands for a rifle and shot him,

“None of us could figure out why something like that would happen to him, Mr. Pellegrin said. “He wasn’t a violent person. He was actually quite gentle. So his death was a real mystery to us.”

It was this germ of a plot. Pellegrin who, according to his wife Elaine, “writes constantly” drafted and wrote the nearly 326-page novel in about 4 months.

He finished it in 2000 and, for two years, searched for a publisher. He sent the manuscript to everyone he could think of. There was a lot of rejection, he said, but eventually success when American Book Publishing agreed to give “Low End” a chance.

The company, based in Utah, is one of a few publishers that will accept unsolicited manuscripts, according to their Web site. About this time last year, Pellegrin signed a contract with the company. He and his wile were ecstatic. “We jumped up and down quite a bit,” he said.

The story centers around a disillusioned, beer-loving and somewhat haggard New York City musician named Gary Morrissey who is trying to determine why his friend was shot and killed, is set lustily in Yonkers, where Pellegrin lived before marrying and moving to Scotia with Elaine, originally a village native.

The story takes place in the dive bars and back alleys of Yonkers and includes a good deal about rock and roll from the perspective of a musician. In the hook, Morrissey speaks lovingly of guitars and fondly of former bands and band mates Pellegrin said he drew on his own experiences to create his protagonist’s character.

“It’s what I know.” the author said. In his search for the truth about his friend’s death, Morrissey uncovers the seeds of government corruption and a plot to commit genocide on the Baby Boomer generation.

It is a story Pellegrin said is written in the tradition of great mystery writers — Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler— a pointed, entertaining that is vivid but not graphic. The book also conveys Pellegrin’s view on substance abuse. Abuse of drugs and alcohol, Pellegrin says, is killing people’s creativity

Pellegrin is not sure how many copies of Low End will be printed. The book is in the final stages of being edited.

He said he hopes to have several local book signings, the first being at Cornell’s hardware store On Saratoga Road In Scotia And he is already 14 chapters into the sequel, and has plans for a series.

“I’m not done writing.” He said. ‘This is what I love to do.