Adam Selzer's Blog

October 31, 2017

Did you  miss out on the sold out Mysterious Chicago: Grave Robbing 101 tours or the cemetery walks in October? Good news! I'll be teaming up with Atlas Obscura to run a few in November, as well. See for all the info.

In other news:

- Just Kill Me  is out in paperback! And Play Me Backwards, my YA novel for young adults who worship the devil, is an Illinois Reads pick for 2017.

- The Illinois Association of Teachers of English named me Author of the Year, for some reason.

- My band, 82nd Street, will have a new album out soon entitled Dinner and a Crime Spree. It's a concept album co-written with author Libby Cudmore.

- Did you see me four episodes of American Ripper? Or the recent Murder Castle series on Discovery? Now that it's over I think I can post my video about evidence as to where HH Holmes was in Fall, 1888 . My recent Holmes bio, HH Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil, is doing pretty well, from what I've heard.

- Also still available: The Mysterious Chicago book! Unsolved murders, phantom kangaroo sightings, UFOs over O'Hare, unexplained grave stones, missing mansions and more, all with new data unearthed from the archives, personal interviews, and more.

- On Nov 17, I'll be talking about Chicago's various antique serial killers at Days of the Dead.

- No new books are currently scheduled, but I'm working on several, ranging from middle grade fiction to more true crime.
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Published on October 31, 2017 10:54 • 9 views

April 28, 2017

On Saturday, 4/29, I'll be talking HH Holmes at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park at 2pm.

On thurs, May 4, I'll be talking about him at the Nichols Library in Naperville at 7pm.

Tonight (4/28) there are apparently some NBC segments on Holmes airing in a few cities; I'll be appearing in the Chicago one. I hear there's some news. I'd watch.  I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about it yet but I'll be on WGN Radio tonight at 11 with my brother, who will be talking about the Race to Wrigley. It may come up.

And, of course, get my new book, HH HOLMES: THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE WHITE CITY DEVIL, at the bookstore of your choice:

Barnes and Noble

And check out my many Holmes posts over at the Mysterious Chicago blog, including a podcast about rumors that he faked his death.
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Published on April 28, 2017 13:09 • 34 views

March 4, 2017

Hey, everybody! I don't post much here these days (author websites are sort of old fashioned, aren't they?) But I really should take a minute to plug my new biography of antique serial killer HH Holmes, due out April 4!

Pre-order now!
Some advance blurbs:

“Exhaustively researched, highly readable…you’re drawn into the narrative as though reading a Caleb Carr novel.” – M. William Phelps, author of Dangerous Ground: My Friendship with a Serial Killer"Using thousands of primary sources...what emerges is a picture of a terrible but intriguing man.. whose story leaps off the page in Selzer's uniquely suited hands. A must-read." - Booklist (starred review)“Adam Selzer’s masterful sleuthing proves to us, ‘the devil IS in the details.’ Impeccably researched, the author has wiped away the 19th century cobwebs. Highly recommended.” – Steve Hodel, author of Black Dahlia Avenger“Selzer takes apart the dove-tailed pieces of fact and legend to show the myth-making behind one of America’s most infamous bogey-men. Not to be missed by any crime enthusiast.” – Donald Rumbelow, author of The Complete History of Jack the Ripper
I've also spent the year working with the History channel on a new series about Holmes, American Ripper, which I believe premiers a week after the book comes out. You can follow along with my own research on the Holmes posts at mysteriouschicago.comThere'll be a number of book store and library events around Chicagoland for the book - more info coming soon, or ask your local store or library to book one!  Pre-order the book now!
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Published on March 04, 2017 06:07 • 98 views

October 21, 2016

Hi, folks! Been a busy couple of months; I had two new books out (the novel JUST KILL ME and nonfiction MYSTERIOUS CHICAGO), filmed talking head shots for several episodes of Mysteries at the Museum, and also worked on Discovery and History Channel shows about H.H. Holmes, my book about whom is out in April. I was even the subject of a feature in the Chicago Tribune! Lots of events left for the Halloween and fall season while I work on new projects for next year!

Sat Oct 22:
11am signing/talk on JUST KILL ME and MYSTERIOUS CHICAGO (with early copies available!) at Centuries and Sleuths 7419 Madison St, Forest Park, IL (where Megan lives in JKM!) Free!

Sun Oct 23
10:30am Rose Hill Cemetery tour

Mon Oct 24:
Ghost talk at the library in Northbrook, IL

Tues Oct 25
Grave Robbing 101 tour in Chicago's Lincoln Park, as seen in the Chicago Tribune! Click for tickets.

Wed Oct 26
7pm book signing at Anderson's Bookshop, 123 W Jefferson, Naperville, IL. Free!

Thurs Oct 27
Walking Mysterious Chicago ghost tour, 7pm, Wacker and LaSalle Tickets

Fri Oct 28
8pm Mysterious Chicago ghost tour (bus tour)  Tickets

Sat Oct 29
10:30am  Graceland Cemetery tour

4pm Devil in the White City bus tour 

8pm Ghost Tour (bus tour)

Sun Oct 30
10:30am Rosehill Cemetery Tour

Mon Oct 31
7pm Walking ghost tour (Adam and Leyla Royale)

Tues Nov 1
7pm Walking ghost tour (Adam and Leyla Royale)

Nov 11-13
Author guest of honor at Windycon

Nov 25-27
Toastmaster at Chambanacon
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Published on October 21, 2016 14:31 • 29 views

September 13, 2016

Hi, everybody!  In the midst of rolling out new podcasts, setting up the October tour schedule, conducting interviews, and finishing off the Mysterious Chicago book, I almost forgot I had a new novel! On Aug 30, Simon and Schuster released  Just Kill Me , a novel about a ghost tour guide who makes places more haunted by killing people at them. Since there are lots of real historical mysteries in the book, they had me throw together a series of videos about the research that went into each aspect of the story. Here's one about Tomb Snooping, including a tour clip from my Grave Robbing 101 tour:

 There are videos about four more topics (plus one joke one about my research into the "killing people" angle) up at Riveted, one of Simon and Schuster's pages.

  Just Kill Me is in stores now, and available at your favorite book store (links to several are here).

 And if those aren't enough videos for ya, dig my impression of Tom Waits live at the Mos Eisley Cantina. 
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Published on September 13, 2016 04:58 • 26 views

April 11, 2016

More on the Book, Including Pre-Order Info
Advance Praise:
"Ominious, unsettling, and dripping with snark, Just Kill Me is a delicious dark comedy that will leave murdermongering readers jumping at shadows and waiting for a knife in the back. The ending still haunts me." - Delilah S. Dawson, author of Strike

"Just Kill Me is a hilarious punch to the brain. Quirky and full of Chicago ghost history, I raced through the pages to see who would go from from murder-monger to good old fashioned murderer. I loved every page!" - Demetria Lunetta, author of the In the After series.

"A message to all weird and wonderful morbid kids - you've found your heroine." - Caitlyn Doughty, "Ask a Mortician" and author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
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Published on April 11, 2016 07:10 • 15 views
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Published on April 11, 2016 07:10 • 23 views

February 12, 2016

Cover, etc, of my new book, due in August:

I'm sure I'll see some of you at the Anderson's Bookstore Children's Literature Breakfast on the 20th. I've been busily working away on a 900 page book on H.H. Holmes for Sky Horse, simultaneously with a Mysterious Chicago book. Once these wrap I swear I'll get going on more fiction! I don't know about more YA. I want to do more middle grade. That's where the fun is these days.  
Also: want to come see the original Sherlock Holmes film in the very room where it was filmed in 1916? 
Oh, and dig this: Mary E Holland, one of the most famous female detectives of the early 20th century, deserves to reclaim her place in Chicago history. 
Also also: in 1992 I went around to lunch tables in my suburban Des Moines middle school shaking hands and drumming up votes for my 2016 campaign. I came in dead last at the Iowa Caucus, then conceded and made my endorsement on WGN late that night. I lost pretty badly, but, hey, I managed to pull off a joke that was 24 years in the making, and I did it on national radio, and it made the news, so that's pretty good.

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Published on February 12, 2016 16:15 • 63 views

December 6, 2015

- Kinda last notice but 82nd Street will be at Burlington Bar on Fullerton tonight (Dec 6). We'll be playing stuff from the new album, plus some older material. It's the time of year when I break out "Heavy Metal Vomit Christmas Party," after all. Some songs on the cue sheet I haven't played since about the 90s. Including one about Charlton Heston whose shelf life seems like it SHOULD be expired since he's dead and all, but still feels pretty relevant.

- I have seen the cover to Just Kill Me, my new YA novel about a ghost tour guide who makes places more haunted by killing people there. I can't show it to you for a couple months yet though, so nyah nyah nyah. Several archaic synonyms for swear words will be appearing in print for the first time since the 1600s.

- There's gonna be a new cover for Play Me Backwards, too. It'll have a similar feel to the one for Just Kill Me. Which is super cool and reminds me of Pushing Daisies. I can't wait to show it off!

- Oh! I have a whole new company! I parted ways with the ghost tour company I was with off and on for the last ten years. And now I've moved the old Mysterious Chicago blog, started a new podcast, and launched new tours at Mysterious ! Get on the mailing list, subscribe to the podcast, and follow Mysterious Chicago on twitter and facebook!

- There are two tours and one cool event coming up NEXT WEEKEND. I'm teaming up with the Obscura Society to launch....

   A 2.5 hour bus tour about H.H. Holmes, our most popular antique murderer, Sat Dec 12, 1pm. (I'll be at work on a Holmes book all winter - more details coming soon).

   A 90 min specially-priced bus tour of some super-cool Chicago stories I've researched over the years. Sat Dec 12 4pm

   A night of drinks from the works of Charles Dickens (Port negus, rum flip, Rocky Mountain Sneezer, etc) and Victorian-inspired food (whitebait fritters, gruel shooters, mutton meat pie, etc) at Knife & Tine. Sun Dec 13 at 5pm.

  Regular walking tours will start in the Spring. Private tours available all the time.
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Published on December 06, 2015 06:05 • 19 views

October 28, 2015

Been a busy fall!  I've done a lot of radio shows lately, including 10 minutes on the Big John Howell show on WLS 10/27 and the second half of the Patti Vasquez show on WGN the night before (click for podcast links). 
I've been running more private tours lately, including some really neat ones for Atlas Obscura, such as "Grave Robbing 101" and "The Darker Side of Taylor Street," and a handful of H.H. Holmes tours for small groups in cars (which allow us to hit a site or two where busses just won't fit).  There's a whole new page for that stuff -
Advance copies of my new novel, Just Kill Me, should start circulating soon. It's all about a ghost tour guide whose company is making places more haunted by killing people at them. Simon and Schuster is putting it out next year. 
AND, last but not least, after nearly 10 years since the last "Adam Selzer and his Revolving Door All-Stars" album, I just released a new record. The band is called 82nd Street, and the album is called Every Man Has His Price and Mine is $300. It's a rock and roll concept album about a pizza man who picks up a hitch hiker who claims to be a time traveler. You can stream it on spotify, Tidal, and all of those places; iTunes will be up any day. We'll be playing an acoustic set at Windycon on Sunday morning, 11/15.   
Stream/buy links at

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Published on October 28, 2015 08:20 • 20 views