Haunted! by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, latest in Catholic Worker mysteries, published by Haley’s

  • Scott Schaeffer-Duffy

  • Major Taylor memorial outside Worcester Public Library.

  • ”Haunted!” book cover.

Published: 10/29/2019 1:00:35 PM
Modified: 10/29/2019 1:00:26 PM

 WORCESTER — Scott Schaeffer-Duffy of the Saints Francis and Thérèse Catholic Worker at 52 Mason St. has released “Haunted!” the third in his series of Catholic Worker mysteries published by Haley’s of Athol.

The Catholic Worker will host a Haunted! book-signing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Mason Street premises. Haunted! and other Schaeffer-Duffy books will be available for purchase at the free event, open to the public.

Suspecting haunting of the Mason Street home where he lives with his wife, Claire, and Catholic Worker guests, Schaeffer-Duffy investigates in Haunted! to learn much about the African-American history of his neighborhood.

With homage to Worcester’s post-Civil War past as a relatively progressive city, Schaeffer-Duffy invokes many of Worcester’s African-American luminaries, including Bethany Veney, Ida May Wells, and Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor.

Schaeffer-Duffy does not shy from disturbing examples of prejudice in America’s past as he considers the country’s history of lynching, anti-Semitism, and stigmatizing the mentally ill.

Despite the weighty topics of Haunted!, Schaeffer-Duffy writes in a wry, easy-to-read style, according to the publisher.

“In this ghost story of historical detail,” writes Selina Gallo-Cruz, associate professor of sociology at College of the Holy Cross, “readers will contemplate how — unless we can learn to recognize the specter of our own racism — the spirits of those who lived before us may pass damning judgment on the more privileged lives we live in their stead.”

Besides their commitments as Catholic Workers, the Schaeffer-Duffys have four adult children and five grandchildren. Both are devoted long-distance runners.

Along with Schaeffer-Duffy’s memoir, “Nothing Is Impossible,” “Haunted!” and the author’s other Catholic Worker mystery books, “The Man Who Cannot Be Killed” and “Murder on Mott Street,” are available from the author, at scottschaefferduffybooks.com and other online vendors, or from the publisher, Haley’s.

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