James Renner is an award-winning journalist, and author of True Crime Addict, the definitive book on the Maura Murray disappearance. He also hosts the podcast, The Philosophy of Crime. In 2019, he founded The Porchlight Project which raises money for new DNA testing and genetic genealogy for Ohio cold cases. In May, 2020, James Zastawnik was arrested for the murder of Barbara Blatnik, thanks to the work of genealogists funded by the Porchlight Project.
My newest story is a serialized mystery that is only available on a new app called BOUND. Get it here.
LARKEY follows a retired FBI agent during his investigation into the murder of young woman found crucified on the side of a barn on Middle Bass Island. He must solve the mystery before the ice thaws and the killer can get away. And guess what? It takes place in the world of The Man from Primrose Lane!
Each chapter has beautiful artwork and you can also listen to the audiobook, which feels more like a well-produced radio play.
The first three chapters are available today. New chapters will be released every week!
Tune in to Expedition Unknown on Jan 17 (on the Travel Channel). Josh Gates and I run around Milwaukee to see if we can find the key Byron Preiss buried in Lake Park in 1982. Byron hid a dozen keys across North America and put clues to their location in a wonderful book called, The Secret, which is the subject of a documentary I directed. With any luck the documentary will be out in 2018. I have to say, adventuring with Josh Gates is as fun as it looks like on TV. One of the coolest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
Tune in this Saturday for the first of a 6-part series on the disappearance of Maura Murray, who was the subject of my book, True Crime Addict. I appear on the show and helped with research for the team. There will be some new information about the mystery revealed in the program.
“James Renner did a fantastic job with the Pooh story. Oh dear, what has become of my eeyore and piglet? It will take awhile to get over those images.”
“I have to hand it to James Renner because his story A MONSTER COMES TO ASHDOWN FOREST (IN WHICH CHRISTOPHER ROBIN SAYS GOODBYE) not only knocked the ball out of the park, it knocked it out of town! To see the Pooh stories turned into dark fiction pleased me to no end! Five FAT stars!”
“My favorite story was A Monster Comes to Ashdown Forest (In Which Christopher Robin Says Goodbye) by James Renner, one of the authors with whose work I was previously unfamiliar. We find out that Ashdown Forest was actually the 100 Acre Wood from those lovable Winnie the Pooh books when Christopher Robin, the patient in an convalescent home, requests to go back one last time. When they arrive, they are greeted by the “real” Eeyore and meet the rest of the somewhat timeworn gang. It’s kind of a nightmare version of Winnie the Pooh – a great read for anyone who has read those books or watched those movies a thousand times to children who just can’t get enough.”
Some fantastic news! True Crime Addict is being adapted for television by some great people. Johnny Depp’s company is producing. Richard Price is writing. And I’ll be an executive producer. Looks like some small details are changing. Here’s the synopsis.
Published last year, Renner’s True Crime Addict: How I Lost Myself In The Mysterious Disappearance Of Maura Murray, which had been compared to David Fincher’sZodiac, follows investigative journalist Jimmy Hunter. His lifelong obsession with cold cases leads him to research feverishly the whereabouts of a popular college student whose car was found abandoned in rural upstate New York. While Jimmy’s all-consuming quest for the truth begins to devour him body and soul, he must also strive to keep it from tearing apart his young and fragile family.
Make room on your DVR for The Man from Primrose Lane! My debut genre-bending detective novel has found a home at Fox. Here’s the skinny:
In Working Title Television’s first development season since Andrew Stearn joined as president, the company, a joint venture with NBCU International Studios, which is overseen by Michael Edelstein, and Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, has set up three broadcast drama series projects; an adaptation of James Renner’s book The Man From Primrose Lane at Fox with feature director-producer Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes).