Take Note: Charles Fergus On Exploring 1830s Pa. And Personal Trauma In His New Novel

Jun 14, 2019

Charles Fergus' "A Stranger Here Below" is set in Pennsylvania in the 1830s, but draws from the author's real-world experiences.
Credit Charles Fergus

A writer and native of central Pennsylvania, Charles Fergus is best known for his books and articles about nature and wildlife. But, his latest book is a mystery novel and period piece.

Set in Pennsylvania in the 1830s, “A Stranger Here Below” is the story of Sheriff Gideon Stoltz trying to understand what would lead the local judge to kill himself. The book draws on Fergus’s expertise as a nature writer and his personal experience with murder. 

In 1995, Fergus went to check on his mother in her State College home and found her body. Ruth Fergus had been stabbed to death. A man was later convicted of first-degree murder.

Charles Fergus drew on that experience in writing his book, “A Stranger Here Below.”