About Emory Cosgrove
‘Emory Cosgrove’ is the pen name of Edward Harter, a native of California and a US military veteran.
Harter completed his military service in 1963 and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Illinois. He was a professor of philosophy from 1970 to 1982, then a professor of computer science from 1982 to 1987. In 1987, he escaped from academia and went to work for a major aerospace company in Seattle, Washington. He retired from fulltime employment in 2009.
Throughout his varied career, Harter has been intrigued by crime fiction and the work of such writers as Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, and Ruth Rendell—writers who use the medium of crime fiction to explore the best qualities of good people and the worst qualities of bad people. And some people really are bad.
Harter’s characters are the main focus of his books. Every fictional character needs a biographical background. Did he or she have a hard-knocks adolescence or a pampered silver-spoon upbringing? Was he or she educated in the streets or in an Ivy League university? But beyond that, how people became what they are is a subject for psychiatrists and social psychologists, not crime writers. Crime fiction ought to deal with people as they are, during a stretch of fictional time, not how they became what they are, or what they might become in some future setting. When crime writers assume the role of psychiatrist or social psychologist, the focus blurs and the wheels come loose.
In the 1990s, Harter published two computer science textbooks and co-authored several articles in technical journals. Since his retirement, he has produced seven crime novels under the name ‘Emory Cosgrove’: Sweetie and the Stranger, Taking Names, The Big Sister, Dead Men Don’t Cry, By Any Other Name, and Bad Dads, and The Lawyer. His fourth novel, Dead Men Don’t Cry, earned the Royal Dragonfly award from Story Monsters magazine in 2019.
Harter and his wife, Shirley, live in Arizona with their three pampered dogs, Bernice, Mila, and Ziva. They often receive welcomed visits from their human offspring, who live in Chicago, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona, respectively