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BIOGRAPHY


John Billheimer, a native West Virginian, lives in Portola Valley, California. He holds an engineering Ph. D. from Stanford University and for thirty years was Vice President of a small consulting firm specializing in transportation research. Over the years, he investigated such diverse topics as commuter lane performance, mobile phone safety, drunk driving countermeasures, DMV service, video surveillance, and motorcycle safety. An early research project took him back to the coalfields of his native state, where he observed the poverty, independence, and resourcefulness that mark the characters of his first novel, THE CONTRARY BLUES.

THE CONTRARY BLUES was the first book in the “funny, sometimes touching,” mystery series set in Appalachia and featuring failure analyst Owen Allison. The second book in the series, HIGHWAY ROBBERY, explores West Virginia roadbuilding scandals, while the third, DISMAL MOUNTAIN, covers the controversial topic of strip mining. The fourth, DRYBONE HOLLOW, deals with the false claims and scams that follow in the wake of a devastating flood, while the most recent, STONEWALL JACKSON’S ELBOW, tracks the aftermath of a $750 million bank fraud. A non-fiction book on baseball scapegoats, BASEBALL AND THE BLAME GAME, was published early in 2007.

Billheimer is married with two children, and is an avid tennis player and movie buff. He chaired the Transportation Research Board Committee on Motorcycles and Mopeds, and co-founded the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, a statewide program of mandatory training which saw motorcycle fatalities drop over 70% during its first fifteen years. He also teaches a series of courses on "Film Noir" and “The Modern Mystery in Film and Print” as part of Continuing Studies Program at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities.