John Anthony Bellairs (1938-1991) is the award-winning, best-selling author of the fifteen acclaimed Gothic mystery novels in the Lewis Barnavelt, Anthony Monday, and Johnny Dixon series, including The House with a Clock in Its Walls (1973), The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn (1978), and The Curse of the Blue Figurine (1983). Many of his books were illustrated by prominent artist-illustrator Edward Gorey.

    He is also is the author of Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies (1966), The Pedant and the Shuffly (1968), and the much-respected fantasy, The Face in the Frost (1969). A fragment of its attempted sequel - The Dolphin Cross - was found and published in 2009.

    Bellairs was born in Marshall, Michigan, earned degrees from Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, taught at various Midwestern and New England colleges, and later lived and wrote in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He died in 1991.

    His characters were given extended life in the compleated and continued novels by author Brad Strickland.

    Bellairs was honored by his hometown with a historical marker outside the famed residence that served as inspiration for The House with a Clock in its Walls (1992). He was celebrated in Haverhill, Massachusetts, by becoming part of the city's Hall of Fame (2000) and by a mural painted in downtown (2006).

Celebrating John Bellairs

Saint Fidgeta at Fifty

Sweet Fidgeta, deliver us!

We’re celebrating fifty years since the publication of Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies (1966) and a half-century of John Bellairs as the famous author.

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The Gargoyle in the Dump

The Gargoyle in the Dump

The Gargoyle in the Dump is a recently discovered, never-before-published 24-page story by John Bellairs. The adventure tells the tale of Michael, David, and Alphonsus Jr. (aka Fonsy) who are spending the summer trying to blow up the town dock and playing marathon Monopoly games. On the brink of death-by-boredom, they head to the local dump in search of treasures but instead find the head of a grinning stone gargoyle with shifty eyes and a long snout. The fun arrives September 2015 from Open Road Media.


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Meet Brad Strickland

Keeping the faith alive for 20 years, Brad Strickland is the author or co-author of over 60- novels, short fiction pieces, and poetry. After the death of John Bellairs, Strickland was approached to complete four books and went on to write the further adventures of Johnny Dixon and Lewis Barnavelt. He keeps busy writing outside of New Zebedee, too: from pirates and astronauts to terrifying detectives and detecting terriers.

Strickland News | Discussion | Bellairs-related news


The Books, The Covers, and The Collectors

It’s been a topic of discussion ever since Dial Publishers chose Edward Gorey to illustrate John’s books (about 30 years, by our count): where do I find hardcover editions that feature the wrap-around dust-jackets with art created by Gorey? The Internet has made tracking such things down easier but it can still be a tricky hunt, especially when it comes to knowing how much to spend. We have book collecting resources to let you know what you've found and a discussion group dedicated to your questions – complete with many answers.



The books of John Bellairs and Brad Strickland have long had their fans and over the years we here at Bellairsia have heard from many of them: up-and-coming authors and illustrators as well as musicians, book collectors, teachers, historians, film makers, and web designers.

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