A washed-up ex-journalist looking for a missing girl in San Francisco is framed by a Guatemalan hit man for a series of murders.
It’s 1997 at the dawn of the digital age in San Francisco. Ex-journalist and struggling alcoholic David “Itchy” Crane’s fledgling “information consultancy” business is getting slowly buried by bad luck, bad decisions, and the growing presence of the Internet. Before Itchy can completely self-destruct, a crooked private investigator offers him fifty grand to find a missing girl named Ashley. Crane takes the job because the money’s right and because the only clue to her disappearance is a dead-on oil portrait of Crane himself painted by the mysterious missing girl—whom he has never met.
As Crane’s search for Ashley rapidly becomes an obsession, he stumbles upon a series of murders, gets slapped around by thugs and intimidated by cops, and begins to suspect he’s being framed for the murders by a psychotic Guatemalan hit man. Left with no avenue but survival, Crane goes on the offensive, fighting to clear his name, solve the murders, and find the beguiling portrait artist Ashley, who may have a few surprises of her own.
WITH PITCH-PERFECT DIALOGUE, an exquisitely balanced plot, and a stylized, deadpan nod to classic hard-boiled writers like James Ellroy, Elmore Leonard, and Dashiell Hammett, The Painted Gun introduces Bradley Spinelli as a force to be reckoned with in contemporary noir fiction.
“The Painted Gun pays off in every way a reader of noir fiction wants it to, and provides a lovely bonus—some of the most sure-footed tough guy prose I’ve seen since Hammett and Chandler walked those mean streets.”
“A fun romp of an old-school detective novel with a few post-modern tweaks. It’s full of fist fights, shoot outs, and wise cracks, taking a few peculiar twists that prove many times to be poignant.”
A 40 year-old neurotic comedy writer recalls his failed yet fun-filled romance with a millennial Jewish woman.
2014, Williamsburg, Brooklyn:
J.P. Porter, a comedy writer and burlesque host (inspired by the real-life J.D. Oxblood—an alias for Bradley Spinelli) remembers his relationship with Minnie Wohl, a charismatic, vivacious young Jewish woman, a native New Yorker of Israeli extraction.
Inspired by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman’s Annie Hall script, this film flips pivotal elements while updating jokes and pop-culture references. A reporter for Rolling Stone becomes a photographer for Gawker. Hollywood is replaced by ascendant Palo Alto. Manhattan as the center of the universe?—in 2014, it’s Brooklyn. This witty and self-conscious Rom-Com tackles the universal tale of love and loss and subverts the quirks of Allen’s iconic film.
A feature-length spec script initially produced as a short, the trailer for #AnnieHall received over a thousand YouTube views in the first twenty-four hours and was quickly praised by The Village Voice and Heeb magazine. Simultaneously, there were cries for Spinelli’s death on YouTube, he was trolled on social media, and the project was attacked on a prominent organization’s blog. Spinelli is at work on a response.
A suicide epidemic wipes out a third of the population of New York City—as told by a proto-hipster in 1999 Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
After moving to New York in 1999, Benson, a reflexively cynical twenty-something, and his girlfriend look for work while exploring the hipster playground emerging in North Brooklyn. Rumors of suicides spread, and people start to kill themselves in alarming numbers—hangings, jumpers, death by L train. Friends follow strangers. As the “Bug” spreads to Manhattan, Benson assembles a grassroots crew to help clean up the city, half-deserted and riddled with corpses. Killing Williamsburg is a dark meditation on the purpose of life and a testament to the stubborn resilience of the New York state of mind.
Launched on World Suicide Prevention Day with a live custom DJ set by Questlove (a TONY critics’ pick), Killing Williamsburg received mainstream critical praise (Publishers Weekly) and met offbeat notoriety (winner of Naked Girls Reading). The book’s contagious reputation continues to spread.
“Spinelli offers sharp and stylish prose.”
Bedford + Bowery
Contributer to New York Magazine’s Bedford + Bowery since 2014, with articles and interviews on various writers, musicians, and artists, including coverage of SXSW.
Co-founder; contributed over 140 articles of burlesque criticism, interviews, and think pieces, including years covering the NY Burlesque Festival and the Burlesque Hall of Fame.