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Welcome to my website!

"I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume..."
---Walt Whitman

My name is Richard Wise.  I've authored three books, four if you include the second edition of my Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisserur's Guide. I write about what interests me and I have many interests. Hemingway advised young authors to, "write what you know," and although I'm not young, I do that, sort of.

 

My latest, Redlined, is a mystery/thriller with a literary twist. Described as: "an original and simply riveting novel," by Midwest Book Review and "a page turning narrative," by Publisher's Weekly, it is set in the activist 1970s and tells the mostly true story of a comunity organizer and Marine combat veteran, Jedidiah Flynt, working in the Alinsky tradition, who sets out to stop the redlining of a Boston neighborhood and finds himself in an all out war with bent politicians, Machavellian priests and the big Boston banks. In the 1970s, I spent two years in Boston organizing around this issue.

 

 My first book is about something I know a bit about, gemstones. I am a Graduate Gemologist and I spent 35 years traveling the world, visiting gem mines in Africa, South America and Asia, buying and selling rare gemstones.  Secrets tells the truth about how to understand quality in gemstones.  Considered a classic, the book has sold steadily for the past 20 years. The second, completely revised, expanded edition was published in 2016.

 

In my second book, The French Blue (2009), I again focus on the gem trade, writing a historical novel which traces the real adventures of a 17th century French gem dealer, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, and tells the mostly true backstory of the Hope Diamond. Called "a fine piece of historical fiction" by The Historical Novel Society, The French Blue won a 2011 International Book Award in historical fiction.

     

Lately I've been working on a novel of pre-history set in the Aurignacian Period, 35,000 years ago in central France. The Neanderthal evolved in Europe 250,000 years ago. Our forebearers arrived between 40-50,000 years ago. 5,000 years later, the Neanderthals were gone. The project was inspired by the 40,000 year old, magnificent, highly sophisticated paleolithic paintings found at Chauvet Cave in the French Dorgogne. So much for "write what you know."