Former ‘Pocono Record’ editor publishes mystery novel

Lords Valley. This local resident uses his news reporter knowledge to spin the tale of one girl’s mystery disappearance.

| 04 Jun 2024 | 04:29

Christopher Mele, a former executive editor at The Pocono Record and a resident of Pike County, has published his debut novel, “Goodwill’s Secrets,” a mystery set in the Adirondacks region of NY.

For Mele, a news reporter and editor for nearly 40 years, writing a novel seemed like a completely far-fetched idea.

“I never thought in a bajillion years I’d try my hand at fiction,” he said. “Nonfiction has always been my turf, so I always felt allergic to the idea of inventing people, places, and events. I had a short piece of fiction that I was half-heartedly turning over in my mind during the height of the pandemic but the more I thought about it and the more backstory I added, the more I realized that this could be a longer piece, possibly even a novel.”

“Goodwill’s Secrets” tells the story of a community newspaper reporter, Alex Provetto, who is assigned to cover the sudden and unexplained disappearance of a teenage girl known as Raven in the Adirondack village of Goodwill.

Convinced that Raven is a runaway, Provetto initially dismisses this missing person story as a waste of time. However, as he digs deeper, the idyllic facade of Goodwill cracks, and each lead he chases pulls him deeper into a web of danger and deceit.

Mele has worked at The Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Plattsburgh Press-Republican and now at The New York Times as a deputy editor. He also spent time in newsrooms in the Hudson Valley inaddition to his time at The Pocono Record in Stroudsburg.

He said he drew on his experiences as a newsman and of his time in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid for the setting of his novel. He described Goodwill as a composite of localities and said it captures community life in the Adirondacks.

“Goodwill’s Secrets” is available on Amazon (both in paperback and on Kindle) and at Barnes & Noble. It can also be ordered through independent bookstores.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 8, Mele will be at the 2024 Kickass Writers Festival in Saranac Lake, hosted by the Adirondack Center for Writing, where he will sell and sign “Goodwill’s Secrets” at the Harrietstown Town Hall.

He plans other book-signing appearances in the region this summer. To learn more about Mele and “Goodwill’s Secrets,” visit