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The Killing of Strangers (Lucky Press, 2006) Holt's first novel, introduces down-on-his-luck detective Sam Haggard. The novel was a finalist in the St. Martin's First Mystery Competition. Because it deals with the Kent State shootings of 1970, it has been included in that university's May 4 Archive. The writing style is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler. USA Book News lauded Strangers as "an interesting and well-written suspense." Crime writer Margaret Lucke says that the novel "conveyed a powerful emotional punch" and "lingered in [her]mind for a long time after reading it." Gilbert Geis, writer and Professor of Criminology, says Strangers' is a "splendid piece of work."
Holt's one-person plays all deal with important Ohio figures. An Evening with Julia Marlowe depicts the life of Shakespearean actor Julia Marlowe; Woody tells the story of Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes; Rickey celebrates baseball's Branch Rickey and his inspirational relationship with Jackie Robinson. All of the plays are frequently produced and Rickey was performed at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Holt's work has three times been chosen for the CATCO "Shorts" Festival, a national competition.
Holt holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Oklahoma. He has a special and continuing interest in the films of Sam Peckinpah, who was the subject of Holt's dissertation, Peckinpah's Families. A university administrator for thirty years, he returned to teaching full-time after his retirement and now teaches American literature and film at Purdue University's North Central campus. He has been nominated for several national teaching awards, including the CASE Award and the Cherry Award for Outstanding Teaching.