About Richard F. McGonegal

Richard F. McGonegal and his wife Kristie live in Jefferson City, MO, where their two adult daughters Heather and Jane also reside. 

He retired in 2017 after a 41-year journalism career at the Jefferson City News Tribune. Twenty-four of his short stories have been published in magazines, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine

Ghoul Duty is his second novel in his Sheriff Francis Hood series.

The Forget-Me-Not

(Sheriff Francis Hood Book 3)

The publisher of a family-owned newspaper serving Huhman County, Missouri has been missing for over a year...


Until an arm bone found in the woods turns the missing-person case into a homicide investigation.


After exposing a false alibi, Sheriff Francis Hood focuses on the surviving family members, but his investigation is not without complications. The victim's stepdaughter, one of Hood's old high-school classmates, has an unsettling ability to remember the events of her life—and the lives of others—in minute detail.  Two of the victim's sons actively oppose Hood's efforts to win re-election. And the victim's wife, another son, and a former foster child are reluctant to reveal things that might help Hood close the case.


Will the combined stresses of the murder case and re-election campaign derail Hood's ongoing recovery from alcoholism, which is finally gaining traction now that he has reunited with his wife and daughter?


Unravel the personal and professional knots bedeviling Sheriff Francis Hood—Read The Forget-Me-Knot!

Praise for Sheriff  Francis Hood series....

“McGonegal's Sheriff Francis Hood belongs right up there with Longmire and Robicheaux. Ghoul Duty swept me away from the very first page.” ~ M. A. Monnin, Author of Death in The Aegean

“An engaging mystery that invites the reader to root for the sheriff as he struggles with recovery from alcoholism and emotional conundrums, tracks multiple crimes, and reaches realistic solutions. (No actual ghouls.)” ~ Charley Pearson, Award-winning author of thrillers and humor


“Ghoul Duty is that rare mystery that uses a cast of beautifully rendered characters and a natural storyteller’s fine hand to showcase some of life’s most compelling ironies—how the placid waters of ordinary life often conceal treacherous currents beneath the surface, how small mistakes can produce awful catastrophes while catastrophic mistakes sometimes yield the small graces that make life so rich, and how one person’s detour into desperate territory can serve as another person’s bridge to salvation.” ~ Roger Johns, Award-winning author of the Wallace Hartman Mysteries