Thank you for visiting the website of Bill Rapp, author of the “Suburban Detective” series featuring Bill Habermann and set outside Chicago, and the “Cold War Thriller” series. The first book, Tears of Innocence, takes place in Berlin in the months immediately following the end of the war and features a young American military intelligence officer, Karl Baier. The second novel, The Hapsburg Variation, which was released at the end of 2017 under the Coffeetown Press label, takes the story forward to 1955 Vienna, where Baier is now the deputy chief of station for the CIA. Keeping with the Berlin theme, Bill also wrote Berlin Breakdown, a novel set during the fall of the Wall, an event Bill experienced first-hand while serving at the U.S. Mission Berlin from 1989 tom 1991.

Please feel free to explore further to learn more about the books and upcoming events.

What’s New


The Hapsburg Variation is now available for purchase!

Click here to see where you can get your copy today


Upcoming Events:

  • Bouchercon: The World Mystery Convention – October 31 – November 3 ,2019
  • Northern VA Christmas Market – November 8-10, 2019
  • Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore – November 30, 2019
  • The 30th Annual Meet the Author Night & Book Fair at the University Club of Washington, DC – December 4, 2019
  • The Book Market at Hangar One – December 14, 2019

Check out our Events page for more details!

TheCipherBrief“Bill Rapp’s real story is just as interesting as the ones he makes up … UnderCover caught up with Rapp to talk about his journey to become a novelist, and about his upcoming book, The Budapest Escape, scheduled for publication later this year…

Click here to read the full interview with The Cipher Brief: “A Rapp Sheet Worth Writing About”

“If you are a history enthusiast, I would definitely recommend “The Hapsburg Variation” by Bill Rapp. […] Rapp is an intelligent and well written author and this book is able to showcase his dedication to crafting a superior historical thriller.”

– Reneé Alfrey for Reader Views

Click here to read Reneé Alfrey’s full review


“I liked the writing, the post-war ambiance, the characters, and the nasty geo-politics well enough to be willing to think I should get the first novel and start over at the beginning…”

Click here to read the full review from Historical Novel Society

Re-Creating the Past by Bill Rapp – An essay on the challenges of writing historical fiction for Sarah Johnson’s blog, “Reading the Past”.

Check out Bill’s Author Snapshot interview with Spinetingler Magazine

Author Snapshot: Bill Rapp

January 8, 2018 by Sandra Ruttan

“I began my professional life as a historian (Ph.D.: Vanderbilt University, M.A.: University of Toronto; B.A.: University of Notre Dame), where I taught European History at Iowa State University for a year before launching into a career as an intelligence officer. (I’m not sure this is crazy, but I spent 35 years working for the CIA.) Most of that time was spent in Washington, but I also had tours in Berlin, Ottawa, Baghdad, and London. Now, as a semi-retiree I am enjoying the next stage as a writer of mysteries and thrillers that combine my love of history and literature, and memories of a great career.” ~ Bill Rapp

What’s the first book you remember reading that had a huge impact on you? How did that story affect you? How do you think it shaped your desire to be a writer?

Henry James’s The American. It captured that confrontation between the Old World and the New, a confrontation that was inevitable given our close cultural and historical ties but differing aspirations. But the story also displayed something unique and special that the New World has to offer the Old one. I think that thought lies at the heart of the Cold War Spy Series.

Did you try your hand at poetry as a teenager or use stick figures to illustrate your comic books? Tell us about your early writing efforts.

My earliest writing efforts came from my first career as a historian. I published two academic articles and a dissertation.

What’s your new book/work in progress about? What inspired you to write it?

Click here to read the full article & find out more!

Publishers Weekly Review, page 67