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Mahogany Ridge

See And Be Seen

The Batcheller Mansion

Saratoga's Great Ladies

Curse Of The Veiled Murderess

Crimes In Time Journal Vol. II: Victorian Rules

Maggie's Revenge

Crimes In Time Journal Vol. I

To Spend Eternity Alone

Leave It To The Ladies

Everything Matters

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Hollis Palmer, eighth generation Saratogian, began telling stories shortly after he learned to talk (just ask his sisters). As a child, he enjoyed trying to repeat verbatim the tales told by his grandfathers. From one, he heard the oral history of the region.  From the other, he learned the joy of narratives that were simply incidents in a person’s life. From both, he learned to enjoy the soothing effects of oral accounts.

Later, Hollis became engrossed in his family’s history in America. The first relative to arrive in America came in 1621 on the Fortune. Because his family arrived on the second boat and has spent the last 300 years working for the families that arrived on the first boat (the Mayflower), Hollis has had to work for a living.

Having taken an early retirement package so that he could look at new challenges (who is retired and works 50 hours a week?), Hollis now looks back at his diverse career in education and wonders why he was so lucky.


Hollis Palmer began writing almost by accident. While working on his family’s history, he came across the story of the trial of Jesse Billings for the murder of his wife Eliza Harris Billings. The Billings story was classic. A very rich man was accused of murdering his wife. During the investigation it was revealed that when Billings was 18, he shot and killed his older brother. There are also allegations that he may have had a mistress living in the apartment over his private bank. It was a story waiting to be written in the book To Spend Eternity Alone.

At this time, Hollis has six true crime books in print: To Spend Eternity Alone, Crimes in Time Volume I, Maggie’s Revenge, Crimes in Times Vol. II: Victorian Rules, Curse of the Veiled Murderess and Leave it to the Ladies. In most of the stories the guilty party was never convicted and the crime remains officially unsolved. All the books are based in the Victorian Era. 

Hollis branched out from true crime in his later books. Everything Matters is his book on ways to improve as a supervisor.

Hollis went on to writing history books.  Saratoga’s Great Ladies tells the stories of the houses on North Broadway and Franklin Square, focusing upon the families who built them and made them “homes.”  The Batcheller Mansion relates the history of the Batcheller family and the building of their beautiful mansion that the New York Times called “Saratoga’s Crowning Glory.”

His most recent publication, See and Be Seen: Saratoga in the Victorian Era, depicts the people, politics, economics and society in Saratoga from 1856 to 1906.  This book won the prestigious 2011 Ruth Emery Award for the best regional history book awarded by the Victorian Society of America. From his research for this book, Hollis is currently working on a TV series telling the stories of families who came to Saratoga for “the season” of 1858. Portions of the scripts can be read at here..

His latest book Mahogany Ridge, is his first work of fiction. It focuses on two would be philosophers, Play Doe and Soccer Tease, who attempt to explain the lives of others. Naturally, they get it wrong until they are joined by Ms. Arie Stotle.


As a life-long educator, Hollis has always used stories as a way of conveying a message. As a teacher, he used accounts to add relevance to his lessons.  Frequently a mentor, he used anecdotes as a framework for addressing problems. 

Now, he has turned a lifetime of learning into an art form.

Hollis has taken the stories from his books and turned them into entertaining events telling his stories much the same way your grandfathers told you their stories.

Experience Hollis’ unique style, book a presentation! Click here.