Gary F Jones

Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Author Profile

Gary F Jones

Gary Jones says his life has been a testament to bad judgement and wishful thinking. However, his wife of many years says she knows of nothing in the record to justify such unfettered optimism. Gary is a member of the last generation of rural veterinarians who remembers working with cows that had names and personalities and dairymen who worked in the barn with their families. He’s also part of the first wave of Baby Boomers, crusty codgers who are writing their wills and grousing about kids who can be damned condescending at times. He practiced bovine medicine in rural Wisconsin for nineteen years, returned to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, earned a PhD in microbiology, and spent the next nineteen years working on the development of bovine and swine vaccines. His first novel, Doc’s Codicil, will be released by BQB Publishing in October of 2015. This mystery, told with gentle humor, tells the story of a veterinarian who teaches his heirs a lesson from the grave. Gary and his wife reside in Omaha, Nebraska.


Stolen Virus

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Veterinary virologist Jason Mitchell can’t keep his mouth shut, can’t lie convincingly, and can’t follow orders. He’s an unlikely candidate to help the CIA locate and destroy a deadly hybrid virus stolen from Jason’s lab at the University of Minnesota. From Washington to Djibouti, From Minneapolis to Yemen, Marines cringe, Senators turn livid, and CIA agents shudder as Jason struggles to prevent the virus from becoming a biological weapon in the hands of jihadists.

Book Bubbles from Stolen Virus

Introduction to Djibouti

After stealing virus samples, Ahmed is headed to a meeting in Yemen and stops in Djibouti. There he learns that not all pirates fly the black flag.

The Announcement

Ann prepares to tell Jason the news, but she's a little nervous about it.

Theft of the Virus

Ahmed's doctoral program is done and he's headed home tomorrow. He's in freezer lab late at night and discovers samples collected from a study everyone is talking about. Something went wrong. A virus mutated and turned deadly for man. Ahmed doesn't want to go home. He sees an opportunity here. He steals the viral samples with the intention of selling them to the highest bidder in the Middle-East as a potential biological weapon. He heads for the elevator and meets Marge, a veterinary student in a snit. Things do not go well..

Ann Discovers the Theft

A mutant virus has accidentally arisen in a calf study at the U. of MN. The new virus, part bovine corona virus and part the deadly SARS virus has infected one student. All samples have been locked in a freezer, but someone broke into the freezer. Ann takes an inventory of the samples.

A Jerk, a Jihad, and a Virus: a novel

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Veterinary virologist Jason Mitchell can’t keep his mouth shut, can’t lie convincingly, and can’t follow orders. He’s an unlikely candidate to help the CIA locate and destroy a deadly hybrid virus stolen from Jason’s lab at the University of Minnesota. From Washington to Djibouti, From Minneapolis to Yemen, Marines cringe, Senators turn livid, and CIA agents shudder as Jason struggles to prevent the virus from becoming a biological weapon in the hands of jihadists. Jason and Ann Hartman, veterinarians, lovers, and graduate students, conduct a study of BCV in calves, a common virus that causes diarrhea in cattle. A recently arrived Chinese student accidentally exposes the calves to the SARS virus, a close relative of BCV. The calves and the Chinese student develop a severe and puzzling pneumonia. The Center for Disease Control isolates a hybrid BCV-SARS virus from the Chinese student and the calves. The FBI is notified of the new and dangerous virus. Ahmed, more con man than graduate student, discovers samples of Jason’s that contain the virus. He steals them and flees to Yemen where he pretends to be a devout Muslim to get funding from a jihadist group. The jihadists believe the virus will be valuable as a biological weapon and as bait to lure the CIA into military action that will kill innocent civilians and increase hatred of the US. Jason and an unconventional CIA agent redefine “thinking outside the box” as they con Ahmed, dodge bullets, and thwart the jihadists.

Book Bubbles from A Jerk, a Jihad, and a Virus: a novel

Theft Discovered

Ann, the grad student running a study in which a virus seemed to have mutated to something more dangerous, was ordered to put all of her samples under lock and key. An inventory of samples is done and a strange lock encountered.

Margie meets Ahmed

Ahmed goes back to the Vet. Sci. building late at night and steals vials of a recently discovered hybrid-virus. He hurries to the elevator to leave the building--and the country. Two floors above, Margie, a senior in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has been working late in a lab. She's had trouble identifying unknown bacteria in an assigned sample. If she gets it wrong, she might not graduate--and she hasn't been able to get it right for hours. There has been ill-will between Margie and Ahmed before. Tonight they meet at the elevator.

Cafe de la Gare

The agricultural attache of the United States embassy in Djibouti has a discreet meeting with the French agricultural attache. Their real positions are officially confidential but utterly transparent. Djibouti has no agriculture. They are both in charge of their country's espionage in the region.

Baby Names

A friend of Jason's whose wife is expecting a baby lost a pocket guide to baby names in Jason's apartment as they watched a basketball game on TV. The friend leaves and Jason's girlfriend drops by. She finds the book. She is pregnant and hasn't had the courage to tell Jason yet. Now, she thinks he knows.

Package delivery

Ahmed talks a consular employee, Fasi, into sneaking a stolen package out of the U.S. and into Pakistan. Fasi has no idea what it is. He breaks the rules and drinks alcoholic beverages--lots of them--on the flight home and is hung over when he delivers the package. He requests a receipt for the package. Things go wrong from there.


Jason's long-standing romantic interest spent the night with him. She has something to tell him.

Consul Sharif Meets Ahmed

Ahmed has fled to the Pakistani consulate for protection and medical treatment after stealing the viral samples. He tries to bamboozle Consul Sharif and portray himself as a hero, but Sharif has other sources of information. The scene opens in the Consulate. Sharif walks toward his office with an intelligence agent.


Veterinarian and virology graduate student Jason and Joe, a recently arrived Chinese graduate student, spent the evening feeding and examining calves on a coronavirus study. Joe isn't feeling well and the next morning can't be roused.

I'm Okay

A new graduate student arrives from Hong Kong in the spring of 2004. He goes to work right away at the U. of MN veterinary school, helping Jason feed the calves in his study. Something looks wrong.

Doc's Codicil

Humor & Entertainment

“Doc’s Codicil”, a mystery told with gentle humor in a style reminiscent of Clyde Edgerton with touches of Garrison Keillor, tells the story of a veterinarian who teaches his heirs a lesson from the grave. When Wisconsin veterinarian Doc dies, his children and nephew learn that to inherit his fortune, they must decipher the cryptic codicil he added to his will–“Take Doofus squirrel-fishing”–and they can only do that by talking to Doc's friends, reading the memoir Doc wrote of a Christmas season decades earlier, searching through Doc’s correspondence, and discovering the clues around them. “Doc’s Codicil” is a story within a story. As the heirs read Doc’s book, they learn of a Christmas season, 27 years ago, in which Doofus goaded Doc into action on his dreams and bragged about his own project, a Christmas nativity pageant in New Orleans that, unbeknownst to Doc and Doofus, Doc’s sister and brother in law were also working on. In writing his memoir, Doc realized he'd missed important lessons about life, lessons he wanted to impart to his adult children. He knew they wouldn't listen to him, so he invented the riddle of Doofus and squirrel fishing to teach them what he had missed.

Book Bubbles from Doc's Codicil


Doc's sister Linda is having lunch in New Orleans with their mother Elspeth. Linda is afraid her husband Mark may be wandering. Elspeth suggests Linda volunteer Mark to work on their church's Nativity Pageant.

Doc's Insight

After watching 500 lb calves avoid going through a gate and then acting stupid when they did, Doc realized that the behavior of the calves isn't that different from people. He ruminates on this, and acknowledges that he's done some pretty stupid things himself. So many, in fact, he should have realized he was getting help in that venue.

Advice on working with animals and teenagers

Doc's brother in law has been trapped into directing a Christmas Nativity pageant with live animals. He has no idea what to do, so he calls Doc for advice.

Doc meets Doofus

Doc has returned from a long day of work in cold barns and animal facilities. He's tired and cold, and the rest of the family is already asleep. An odd sound in the living room, a shadow moving in the dining room, and Doc realizes he's not alone. In the old Jimmy Stewart movie, "Harvey," Stewart consults and discourses with an invisible 6-foot rabbit that no one else can see. Doc is about to wander down a similar rabbit hole.

Doc tries cabinet making

A faucet has a problem, a simple, cheap problem that Doc figures he can fix. After he's promised to fix it, he discovers it's a bigger job than he thought

Camel Riding III

The 3 men who will play the magi have had their camel riding lesson, had dinner--with wine

Camel Riding Lessons II

Charles is finally on a camel. The camel is resting on its knees so he could mount. Before Charles can ride, his mount must stand.

Camel riding lessons

The three men who are to ride into the Nativity pageant on camels as the 3 wise men go to an animal park for lessons on riding a camel.

Squirrel Fishing

Doc and his old friend and attorney Al are sitting on Doc's deck. Doc complained that feeding the birds or planting a garden is only chumming for squirrels. Al suggests how to get rid of them, but Doc demurs.


Sam is a teen only tangentially involved in the Christmas pageant. He had to cancel a date with Marcy because he's been grounded. Before he could tell her, she told him she had to break the date because her grandmother died.

Teens in a nativity pageant

Jim is a teenager who has been roped into playing a part in a church's nativity pageant. This short sketch could describe many teenagers.


Julie looks at Rockburg, her home town, with fresh eyes after living in the Twin cities for a decade..

Camel riding

The three men who volunteered to ride the camels and play the Magi in the Christmas nativity pageant take a camel riding lesson. None of them has ever ridden anything wilder than a riding lawnmower. Their first look at Gladys, one of the camels to be used in the pageant, comes as a shock.

"Sniffer" the calf

Doc and a crew are trying to get 400 pound calves into a chute to vaccinate them. The calves have avoided the chute, but finally one of them is standing at the entrance, sniffing the cow-flop other calves going into the chute have left. Doc notes parallels between politics and calf behavior.

Al and Jan

Al relaxes over dinner and watching a ball game on TV at home the evening after the reading of Doc's will. His wife Jan has stumbled across information Al would be interested in, but she can't get his attention. Like too many men, myself included, we get lost in our thoughts as our wives are speaking.

Bank Stock

The book opens with Al, Doc's attorney, preparing for the reading of Doc's will. Al is nervous because this will be the first time Doc's children learn about the codicil, a codicil Al had opposed

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