Larry Darter

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Humor & Entertainment

Author Profile

Larry  Darter

Larry Darter, a retired police officer turned crime fiction writer is the author of ten previous novels, including five novels in the Los Angeles based Malone Mystery series. More than twenty years of law enforcement experience uniquely positions Larry to write the style of gritty, realistic mystery/thrillers that crime fiction fans love to read. Having spent the majority of his life as a voracious reader of detective mysteries and police procedurals, Larry is heavily influenced by writers ranging from Raymond Chandler to Robert B. Parker, and Joseph Wambaugh to John Sandford. For more information, please visit or follow Larry on Twitter @larrydarter


China Doll

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

China Doll, another comical and exciting adventure, ripped straight from the files of Honolulu’s most incorrigible and languid, soft-boiled private eye, Richard Bishop.

People come to Richard Bishop’s shabby Hotel Street office for professional help when trouble raises its ugly head because trouble is his business. But when the private investigator accepts an assignment from Nikki Kwan, a stunning and curvaceous China doll, to protect her and to deliver a sealed envelope to her ex-boyfriend, Rick soon has plenty of trouble all his own. He finds himself squarely in the crosshairs of rival Chinatown mobsters who want his client and him dead. As the drama unfolds, the criminals also take aim at Rick’s gorgeous blonde Australian girlfriend, Sally Jayne Fisher. Even after enlisting the aid of Lieutenant David Chang, his friend and former partner at HPD, Rick still collects the usual assortment of bumps, bruises, cracked ribs, and lacerations as the stumbling, bumbling gumshoe struggles to stay out of the hospital and save the lives of his client and his girl, not to mention his own. Can Bishop and Lieutenant Chang take down the mobsters before it’s too late? Or will the Chinatown gangsters prevail, handing Chang three more homicides to investigate?

Book Bubbles from China Doll

Dying is easy, comedy is hard

We usually expect crime thrillers to be serious because of the subject matter, and it takes a very particular attitude to make them funny at the same time. It’s a tricky balancing act, and that probably explains why there aren’t that many comedic crime novels out there. But when I envisioned writing the Richard Bishop private investigator novels that's exactly what I wanted to do. To strike a balance between humor and noir.

Trouble In Paradise

Humor & Entertainment

Gemma Nelson, claiming to be the former mistress of a dead man, asks Bishop to prove her lover’s jealous wife murdered him. Rick takes the job. It seems simple enough. But it isn’t. Bishop thinks he knows what he’s dealing with, but doesn’t. Soon, the case plunges him into more trouble in paradise than he can handle—trouble with shady characters that want to scare him off the case, woman trouble, money trouble, trouble with the law, and even car trouble.

Book Bubbles from Trouble In Paradise

Rick Bishop, Defective Detective

Trouble is his business. However, private investigator Rick Bishop isn’t as hard-boiled as he likes to think he is. Since he’s no Philip Marlowe, his close friends and associates think of him more as “half-boiled.” Bishop may be irresponsible, unreliable, and unable or unwilling to meet basic adult responsibilities on his own, but he’s actually a competent detective and generally manages to solve the case.

Darker Angels

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

In 2000, a friend discovered Anastasia Stepanchikov, a pretty 29-year-old prostitute from the Ukraine, beaten and shot to death inside her luxury Studio City apartment. Police speculated at the time that Russian organized crime may have been involved. Despite an exhaustive investigation by detectives of the LAPD Homicide Special Section, they never identified the killer or brought them to justice. The leads dried up, and the case went cold. Twenty-one years later, Detective Howard Drew and his partner in the Robbery-Homicide Division’s Open-Unsolved Unit reopen the investigation when they receive a DNA cold hit. Unsolved homicides tend to remain unsolved—twenty-one-year-old riddles deepen with the passage of time, the death and disappearance of witnesses, and the blurring of consciousness. Circumstances raise the stakes when Drew comes to realize he has taken on a politically charged case when the DNA match points to a powerful figure in Los Angeles. The original investigators may have missed a clue, or worse yet, turned a blind eye back in 2000 that could have led them to the killer and cleared the case decades earlier.

Book Bubbles from Darker Angels

Treading Carefully

Drew and Lin's supervisor is eyeing retirement. The last thing their lieutenant wants is getting splashed with blowback from a case with high jingo. Drew and Lin must tread carefully. If the boss finds out too soon who his detectives are investigating, he might deep-six their investigation. Darker Angels, the E-book, on sale March 22.

Cold Hit is the Starting Point

In 2004, California voters approved Proposition 69. The measure requires that criminal justice agencies take DNA samples from many suspects, as well as convicted criminals. Police say the LAPD might need to triple the number of officers to handle the avalanche of "cold hits" coming down the road generated by Proposition 69. In Darker Angels, Howard Drew and his partner Amy Lin, members of the LAPD Open-Unsolved Section, pursue the investigation of a 21-one-year-old murder based on a cold hit.

High Jingo

"High Jingo" is a jazz tune composed by Lee Konitz and often performed by Art Pepper , as well as the name of a 1982 album featuring both musicians. It is also a slang term for a situation that is highly politicized or otherwise fraught with danger. LAPD homicide detectives Howard Drew and partner Amy Li run into high jingo when they reopen the investigation of a 21-year-old murder.

Dead End

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

When Honolulu attorney Nicole Hersey hires Bishop to help her find her best friend Diane Clark, she insists on accompanying him in the search. In a financial bind, he agrees. Rick and Nicole follow her friend’s trail to a small town on the North Shore, only to learn from the locals that Diane died there of heart failure. That literal dead end should have closed the investigation, but Bishop notices someone is tailing them. And, later, when the pair interviews the doctor who pronounced Diane dead, Rick’s suspicions Diane isn’t dead at all grow. After confronting the man following them, Clifford Shepard, he informs Bishop he is an IRS special agent, also looking for Diane Clark because she had come into two million dollars recently but hasn’t paid the taxes owed. Once Rick uncovers more evidence that Diane Clark may have faked her death, he ends up in a cemetery in the middle of the night with his two closest friends Joe Rose and Koko Mahelona, intent on digging up Clark’s casket. But just as they unearth the casket, three east coast mobsters from the mainland, also searching for Diane Clark, ambush them. When Bishop’s case takes a deadly turn, will the penurious PI find Diane Clark and her money before hitting his own dead end?

Book Bubbles from Dead End

You Want Humor With That?

Sure, Rick Bishop is no Sam Spade. And his friends think he's lazy. But Rick just wants to earn a living doing as little real work as possible. He also goes out of his way to get along with his clients, especially when he is hard up for money. That's why he agreed to allow his bossy, woman attorney client tag along while Rick searches for her missing friend. Unfortunately, that means doing as little work as possible gets complicated.

What’s Done is Done

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Wise-cracking, Shakespeare quoting L. A. private investigator Ben Malone is back in this ninth installment of the Malone Private Investigator series. When L.A. private investigator Malone’s attorney friend, Liz Harper, with the gorgeous legs he finds irresistible, asks him to take a case as a personal favor to her from a former law school acquaintance who practices criminal law in New York City, he has reservations. But Malone agrees, even though he feels sure the New York lawyer, Bennett Holden, is holding out on him by leaving out some pertinent details. Holden hires Malone to intercept a woman at the Los Angeles International Airport arriving on a flight from New York City, to tail her to her destination, and then report her location back to him. The thing is, nothing seems to make sense, until it’s too late. When Malone learns the truth about why Holden wants the woman found only after he’s already given away her location, he can’t just drop it there or accept the old adage “what’s done is done.” Instead, he goes to work making things right by unwinding the injustice he helped cause. What’s done is done when he says it’s done. But since the case turns out to revolve around a small fortune in diamonds worth over a million bucks, some criminal types conspiring with Holden want to erase Malone from the equation permanently by any means necessary.

Book Bubbles from What’s Done is Done

For the Love of Shakespeare

What's Done Is Done is the ninth book in the Malone series, It's also the ninth book where the title comes from a line from one of English playwright William Shakespeare's works. Why do I borrow lines from the Bard of Avalon to title every Malone novel? It's because, as Chandler did with Marlowe and Robert B. Parker did with Spenser, I wanted Malone to be a tough guy, and a hard boiled private eye. But, I didn't want that to be the sum of his character. I wanted to soften him a bit by adding additional layers to his character. Making him an educated and literary man, not a simple thug is one way I've tried to do this. In the novels, Malone often quotes lines from Shakespeare in context with the stories, which I hope helps achieve my intention to add depth to the Malone character. Also, I just happen to love Shakespeare.

Mare's Nest

Working Title: Mare's Nest

This Book Is In Development

Mare's Nest

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

T. J. O'Sullivan is a newly minted private investigator at a small Los Angeles detective agency. When her boss sends her to Honolulu on what seems a routine missing person case, T. J. is thrilled to escape her steady diet of divorce cases and eager to apply her investigative abilities to something a bit more challenging. However, as soon as she arrives in Hawaii, the case turns out to be anything but routine. T. J. finds herself at the center of a real mare's nest of revenge, betrayal, money, and murder. With desperate criminals, the Honolulu police, and even her own client all after her, T. J. has to find a way to save not only her own professional life but her own skin by solving the convoluted case.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Mare's Nest

Sneak peek

T.J. O'Sullivan, Malone's side kick from Cold Comfort, is back in her own series. When Malone sends her to Honolulu on a routine missing person case she expects to combine work with a little beach time. Unfortunately, once she arrives she first learns the client's daughter isn't exactly missing. She has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. Things just go down hill from there for T.J. as she faces her first test as a private investigator.

Dead End

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

The Rick Bishop private investigator series continues when a local attorney hires Bishop to find her missing friend and then insists on tagging along to help with his investigation. The missing friend has a sordid past. Her mob-connected ex-father-in-law wants to find her just as badly for about two million good reasons.

Book Bubbles from Dead End

A New Breed of Private Eye

Do you ever tire of reading private investigator novels where the detective has the usual laundry list of clichéd faults to overcome? Yet, no matter how flawed, they are always brilliant and always get the evildoers or solve the mystery in the end. If so, maybe it’s time you met Rick Bishop, a PI in Honolulu who is, to put it kindly, somewhat hapless. He is also often lazy. Sure, maybe Bishop isn’t the brightest tack in the box, but he tries. And you must understand, he has his share of other flaws and more than a few personal issues, too. Bishop has money problems, relationship problems, and landlord problems. Heck, he even has car problems. Rick is no Philip Marlowe, Spenser, Sam Spade, or even Thomas Magnum. But this former Navy SEAL and ex-cop, tries his best to make Honolulu just a little nicer slice of paradise by doing whatever he can to help his clients.

The Pendulum

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

When a mother and her young daughter are found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in a car parked at an overlook off a Hollywood freeway, it appears they are victims of a culturally driven parent-child suicide. LAPD Detective Howard Drew faces his first real test as a new lead homicide investigator as he follows a twisted trail of clues to find the truth in his most challenging case yet.

Book Bubbles from The Pendulum

Accepting the Challenge

Assigned to LAPD's West Bureau, young homicide detective, Howard Drew, faces his biggest challenge yet in The Pendulum, the second novel in this new police procedural series. Drew draws the lead investigator role in a murder-suicide investigation with cultural overtones.

The Girl on the Beach

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A lazy Honolulu private investigator finds himself chasing a ghost when he gets sucked into the vortex of a forty-year-old unsolved double homicide mystery.

Book Bubbles from The Girl on the Beach

An Affair of the Heart Turned Tragic

Almost forty years after the fact, Elle Palmer's determination to define what love looked like on her own terms sucks Honolulu PI Rick Bishop into the vortex of a cold case murder investigation. When best friend and Navy buddy Joe Rose persuades Bishop to help him find a mysterious woman Joe met briefly on a Waikiki Beach before she disappeared, Bishop gets the eerie feeling he's looking for a ghost.

Sometimes, it’s better to say no.

Saying no to a friend can hurt feelings and even the friendship. But as a lazy Honolulu private eye learns when he lets his best friend pressure him into tracking down a mysterious, beautiful girl that the friend shared a brief romantic beach encounter with, sometimes, for your own health, it’s better to turn down a friend. Rick Bishop finds himself chasing a ghost when he gets sucked into the vortex of a forty-year-old unsolved double homicide. Then when the murderer targets Bishop for death, he must race to find out where all the bodies are buried before it’s game over.


Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Fans of iconic LAPD homicide Detective Harry Bosch will feel right at home with LAPD homicide Detective Howard “Howie” Drew. Don’t miss Omerta, the first book in a brand new police procedural series set in the City of Angels.

Book Bubbles from Omerta

LA: Where the tedious is dangerous.

When you’re a brand new homicide detective spending your days and nights in the gritty underbelly of the city that never sleeps with a tetchy veteran murder cop for a partner, you must keep your cool and your wits about you when the bodies start hitting the floor.

How Real Do You Want It

When writing a police procedural, you must walk a fine line, balancing realism with drama. Recently, I read with amusement an interview of a retired cop by a well-known author. The retired officer pointed out all the common mistakes writers make when writing police stories. As a retired police officer myself, I understand where he was coming from. And I agree with him that accuracy and authenticity are essential in police procedural novels. Fans of the genre, who tend to be very knowledgeable about police procedures, expect that. On the other hand, going overboard with realism can be a mistake. Why? Because believe it or not, real life police work is far more tedious and routine than exciting, although many civilians might never imagine that. I like to say that I spent over twenty years doing hours and hours of monotonous and repetitive tasks interspersed with occasional moments of pure terror. A one-hundred percent reality-based police story would make for boring reading. While my protagonist, LAPD Detective Howard Drew, would never beat a suspect with a rubber hose during an interrogation to get a confession (because that would be absurd), Drew does sometimes color outside the lines when a real-life detective couldn't. That makes for a far more interesting story.

Everyone's Dreams Seem Within Reach

Everyone's dreams seem within reach - the only problem is, this is LA. A new homicide investigator learns the art of the murder investigation when a semi-celebrity Hollywood writer following her dreams gets whacked, execution-style. Was it a mafia hit or something even more sinister. Special pre-launch sale price ends March 9.

Move over Harry

As Michael Connelly's aging iconic maverick LAPD detective Harry Bosch fades into retirement, a new hard-charging murder cop, Howard Drew, just beginning his career in homicide investigations emerges in L. A. For a homicide detective, a day on the job means hunting killers while trying not to get killed. If you’re a homicide detective in Los Angeles, it also means dealing with the most overwrought, desperate, and deluded criminals anywhere. When you’re a brand new homicide detective spending your days and nights in the gritty underbelly of the city that never sleeps with a tetchy veteran murder cop for a partner, you must keep your cool and your wits about you when the bodies start hitting the floor.

Black Deeds

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A Malone Novel. In this latest thriller featuring the intrepid Los Angeles PI, Malone gets reacquainted with some old friends and meets new enemies in a troubling case that threatens to shake the City of Angels to its core. An aspiring investigative reporter, Piper Lang has her cornflower blue eyes set on becoming more than just another pretty face in the newsroom of a major L.A. newspaper. She also has somebody sending her death threats and threatening to rearrange her lovely face if she keeps snooping into the goings on at a secretive Los Angeles-based female empowerment and entrepreneurial training group. It seems the shadowy company is operating with impunity like a multi-level marketing scheme that one of Lang’s sources claims is only a front for a dangerous sex cult. Malone’s job is to keep the attractive and vivacious Piper healthy until she breaks the biggest story of her career. But after her primary source is almost murdered by two tough guys, Malone’s professional skills are put to the test in a deadly game–a game that may cost Malone and Piper Lang their lives. When it seems clear Malone may be outgunned this time, series favorite L.A.P.D. detective Jaime Reyes comes to the rescue to provide backup. From the mansions of Bel Air to the film studios of Tinseltown, Malone will need to watch his step as he and Piper unravel a exploitative sex-cult. In L.A., all that glitters isn’t always gold.

Book Bubbles from Black Deeds

My Creativity Kickstarter

Reading is a great way to improve your writing. Reading improves a writer's active vocabulary. Reading the works of others give writers a sense of how it is done. Reading helps us writers learn how to create narrative structures and characters, how to develop tension, write dialogue, and maintain a consistent tone and pitch. But, the thing I love most about reading, other than simply the enjoyment of doing it, is it serves me well as a creativity kick-starter whenever I'm experiencing writer's block or feel like I've lost my creative mojo. I can sit down, read a good a novel, and by the time I've finished, my muse returns. When you're not feeling creative, my advice is to read, read, read, and read some more.

What's Coming Next for Malone?

In this latest thriller featuring the intrepid Los Angeles PI, Malone gets reacquainted with some old friends and meets new enemies in a troubling case that threatens to shake the City of Angels to its core. Coming June 9, 2020

Perdido County: Misdirection

Working Title: Perdido County: Misdirection

This Book Is In Development

Perdido County: Misdirection

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A pharmacist’s murder spurs the seventh episode of the compulsively readable Perdido County, the modern day Western crime fiction serial Walt Longmire fans will love. West Texas Sheriff Owen Wolfe responds to a homicide in downtown Kimble that takes him to Lynch Family Pharmacy. Someone stabbed to death the druggist and owner behind the counter in what seems an obvious robbery. Joined by deputies from his department, Wolfe relentlessly investigates the killing. Later when evidence surfaces that calls the robbery motive into question and suggests the killer may have staged it as a misdirection to cover up the true motive behind the killing, Wolfe and his team take the investigation in a new direction in their efforts to identify a suspect. But before Owen can close in, he first must wade through the discoveries of seedy affairs and closely held family secrets. Could these new developments and the case be connected? As the stakes of the investigation continue to mount, Wolfe is up against a case where the murder motive seems something far more personal than greed.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Perdido County: Misdirection

A Motive More Personal Than Greed

A pharmacist’s murder spurs the seventh episode of the compulsively readable Perdido County, the modern day Western crime fiction serial Walt Longmire fans will love. West Texas Sheriff Owen Wolfe responds to a homicide in downtown Kimble that takes him to Lynch Family Pharmacy. Someone stabbed to death the druggist and owner behind the counter in what seems an obvious robbery. Joined by deputies from his department, Wolfe relentlessly investigates the killing. Later when evidence surfaces that calls the robbery motive into question and suggests the killer may have staged it as a misdirection to cover up the true motive behind the killing, Wolfe and his team take the investigation in a new direction in their efforts to identify a suspect. But before Owen can close in, he first must wade through the discoveries of seedy affairs and closely held family secrets. Could these new developments and the case be connected? As the stakes of the investigation continue to mount, Wolfe is up against a case where the murder motive seems something far more personal than greed.

Perdido County: Predators

Working Title: Perdido County: Predators

This Book Is In Development

Perdido County: Predators

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

In Predators, the sixth action-packed episode of Perdido County, after the body of a young woman mauled by a cougar is discovered, Wolfe and his deputies embark on a hunt for predators, the human kind.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Perdido County: Predators

Sixth Action-Packed Episode of Perdido County

When the body of a young woman is discovered mauled by a mountain lion on the range of a local ranch miles from any residence, Perdido County Sheriff Owen Wolfe finds evidence the victim was murdered before her body was ravaged by the cougar. Wolfe and his deputies embark on a hunt for predators, the human kind. Episode 6 of Perdido County, a contemporary West Texas crime fiction saga, available July 16 on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited subscribers read free.

Perdido County: Dark Road

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Introducing West Texas Sheriff Owen Wolfe in this riveting first episode of Perdido County, a new modern-day American West crime fiction serial novel. Former Dallas police detective Owen Wolfe is on a dark road and a man in need of redemption. Wolfe quits his job in Dallas after his partner is tragically murdered. Wolfe blames himself. Depressed and racked with guilt he returns to his West Texas hometown in Perdido County to bury his grief and pain in a liquor bottle. When longtime family friend, Perdido County Sheriff Emory

Book Bubbles from Perdido County: Dark Road

Do Authors Need to Travel for Research?

I have always traveled for my novels. Next month I’ll be traveling to West Texas to research my current project, Perdido County. While I’ve been to West Texas many times, I haven’t been for several years and want to go back for some fresh new perspectives and impressions. We are lucky enough to live in the Internet age, a time where there is a huge amount of information at our fingertips on virtually any place in the world. With Google Earth you can get all the way down to a street level view of most places. There are many brilliant libraries, academic journals, and travel documentaries accessible online. That’s great, however, I firmly believe that no amount of online research on its own can help you understand the feel of a place. Smells, in particular, are beyond your grasp. Endless reading or watching travel documentaries could never tell me exactly what it feels like to stand under West Texas’s limitless blue skies or to experience firsthand the desert landscape scented with a wild sage. Putting together my online research with actual travel I feel achieves a level of authenticity in your writing that online research alone simply can’t duplicate.

Promises and Expectations

Undertaking the challenge of writing a serial project like Perdido County is both exhilarating and a bit daunting. Inherent in any serial project is the reasonable expectation from readers the author will see it through to completion and deliver on the promise of the full set of planned episodes. I’m committed to writing and publishing all ten episodes. In fact, I’ve made a good start already. The first three episodes are up now on Amazon for preorder. That takes the series through June 4 with a brand new episode coming bi-weekly thereafter. I’m writing episode 4 now and episode 5 has been outlined. Want to stay updated on this new contemporary American West saga? Then head over to: There you can click on the “Owen Wolfe Mysteries” button on the homepage and see the full publication schedule. While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to keep abreast of what is coming down the trail next.

Author Inspiration

As far as the novel goes, Perdido County (from the Spanish word for "lost") is fictional. But, you might be surprised to know there really was a Perdido County, Texas at one time. Perdido is a now defunct Texas county. Created in the 1820s, prior to the Texas Revolution, the county was all but forgotten in the post-revolution land grants and general confusion of the following decades. It is believed to have been abolished in 1858, but was not officially declared defunct until 1871.

Like Netflix but It's Reading

Perdido County: Dark Road, is the first episode in a modern-day American West crime fiction serial novel. For those unfamiliar with serial fiction, Perdido County is not a traditional lengthy novel chopped into parts. I designed it from the ground up as a novel meant to be read in episodes. Think of it like a streaming television series you read instead of watch. There is an overarching plot that ties the entire novel together, but each episode is a stand-alone story with one or more mini plots of its own. Each episode has a beginning, middle, and an ending. It is intended the episodes be read in the order published to get the most enjoyment from this serial novel.

Perdido County: The Coyote

Working Title: Perdido County: The Coyote

This Book Is In Development

Perdido County: The Coyote

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Perdido County Sheriff Owen Wolfe and the team search for a missing unregistered sex offender when several Hispanic foster children go missing. Fans of Nevada Barr, Robert B. Parker, and Craig Johnson will love Perdido County: The Coyote, the fifth thrilling installment in author Larry Darter’s Owen Wolfe contemporary Western mystery serial series The children at the county CPS group home insist “El Cóyotl,” a shape-shifting evil spirit from ancient Aztec folklore, took their friends. But, Owen knows it wasn’t a spirit who kidnapped the children. Especially when the director of the group home and another Kimble man turn up dead.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Perdido County: The Coyote

Worst Frears Realized?

When Sheriff Owen Wolfe learns there is an unregistered sex offender living in his county, the possible fate of of a missing young foster boy turns even more ominous. The search for the missing boy becomes a race against the clock. Learn More about the Perdido County serial:

Kids Go Missing in Perdido County

In the fifth episode of Perdido County, "The Coyote," when children start disappearing, Owen Wolfe and the team fear a sex offender is on the loose in the county. Coming July 2. Available now for preorder on Amazon.

Perdido County: Fentanyl

Working Title: Perdido County: Fentanyl

This Book Is In Development

Perdido County: Fentanyl

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Fans of Elmer Kelton, Elmore Leonard, and Robert B. Parker will be enthralled with this fourth episode of the new Perdido County mystery serial novel. It delivers more of the same action, suspense, and engrossing characters readers of past episodes have come to expect. With the compelling West Texas setting, and satisfying depth, contemporary Western crime fiction fans are bound to love Fentanyl. When a ranch hand at the Bar 7 finds the bodies of two murdered men dumped in a stock tank on the ranch, it opens another baffling case for Sheriff Owen Wolfe and his intrepid team of deputies. What starts as a double homicide propels Wolfe and the team into the dangerous, violent world of a Mexican drug cartel where everyone wants a piece of the pie.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Perdido County: Fentanyl

Poison by Any Other Name

The title of the fourth episode of the Perdido County serial comes from Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. It's not too surprising then that one of the common street names for fentanyl is "Poison." This fourth episode from Perdido County will be available June 18. Kindle Unlimited members can read it FREE.

Perdido County: Illusions

Working Title: Perdido County: Illusions

This Book Is In Development

Perdido County: Illusions

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

In this third sizzling episode of Perdido County, a new modern-day American West crime fiction serial novel, Sheriff Owen Wolfe and his team of deputies investigate a case where it seems a local artist chained and locked the doors of his upscale art studio and gallery on the inside to prevent rescue, and then set fire to the building before killing himself there. When the Ghost Horse Art Studio & Gallery in downtown Kimble goes up in flames with the owner and his prized art collection locked inside, Wolfe believes it's more than just a suicide. The team soon realizes that things are not what they seem.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Perdido County: Illusions

For readers with busy schedules

PERDIDO COUNTY is an all-new serial reading experience with original stories featuring a complete, cinematic storytelling experience you can read in under two hours. Set in the wide open spaces of modern-day West Texas, Perdido County episodes follow the story of Sheriff Owen Wolfe, a man working through emotional issues and attempting to rebuild his career as a peace officer. Wolfe and his team of three deputies, including bold-as-brass Latina Deputy Olivia Alvarez work to keep the peace and maintain law and order along the border in the rugged Trans-Pecos region of Texas. For readers of contemporary Western crime fiction with busy schedules, PERDIDO COUNTY is the answer. New episodes are published bi-weekly until the series is completed. All episodes are available on Kindle Unlimited. Visit the series page on Amazon to learn more

Perdido County: Illusions

In this third sizzling episode of Perdido County, a new modern-day American West crime fiction serial novel, Sheriff Owen Wolfe and his team investigate a case where it seems a local artist chained and locked the doors of his upscale art studio and gallery on the inside to prevent rescue, and then set fire to the building before killing himself there. When the Ghost Horse Art Studio & Gallery in downtown Kimble goes up in flames with the owner and his prized art collection locked inside, Wolfe believes it's more than just a suicide. The team soon realizes that things are not what they seem. COMING TUESDAY, JUNE 4.

Honolulu Blues

Honolulu Blues

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Widowed and wealthy Los Angeles socialite Madison Edwards thought she had found her soulmate on an Internet dating site. Madison fell so hard for Dr. Bernard Clemens that she didn't think twice about accepting his invitation to visit him in Honolulu. But, Madison awakes one morning to find Clemens' missing from her bed, and $250,000 worth of her jewelry missing from her hotel room safe. Enter Honolulu private eye T. J. O'Sullivan. After finding that Clemens is as phony as a three dollar bill, T. J. knows finding him won't be easy, especially while trying to stay a step ahead of a gang of murderous Chinese gangsters also looking for him. As the trail winds from Honolulu to Hong Kong, T. J. calls on trusted allies HPD detective Mike Young and her helicopter-flying business partner, Jackie Fitzgerald to help her track down Clemens and recover her client's jewels.

Book Bubbles from Honolulu Blues

More Than the Sum of Its Parts

My approach in the T. J. O'Sullivan thrillers is that a good detective story should be more than just a series of problems to be solved by the sleuth. From the beginning, the private eye story has sought not only to entertain but to increase the reader's understanding of the world around them. I feel that Raymond Chandler was particularly effective at writing that kind of story. To stay true to that concept I endeavor in this series to create interesting, realistic characters, a compelling plot, plausible dialogue, and believable settings. Take a virtual journey with T. J. and her best friend and sidekick Jackie Fitzergerald in the pursuit of a con man that takes them from the streets of Chinatown in Honolulu, and the white sand beaches of Waikiki, to the exotic, mysterious environs of the Hong Kong, pitting the duo against the members of a ruthless underworld gang. Preorder the eBook now at a special price and save.

Keeping it Real

Like me, I'm sure my fellow crime fiction fans love the thrilling action scenes in a novel most. But, in the interest of realism, parts of the book have to relate how private detectives develop information. Despite television and movie dramas, the work is not just one fistfight, shootout, and car chase after another. In reality, a detective's job is really a lot more mundane and boring than that. In this bubble, T. J. visits a parole officer looking for information on her suspect.

Hawaii as a Novel Setting

More than thirty years ago, I fell in love with Hawaii the first time I visited there. I still remember my first views of Hawaii vividly, entering Pearl Harbor while serving aboard a U. S. Navy ship. To me, Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth. That makes it a perfect setting for a book. Since that first time, I've visited Hawaii more times that I can honestly remember. I use the personal knowledge, and memories acquired over the years in writing the T. J. O'Sullivan series. I try my best to help readers get a real sense of being there as they see the sites of Honolulu through the eyes of T. J., the woman private eye who is the lead character in the series. I'd never wish to shortchange readers by giving them a bunch of lifeless, static descriptions of the sights and sounds of Hawaii. Instead, I want to help them feel they are actually there, to lose themselves in a personal experience of the sights and sounds of what is truly a unique and beautiful place.

A Lonely Widow and Her Wealth are Soon Parted

Remember the simpler times when we read books and didn't fall in love with people on the Internet?

Perdido County: Someone's Daughter

Working Title: Perdido County: Someone's Daughter

This Book Is In Development

Perdido County: Someone's Daughter

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

When an attractive young woman with no identification shows up dead on the side of a Perdido County highway with money swirling in the West Texas breeze about her body like autumn leaves, the cash and other clues lead Sheriff Owen Wolfe to surmise the victim was an exotic dancer.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Perdido County: Someone's Daughter

Cinematic Storytelling in Under 100 Pages

Perdido County is an all-new, original serial that feature a complete, cinematic storytelling experience in under a hundred pages. Follow the adventures of Sheriff Owen Wolfe and his deputies as they investigate mysteries and solve crimes in modern-day West Texas. Episode 2: Someone's Daughter, available May 21. Get a new installment every two weeks. Available exclusively on Amazon. KindleUnlimited members read free. Learn more at

Blending the Western and Crime Fiction Genres

Many readers may think of Westerns and crime fiction as two grossly different genres. The first focuses on rough-riding, quick-shooting cowboys behaving badly. The latter emphasizes keen thinking detective types solving mysterious crimes. But there is actually a surprising amount of overlap to be found between the two genres. Both are about the triumph of good over evil. The protagonists encounter an injustice, they work to right the scales of justice, and the villains meet their just punishment. That's why some talented authors have successfully blended the two seemingly divergent genres into some wildly entertaining modern-day, American West crime fiction novels. Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men may be the most sterling example. The cowboys and Indians stuff may be missing from contemporary Western crime fiction stories, but a strong-willed protagonist still solves the crime and delivers justice, Western style.

She Was Someone's Daughter

When an attractive young woman with no identification shows up dead on the side of a Perdido County highway with money swirling in the West Texas breeze about her body like autumn leaves, the cash and other clues lead Sheriff Owen Wolfe to surmise the victim was an exotic dancer.

The Chinese Tiger Ying

Working Title: The Chinese Tiger Ying

This Book Is In Development

The Chinese Tiger Ying

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Here is the novel that reveals tough-as-nails Honolulu private detective T.J. O’Sullivan’s softer, sexier side—the third book in an action-packed detective mystery series. T.J. is on the trail of a stolen ancient Chinese cultural relic called Tiger Ying when she finds herself entangled in a steamy love triangle, dating two good-looking sexy men at the same time. T.J. isn’t always right, but she is never indecisive. She isn’t looking to choose. She wants to keep them both. But can she juggle two lovers and still find the time to solve the case of The Chinese Tiger Ying?

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from The Chinese Tiger Ying

Take a Journey to Paradise

Meet T.J. O’Sullivan, an attractive, youthful mid-thirties New Zealand expat living in Honolulu. Occupation: private investigator. Preoccupation: being in love. Not just in love, but passionately, illogically, miserably in love, with a man who is her former partner and mentor. The problem, it’s love unrequited. He is unavailable. Feeling too gloomy and morose to focus on a case she’s taken on, recovering a stolen ancient Chinese artifact, T.J. seeks help from a therapist. Then while investigating the case she unintentionally finds herself romantically involved with two handsome men at the same time. At first the situation seems just what she needed to resolve all her problems in the romance department. She doesn't want to give either of them up. But, T.J. O’Sullivan soon discovers having two lovers can be a sticky situation, a circumstance that offers a set of unpalatable problems all its own. Save $2 off the cover price when you preorder the eBook by April 1.

We All Need a Little Help Sometimes

Feeling empathy for a character helps us connect and develop interest in not only the character, but the story. For this to occur the character must seem realistic, an ordinary person like us with ordinary human foibles and frailties. It's difficult to identify with a character who doesn't have these things. They don't seem real. In this snapshot we accompany our heroine Honolulu private detective T.J. O'Sullivan to her first visit to her new therapist. She is seeking help with her rather forlorn love life.

Torn Between to Lovers

Private detective T.J. O’Sullivan finds things. When a Honolulu antiques and cultural artifacts dealer hires T.J. to find a stolen ancient Chinese cultural relic called Tiger Ying, she gets busy looking. But that’s not all T.J. is looking to find. Sunk deep in the despair fueled by her romantic obsession with a former colleague, T.J. is desperate to find a way to fill the gaping romantic void in her life. Enter Nick, a gorgeous guy T.J. runs into working her case. He seems to tick all the boxes, offering exactly what she thinks she needs—a casual, unstructured relationship with heaps of NSA intimacy. But just when things seem to go so right it gets complicated. T.J. hooks up with her detective ex-boyfriend who is helping with her case. She’s dating two hotties at the same time and loving every delicious moment. She has no intention of making a choice. The two men are so different, both have qualities that spark her interest and her passions. Can T.J. find time to focus on solving her case while juggling two seriously hot lovers? Worse yet, will the lies and sneaking around catch up to her causing her romantic life to implode, leaving her sad and alone? Coming April 9, 2019

Where do book ideas come from?

I'm often asked where the ideas for my crime thriller books come from. In the case of this novel, The Chinese Tiger Ying, the idea came from a fascinating news article I happened across recently. The article was about the auction of a real-life, rare, and valuable Chinese cultural artifact called the Tiger Ying. I actually created the plot of the book around the artifact mentioned in the news article. Much like the jewel encrusted falcon in Dashielle Hammet's enduring classic, The Maltese Falcon, the Tiger Ying plays a pivotal role both in the solution of a crime and the unraveling of secrets. Look for The Chinese Tiger Ying in March 2019.

Foul Play (Malone Mystery Novels, #6)

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A search for the estranged husband of a rich young thing from Boston seeking reconciliation leads L. A. private detective Ben Malone south of the border to the exotic locales of the Mexican Riviera and into an entanglement with a trio of ruthless grifters who will stop at nothing including murder to protect their confidence scheme.

Book Bubbles from Foul Play (Malone Mystery Novels, #6)

Second Chances

Between the past and the future, between a false accusation and innocence, between honesty and deceit, lies the story of the Douglas family. Picture a woman, wealthy heiress Cara Douglas, haunted by regret over the mistake of making what turned out to be a false accusation of infidelity against her estranged husband years ago. Combine it with the portrait of the husband, Keaton Douglas, a proud man who dealt with the hurt and pain by first disappearing and then becoming a heroin junkie and beginning his dying early—a long agonizing descent into the shadows of narcotics and loneliness. Cara might give an arm or a leg, perhaps a part of her soul to make amends and reconcile with the man she loves. But sometimes, second chances can be costly.. 

Maybe the Best Malone Novel Yet

Reading the great American hard-boiled detective authors all my life like Raymond Chandler, Dashielle Hammett, and James M. Cain is what influenced me to write detective novels and to create Malone, my own knight errant private eye in the mold they created. I really think FOUL PLAY is the best Malone novel thus far with lots of action south of the border along the Mexican Riviera. I don't consider myself a writer comparable to the masters above, but if you enjoy hard-boiled detective stories, I think you will enjoy this book. Coming this March, FOUL PLAY is available now for preorder on Amazon and Kobo, and soon at B

Live Long Day

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

On the surface, except for a strict, ill-tempered father, Bridgette Carpenter seemed to have everything a teenage girl could want. She had a family, nice clothes and lived in a nice home in a nice middle-class neighborhood. But, if everything was so right, why did everything seem so wrong? Malone decides to find out when he hires on to go after a runaway girl. Unfortunately, by the time Malone picks up her trail Bridgette had already traveled to a place that seemed a million miles away from her nice home in Echo Park. Now she was caught up in a dark world of drugs, pimps, and sexual exploitation--a kind of hell on earth inhabited by people who care only about making a fast buck and savoring forbidden pleasures. Can Malone find Bridgette in time before she falls victim to appalling, unspeakable acts that will steal her childhood and perhaps her very life?

Book Bubbles from Live Long Day

When Novels Inform While Entertaining Readers

I've always admired classic novelists who not only wrote to entertain, but to bring attention to important social issues of their day. John Steinbeck's novel Grapes of Wrath is one example. When preparing to write the novel, Steinbeck wrote: "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects]." In Live Long Day I have attempted something similar, though not on so grand a scale. I do hope to draw readers attention to what many say has become in our nation's biggest cities like Los Angeles, the growing nationwide epidemic of child prostitution.

Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair (Malone Mystery Novels, #2)

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A gorgeous socialite. A maverick investigator. A deadly connection. When a drop-dead gorgeous socialite with a wad of cash walks into Ben Malone’s office with a sordid tale to tell, he does what any self-respecting private investigator with rent to pay would do – he takes the case. But soon, he realizes he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Book Bubbles from Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair (Malone Mystery Novels, #2)

Where the title came from

At first blush, a crime fiction novel titled "Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair" might leave some scratching his or her head wondering where that came from. Actually, all the titles of the novels in my Malone Mystery series come from lines in Shakespeare's plays. First, as a nod to the genius of The Bard, and secondly because I easily find in his works many great, title-worthy phrases for crime fiction novels. After all, maybe you've never thought about it, but Macbeth is one of the greatest crime fiction stories ever told. Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair is now available as a part of a 2-book set with Come What May at a special price.

Foregone Conclusion

Foregone Conclusion

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

More than 15 years after the biggest diamond heist in U.S. history, the whereabouts of $68 million worth of the stolen gems remains a mystery. Are they hidden beneath the floorboards of an abandoned building somewhere? Were they sold to Arab princes on the down low? Or are the diamonds in some jewelry store's window the very same ones stolen in 2003, laundered through middlemen until they were clean enough for a legitimate dealer to buy them? Los Angeles PI Ben Malone is good at finding things. Whether it be a missing person, a runaway child, a deadbeat ex-spouse, or hidden assets. The insurance company that swallowed the loss wants to hire Malone to answer those questions. Along with the case, they offer him the promise of a $500,000 bonus if he recovers the diamonds. But, even for Malone, successfully recovering the loot from a 15-year-old heist is no foregone conclusion. Kyle Murray, one of three men responsible for the heist, and the only suspect arrested for the crime did his time without telling anyone what happened to the missing diamonds. Fifteen years later, Murray has been paroled and promptly disappeared, his whereabouts unknown. Malone, lured by the chance at a $50,000 payday, takes the job. But once Malone and his new partner, T. J. O’Sullivan, get to work, it becomes clear that the case is far more challenging, not to mention treacherous than they’d assumed. Not only do they find themselves following a convoluted trail of clues halfway across the globe, but they also discover they aren't the only ones on the trail of Murray and the stolen gems. Along the way, they encounter a shyster lawyer, and his cold-blooded female partner, who quickly demonstrate they will stop at nothing, including murder, to eliminate any competition in the search for the fortune in diamonds.

Book Bubbles from Foregone Conclusion

Contradictions Bring Characters to Life

Even when reading about a corpse, no reader wants to be served a cardboard cutout. The challenge for authors is to help readers think about a character in their minds in a way that they can visualize the character as a person - the way they look as well as recognizable subtle traits that help make a character a little more human. It seems a contradiction to try bringing a character "to life" for the reader when the character is dead. But, seeing a corpse through the eyes and emotions of another character is one way of doing just that.

Tough as Old Boots

Los Angeles private eye Ben Malone is a matter-of-fact guy who doesn't embellish the truth or beat around the bush. He also doesn't engage in false modesty. Some may misinterpret his confidence as conceit. But, that doesn't bother Malone. He doesn't spend much time worrying about what others think of him. Save $2 off the $3.99 cover price when you pre-order Foregone Conclusion before Sept. 11.

Malone is back

If you like high-octane detective thrillers, with deadly villains, and sharp humor, then you will love Foregone Conclusion, the fourth novel in the Malone Private Investigator series. Malone and his Kiwi sidekick T. J. O'Sullivan are on the trail of an ex-con and $68 million worth of rare diamonds stolen is a heist more than 15 years ago. The chase takes them from Los Angeles all the way to O'Sullivans' home, "Land of the Long White Cloud." Available September 4, 2018.

Mare's Nest (T. J. O'Sullivan Series, #1)

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

When Los Angeles P.I. T. J. O'Sullivan is sent to Honolulu by her boss to track down a client's missing daughter, it seems like a simple missing person case. O'Sullivan is excited by the prospect of mixing a little business with some pleasure on the beaches of Waikiki. But the case turns out to be anything but routine. In fact, it becomes a regular mare's nest of extortion, betrayal, and murder. Only after arriving in Hawaii does T. J. learn from the client his daughter didn't actually go missing. Instead, she has been abducted and is being held for ransom. To make matters worse, while T. J. tries to get a lead on the daughter, she has to fend off the sexual advances of her predatory client. The client gets murdered, and T. J. gets framed. Now she must solve at least one murder to prove her own innocence, resolve a criminal conspiracy involving her dead client's own family, and save herself from the clutches of some serious bad guys.

Book Bubbles from Mare's Nest (T. J. O'Sullivan Series, #1)

She wasn’t looking for a knight she was looking fo

"She wasn’t looking for a knight she was looking for a sword." That quote from a mysterious modern-day bard, who prefers to be known to the world simply as Atticus, inspired my creation of the character, T. J. O'Sullivan. Too often, female characters in literature are tediously boring, portrayed as mere supporting actresses in their own stories, fragile, docile creatures dependent on a man for just about everything in life. I'm blessed to have a number of close women friends, and the way women are usually portrayed in books just doesn't square with how my friends truly are. That's where T. J. comes in. She is strong, smart, confident, and tough as old boots. But that doesn't mean she isn't still very much a lady. She is a composite of my close women friends, and the kind of character that I hope young women readers will be able to admire, and possibly aspire to be like.

Why Strong Female Characters in Fiction are Import

I feel that the depiction of strong female characters in fiction can positively influence readers' emotional reactions and attitudes toward women. Strong, independent female characters can in some ways help challenge some of the negative traditional gender-role stereotypes that some readers hold about women. Having grown up as the brother of three sisters and as the father of two daughters, I think there is a real need for strong women and strong female characters. As girls grow up, I feel they need role models who come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. Whether they be fictional or real women, there need to be strong figures for girls to look up to.

Edge-of-your-seat action

This is the first book in a new series featuring T. J. O’Sullivan, who previously was a supporting character in Cold Comfort, the third novel in the Malone Mysteries series. If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat detective thrillers featuring a woman sleuth as the strong female protagonist, you’ll love Mare’s Nest. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Meeting the Client

The first meeting with a client is when a P.I. learns the specifics of the case and the client’s objectives. It's only after the first meeting that investigators can begin doing their job.

Cold Comfort (Malone Mystery Novels, #3)

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A knock on the office door of Los Angeles private eye Ben Malone can only mean one thing, a new case. Defense attorney Liz Harper from the Los Angeles law firm Ross & Logan pays Malone a visit with an interesting story to tell. Harper's client, bad-boy actor Zack Sinclair, whose appetites for booze, gambling, and extramarital sex are as out-sized as his ego, has been charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Holly Sutherland, one of Hollywood's biggest and brightest stars. Her client has next to no alibi, and to make matters worse, he is on the hook for a gambling debt of a quarter million bucks. As her sole heir, he had multi-million reasons to kill his wealthy wife. Harper believes her client is innocent, at least of the murder, and she hires Malone to prove it before the case goes to trial. Malone starts investigating. The case quickly gets darker when he uncovers some ugly secrets about the deceased. His search for he truth puts him squarely in the path of a mafioso who tells Malone to drop the case or else. Malone enters into a daring game of cat-and-mouse, a game he might not come out of alive.

Book Bubbles from Cold Comfort (Malone Mystery Novels, #3)

A favor for an old, and very attractive friend and

Sometimes when a PI decides to look into the notorious murder of a Hollywood starlet mostly out of admiration for a client's attractive legs, things can go down hill fast, quick, and in a hurry.

Come What May

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A spellbinding tale of deceit, dark choices, and murder that reviewers describe as "gripping," ”full of suspense and thrills," and "hard to put down." Inspired by a shocking true story, Come What May, the debut book in the new Malone Mystery series, is a high-stakes thrill ride through the gritty underbelly of the City of Angels. Hollywood Division detective Ben Malone is caught up in a run of bad luck. The worst of it, his unfortunate entanglement in three separate fatal on-duty shootings in less than a year at a time when activists are protesting the use of deadly force by police and provoking riots all over the country. The spate of shootings has his LAPD superiors questioning his judgment. Is he too quick to use deadly force? Relieved from street duty, Malone is sequestered in the RHD Cold Case Homicide Section to keep him under wraps while he undergoes department-mandated psychiatric evaluation. Malone and new partner, Jaime Reyes, come across the files of a cold as ice, 23-year-old unsolved murder case. Convinced the theory pursued by the original investigators, death resulting from a burglary gone sideways, was completely wrong, they embark on an "off-the-books" investigation that creates more problems, especially for Malone. It quickly becomes clear that there are powerful forces at work both inside and outside the LAPD determined to keep the truth behind the murder buried. But even when his own career is placed in jeopardy, Malone is determined to uncover the truth, come what may.

Book Bubbles from Come What May

What gunshot wounds reveal...

In the case of multiple gunshot wounds, a forensic examination of blood spatter, soot deposition, the wound tracks, and an assessment of relative lethality and incapacitation can reveal the possible motive and intent of the murderer.

Inspired by a shocking true story...

Murder is the violent crime that's most likely to be solved, at least according to national statistics. But we've probably all heard of unsolved cold case homicides like the Elizabeth Short murder in 1947. Known posthumously as "the Black Dahlia," Short was found murdered in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. That case has never been solved. What is more remarkable is when a decades-old murder case is solved by the identification and arrest of the perpetrator. When I happened across the true story of such case that also coincidentally occurred in Los Angeles, I immediately knew I wanted to write a novel based on it. What really fascinated me about this particular murder case was that the identity of the murderer was so obvious the case should have been solved almost immediately. But LAPD detectives pursued the wrong theory, and as a result, the case went cold. It remained unsolved for 23 long years before the victim and her family finally got justice.

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