Private Eyes from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods

I’m excited to share that The Eyes of Texas, a Down & Out Books anthology featuring seventeen original private eye stories set in Texas, has a scheduled release date of October 21st.

The book will feature stories from not only yours truly but also actual upstanding citizens such as Trey R. Barker, Chuck Brownman, Michael Chandos, John M. Floyd, Debra H. Goldstein, James A. Hearn, Richard Helms, Robert S. Levinson, Scott Montgomery, Sandra Murphy, Josh Pachter, Michael Pool, Graham Powell, Stephen D. Rogers, Mark Troy, and Bev Vincent.

You can pre-order it on the Down & Out Books website today in either trade paperback or eBook formats.

Guns + Tacos, Season One

I’m super excited to be a part of the Guns + Tacos project—the brainchild of Michael Bracken and Trey R. Barker. Published by Down & Out Books, Guns + Tacos is a series of six serialized novella-length episodes each released monthly, starting in July of this year. The franchise is getting a lot of buzz, and these two notorious troublemakers are already planning the next season.

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Here’s how Bracken and Barker describe the series, according to the official press release: “There’s a taco truck in Chicago known among a certain segment of the population for its daily specials. Late at night and during the wee hours of the morning, it isn’t the food selection that attracts customers, it’s the illegal weapons available with the special order. Each episode of Guns + Tacos features the story of one Chicagoland resident who visits the taco truck seeking a solution to life’s problems, a solution that always comes in a to-go bag.”

Two subscription options are now available on the Down & Out Books website:

• A print subscription, which entitles you to receive all six digital episodes before their official publication date plus two print copies consisting of Episodes 1-3 and Episodes 4-6 plus an exclusive subscriber-only short story

• A digital subscription, which entitles you to receive
all six episodes before their official publication date
plus the exclusive short story.

Titles and authors for Season One:

Tacos de Cazuela con Smith & Wesson by Gary Phillips,
Three Brisket Tacos and a Sig Sauer by Michael Bracken,
A Gyro and a Glock by Frank Zafiro,
Three Chalupas, Rice, Soda and a Kimber .45 by Trey R. Barker,
Some Churros and El Burro by William Dylan Powell, and
A Beretta, Burritos and Bears by James A. Hearn.

Here’s a bit about my story, Some Churros and El Burro:

Tomas “Chispa” Busch works for the notorious Sangre Cartel of Sinaloa. But as the cartel’s resident IT and electronics nerd, his real passion is fixing things. After annoying one of the cartel bosses, the bookish Chispa is sent stateside to deal with a problem in the streets of Chicago. His assignment: eliminate a competitor within 24 hours, or join them—in a shallow grave. 

The Best American Mystery Stories 2018

Woohoo! I’m profoundly honored that my short story The Apex Predator, originally published in Switchblade Magazine, was included in The Best American Mystery Stories 2018.

Edited by publishing titan Otto Penzler, and guest edited by #1 New York Times best-selling author Louise Penny, this carefully curated annual brings readers some of the best mystery shorts published in a variety of publications throughout the year.

I’ve been a reader of this annual series for ages. So it was super-fun to be included this year, along with storytelling giants James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, T.C. Boyle, Joyce Carol Oates and others. Pick up a copy and, while you’re at it, check out Switchblade for some down-and-dirty fun.

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Check Out My New Blog: The Lone Star Lineup

The Lone Star Lineup exposes criminally good mystery fiction, true crime, essays, film and journalism with known ties to Texas. Suspect works must either be set in Texas, involve parties from the Lone Star State or be created by Texas-based authors or creators. Whether you’re a Texan, or just enjoy reading about the worst of our great state (as told by some of its most creative minds), check back weekly for the most recent convictions. 

I Wish I Had a Million Dollars

We all know Aladdin's lamp is just a fairy tale. A myth. A memorable bit of One Thousand and One Nights meant to pass the time. But isn't there a part of us all, just the smallest part of even the most mature of minds, that believes in genies? Wants someone to grant us that instant wish that would change our life forever? Check out my latest Redfish Bay Mystery in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, where we're reminded that life still goes on--even after your wish is granted.