My Literary Work
The following is a collection of my work to date — four humorous, crime novels.
Wormwood: Politically Correct
Derf Slatkin is on his way to becoming the solar energy king of Wormwood, West Virginia. Just as soon as he finishes installing new solar panels on Wormwood University’s Administration Building. There are, however, a few slight problems: a murder investigation, defective panel parts arriving from Uzbekistan, company stock market manipulation, and a host of strangers arriving daily at the factory to pick up unmarked packages from overseas.
Ty Svenson, a private detective, is working undercover at the university to figure out what Derf is up to — lethal mayhem or a demonstration of sheer incompetence. Ty, sporting blonde dreadlocks as his sleuthing disguise, finds himself in the romantic crosshairs of a gorgeous senior student, and running afoul of student protests popping up on campus.
Ty, Derf, the university president, law enforcement, the Uzbekistani general, and ambassador all find themselves on a storm-tossed river chasing each other to settle a number of scores. Can Ty clear this all up before he and his investigation are permanently sunk?
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Hog Heaven, the most polluted hog farm in Craven County, North Carolina, is under attack by overzealous regulators and local environmentalists. What are the proud owners, Hinky and Dibble Herring to do? Easy. Hire the local police chief to get rid of nosy citizens spying on their operation, create a dietary supplement to help rid their farm of hog-raising byproducts, and court a group of Chinese communist businessmen looking for a terrific investment. Simple enough.
Then again, maybe not. Private detective Ty Svenson finds himself involved in a murder investigation, the hunt for an embezzler, tracking a minister’s wife who has created a new way to save sinners’ souls, and straightening out his love life that has suddenly taken a severe left turn.
Ty winds up at an elegant dinner party that is highlighted by a power blackout, fist fights, gun play, secret identities revealed, artwork unveiled, hog testicles stolen, a forest fire, and calls for law enforcement backup. And all of this before the dessert is served.
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Watch my televised interview to learn more about Hog Heaven, the writing process, and my inspirations!
Wormwood: Beyond Dead
A humorous crime novel that reveals more bad news about Wormwood, West Virginia, a town with the motto, “Down, But Not Completely Out, Yet.”
Junior Lament, funeral and retirement home operator, plans to expand his business empire quickly with a crazy scheme to steal and sell organs from his retirement home clients, and bodies from his funeral home competitors. Even stranger, he plans to build an Indian casino—without any Indians.
All the while private investigator Ty Svenson is hot on Junior’s trail, he has his own issues. Ty’s girlfriend tells him to become more sensitive, or else. Mixed messages prevail as he consults on the case with a gorgeous, gun-toting neurosurgeon.
It all comes to a head when the whole confused cast of characters ends up at the Indian casino while a winter fashion show is underway—in the heat of August. The question is, will anyone make it out alive?
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Go on a tour of Wormwood, WV!
Wormwood: High Crimes and a Bunch of Misdemeanors
A comical murder mystery set in the small town of Wormwood, West Virginia, one that has fallen on hard times. And just about everyone has pretty much come to accept things as they are.
Except Mayor Little Dick Fleming, who is secretly attempting to unload his methane gas-filled coal mines that run under the city before Wormwood goes up in flames. That, and get a convention center built with his name on it.
And Karl Lamb, the local slaughterhouse owner who is desperately trying to stay afloat financially by way of a plan that stretches the definition of the word “demented.”
To round things out Ty Svenson, a newly minted private investigator, is racing around trying to solve a murder, prevent a fresh round of civic atrocities, and sort out his complicated love life.
With flood waters bearing down on the city, the whole mess gets resolved on live, local TV.