Okay, first things first. My apologies for neglecting the old blog for the last few months. Things have been quite hectic here in the nation’s oldest city of St. Augustine. The day job’s been keeping me busy. But also, the writing gig’s been pretty busy as well. When I last posted here, I was introducing you to my paranormal murder mystery, Death Warmed Over. Today, I wanted to share with you my brand new book coming out later next month (May 1 at the latest).
I know I’m best known for paranormal tales (whether mysteries or thrillers), but ever since my hero Warren Murphy suggested I try my hand at true mysteries, using my knowledge and skills as a forensic investigator, I’ve not been able to get it out of my mind. I wrote Clean Exit a couple of years back because of his suggestion, but it wasn’t enough. My story ideas have gradually started moving in a straight-up, zero paranormal direction (don’t worry. I’ll never give up paranormal completely, but for now, I’m having fun with monsters of the criminal variety).
Enter Killypso Island.
So, first let me share the inspiration for this story. It might sound weird coming from a white guy who grew up in the hills of Kentucky, but I’ve got a thing for Calypso music. Especially Calypso music written and performed in its hey day of the 40s and 50s. A few months ago, I was scouring Amazon Prime music when I came across a fun little song called Run Joe by Louis Jordan.
Here are the lyrics to the first verse:
Moe and Joe had a candy store
Telling fortune behind a door
Cop grabbed Moe and as Joe ran out
Brother Moe then began to shout
(Run Joe) Ay de man at de door
(Run Joe) He man won’t let me go
(Run Joe) Run as fast as you can
(Run Joe) Police holding me han’
The song goes on to talk about Moe being incarcerated and asking his sister to hide their crystal ball (I guess it was illegal on Moe’s island or something) and then make up a good alibi for him. Meanwhile, Joe’s on the run from the police, but they’re always catching up to him. The song is just very very fun (you can listen to part of it here, as well as read the full lyrics).
Anyway, the song put my imagination to work. I wondered what would happen if there was a ‘Joe’ on an island that got accused of a crime and had to go on the run. What if that island was very small. Where would he run? Where would he hide? Who would help him? Who would chase him? And how would he clear his name?
And therein lies the seeds of the story that would become Killypso Island. Set in 1954 on a fictitious island called St. Noel, the story is about Captain Joe Thacker, a former US Navy Ace during WWII, who’s been permanently grounded because of losing one of his eyes during the war. He comes to St. Noel to make a fresh start, buys a boat and starts chartering it, as well as using it to smuggle rum here and there. And before you ask, yes. There’s a Moe in the story too. But Moe is not what you might expect, though he plays an interesting part of the story, I think.
Anyway, here’s the book’s official description:
The Cold War is heating up in paradise…
“Captain Joe” Thacker didn’t come to the tiny Caribbean island of St. Noel looking for trouble. Just the opposite, the former flying ace turned sometimes-smuggler wants nothing more than to while away his days, smoking hand-rolled Havana cigars and sipping rum as the melodic beat of calypso drums drift through the sultry air.
But trouble has a way of finding Captain Joe.
It begins when the local customs inspector decides, seemingly on a whim, to hassle him over a shipment of booze meant for Jacques “the Candyman” Lagrange–a popular local figure who runs the island’s only candy store, and happens to be both a gangster and a voodoo priest. He’s also the elder brother to the the island’s despotic governor. The long-simmering rivalry between the Lagrange brothers is starting to boil over, making life on the island miserable and posing a serious threat to Captain Joe’s livelihood. To make matters worse, three suspicious figures who just might be Russian spies show up and start nosing around.
Then Joe is accused of murder.
With some help from an eclectic bunch of island dwellers, Joe goes on the run and on the hunt for the real murderer. But St. Noel is a tiny island, and with the police, a horde of angry voodoo practitioners, and a trio of insidious KGB agents hot on his heels, Joe’s biggest challenge will be staying alive long enough to clear his name.
The ebook is currently on pre-order HERE.
I’d love to see this book be a HUGE success. Naturally, most authors would love to see their books be a huge success…but for me, this book is really special. I believe it’s the best story I’ve ever written. Certainly the with the most twists and turns I’ve ever written. If you buy any of my books this year, I truly hope this will be the one you get. And also, be sure to tell all your book loving friends about it….especially if they’re mystery/thriller lovers. I truly believe they’ll thank you for it later.