Mysteries, thrillers, home of PI Thomas Black

Jackson Street is now back on sale in ebook form at Amazon in Kindle and at Barnes and Noble later this week. Some readers have noticed it was off sale for a short period. This was due to a formatting issue that is now, hopefully, fixed. The paperback version, which had minor formatting issues, is now offline but will be back within a couple of days. I will redo the links in the article below when they’re available.

Jackson Street

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We’re happy to announce the fifteenth Thomas Black is now available.

The Kindle version can be found here. The trade paperback version can be found here. If you’re shopping at Barnes and Noble it’s here.

In this caper Thomas Black once again finds himself in trouble.

In his 15th appearance in the multi-award winning Thomas Black mystery series, Thomas is ambushed by unknown assailants on a Washington State ferry, pitched overboard and left for dead in Puget Sound. Thomas suspects the attack may be linked to the police brutality suit he’s investigating for his attorney wife, Kathy. After he is rescued from the sound, things heat up when Thomas stumbles upon a mummy as a consequence of tailing a local businessman with ties to the mayor’s office. At first the mummy seems unrelated to his work or the attack on him, but the corpse is gradually linked to several players in the case, including, oddly enough, Kathy’s client. As Thomas continues to investigate, he begins to unravel a conspiracy of murder and racial animus dating back almost two decades.

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kindlecoverHere’s what I’ve been working on lately. We’re republishing some of my favorite fire thrillers. First is Into the Inferno. It will very shortly be available in Kindle and Nook. Soon thereafter, we’ll get it out in a paperback version. We’re just waiting for the final proofs in the mail. If I could write a book this good every time out I’d be writing twenty-four hours a day.


Also, I’m translating The Smoke Room for e-book versions. This may be my favorite.

On the other side of the desk, Jackson Street, the latest Thomas Black, is being copyedited as I write this. It should be out, with luck, by the end of this year.


Upper trails at Rattlesnake Ledge, Fall 2015

Q: You just came out with Two Miles of Darkness. What are your thoughts?
A:  It’s been almost two years since Monica’s Sister. My goal is to write one book a year, but the schedule got some sand in the gears thanks to some extended talks with a publisher which, in the end, didn’t pan out. My thinking was to get some more Thomas Black novels out, and to that end I’ve written three in a row. I’m almost done with Jackson Street, the next Black.
Q: When will Jackson Street be out?
A: It depends on how long my copyediting and the rest of the production
work takes. I’m shooting for next summer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two Miles of Darkness is now available in trade paperback at Barnes and Noble or trade paperback at Amazon.

The e-version is on sale at Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Just click on the highlighted store name to see the buy page. I’ve noticed a lot of people are catching up by getting a copy of Monica’s Sister, which is number  thirteen in the Thomas Black series. Two Miles of Darkness is fourteen. I’m not doing any touring these days, so I won’t be getting a chance to meet any readers, but I will post a Q&A in the next week or so where I hope to get to all your questions.

As always, these days online reviews are the most helpful thing one can do for an author.


The author at Johnson Ridge Observatory on Mt. St. Helens in September of this year.


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On sale September 25, 2015

Two Miles of Darkness, the latest Thomas Black mystery, is coming out on September 25, 2015.  There will be a trade paperback version as well as a Kindle, Nook, and Kobo ebook issue.

If you would like to pre-order, you can do it here for Kindle and here for Kobo.

So far there is no pre-sale link set up for the trade paperback version or for Nook. As soon as there is, I’ll amend this page to reflect it.

There’s a new promotion on Amazon wherein the customer can get the Kindle version for $2.99 when buying the book in trade paper.

If you do all your reading from the library, as many do, please encourage your local library to order the book either electronically or in the paper version.


capecolordiff2Cape Disappointment is now available in e-book format on Kindle and Nook versions.  Cape is the 12th mystery in the Thomas Black series and was originally published in 2009 with Ballantine Books. A new trade paperback version is also in the works and should be ready in a week or so, available on Amazon, among other places. We’re just waiting for the page proofs to come in the mail.

Cape Disappointment has been out-of-print for a couple of years now, so we’re excited about this. Once again, the new cover is by Spinachi. This was the last and probably the best of the Thomas Black titles I did while still Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Reader

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Rough mock-up of new cover


I’ve had a few people ask questions of me recently. Here are some of the answers.

On work: I am retired from the Seattle Fire Department. I retired in 2010 after 32 1/2  years. I thought it was the best job on the planet while I was doing it, and I still think so. Of course, there is the job of novelist. That’s pretty good, too.

On bringing back past characters: I have resurrected Thomas Black, the Seattle-based private eye who was featured in my first series. Monica’s Sister has been out for a while and soon I’ll bring out Two Miles of Darkness. You might notice that even though thirty years have passed since the series started, Thomas and Kathy haven’t aged much. The world has changed and if you read the books straight through, you might notice in the earlier books Thomas uses a pay phone and has no computer access.  These days he uses the Internet and cell phones to track the bad guys. I have no intention of aging these characters, even though the technology of their lives is changing with the times.

On writing another Fontana: I would like to someday write another Fontana, but so far the muse hasn’t struck. When and if Fontana and Brendan and Mayor Mo ever come back, they won’t have aged at all and, unlike the Black series, I wouldn’t allow the world around them to age. Thus, should Fontana and company come back, they would still be living in a small town in the Cascade foothills in the 1980’s.

Horse pasture in the Snoqualmie Valley, May 2014

Horse pasture in the Snoqualmie Valley, May 2014

Unlike just about any manmade object, this field of buttercups is about perfect. I try hard to eliminate all the typos and assorted mis-spacings that occur in any manuscript but I don’t catch everything. Neither do my proofreaders. If you see anything in any of my electronic books or the paper version of Monica’s Sister, please drop me a line so I can fix it.

Molly sent me notice that I’d used “hoards” when I meant “hordes.” Wow. Didn’t see that one.


Top of Mount Si, 4167′, mid December 2013, facing Seattle which is fogged in.

You’ve just brought out Monica’s Sister in trade paper? How was that process and what are your thoughts on it?

Originally I was planning to write more Thomas Black mysteries for e-format only, but there were a lot of complaints about the book not being available in paper, so I backtracked and told people the paper version would come out in time for the holidays, which it did.

Was the process difficult?

Having already put older books on Kindle, Nook and Kobo e-readers, I thought it would be simple, but it turned out to be harder than I thought. There was a lot of tinkering with the format and going over proofs. And then, after reformatting it multiple times, we had to proofread it again. I’m not very good at proofing my own stuff but I had help. At any rate, it’s out in paper now so people are happy.

Are they selling better in paper than in e-book format?

It’s too early to tell. I’ve done virtually no promotion aside from a post on my website, so it will be a gradual process of Read the rest of this entry »

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