One year ago, widower Sebastian Calderón left his position as Captain of a large police department in the metro-area of Tucson, Arizona, to become Police Chief in the sleepy village of Outer Wellfleet on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with a staff of only one deputy and a half-time office assistant. Because his teenage daughter, Bianca, was accepted to a prestigious art academy on the Cape, he resolved to put up with the cold winters and summer tourists until she graduated. Meanwhile, he expected that boredom was just part of the new job—that is, until one of the residents, opera star Da’veeda Sherone, was half-swallowed by her pet snake.
Calderón and his deputy, Roger Chace, soon found themselves embroiled in murder and the illicit transgenic mutation of the diva’s anaconda into a Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent.
Although Calderón was able to solve the mystery of the diva’s death, he was unable to bring to justice the scientist, Dr. Mark Richards, who was attempting to create the Quetzalcoatl. Calderón was convinced that Richards had fled to Mexico—where there’d be buyers for the feathered serpent—and he intended to search for the fugitive there. But Interpol Agent Max Volkov warned him to desist in his pursuit. Interpol, Volkov said, was following a bigger criminal enterprise in the international market of bioengineered species and the agency didn’t want any interference from unauthorized sources.
Calderón, however, was not about to let Volkov or anyone else tell him what he may or may not investigate, or where he may or may not go. On the pretext of vacationing with his extended family—whose lineage traced back to the ancient Toltecs—the police chief traveled to Mexico. He was determined to follow his hunch about Richards, and Interpol be damned.
Calderón’s instincts led him to the Toltec pyramid at Tula Allende, where he once again encountered Tezca, the enigmatic woman he’d met during the Sherone case.
What was she doing here? he asked himself. What did she know about the Quetzalcoatl? And most importantly, was she friend or foe?
All three books of the trilogy are currently (8/22/18) under option by
Command Performance Productions (New York)
Books 1 & 2
JUCKETS + SWAMP YANKEES
In Juckets, the story begins with the disappearance of the little Bradburn girl the day before a blizzard. The main characters —psychology professor Julia and veterinarian Adam— meet and are drawn into the investigation as Adam leads Julia into a world of backwoods life to find both evil and humanity in unexpected ways.
In Swamp Yankees, Julia —now a clinical psychologist— tries to solve a 20-year old murder, while Adam investigates the theft of some local farm animals. Their relationship deepens as their paths take them into investigating the same suspects.
Published by Infinity ISBN 0-7414-4671-5
Available both in print and as an e-book on Amazon.
In Bog Men, the third book of The Pittsley County Chronicles —a mystery series with continuing characters (preceded by Juckets and Swamp Yankees)— we find the story of the disappearance of a young Cambodian boy from a Massachusetts cranberry bog at the hands of a mysterious cult. It is the most recent abduction investigated by psychologist Julia Arnault and her partner Adam Sabeski. Bog Men (and women) also relates the outrageous attempt by the town of Pittsley to seize land by eminent domain for the development of a revenue-pumping casino and resort.
Published by Infinity ISBN 0-7414-6213-3
Available both in print and as an e-book on Amazon.
In the stone cold heart of a 1932 New England winter, Madeline Abbott visits her oldest and closest friend who resides directly across the lake, just over the New Hampshire border from Vermont. She finds Celia seriously ill and walled away from reality by several strangers who have won her confidence. At Celia's untimely death, Madeline's instinct cries out foul play. She vows never to rest until the truth is revealed. But in her zeal, she cannot imagine the series of events she will set into motion—or how drastically they will alter the lives of every person in Celia's house that fateful day of Madeline's visit. Winterkill will keep the reader riveted and guessing until the last moment.
Published by Spinsters Ink ISBN-10: 1-883523-64-8; ISBN-13: 978-1-883523-64-0
Nominated for a National Book Award (2013)Strummin’ the Banjo Moon tells the oddssey of Juanna Mae DelRio Lottery. At age 19, she finds herself abandoned by her husband and foreclosed out of her house in South Jersey. Left without any resources except for an old Buick, a little pocket change, and her own grit, she and her 5-year-old daughter, Dell, move their belongings into their car and drive to a secluded spot deep in the pine woods. Juanna plans to stay there until she has saved enough money (by working in a fish market) to go home to her mother in Louisiana.But the Social Service is about to swoop down and take Dell into foster care . . . and if Juanna hadn’t lied about her age, they might even take her, too!She should’ve known better, she says, because her mother always warned her, “The road to hell is paved with government intentions.”
Like Huckleberry Finn’s adventures on the river, Juanna’s adventures on the road thrust her into a world of unforgettable characters and precarious situations. Her humorous, moving, and sometimes tragic journey spans thirty years, two continents, and often tests her belief that everything that happens has a purpose and a moral. Ultimately, through hardship and determination, Juanna not only survives her mis-fortunes, she conquers them.
What would you do if a friend tells you he can identify the killer in an old murder case?
Would you advise him to go to the police?
But what if the police were involved?
You ought to look into it, he says.
The last question is the one I repeatedly ponder. After all, I'm no detective. I have no credentials beyond authoring a few mystery novels.
And yet, what is more compelling than Life and Death? Especially to a writer.
So, this is the story of my own investigation of a 1969 unsolved murder in Fall River, Massachusetts. I suppose it will reveal as much about me as it does the investigation, and perhaps I shall make some discoveries through each. Written in blog form (that's like a journal to those outside the blogosphere), the reader will follow along with me as I uncover information about the case, and we will arrive at some conclusion together . . . whatever that may be.
A nonfiction murder investigation (oroginally from Whiskey Creek Press, which has just been sold to another company called Start Publishing) available as a print and e-book on Amazon.
FOR A REVIEW OF THIS NOVEL BY WBZ-RADIO'S JORDAN RICH (3/10/19), GO TO MP3 FILE: 147 BOOK CLUB_FEATHERED SERPENTS
When detective Calderon moves from Arizona to Cape Cod to become Chief of Police, he is bored and unchallenged. But his routine is soon shaken when an opera star's "pet" anaconda attacks her, and he encounters multiple murders in a realm of transgenic research and mysticism with links to his ancient Toltec past.
This book is currently out of print but may be found used on Amazon
and American Booksellers Exchange.
In 1962, Alcoa manufactures the first pull-tab aluminum can—it’s a transformative new industry but the process demands intensive mining and massive electricity for smelting the ore. For that purpose, Suralco (Alcoa’s subsidiary in Suriname, South America) builds a hydro-electric dam across the Suriname River flooding 900 square-miles of jungle.
Behind the Afobaka Dam, the river water forms a vast spreading lake. Many native villages are submerging; thousands of people and animals are in peril. Although the government oversees the woeful relocation of 6,000 Saramaccas (descendents of African slaves) out of their homes in the now-flooded area, there is no consideration for the trapped animals that will surely die. But one man, Commissioner Jan Michels, writes to the International Society for the Protection of Animals (ISPA) in Boston, Massachusetts for help. “Time is short,” he pleas, “and the water rises.”
In 1964, 24-year-old MPCA agent John Walsh is loaned to ISPA to rescue the animals. He has never been out of New England. He has never caught jungle animals and never managed such a rescue project. But then, neither has anyone else.
Over the next year-and-a-half, as he works with his team of 40 Saramaccas in what comes to be called Operation Gwamba ("gwamba" means "animal" in Saramaccan), the water rises faster and faster. It is a race against time with rusting equipment, disease, and lack of funds. Against all odds, Walsh and his men go on to rescue and relocate nearly 10,000 animals.
Operation Gwamba remains, to date, the largest, jungle rescue of wildlife in history.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ANIMAL ISSUES, YOU MAY VISIT: