You never know what you’re going to get in this blog (or when). I have the attention span of a caffeinated squirrel, so topics can and do range wildly. However, along with death and taxes it is all but inevitable that I will produce a new fiction book once or twice a year. I’m tickled pink to announce the release of the next book in the Ace Carroway series.

It was such a pleasure to write another yarn about my favorite scar-faced enigma. But, here, let me just plop down the blurb and I’ll inject more commentary at the end.


War heroine and intrepid crime solver Cecilia “Ace” Carroway specializes in cheating death, but she’s never encountered a murderous musical instrument before. Violinist P. Charles Derkin is the latest owner of the deadly violin, and he’s a nervous wreck. Ever since he inherited the famous Cremona Cannon, nightly noises and ghostly lights disturb his slumber. If he manages to fall sleep, violin-related nightmares jolt him awake again. When he discovers that the violin’s two previous owners each died in horrific “accidents,” he enlists Ace and her danger-loving associates.

Moments after Ace takes the case, Derkin narrowly escapes death by falling masonry. Ace will have to solve the mystery before the mystery puts Derkin six feet under.

But what – or who – could be putting Charles Derkin in peril? Is it mysterious paranormal forces? Is it Filbert Monocles, the diminutive director of the violin’s security organization? Is it Isabella Rosavino, the vivacious Italian photographer?

Ace’s probing is not appreciated by the evil forces at work. Soon, the violin’s circle of danger expands to include Ace, then tightens like a hangman’s noose. When Derkin and his violin are kidnapped, Ace will need all of her wits, her swashbuckling partners, and an airship to have a hope of saving him before they both become the next victims of – THE DEADLY VIOLIN.

Mark this sheet music contorto e mortale.1

This book contains: An Irishman’s blarney. Rope ladders. A papier mâché tree trunk. Reckless driving. Radio tracking equipment. Canadians. Motorcycles. Mercy bullets. Regular bullets. A monocle. A transatlantic pursuit. A blush from Ace. A spy named Tim. Those adorable associates of hers. The star-fortress of Copenhagen. Vivaldi’s Winter.

Ace Carroway and the Deadly Violin is sixth in the Adventures of Ace Carroway series. Content rating: teen.

1 Twisted and deadly.


Get it in the format you prefer. Kindle. Paperback. Other non-Amazon ebook stores. Libraries that use the following services carry Ace books in ebook form: Overdrive, Bibliotheca, Hoopla, and Baker & Taylor.

I should note that the format I wrote it for was the paperback. Ebooks are great, but they don’t show the fonts I want, the footnotes, or the art very well. Little touches, perhaps, but I loved putting them in.

Watch a 44 second –> Video trailer. <– if you like.

Among the frequently asked questions I get (Book 6? Do you ever sleep? Who did your cover? Oh, Ace is a woman?) I have the hardest time answering this one: How did you think of writing this?

I can cudgel my noggin ’til my head spins, but I have only half an answer. The half I can’t answer requires incoherent mumbling about the mysteries of the creative process. Somehow, Ace and her fellas are alive for me. I can hear them and feel them, but I haven’t a clue how that happens. The half I can answer is relatively straightforward. I’m a fan of the old Doc Savage pulp fiction stories.

Doc Savage the character began in 1933 as a pulp magazine. As a hero, he’s strong, smart, and never at a loss. His five assistants love danger and provide the comic relief that serious Doc himself never provides.

So I wondered to myself, what if I reinvented Doc as a female. Like Doc, she could have no super powers, but instead be near the peak of mental and physical prowess. The five assistants? Still a thing.

A nicely well-worn cover.

In fits and starts, a half-baked yarn called Ace Carroway and the Growling Death emerged from my typewriter. I liked its potential, but my writing sucked. I needed practice. I grew curious about Ace Carroway and wrote some prequels, starting with my fictional version of World War I. That was during Nanowrimo 2016. I continued to edit (which I loathe) until actual tight prose emerged. Finally, I began to self-publish the short novels, and that has led here, to Ace Carroway and the Deadly Violin.

If you want on my email newsletter click here. I send announcements to that list at release time, and give away signed books. It’s secure and easy to unsubscribe from and all that.

And that’s all I got for now. Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to drop me a line to say hi.

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