What’s It About?

It’s 1960. The Russians have nuclear missiles off the coast of Florida. The Sexual Revolution is about to send the world spinning. Intellectuals are predicting the death of God.

All that aside, fifteen-year-old Dewey “Doc” Ruggles has real challenges to deal with. He needs to find a babysitter for his little sister, Snowball, so he’ll have time to solve his hometown’s most chilling cold-case murder. It’s his chance to be a local hero and attract evil’s opposite: true love.

A chance sighting from atop a Catholic church is the break he needs. Knowing what he knows now, there’s no turning back. If he wants to become a bonafide detective, he’ll need to outwit Junior Mentz, the town psychotic bully, stop Cuban communists out to assassinate a future US president, and solve the riddle of a mysterious nun who’s out to pull off a con of Biblical proportion.

Then again, maybe he’s imagining the whole thing. Sister Theresa doesn’t think so. The problem is she may not be the best expert on reality. According to a local legend, she may already be dead.

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The Word Is Out And The Critics Have Spoken!

amazon  Amazon Editor Review

“Extremely well crafted and thoroughly engaging; the mystery is compelling, complex, and develops with precision. “

“The magical realism or surrealism of the story accentuates the mystery and adds a fantastic dimension to the story…well done.”

“One of the most engaging novels I have edited”

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Artwork for A Bonafide Detective

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Author Interview

What’s the book about?

It’s about a boy’s grand adventure. It’s a generational history. It’s about who we pretend to be or wish we were while we fumble our way down the path to discovering who we really are. It’s about experiencing a life lived beyond the ordinary, realities that are there for the taking, worlds rich in magic, mystery and romance.

Why did you write it?

I began the project with a desire to write a tall tale, a “Big Fish” story, a sort of memoir. I hoped the book would be something my children’s children would read to their children. I wanted to be remembered as more than a face in an old photograph album. I wanted to express my gratitude for the life I’ve been given and the opportunity to share that life with those who have traveled with me along the way. I completed the novel because, before she died, the girl I will always love made me promise I’d finish it.

What’s in it for the reader?

I think the reader will enjoy the twisty mystery, the cameos by iconic characters of the period, the mix of the real and the unreal. I think the antics and mishaps of the characters will provide a chuckle or two. In the end, what I hope the reader will do is step back and wonder if, maybe, it’s possible that “coming of age” is something each of us has the opportunity to do in every decade of our lives, that it just might be worth it, no matter how old you are, no matter what the circumstances, to dig deep and “take it to the limit one more time.” I wanted to propose a concept, a point of view that might carry the reader through the highs and lows of life, namely, from moment to moment, life seems to constantly flip-flop on itself: It’s all about “now you see it, now you don’t.” It’s good, it’s bad. It’s common, it’s sublime, hilarious then tragic. Slapstick then sacred.

A bit of verse: A Dewey “Doc” Ruggles poem, 1960.

Don’t leave the theater.
Stay one more moment.
You’ll witness,
be able to pet,
the sable-soft pelt,
the notorious ears
of the impossibly pink rabbit that pops out,
(all smiles for you)
from the magician’s empty hat.

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