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”

A Bonafide Detective is a fun, if head-spinning, escapist read. The sophisticatedly crafted novel is set in early 1960s California, and cultural touchstones from jukebox hits to Doc’s “Arthur Miller glasses” abound, evoking a familiar setting, though the story thankfully eschews any mythology about how the period was a “simpler time.” From Junior, the sadistic bully, to Scarlett, the misandrist vixen neighbor, to the gruff and demeaning father…this story is chock-full of complex and strongly written characters. And then there are those who may or may not exist—Jimmy has a lupine alter ego that is either a magical realist element or a clever allegory for psychological disturbance. There’s a sexy nun who might be a ghost and a ghost in a pink dress who might be a missing woman, still alive. And there’s Margaret Ann, a true friend Doc does his best to pretend he despises, as well as his mentor and conscience, who shows up conveniently every time he’s in need of a reality check. What’s real and what’s part of a teenager’s rich inner life or a plot point in Doc’s crime novel in progress? Twombly asks if it really matters what’s true, challenging readers in a fresh and mind-bending way….Doc’s story weaving could be a way to cope with the untrustworthiness of the adults in his life. Neither priests nor parents are to be depended on …in contrast, the kids—clearly just trying to stay afloat in a world that doesn’t make sense—are worth rooting for. The relentless plot twists, constant introduction of new characters, and Doc’s melodramatic detective story vignettes can sometimes be overwhelming…It may be a book that is better savored than devoured, in order to keep the details straight. But it’s a satisfyingly different book that is worth the work for fans of mystery, folkloric elements, and young-adult-driven stories.

Sarah Stewart- Clarion Review 

Tim Twombly’s debut novel sizzles with wit and charm. It dazzles with provocative images and entertains the way comedy should. But don’t be seduced by what you might think is a coming-of-age romp. Darker elements run through this story, undercurrents of murder and abuse that keep readers on edge. The central character, Doc, suffers the misfortunes that, all too often, come with falling in love. He has the longings of a would-be rock and roller, does his best to avoid being pulverized by the town’s badass bully. All these, he knows, come with the territory. But territorial boundaries break away, the landscape of reality changes, and now Doc must decide if he has both the imagination and the courage to solve a mystery, and in doing so, save the life of one girl who is living, and one who is dead. Readers of The Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, and Huckleberry Finn will love this book. A Bonafide Detective is one of the best coming-of-age novels I’ve ever read. An instant classic. – Louella Nelson, best-selling author, creator of The BestSeller Secrets Series for Writers

Tim Twombly’s A Bonafide Detective is a bonafide classic, a literary experience that brings readers pure pleasure. Set in 1960, Orange County, California, the novel is simultaneously a love letter to the past and an intriguing mystery deftly drawn with a brush dipped in magical realism. Through the adventures of Doc, Margaret Ann, Jimmy and their other teenage friends, we live through an era America will likely never see again. We run into iconic figures from the past, laugh out loud as the characters try to survive those awkward, coming-of-age moments, hold our breath when it seems our hero has no way out. This book is an instant treasure. It leaves the reader with only one hope: that there will be more. – Herb Williams-Dalgart, author, The French Girl’s War

Timothy Twombly is my favorite kind of writer: the kind who makes me laugh and cry on the same page…every single page! In A Bonafide Detective, he reconstructs one week in 1960 and populates it with characters we deeply care about and root for. His lyrical prose lifts us to poetic heights, and then wham! He drops us into a funhouse of giggles. His mastery of plot, turn-of-phrase, and humor make this book an effortless delight. Yet, like all good novels, the tale leaves us much to ponder; indelible memories linger on. A Bonafide Detective is a coming-of-age story that is shockingly fresh and downright delicious. – Deborah Gaal, author of Synchronicities on the Avenue of the Saints, The Dream Stitcher