The job seems simple enough: Reporter Lee Hershey needs protection for a couple of weeks as he pursues the biggest story of his career with all eyes on swing state Ohio in the midst of a presidential election. Columbus private eye Andy Hayes, broke as usual, doesn’t have much choice but to sign on, even with his girlfriend falling for the charming journalist.
Then murder strikes at the Statehouse and Andy finds himself partly responsible for the death. With an innocent man behind bars, a mysterious vehicle following Andy around the city, and more lives in danger, the detective has his hands full trying to solve a killing in a poisonous political environment where everyone has a motive for murder and anyone could be the next target.
Judge Laura Porter fiercely guarded her privacy, and never more so than during her long-running—and long in the past—affair with disgraced quarterback-turned-private investigator Andy Hayes. Now she’s missing, disappeared just hours after she calls Andy out of the blue explaining she’s in trouble and needs his help.
A trail of clues leads Andy to a central Ohio swamp whose future lies in the judge’s hands as she weighs a lawsuit pitting environmentalists against developers. Soon Hayes encounters the case of another missing person, a young man who vanished without a trace in a different swamp two counties away. As he looks for links between the two disappearances, Hayes is led from Columbus to Cleveland, unearthing a history of secrets and betrayals threatening not just the judge but her family as well.
Along the way, Hayes is forced to confront a newly strained relationship with his older son, now a budding football star himself, and revisit his tumultuous days as a Cleveland Browns quarterback and the gridiron failures that haunt him to this day. In partnership with a cop on her own quest for justice, Hayes rushes to find the judge, and the truth, before it’s too late.
The job seems easy enough at first for private investigator Andy Hayes: save his client’s reputation by retrieving a laptop and erasing a troublesome video from its hard drive. But that’s before someone breaks into Andy’s apartment in Columbus; before someone else, armed with a shotgun, relieves him of the laptop; and before the FBI suddenly shows up on his doorstep asking questions.
Soon, there’s a growing list of people with a claim on the computer, all of them with secrets they don’t want uncovered. When one of those people ends up dead, Andy has his hands full convincing authorities he’s not responsible, while trying to figure out who is—and who’s got the laptop—before someone else dies. Soon the trail leads to the last place Andy wants to go: back to Ohio State University, where few have forgiven him for a mistake he made two decades earlier in his days as the Buckeyes’ star quarterback. That misjudgment sent him on a downward spiral that cost him a playing career, two marriages, several wrecked relationships, and above all his legacy in Ohio’s capital city, where the fortunes of the OSU team are never far from people’s minds.
As Andy tracks a laptop and a killer from the toniest of the city’s suburbs to its grittiest neighborhoods, he must confront a dark figure from his past and prove that this time he won’t drop the ball.
William J. Burns (1880-1930) was the immediate succor of J. Edgar Hoover at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He had taken the director's job when Warren Harding was elected and appointed Burns' friend, Harry Daugherty, as Attorney General. Both Daugherty and Burns misused their offices and were forced to resign.
This is the first collection of short stories by W.T. Ballard. This volume is just a sampling of Ballard's most famous character Bill Lennox, a selection for both the connoisseur of crime and the lover of good, fast-moving crime/adventure stories.
As a serial killer stalks prostitutes in Columbus, Ohio, a distraught brother asks private investigator Andy Hayes to find his sister before it’s too late. In a deadly race against time, Andy soon learns he’s not the only person hunting Jessica Byrnes, but he may be the only one who wants her alive. Byrnes hasn’t been seen in weeks following a downward slide that started as a runaway teenager and may have ended permanently on the streets.
Assisting Andy is ex-prostitute Theresa Sullivan. She now works at St. Andrew’s, the mission church run by Andy’s pal the Reverend Roy Roberts, who is less than keen on Theresa reliving the memories that nearly killed her. A local congresswoman making headlines with her work against human trafficking puts pressure on Andy to solve the case, while the police don’t want him near their exhaustive search for the murderer. At the same time, Andy’s hunt for Jessica exposes the buying and selling of trafficked women across the region. Looming over Andy’s increasingly desperate search is the shadow of his most dangerous adversary yet.
“I’m in a business where people come to me with troubles. Big troubles, little troubles, but always troubles they don’t want to take to the cops.” That’s Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, succinctly setting out our image of the private eye. A no-nonsense loner, working on the margins of society, working in the darkness to shine a little light.
The reality is a little different—but no less fascinating. In The Legendary Detective, John Walton offers a sweeping history of the American private detective in reality and myth, from the earliest agencies to the hard-boiled heights of the 1930s and ’40s. Drawing on previously untapped archival accounts of actual detective work, Walton traces both the growth of major private detective agencies like Pinkerton, which became powerful bulwarks against social and labor unrest, and the motley, unglamorous work of small-time operatives. He then goes on to show us how writers like Dashiell Hammett and editors of sensational pulp magazines like Black Mask embellished on actual experiences and fashioned an image of the PI as a compelling, even admirable, necessary evil, doing society’s dirty work while adhering to a self-imposed moral code. Scandals, public investigations, and regulations brought the boom years of private agencies to an end in the late 1930s, Walton explains, in the process fully cementing the shift from reality to fantasy.
Today, as the private detective has long since given way to security services and armed guards, the myth of the lone PI remains as potent as ever. No fan of crime fiction or American history will want to miss The Legendary Detective.
In the summer of 1994, a workman at the historic mansion of railroad baron James J. Hill in St. Paul, Minnesota, stumbles on a long-hidden wall safe. When experts arrive to open the safe and examine its contents, they make an astonishing discovery. There, inside, is a handwritten manuscript bearing the signature of John H. Watson, M.D.
The manuscript contains the story of how Sherlock Holmes and Watson traveled to Minnesota to track a murderous arsonist—known only as the Red Demon—who is threatening both Hill and his Great Northern Railway. Set against the backdrop of the real, devastating Hinckley forest fire of 1894, Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon is the tense and atmospheric first novel in Larry Millett’s classic series of adventures that brought Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to Minnesota.
As the city of Minneapolis prepares for a visit from President William McKinley, someone else prepares for murder. On the day before the visit, a union activist is found hanged, naked, outside a ruined mansion. A placard around his neck reads “THE SECRET ALLIANCE HAS SPOKEN.” Who is the alliance? What does it want? How was the victim involved with the city’s corrupt mayor? And why did he possess a photograph of a prominent citizen in a compromising position? Shadwell Rafferty searches for answers, encountering bribery, corruption, union organizers, anarchists, and conspiracy, putting himself in danger. But as luck would have it, his old friends Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson are on their way.
In this fourth installment of Larry Millett’s Minnesota Mystery series, Shadwell Rafferty commands center stage in a brand-new city. Packed with Millett’s signature historical and architectural detail, this book is deviously delightful.
Almost two years have passed since Aaron Custer supposedly set a fire at a house in Columbus that killed three college students, including the young woman with whom he had argued just hours before. Prosecutors had an ironclad case against Custer, a convicted firebug whose fingerprints were found on the lighter that started the blaze and who quickly pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.Private investigator and fallen Ohio State football star Andy Hayes is skeptical when Custer’s grandmother asks him to reopen the investigation by finding a mysterious witness who may have seen the real culprit that night. Andy’s doubts fade as he uncovers a tangle of motives for the victims’ deaths, implicating the state’s natural gas fracking boom, drug dealers, and more. But to delve deeper, Andy must once again make amends with his past. TV reporter Suzanne Gregory, a former fiancée, has more information on the Orton Avenue fire than any journalist in town, but asking for her help means reopening old wounds—just as Andy has embarked on a new relationship he’s determined not to screw up. As Andy follows Custer’s trail down ever-darker paths, he must revisit his past and decide whether he can afford to forfeit his future.
Author and reviewer Bill Osinski called Fourth Down and Out, the first of the Andy Hayes mysteries, “A tall, frosty stein of Middle-American noir, backed with a healthy shot of wry.” In this second installment, Andrew Welsh-Huggins draws on real events and current affairs to bring his city to life—warts and all.
It’s a violent encounter that private investigator Andy Hayes could have done without. One minute he’s finishing up some grocery shopping ahead of a custody visit with his sons. The next, he must come to the rescue of a Somali American mother and her young children as anti-immigrant bullies torment them.
Grateful for his intervention, the Somali community hires Andy to find a missing teenager who vanished without a trace and is now accused of plotting a terror attack in his adopted hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The government is certain that nineteen-year-old Abdi Mohamed followed in the footsteps of his brother, who died in Syria a few months earlier in a jihadi assault. But Mohamed’s family isn’t convinced, describing a soccer-loving American kid who renounced his brother’s actions and planned to attend college in the fall and become a diplomat someday.
Soon Andy is fending off fed-up FBI agents and dueling with a mysterious foe with links to the white supremacist movement. As he draws ever closer to the truth behind Mohamed’s disappearance, Hayes stumbles onto a conspiracy that could put hundreds of lives in danger, including his own two boys.