RED JADE. The First Avery Shepard Detective Mystery. Malice Books. Available to order here.
Los Angeles, November 1926. The city’s new Chief of Police has all but gutted the Vice Squad; the mayor is widely believed to be in the pocket of the local crime syndicate; and the county District Attorney is curiously reluctant to prosecute wealthy and influential criminals.
War veteran Avery Shepard has been restless since the Armistice, drifting around from job to job, estranged from his wife and unable to settle down to any one thing. He arrives in L.A. to search for his sister Kit, who vanished seemingly without a trace. After his only potential clue to Kit’s whereabouts slips through his fingers, he turns to legendary private eye Harry Price, who gives him an apprenticeship in the art of detection. Their inquiries lead to the sordid world of the dime-a-dance halls where Shepard meets the beautiful Helen Sing and soon finds himself questioning what he once thought were black and white lines between good and evil. With a widening circle of friends and allies, Shepard considers putting down roots in the Angel City. But has he put Helen’s life in danger by asking too much of her? And will Harry’s methods lead him to Kit, or should he turn to a charismatic clairvoyant who claims powers of second sight?
THE NEXT BOOK of the series jumps ahead in time to the 1940s. Avery, now a seasoned detective, is asked to take on a murder case. Look for it in 2017!