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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Dollar-A-Year Detective

Retired Chicago homicide detective Jack Starkey is living what he calls every cop's retirement dream by owning a successful bar, The Drunken Parrot, and residing on a houseboat in Fort Myers Beach on Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast.
Mostly, it s been working out just fine. Starkey's drink of choice these days is diet root beer and not the hard stuff that ended his marriage and sent him into rehab. He's dating the lovely Marisa Fernandez, who owns a real estate agency and supplements his usual diet of Pop-Tarts and diner food with gourmet Cuban cooking.
But long-term serenity has never been Jack Starkey's destiny. One evening, Starkey's pal Cubby Cullen, the Fort Myers Beach police chief, comes into the Drunken Parrot to ask a favor. The Coast Guard found a sailboat drifting in Pine Island Sound with two dead bodies aboard, a bank president and his wife, both shot once in the forehead execution style. Murders are rare in town; Cubby asks Jack, who has more homicide experience than anyone in the local police department, to take a look at the crime scene just to offer an opinion.
Starkey agrees, not realizing that this will draw him into an investigation involving offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, corrupt state politicians, a Russian oligarch, and the angry father of a boy who's not getting much playing time on his Little League team. Even in his prime, Starkey would be hard-pressed to find a connection, and his prime is in his rearview mirror. This mystery follows in the tradition of John D. MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen, Lawrence Sanders, and other masters of crime fiction marked by compelling characters, stories with completely unexpected twists and turns, and a strong comic element that will keep a reader thoroughly amused while wondering what could possibly happen next.

The Dollar-A-Year Detective (Murder Mystery)
By William Wells
The Permanent Press
ISBN #978-1579625274
Price $20.92 (Hardcover)
Price $9.99 (Kindle)
224 Pages
Rating 3-Stars

“Typical Retired To Florida Police Detective”

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A big city homicide detective retires to Florida, buys a bar, lives on a boat, and has a beautiful sexy woman jumping into his bed. The local police run into a murder they can’t solve, and naturally call on him to solve the case for them. I think everyone who retires to Florida decides to write a murder mystery and use that plot. Jack Starkey is a retired Chicago Police Detective living in Fort Myers, Florida, with a beautiful Cuban lady friend warming his bed, and he finds life boring. Did I mention he lives on a houseboat and owns a local bar? Then along comes his friend the local police chief asking a favor. There has been a couple murders, execution style, and no one in the local police department is capable of solving the crime, so would Starkey be kind enough to lend a hand with all his experience.

This was a good read, regardless of the typical formula of retired detective from big city living in Florida where police have no experience. I’ve read this book a hundred times, or books just like it. That’s why I seldom read murder mysteries set in Florida, they all have this same formula – at least the ones publishers send me. To his credit, the author is a good writer and keeps the story moving, and the mystery comes together in the end. It’s just the formula I’m against. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

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