Book 3: Higher Calling

HIGHER CALLING will be launched, in hard cover, at the 2009 Deadly Ink Writer's Conference


"Gary is smart, brave, kind, funny, and sweetly loving to his wife through roller-coaster action: HIGHER CALLING is a clear winner!"
--Sonja Massie (G. A. McKevitt)

a Reluctant Sleuth Mystery novel
(click here to read an excerpt)

In the third Reluctant Sleuth Mystery, HIGHER CALLING (coming from Deadly Ink Press), Gary's driving home during a snowstorm when he witnesses an accident. The last thing he expects is to get slugged at the scene and then shot at the next morning. The bullets almost hit Becca, and he's angry enough to push himself into the middle of what he cannot know is a suicide bombing planned for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Cover image by Rebecca A. Kandel

Gary wants to get even with the shooter and then back off. Backing off becomes vital when he identifies the man for a federal task force — the CIA believes that agent is dead. But every effort Gary makes to step aside draws him in tighter. Early on, he can't help himself, he gives in and makes Becca his sleuthing partner — then finds he can't keep up with her. Becca's, "You'd have done it, too," is faint comfort when he fears she's gone a step too far and been killed.

In HIGHER CALLING, a rogue Irish operative meets a quirky bar girl, both are damaged goods, neither dares use the word "love," but their bonding — well, I expected to kill her off but she woke me one night, the woman almost crying in my dream, telling me, "No, no, give me a little happiness, please, and here's how you do it." She was so right. She's in it until the end, and she counts. If I were younger and single. . . .

The title HIGHER CALLING refers in part to terrorist beliefs. They ship in military explosives stolen from Iraq ("It's a wonderful war," one says), set up a delivery system for the bomb, and slip past FBI surveillance. But, separately, Gary and Becca are tracking pieces of the operation and they wind up — well, Gary, who only wants to protect Becca, faces his own higher calling: If he's to try to disrupt the bombing. . . .
(click for excerpts)