Hickey Family Crime Novels
THE BIGGEST LIAR IN LOS ANGELES: (L.A. 1926) Unless a famous evangelist will take agnostic Tom Hickey into her confidence, he may never learn if the Ku Klux Klan lynched his friend. San Diego Book Awards Best Mystery.
THE GOOD KNOW NOTHING: (L.A., Tucson, and McCloud, CA. 1936) Author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, an outlaw who may be the Sundance Kid, and publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst stand between Tom and the truth about his father. Los Angeles Book Festival Best Mystery Award.
THE VENUS DEAL: (San Diego, Mount Shasta, Denver, Tijuana, 1942) A gifted jazz singer leaves her job at Tom Hickey’s San Diego nightclub to avenge the sexual crimes of a spiritualist guru.
THE LOUD ADIOS: (San Diego, Tijuana, 1943) With the whole world at war, Tom is an MP at the border when he discovers Nazis plotting to make Baja California a German colony. PWA Best First P.I. Novel
THE ANGEL GANG: (Lake Tahoe, San Diego, L.A. 1950) An L.A. mob’s beef against Tom leads to the kidnapping of pregnant Wendy Hickey. Alone, Tom can’t save her, but with the help of the Nevada mob and Tahoe’s resident angels, maybe . . .
THE DO-RE-MI: (Rural Northern California, 1971) The Hickey’s adopted son Alvaro, a musician booked at a folk festival, flees from a murder accusation. His brother Clifford’s best chance of proving him innocent requires the help of hippies and Jesus freaks. Shamus Best Novel finalist.
THE VAGABOND VIRGINS: (San Diego, Rural Baja California, 1979) When a heavenly apparition appears in Baja California rallying the faithful to overthrow the corrupt Mexican government, Alvaro Hickey joins her crusade.
MIDHEAVEN: (Lake Tahoe, 1974) Jodi McGee tells the haunting story of her treacherous eighteenth year and the battle between her quest for God and her love for an older man. Finalist for PEN’s Ernest Hemingway Award.
THE VERY LEAST: (San Diego, Tijuana, Lake Tahoe, 1985) A dear friend of Clifford’s cousin Bo crosses the border on the run from a charge of molesting children in a church nursery school. Clifford agrees to help Bo clear her friend. The downside: he infuriates dangerous cholos, politicians, and tycoons on both sides of the border. The upside, he meets Jodi McGee.
THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING: (San Diego, Tijuana, Lake Tahoe, 1990) Attorney Alvaro Hickey conspires in the murder of a Tijuana cartel hitman and becomes the murderer’s lawyer. The cartel, known for the massacres of entire families, now targets the Hickey-McGees.
A MIND-BENDING FAMILY SAGA
FOR AMERICA includes:
SUPERMEN: Readers accompany Otis Otterbach on a road trip to the little league world series; share his torments prompted by sex and other facts of life; follow him and his best friend and catcher Casey through the MLB draft and on a mysterious mission directed by Casey’s mother, the deranged and homicidal Cynthia Jones.
THIS ROUGH BEAST: After Casey disappears — perhaps on the run from killing his cousin Henry Tucker at Cynthia’s behest — Otis attempts to make a life on his own though it feels futile. After all, he has lost not only his dad and Casey but also his love for baseball. The friends that remain are a soldier wounded and suffering after Vietnam, folk musicians who seem nearly as lost as he feels, and a girl Casey who belonged to the Manson family. Then Casey returns and tells Otis he didn’t kill his cousin but should have, because Henry is not only an LSD entrepreneur, but probably the Enemy Cynthia believes will lead the world to catastrophe. And when Henry and his followers show up, Otis’s house burns down, and again Casey vanishes.
THE GAS CRISIS: Following the loss of his home and Casey, Otis faces tough questions: whether to stay married; what sort of work and life to pursue; and, above all, whether to kill the Enemy. To avoid confronting these dilemmas, he runs off to Iowa and a prestigious graduate school. But panic attics and encounters with famous writers living and dead convince him to flee in haunted desperation.
WAR: Otis decides to rid the world of the Enemy. He trains to make himself into a ruthless warrior then sets off on what will likely be a suicide mission. After searching in wilderness and jungles, he arrives in the capital of Mexico, where the Enemy awaits him.
THE HOLY GRAIL concludes the For America saga with Otis finding in an island prison a measure of peace which is soon disturbed by the rape of a woman he loves. He escapes and flees Mexico to settle with the rapist, with the resurrected Enemy, and with the deranged and relentless Cynthia Jones.
NEWPORT AVE: A fugitive from a manslaughter charge returns home to a foggy California beach town hoping to protect his sister from her estranged husband, a mob-connected gambler. The fugitive enlists the help of his closest old friend, now a devoted family man and Sunday school teacher. After exploring all options, they decide the only sure way to protect the sister is to kill the gambler.
CARS: Short stories that vividly capture California as a glorious dream, a hallucination, and a nightmare, a state we all should visit though we might not want to risk living there.
HUMORING Alan Russell
ROAD KILL: An odd couple of writers embark on an epic journey to convince America’s readers to buy their books. But the dark forces of commerce are allied against them.
NO CATS, NO CHOCOLATE: Ken and Alan Russell take to the road once again, this time to to appear on Oprah Winfrey and advocate for serious literature while covertly launching a career as romance writers.
READING BROTHER LAWRENCE: On the road to the Kingdom of Heaven, the author revisits the past and the people who sent him on his way.