About Ken

Some of Ken’s favorites are early mornings, the desert in spring, kind and honest people, baseball and other sports played by those who don’t take themselves too seriously, most kids, and films he and his Zoe can enjoy together.

He reads a lot.

photo by Sandy Huffacre

He has long been the author of novels, stories, articles, poems, and essays. Lots of honors have come his way, including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship; Poets, Essayists and Novelist’s Ernest Hemingway Award; Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel and Shamus Best Novel; and several San Diego and Los Angeles Book Awards.

Though he advocates beer in a video, he actually prefers Scotch.

Here are some of the kind words written about Ken’s work:

“… brings a great new character — and a fresh voice — into the mystery field.” Novelist Tony Hillerman

“Kuhlken is an original, and in these days of cookie-cutter fiction, originality is something to be prized.” San Diego Union Tribune

“… brings the social and cultural scene of the period vividly to life. ” Publisher’s Weekly

“… a tale as sensitive and heartfelt as it is action-packed.” Kirkus Reviews

“… takes readers into dark experiences and deep understandings that can’t help but leave them changed.” Novelist Michael Collins

“Kuhlken weaves a complex plot around a complex man, a weary hero who tries to maintain standards as all around him fall to temptation. ” Publisher’s Weekly

“… a stunning combination of bad guys and angels, of fast-moving action and poignant, heartbreaking encounters.” Novelist Wendy Hornsby

“… captures the history and atmosphere of the 1970s as well as the complex dynamics of a fascinating family.” Booklist

“… a tale as sensitive and heartfelt as it is action-packed … Crime, punishment and redemption.” Kirkus Reviews

“… fast-moving adventure, effectively combines mainstream historical fiction with the conventions of the hard-boiled detective novel.” Booklist

“A wonderful, literate, and very ambitious novel that does everything a good story should do. It surprises, delights, it jolts and makes you think .” Novelist T. Jefferson Parker

“… a pleasure to read.” Novelist Anne Tyler

“Elegant, eloquent, and elegiac, Kuhlken’s novels sing an old melody, at the same time haunting and beautiful.” Novelist Don Winslow