Tom Hickey and Family

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 the disappearance of 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 a San Diego nightclub to avenge the sexual crimes of a spiritualist guru.

THE LOUD ADIOS:  (San Diego, Tijuana, 1943)   Tom s discovers Nazis plotting to make Baja California a German colony.   St. Martins Press, PWA Best First P.I. Novel

THE ANGEL GANG:  (Lake Tahoe, San Diego, L.A., 1950)  An L.A. mob’s beef against Tom results in the kidnap of pregnant Wendy Hickey. Tom alone can’t rescue her, but if he can enlist the help of the Las Vegas mob as well as angels, in whom Wendy steadfastly believes, 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)  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 offers 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 allegedly conspires in the murder of a Tijuana cartel hitman; then he becomes the murderer’s lawyer. The cartel, known for the massacres of entire families, now targets the Hickey-McGees.


NEWPORT AVE:  A fugitive from a manslaughter charge returns home to a foggy California beach town hoping to protect his sister Olivia from her estranged husband, a mob-connected gambler. He 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 Olivia is to kill the gambler. Newport Ave, a gripping novel in the noir tradition. explores crime and its endless consequences.

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.

 With Alan Russell

ROAD KILL: An odd pair of mystery 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.

On Writing

WRITING AND THE SPIRIT: Who needs inspiration? Everybody, especially writers. Here’s where and how to find it.

A Memoir

READING BROTHER LAWRENCE: On the road to the Kingdom of Heaven.