Three-Ways is Free on Kindle for a Limited Time

Three-Ways, the fourth book in the Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery series, is free for a limited time on Kindle.

The leading indie book reviewer, BigAl, wrote the following review of the book when it was published in 2014:

I like police procedurals, mysteries with a cop, usually a detective, as the protagonist.  The mystery part matters (obviously), but what sets one book or series apart from another, raising it from average to great, is how I relate to the protagonist. Their personality, sense of humor, and backstory all figure into that reaction, along with their intelligence and cleverness in solving the crimes they’re investigating. I’ll come back to the protagonist in a bit.

One thing I look for in a book is a sense of place. If it takes place in an actual town or city, does the author get the details correct? Seagate and Miner are detectives in Rawlings, a fictional college town in Montana.  Rawlings is generic enough to keep the author out of trouble by not having to worry about getting details of a specific town correct, yet has enough character to feel like it could be one of several actual places. (The only actual town in Montana that figured into the story beyond a brief mention, the author nailed the details, right down to the name of a real motel and its description.)

The mystery in the story was a good one, with Seagate and Miner uncovering lots of suspects with possible motives, having to investigate and attempt to eliminate each one. The climax was exciting and even though at that point whodunit was apparent, it took an unexpected twist, with Miner doing several things that seemed out of character for him, but made sense in the end.

This brings us back to the protagonist. Or maybe I should say protagonists. Although some might view Karen Seagate as the protagonist since she’s the lead character and, in this case, narrator, I viewed her partner, Ryan Miner, as co-protagonist. They’re a team, even if Seagate is the lead detective who calls the shots. Seagate is a foul-mouthed recovering alcoholic with an in-your-face attitude. Miner is a Mormon who would probably describe himself as a bit of a Boy Scout. They’re always giving each other a hard time, but there is never any doubt that despite their differences, they view themselves as a team and have mutual respect. The dynamics of these two opposites working together added a lot for me, not only in the humor inherent in such a pairing, but the different knowledge and viewpoint each brought to the investigation. This team has a lot of potential as the series continues.

If you haven’t read Three-Ways, or you know someone who might like it, please give it a try. You can find it here.

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The Reveal Earns 5 Star Review from Leading Indie Reviewer

BigAl, the leading reviewer of indie books, has published a 5 star review of The Reveal:

I’ve read and reviewed four of the five previous books in this series, loving each of them. Going from memory, prior reviews have focused on the main characters, narrator and protagonist Karen Seagate, a recovering alcoholic with many imperfections, offset by a desire to do well, and her sidekick, Ryan Miner, her polar opposite, a devout Mormon family man. I’ve previously talked about how well the fictional city of Rawlings, Montana and the secondary characters reflect the geography and culture of the area it would be in, were it a real place. All of these things are still true. Maybe it’s time to talk about plot.

The short version is, the plots are good, with The Reveal as my favorite thus far. In this particular story we kick off with the murder of Virginia Rinaldi, a professor at the local college. Virginia’s liberal outlook has challenged and sometimes riled up the locals, including some of her peers, but she is almost universally loved by her students.

As Seagate and Miner investigate, they uncover a plethora of suspects and additional crimes are committed that may or may not be related to the initial murder. Just when I thought I’d figured out who did what, something new would happen to shake things up, and I, along with Seagate and Miner, would be forced to reevaluate. In the end, they figured it out. I was kept guessing until the end, even second guessing whether they’d arrested the right person until they’d tied up all the loose ends. This one kept me up late, eager to find out whodunit.

Thanks very much for the generous review, Al!

 

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The Reveal Is Off to a Good Start

I published The Reveal about two weeks ago, and I’m pleased that the reviews are starting to come in, and they’re very positive.

Marjorie Meyer’s review is representative:

“As a reader of the five previous Seagate and Miner mysteries, I felt that each book I finished reading would be a hard act to follow. I have lost sleep, been late for work and temporarily ignored family and friends while reading this book. The Reveal is the best yet in the series. Mr. Markel’s ideas for story lines are contemporary page turners that will keep you reading long into the night. The two main characters, different in every way imaginable, have acquired an enviable working relationship. They not only complement each other, but through the series have developed a strong bond. The minor characters are very colorful and entertaining as well. As serious and disturbing as The Reveal’s subject matter is, the scenes and dialogue between characters at times will have you laughing out loud. The author has obviously done his homework as I found this story to be an educational police procedural as well as an outstanding mystery. The Reveal can certainly be read as a stand-alone; however, I strongly recommend reading the previous five books in order to appreciate character development. You will enjoy all of the stories. The subject matter of The Reveal is sensitive and timely, and is handled well throughout the book. I thought I had figured out the ending, but I was way off base, and surprised. Now I need to wait patiently for book 7. Mike Markel’s books should be on the Best Seller list!”

Thank you, Marjorie, and all the others who have spent some time with my two detectives and posted their reviews on Amazon. I do appreciate it.

Have a good holiday season!

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The Reveal Is Now Available

I’m happy to announce the publication of The Reveal. This is Book 6 in the Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery series. It’s available as a Kindle ebook and a paperback.

Here is the blurb:

Many citizens in the small college town of Rawlings, Montana, are unsurprised to learn that Virginia Rinaldi, the world-famous sociologist, was murdered. A few are secretly pleased. Her political enemies knew her as an ideologue who used insults, threats, and blackmail to promote her unpopular social views. When Detectives Seagate and Miner begin their investigation, they discover that a local prostitute had recently moved into the professor’s house, angering Rinaldi’s college-age son. And when the community learns that the prostitute made a lesbian porn video with one of Rinaldi’s students, tensions on campus erupt, leading to more bloodshed. Drawn into a horrifying world of sexual violence and exploitation, Seagate devises a plan to flush out the killer. The plan appears to be on track–until Seagate unwittingly jeopardizes the life of her partner, Ryan Miner.

I invite you to give it a try. Click on one of the links above or visit the Books page here. Or read the Prologue in the Excerpts page here.

Happy holidays!

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The Broken Saint is FREE on Amazon

The Broken Saint, the third book in my Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery series, is now free on Amazon. Here’s the blurb:

“Seagate and Miner investigate the murder of Maricel Salizar, a young Filipino exchange student at Central Montana State. The most obvious suspect is the boyfriend, who happens to have gang connections. And then there’s Amber, a fellow student who’s obviously incensed at Maricel for a sexual indiscretion involving Amber’s boyfriend. But the evidence keeps leading Seagate and Miner back to the professor, an LDS bishop who hosted her in his dysfunctional home. Seagate takes it in stride that the professor can’t seem to tell the truth about his relationship with the victim, but her devout partner, Ryan Miner, believes that a high-ranking fellow Mormon who violates a sacred trust deserves special punishment.”

If you haven’t tried the series yet, I urge you to give it a try. Thanks very much.

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Spam A Lot

When I set up this site about a week ago, I had to make a lot of technical decisions about settings. One of the decisions had to do with whether I would let people comment on my little posts at will or whether I would moderate the comments before they could appear.

Being a cautious person, I chose to moderate. I’m not bragging, but I think I made the right decision.

I have received close to fifty comments, of which a good forty-five are simply spam. Some folks are advertising products or services. But most of the folks–well, I have no idea what they’re doing. They send me weird comments, such as “Your blog is endlessly fascinating. I learned so much from it–and I will be sure to visit you often.” These posts, often written in very uncolloquial misspelled English, clearly reveal that the writer has never visited my site; they never refer to anything specific that has appeared on my site, and they praise my skills inordinately. I’m a married man; I know I’m not endlessly fascinating.

What I don’t understand is this: What is the purpose? I understand why people want me to buy their weight-loss products or get in touch with them for a really hot time (cash only, please). I don’t get why they want me to think they LOVE my blog? Is someone paying them to post this nonsense?

Can someone explain what I’m not understanding? Or should I just be glad someone says my blog is endlessly fascinating? Now, if you REALLY love my blog or my books–or like them, or tried hard to like them, or have heard that someone likes them, or can imagine that someone likes them–and I’ve blocked your comment, I’m very sorry. Try me again, and this time work the name of one of my books into the comment. I guarantee your comment will be displayed for the whole world to see–not because your comment is endlessly fascinating but because I do want to hear from you and communicate with you, one humanoid non-spambot to another.

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