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  • Writer's pictureJohn Owens

Dear Reader, Welcome, or Welcome Back ...And Now For Something Completely Different.

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

After putting out two books of mostly serious historical fiction (On the Rails – 2007 and The Sixth String – 2013) I decided on a change of pace by trying my hand at the wide, wonderful world of mystery writing.

Retirement and location, location, location played big roles in this decision. I’ve been lucky enough that, for the last six winters, the only real work I’ve done is gardening and the only ice I’ve seen has been in my gin & tonics. When you’re chasing perpetual summer you read a lot of summer books (true fact: I have yet to see Crime and Punishment being read in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida). After dosing myself with scores of mysteries and thrillers, I figured I could make a contribution to the field. But only if I could come up with a lead character and a story that was...well, different.

And so Connecdead and Jake Lydon were born (more likely hatched). Irreverent, opinionated, and just plain strange, Jake stumbles onto mysteries much the way he stumbles through life. Funny, foul-mouthed, and cheerfully given to excess, Jake is the unlikeliest of heroes who, against all odds, figures stuff out.

As an unidentified reader says on the front cover: “Am I missing something or is this Jake Lydon kind of an asshole?” 

​The story itself might also strike you as different. Yes, there is a murder to solve - several of them - but I traded a high body count for a some points Jake wants to make. Points about the misuse of technology, the depth of corporate greed, oh, and the greatness of the Rolling Stones.

There's also a ton o' cultural references that anybody who grew up with SNL, National Lampoon, and 70s music, TV and movies will catch.

And I’m pleased to tell you (drum roll), Machete is now available. Yes, Jake Lydon is back! And looking forward to a relaxing winter in the tropics after the summer “shitstorm” chronicled in Connecdead. But the part-time detective and full-time slacker’s dream of endless beer and beach is shattered by the grisly murder of a friend and fellow expatriate. Was it a simple robbery gone horrifically wrong or something more?  Something that points the finger at one of Jake’s motley crew of drinking buddies as the killer?

As with pretty well everything else in his middle-age, Jake doesn’t have a friggin’ clue. And neither does Arturo “Arty” Diaz, the region’s top cop, who reluctantly takes Jake on as his unofficial deputy.

Together, the improbable duo digs deeper, throwing out all the “possible” scenarios to get to the “likely” ones.

And together, they ultimately find out that their case hangs on the deadly blade of a machete.

I hope you enjoy Connecdead, Machete, and my new release Bushwacked, I hope you’ll decide to buy them, and most importantly, I hope you read them.


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