Here's a Free Charley Stevens Short Story. "Backtrack" Makes a Great Father's Day Gift

I hear from a lot of readers who would like to know more about Charley Stevens. How did he become the wise old owl that Mike Bowditch knows and loves?

Over the past few years, I have been slowly filling out Charley’s biography in a series of short stories. The first was done in humorous vein, a la Mark Twain, in “The Bear Trap.” The second was in the mode of a horror story in the Edgar Award finalist “Rabid.” Now comes “Backtrack,” my first attempt at writing in Charley’s voice; it’s an account of one of his early failures, told to Mike. I imagine them sitting together beside a wood stove while a blizzard rages outside the cabin while the old man spins his yarn.

Backtrack” is available online from the Criminal Element, but if you prefer reading print, just scroll down to the bottom and you will find the option to print the story out — a great way to share it with Dad for Father’s Day while he waits for ALMOST MIDNIGHT to be published on July 2.

I hope you enjoy it.

And the New York Times

Somehow in the blur that was the month of July, most of which I spent rushing from one author event to the next, I forgot to mention that Stay Hidden was reviewed in the New York Times! Crime columnist Marilyn Stasio wrote: 

If your chosen line of work is being a hermit, you couldn’t pick a better location that Maquoit, a fogbound island 20 miles off the coast of Maine.  In STAY HIDDEN (Minotaur, $26.99), Mike Bowditch, the game warden investigator in Paul Doiron’s nature-loving mysteries, flies out to Maquoit to investigate the accidental (or accidental-on-purpose) shooting of a sort-of famous journalist named Ariel Evans.  Ariel was supposedly on the island to do research on Blake Markman, a producer who fled Hollywood to live as a hermit and raise Icelandic sheep.  But when the ferry arrives from the mainland, who should step onto the dock but Ariel herself — fit as a fiddle and anxious to investigate her own death.  Doiron captures the stark beauty of his setting without averting his eyes from the sick and starving wildlife, the rancorous feuds among the lobstermen or the homicidal impulses that push islanders off the deep end.

The review is in the July 8 edition of the paper.