Jesse Thorpe Mysteries


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Dead Down East

Introduction to Dead Down East:
 
Dead Down East, a fictional murder mystery, is both detective noir and smart screwball comedy rolled into one. Jesse Thorpe, a young private investigator operating out of Augusta, Maine, receives a mysterious phone call from a former client, Cynthia Dumais. She begs to be rescued from an island south of Brunswick, within a mile of where William Lavoilette, the governor of Maine, was assassinated the night before. She insists that her life is in danger, but is unwilling to provide any further information. Reluctantly, Jesse goes to fetch her.

Fresh, witty and loaded with eccentric characters, this first novel in the series is both clever and sylish. It's an old-school private eye tale with inventive twists and local charm. If you enjoy a well-crafted and zesty narrative, lively banter, or take pleasure in the company of Mainers, you'll love Dead Down East.
 

Reviews for Dead Down East:
 
"The story evolves in a well-paced and believable manner. Also refreshing is a subtle humor that seems organic to the characters, not set-up jokes or wisecracks. And there is substance to the tale, as a high-profile political murder is seen to be part of human failings of greed, unconcern about environmental impacts, and the dangers of a politician succumbing to the allure of power and cash. Dead Down East is a page-turner in the best sense."
~ Kennard Bork - Professor emeritus Denison University
*
"Dead Down East runs on a fuel of wry-witted observations from Jesse. He is definitely macho, but far from Rambo, relying on his ability to disarm with words rather than violence. Jesse is more James Garner as Jim Rockford than Bruce Willis as John McClane. The mystery is inventive and solved with mathematical logic."
~ Richard Bunning - Author of Another Space in Time
*
"In Dead Down East, Carl Schmidt introduces his readers to Jesse Thorpe, a charming but slightly down on his luck part-time private investigator. Along with his fiery girlfriend, Angele, he is unexpectedly swept up into the investigation of the murder of Maine's governor. The book's pacing is crisp and rolling, a perfect summer read."
~ Linda DeMers Hummel - Author of I Haven't Got All Day
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Go to Dead Down East to read the opening chapter.
To order through Amazon go to Paperback or Kindle.


A Priestly Affair

Introduction to A Priestly Affair:
A Priestly Affair is a lively and offbeat thriller set in Maine. Monsignor Francis O'Reilly has a three-year-old daughter, conceived during a one-time sexual encounter with a seductive parishioner, Nicole Levesque. A DNA paternity test confirms that he is the father of the child, but Nicloe has never allowed him to see "Evelyn." Father O'Reilly hires private investigator, Jesse Thorpe, to find her. In short order, Jesse uncovers an organized "family" of con artists, willing to use threats, and even deadly force, to keep their operation running without a hitch.

This second novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series is an intricate and riveting tale, percolating with oddball characters and tongue-in-cheek humor, as Jesse works his way through a collection of grifters and victims from Maine to Florida. A Priestly Affair is a can't-put-it-down book for connoisseurs of both detective mysteries and dark comedy.

Reviews for A Priestly Affair:
 
"A Priestly Affair, by Carl Schmidt, is an extraordinary read. It combines danger, suspense and mystery as well as humor into one marvelous book. I loved the humor throughout. It made the tale more interesting. Well-written and well-developed, A Priestly Affair is a must read for all. I highly recommend this new book to readers everywhere."
~ Danielle Urban - Urban Book Reviews
 *
"What a fun read! A Priestly Affair combines a page turning who-done-it with hilarious characters, intrigue and insight. There are also a number of subtle but serious passages in this book that speak to relationships, including friendship. So slow down to savor these nuggets as you race through this fast moving, enjoyable mystery. A must read."
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Go to A Priestly Affair to read the opening chapter.

To order through Amazon go to Paperback or Kindle.
 

Redbone

Introduction to Redbone:
Julio Whitehorse Redbone is a likeable and strong-willed, though tragic, figure.  When he is three years old, his father, Chayton Enapay Redbone, a full-blooded Sioux Indian, is killed in Operation Desert Storm.  From that point on, he is raised in Portland, Maine by his kind-hearted Hispanic mother, Juanita.

At the age of nine, Julio meets his childhood sweetheart, Hannah Cummings.  They are virtually inseparable for the next five years—until she becomes pregnant with his child, two weeks before her fourteenth birthday.  Hannah’s father, Gaylord, whisks her away to Boston to have an abortion.  When they return home, Gaylord tells Juanita that Julio must stay away from his daughter, permanently, or there’d be trouble.  “Big trouble.”  Julio complies.

In his senior year of high school, Julio is awarded a full-ride athletic scholarship to Boston University.  But before he leaves for college, he shows a renewed interest in Hannah, and their romance reignites.  Immediately, the axe falls on Julio’s head.  Gaylord Cummings has Julio arrested for Gross Sexual Assault.  For a conviction, all that is required is to show that Julio had sexual relations with Hannah before her fourteenth birthday.  In court, Gaylord produces a surprise document, a DNA analysis performed on the fetal tissue, which proves conclusively that Julio is the father.  He is sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

After spending eight years behind bars, Julio receives a pardon from the Governor.  By that time, Hannah has married Randolph Brewer.  Julio is out of prison, but heartbroken.  A month later, he dies from lethal dose of potassium cyanide.

Juanita and Julio’s friends are certain that he has been murdered, but after a cursory investigation, the Portland police conclude that it is probably suicide.  Juanita approaches Jesse Thorpe, a local private investigator, to find Julio’s killer.  He takes her case, pro bono, and sets out to solve the murder.

This is where our story begins.
 

Go to Redbone to read the opening chapter.

To order through Amazon go to Paperback or Kindle.
 

Flim Flam

Introduction to Flim Flam:
Flim Flam, a prequel to the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series, is an engaging and witty thriller set in Maine. Scott Decker, a young entrepreneur from the Lewiston area, is murdered in his home, and a trove of gold bars is missing from his wall safe. Scott's former high school sweetheart hires Jesse to find out what happened. Witnesses suggest that Scott may have made his fortune in the opioid trade, but his family and closest friends insist that can't be true. Suspects abound, including Scott's ex-wife, his business partner and several associates from a local militia. Jesse's investigation spans six years and takes a number of surprising twists along the way.

This fourth, and latest, novel in the series is yet another delightful and engaging detective story, brimming with lively banter, femme fatales, local charm and quirky situations. Sophisticated readers will appreciate the confluence of forensics, science and droll repartee. And, as usual, Jesse's band of eclectic compadres are there for him when the going gets tough.

Go to Flim Flam to read the opening chapter.

To order through Amazon go to Paperback or Kindle.