Return to the home page books by Michael A. Black short stories, latest news, etc. various photos of interest about author Mike Black ups and downs





buy Random Victim at Amazon The case wasn’t just cold -- it was ice-cold. But the murder of Miriam Walker had a pretty high profile in the middle of a tough re-election campaign, so the Cook County sheriff assembled a task force to get results... and put Sergeant Frank Leal on it. Leal is still getting over the death of his partner and some wounds of his own, both emotional and physical, so working as part of a team might be tough.

It doesn’t help that a lot of people don’t really want the case solved…including Miriam Walker’s husband and the men he hired to take care of Miriam for him. Leal isn’t even sure he can trust the rest of the team, but he’s got a job to do, and he’s not going to quit until he finishes it…no matter who gets in his way.

Leisure ISBN-10: 084395986X ISBN-13: 978-0843959864 April 2008

buy Melody of Vengeance at Amazon
Mighty Doc Atlas and his crew are about to embark on a quest to eradicate a mysterious masked vigilante known as The Wraith. But the kidnapping of a prominent newspaper magnate's daughter brings the governor knocking on Doc's door with a personal request to assist in the investigation. Soon, Doc finds the two cases strangely intertwined. Can anyone come out unscathed with the preeminent crime fighter of his day and the shadowy avenger of evil running on a collision course?

Echelon Press ISBN 9781590804971 January 2007 A Killing Frost
Exciting news! A Killing Frost, my first novel, was released as a mass market paperback on October 2 from Dorchester Press. I did a joint signing with author Andrew Vachss at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Forest Park, IL on October 10th, and I'll have other events to be announced as well. In the spring of 2008, Dorchester is releasing an original novel of mine, Random Victim, which is the first of a new police procedural series.

Leisure Books ISBN-10: 0843959851 ISBN-13: 978-0843959857 October 2007
A Final Judgment
buy A Final Judgment at Amazon winner of the 2007 Lovey Award for Best PI/Police Procedural at Love is Murder

Lawyers … Chicago Private Detective Ron Shade has a cop's inherent distrust of them, even though it's been years since he was relieved of his badge. Still, when his old friend, Rick Walters, who happens to be a member of the bar, needs help doing the legwork for a wrongful death lawsuit, Shade reluctantly agrees. Then he finds out they'll be going up against the preeminent attorney in Cook County, Mason Gilbert, and his famous detective associate, Big John Flood. The trial is in only three weeks and the first PI on the case committed suicide midway through. Or did he? As Shade begins, he's hot on the trail of something very elusive in a case like this: The truth. Then an opportunity he's been dreaming of suddenly materializes: a shot at the world heavyweight kickboxing championship. Finding himself up against some unbeatable opponents, Shade feels like he's been swept up in a maelstrom. And this time he finds out that the final judgment just might be death.

Five Star ISBN 1594144265 September 2006


Freeze Me, Tender Freeze Me, Tender is a stand alone novel. buy Freeze Me Tender at Amazon

Ten years ago the hillbilly king of rock-and-roll, Colton Purcell, was cryogenically frozen after his premature death. Or was he? Chicago-based magazine reporter Harry Bauer intends to find out as he becomes involved in a convoluted murder plot stretching from good-old Memphis to glitzy Las Vegas, where the tenth anniversary celebration of Colton's death is in full swing. When Harry's mentor and friend, a Vegas reporter specializing in conspiracy theories, turns up murdered, Harry is intent on finding out why. But in a city that where illusion often transcends reality, the truth proves more elusive than a gambler's lucky streak. Not only is there a huge Colton imitator-contest going on, but the King's only daughter is set to marry the epicene Prince of Latino Pop (despite her mother's objections), and a mysterious young man has introduced himself to Harry, claiming to be Colton's illegitimate son. The trail leads Harry to the dark side of sin city, crossing paths with a bunch of mob guys, a very efficient (and very large) contract killer, and some very unexpected people from Colton Purcell's past. There's also the murder of Colton's famous manager, the abduction of a mysterious figure from a Memphis nursing home, and a host of other problems that makes Harry begin to wonder, is it really Colton Purcell hanging upside down in that cryogenic tube full of liquid nitrogen? If he can live long enough, he may just find out.

Five Star ISBN 1594144710 February 2006


The Heist Linc Jackson and his buddy Rick Weaver thought they'd seen it all on the brutal battlefields of Desert Storm, but found themselves displaced and buy The Heist at Amazonforgotten men when they came back to the States. Now, a year later, the opportunity of a lifetime suddenly drops in their laps. . . That is, if they don't mind tiptoeing on the dark side to make the score.

During a freak flood that causes havoc in the downtown business hub of Chicago, Linc and Rick put everything on the line as they execute a heist which they hope will put them on easy street for the rest of their lives. It involves a foolproof plan for grabbing what they believe is a cool million of the mob's money. But that's when things start to go terribly wrong.

As the Mafia calls in a specialist, nicknamed "The Regulator," to get back their property, the two ex-marines find that they not only have the bad boys of the outfit hot on their trail, but some pretty tough cops as well. It will take all their battle-tested skills just to escape with their lives,in an ultimate showdown that's guaranteed to make what they went through in Operation Desert Storm look like a cakewalk.

Five Star  ISBN: 1594142777   June 2005


Windy City KnightsHow much do you owe a past love? Ever wonder about buy Windy City Knights at Amazonit? Private Detective Ron Shade does when he bumps into his former lover, Paula Kittermann, late one lonely December night in a hotel bar. Paula had once been a major factor in Shade's life, but that was a very long time ago. Against his better judgment, he lets her back in, but then she's gone, without so much as a good-bye kiss, leaving him once again with only bittersweet memories of what might have been. Then Paula turns up dead, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run accident. Though shocked, Shade moves on with his life until Paula's young cousin, Laurie, shows up in Chicago, asking him to look into the matter. Shade's investigation takes a walk on the seedy side, and begins to attract the attention of some very powerful enemies. But whenever Shade gets close to the truth, somebody seems to end up dead, and he suddenly finds himself the prime suspect in a homicide investigation. Working to clear himself and find out who killed Paula, Shade goes up against some redoubtable foes who will stop at nothing to ensure his search for the truth won't be completed.

Five Star  ISBN: 1410401901   April 2004
Trade paperback 2005


A Killing Frost

It hasn't exactly been a banner year for Chicago-based private detective Ron Shade. First, his main ladylove left for a new life buy A Killing Frost from Amazon in California. Then his faithful old Chevy turned over its second hundred thousand miles and died. Finally, Shade realized that his expensive downtown office was a luxury that he could no longer afford. In an attempt to bounce back and take control of this life, Shade buys a new Camaro Z-28, gets a high-powered ad in the yellow pages, and in the process of bidding his office adieu when Maria Castro walks into his life.

A Killing Frost 2007 paperbackMaria asks Shade to help find her friend Juanita's missing fiancée, an illegal alien that the cops don't seem too concerned about. When the fiancée turns up floating face down in a local shipping canal, Maria convinces him to stay on the case, despite his reservations. This is only the beginning of Shade's quest into the heart of darkness, his search for something resembling the truth, and his hope to bring justice to the criminals he's tracking.

Five Star   ISBN: 0786243090   Sept. 2002
Trade paperback 2004
Reissued Oct. 2007 in paperback from Dorchester Press


Need help finding the books? I hope you'll support independent booksellers. I've gotten great support from indies, including these stores:
Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore
7419 W. Madison St.
Forest Park, IL
708-771-7243

The Bookie's Paperbacks and More
2419 West 103rd St.
Chicago, IL 60655
773-239-1110

Click here to e-mail Mike