Sterling Leighton Halcott is the wealthiest thoroughbred owner in the state of Kentucky. He and his wife Harper live in a plantation-style mansion on the outskirts of Lexington with their Kentucky Derby favorite racehorse, Valkyrie. Sterling’s wealth, power, and celebrity status has garnered him several enemies.
When he turns up dead a month before the big race, Harper hires local private detective Cal Tyson to investigate. What follows is a dangerous string of events that takes Cal inside the dark and sometimes nefarious world of the thoroughbred racing industry all the way from celebrity-filled Derby parties to lingering vestiges of the Old South to suspicious Argentine horse breeders to the main event at the Kentucky Derby itself.
Along the way Cal gets help from some interesting characters, including an intelligent and feisty librarian with a master’s degree in Southern history and a thirst for adventure.
I’ve just completed this novel and I have begun the long process of getting it published. Stay tuned for updates. You can read the first two chapters at derbystory.com.
My second novel is underway. It’s another mystery story that follows private detective Cal Tyson as he heads to the remote and isolated Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky near the Virginia state line. This time, Cal is searching for a teenage girl who disappeared two weeks prior.
Pillheads and drug dealers, biker gangs, trailer parks, the power of Big Coal, and vigilante justice abound in this story of corruption, addiction, and murder in the hills of Eastern Kentucky.
Watch the blog for updates on the novel’s progress.