All That Glitters and more books in 2015

2014 has been a wonderful year for me as a writer and personally. I just finished the third Jake and Laura novel that comes out in July, and in a few weeks All That Glitters comes out, January 6. I also have a blog tour January 6 through January 30 to look forward to.

The year’s been successful with the release of the first Jake and Laura mystery The Yankee Club and the recognition of my Woodstock novel, Goodbye Emily.

My professional success is due to the representation of a wonderful agent, Dawn Dowdle, who formed Blue Ridge Literary Agency a few years ago when I was looking for an agent.

Dawn represents many talented mystery and romance authors. Like me, they have books coming out next year. Here’s a few terrific books and their authors I thought might be of interest.

Wagon Train Cinderella, a western romance novel by Shirley Kennedy will be released February 3, but is available for pre-order now. Take a look.

Kelly Moran has two books coming out int he first quarter of 2015, Ghost of a Promise is a paranormal romance has a January 26 release date, and Return to Mea contemporary romance will be released March 3. Both can be pre-ordered now and they’ll download on their release date.

Every Move She Makes by Janine Gallant will be released March 31. It’s also a contemporary romance Like most of the others, it’s available for pre-order now.

Betsy Ashton‘s, Max Max Uncharted Territory, is coming in June. Betsy is a writer, a thinker, a golfer, wife mother and grandmother. Her first Mad Max novel Mad Max Unintended Consequences, available for a limited time for just 99 cents.  When her daughter is murdered, Mad Max Davies and her grandchildren, including the paranormally gifted Emilie, set out to solve the crime and bring the killer to justice.

A couple of weeks ago Angel Nicholas‘s novel Sweet Deception was released. It’s a terrific romantic suspense novel. Take a look.

Another novel released earlier this month was mystery writer Susan Union‘s Paws of Death, the second in the Randi Sterling mystery series. Susan, a horse woman…horse person?… is a member of Sisters in Crime, American Horse Publications, and the American Quarter Horse Association.

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Special Offer on The Yankee Club

For a limited time,  you can download The Yankee Club for just $.99. If you haven’t read the Prohibition-era mystery, now’s your chance. Download at the Kindle Store, Nook Store or wherever ebooks are sold.

Don’t let the offer expire. Just click on the link below. It’s that easy!

Kindle      Nook       Kobo       Google Books       iBooks

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

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Laura Wilson’s bio

The last post gave the background for Jake Donovan. He and Laura Wilson are the two main characters in my Prohibition-era mystery series that started with The Yankee Club and will continue January 6 with All That Glitters.

If you read The Yankee Club, you know Laura had a tough life growing up. Things began to look up when she and her old man moved to Queens where Laura met Jake, but there was much about her life that didn’t make the final manuscript of either novel, so I thought I’d share with this post.

Laura was born in 1902 and didn’t remember much about her mother who left when Laura was three. Her father began to drink much and blamed Laura for her mother’s departure, ignoring his own failings as a husband, parent and a man.

As she grew, her father recognized her mother’s beauty in Laura and his resentment grew, as did his consumption of alcohol. The beatings were always there, but they got worse, the older Laura got.

When she was twelve, Laura and her old man moved to Queens into Jake and Gino Santoro’s neighborhood. She got to know Jake a year later during the school’s production of Tom Sawyer. Her interest in acting came from her desire to escape the painful reality of growing up.

With Jake in Europe during the Great War, Laura graduated from high school and left home that day. She never saw her father again. She moved in with other actresses, and when Jake came home from the war and asked her to marry him, she wanted to say yes. She’d loved Jake since high school, but she’d vowed never to be dependent on any man.

When Jake became a Pinkerton detective and left New York, Laura concentrated on her acting even more. She outgrew the teenage roles in off-Broadway plays, but landed minor parts as female sidekicks in musicals and comedies, but men noticed and remember her for her black-haired, green-eyed beauty. Broadway

When Jake returned to New York due to his father’s ill heath, Laura and Jake resumed their relationship, but still wouldn’t marry him. They shared an apartment after his father died.

Jake started his own detective agency with Mickey O’Brien, and Laura helped out around the office. At her request, Jake taught her to handle a gun, and she often accompanied him on investigations.

Laura landed a lead in a romantic comedy and her career took off. Jake had begun to write and had his first novel published, but their successful careers led to new conflicts. Jake left for Florida and Laura became a leading lady on Broadway.

The Depression had a devastating impact on Broadway. Theaters  closed and actors, including plenty of Laura’s friends lost their jobs.

Laura however, continued to land leading roles. Nearly two years after Jake left, she landed the lead in Night Whispers at The Longacre Theater. One night, a cocky scoundrel from Hollywood, Eric Carville, makes his way back stage and presents Laura with an opportunity she can’t turn down. She signs a contract with Carville studios.

Jake returns from Florida, and the next two weeks are told in The Yankee Club. When the play ends, Laura and Jake leave for Hollywood,  and the events that take place when they get there are told in All That Glitters, coming January 6.

Another Jake and Laura mystery

Another Jake and Laura mystery


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Jake Donvan

Several of The Yankee Club reviews have praised the two main characters in the series, Jake Donovan and Laura Wilson.

“Jake and Laura remind me a bit of the characters from The Thin Man–a couple who find themselves solving crimes together,” Goodreads review

“Jake isn’t superhuman – he’s a guy with a strong background in police/detective work who’s been out of the game a bit.” Daniel’s Goodreads review.

Those who’ve read The Yankee Club, know a lot about Jake Donovan, but much of his background never made it into the manuscript. So, I thought I’d share more about Jake’s life particularly before 1933, the start of the novel.

Jake, the son of Pat and Marie Donovan, was born in Queens, New York in 1900, making him 33 during the events that take place in The Yankee Club. His mother died of influenza during the plague of 1908. Pat Donovan, always a dreamer who longed to move the family to Florida, raised Jake and his two older sisters, Mary and Teresa as best he could. He made sure the kids attended church on Sundays at St. Timothy’s. In addition to values, his father taught Jake to take care of himself and to box, a skill that came in handy later in life.

Jake was fourteen when Laura and her old man moved into Jake’s neighborhood. That first year, Laura mostly kept to herself, but Jake got to know her better a year later when they both tried out for a school play. Laura landed the part of Becky Thatcher while Jake was Tom Sawyer. During rehearsal they shared their first kiss. Jake was in love.

He didn’t know Laura’s father slapped her around when he drank, which was often. By the time Jake found out, he and Laura were high school sweethearts, and he and his buddies Gino and Danny straightened her old man out.

Jake and Laura dated through high school. They talked about marriage, but life doesn’t always turn out the way young people plan The United States went to war the year Jake graduated. He lied about his age (seventeen) and joined the army where he was dispatched to Europe and met a fellow New Yorker, Micky O’Brien.

War changes people, but combat didn’t change Jake’s feelings about Laura who struggled to become a young actress as a way out of her house. When he returned, Jake proposed, but Laura turned him down. She was determined to make it on her own as an actress.

Stung by Laura’s rejection, Jake landed a job as a Pinkerton detective hoping to leave Queens and his broken heart behind. He got his wish when he was assigned to the Baltimore office where he met Dashielle Hammett. For the next few years, Jake worked at various Pinkerton offices around the country, including Omaha and Los Angeles.

Jake’s father contacted tuberculosis in 1927. With his sisters married and in other states, Jake quit his job as a Pinkerton and returned to Queens to care for his father, who died a year later.

By this time, Laura had landed a small role on Broadway. Jake proposed marriage again. Laura turned him down but they moved in together. Jake and Micky O’Brien opened their own detective agency at the same time Jake began to write mystery novels.

Empire Press published the first Blackie Doyle novel. The book was a big success, as were the next two novels, but in spite of the stock market crash and the spread of the Great Depression, Jake wanted more.

Laura’s landed the lead in a Broadway play the week Jake proposed again. When Laura rejected him again, Jake turned the detective business over to Micky and left town.

Unlike his father, Jake made it to Florida where he continued to write. He might have stayed there permanently, but in 1933, Jake’s editor, Mildred, wasn’t satisfied with the third Blackie Doyle novel. She insisted he return to New York briefly to work out the differences.

What happened when he arrived is chronicled in The Yankee Club.

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

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Jake and Laura Mystery Series

Pre-release reviews for the second Jake and Laura mystery, All That Glitters, are starting to come in.

Jay Williams calls the cast of characters “as good as any Damon Runyon came up with.” Here’s the rest of his review.

Goodreads reviewer Bree Garcia said, “There has been a serious lack of mysteries in my bookshelf, and I’m so glad that I found these. Jake and Laura are the best, and they make such a great team.” Read her review.

If you like classic mysteries, historical figures and Hollywood in the thirties, you’ll like Jake and Laura’s latest adventure. Pre-order All That Glitters now for just $2.99 and download January 6. Here’s a more detailed description:

In Michael Murphy’s rollicking new Jake & Laura mystery, the hard-boiled writer and the aspiring movie star head for sun-drenched Los Angeles, where a cold-blooded murderer lurks behind the scenes.

Another Jake and Laura mystery

Another Jake and Laura mystery

Just arrived from New York, Broadway actress Laura Wilson is slated to star in Hollywood’s newest screwball comedy. At her side, of course, is Jake Donovan, under pressure to write his next mystery novel. But peace and quiet are not to be had when an all-too-real murder plot intrudes: After a glitzy party, the son of a studio honcho is discovered dead from a gunshot wound. And since Jake exchanged words with the hothead just hours before his death, the bestselling author becomes the LAPD’s prime suspect.

In 1930s Tinseltown, anything goes. Proving his innocence won’t be easy in a town where sex, seduction, and naked power run rampant. With gossip columnist Louella Parsons dead-set on publicizing the charges against him, Jake has no choice but to do what everyone else does in the City of Angels: act like someone else. Blackie Doyle, the tough-talking, fist-swinging, womanizing hero from Jake’s novels wouldn’t pull any punches until he exposed the real killer—nor will Jake, to keep the role of a lifetime from being his last.

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

If you haven’t read the first novel in the Jake and Laura series, The Yankee Club, you can order and download today!

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Historical Mysteries set in the 1930’s

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

Even before the release of my Prohibition-era historical mystery, The Yankee Club, several readers asked why I’d set a mystery in the 1930’s. There are five major reasons I chose to set my Jake and Laura mystery series in the 1930’s, so I thought I’d share them with you.

The Golden Age of Mysteries.

The 1920’s and the 30’s are considered the Golden Age of Mysteries. Famous authors who wrote during this era include. Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Rex Stout and Dorothy L. Sayers to name a few. With my Jake and Laura series, I have my own style of writing. I’m trying not to copy them, but to pay tribute to the timeless classics they wrote.

The comparisons between the thirties and the world today.

The thirties brought the world a devastating economic disaster, the Great Depression. Banks closed, homes were repossessed, millions lost their jobs and the gap between the haves and have nots increased. In the early part of this century were flirted with another Depression, banks closed, homes were repossessed, unemployment reached post-Depression highs and the gap has widened between the haves and have nots. The Jake and Laura series is a mystery series, not a political statement, but readers can’t escape the comparisons between then and now.

Intriguing Historical figures.

The thirties brought fascinating historical figures in politics, entertainment, sports and yes, crime. With Laura, a famous Broadway actress and Jake a successful mystery writer, they interact from time to time with friends from these fields and they drop by from time to time enhancing scenes and the stories; Cole Porter, Babe Ruth, Louella Parsons, to name a few. As a writer it was fun and a challenge to determine which of these characters are inherent to the stories.

The Influence of The Thin Man Movies.

William Powell, Myrna Loy, Asta

William Powell, Myrna Loy, Asta

I loved Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man, but it’s William Powell and Myrna Loy who inspired me to create a couple in love and investigating crime. I hope my series contains a smattering of sophistication, suspense and humor.

Noir Fiction. I’m a fan of hard-boiled detective novels and noir films and novels. I love heroes like Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade. The Jake and Laura novels are not classic, there’s too much humor and romance to fit that mold, but that was my intent, noir with a few laughs thrown in.

Whether you’ve read The Yankee Club, or plan to read All That Glitters, I hope this has helped explain how writing these novels came about.

Another Jake and Laura mystery

Another Jake and Laura mystery

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The Publishing Cycle

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

I have to admit, sometimes the publishing cycle can seem overwhelming. Random House Alibi released the first Jake and Laura novel, The Yankee Club, on August 12 and I’m thrilled by all the terrific reviews it’s received. Of course marketing and promotion began long before August and continued with a blog tour in September and posting reviews in social media as they show up in Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, etc.

September also saw the cover reveal for the second in the series, All That Glitters.

Another Jake and Laura mystery

Another Jake and Laura mystery

During all this I’ve been working on book three in the series, Wings in the Dark, that takes place in Hawaii. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually travel to Hawaii for research. I’m still working away on the manuscript, but I can’t neglect The Yankee Club and all the great reviews reader continues to post.

Nor can I ignore the advance buzz staring about All That Glitters. October saw the book being available for pre-order for the January 6 release. It’s now available through NetGalley.

It’s an exciting time balancing writing and promotion involving three books in a series. For all you authors out there, you know what I’m talking about.

Pre-order All That Glitters at:

The Kindle Store             Nook Store             Kobo Books

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Television interview

It was my pleasure recently to be interviewed by Sandy Moss, host of the Morning Scramble in Prescott, Arizona. We chatted about my recent trip back to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and my Woodstock novel, Goodbye Emily. We also chatted about my current novel, The Yankee Club and All That Glitters that comes out in January. Thought I’d share our chat.





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The Yankee Club Reviewers

It’s always humbling when someone purchases one of my books and even more so when I see that someone’s taken the time to read and review my book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads or various blogs. Here’s just a few snippets of reviews from The Yankee Club.

“Jump on the incredible page turner set in 1933 in the middle of the Great Depression – you won’t regret it.” Reviewer Bill Baker

“This is a highly entertaining novel, very skillfully written. Murphy has done a great job of creating a story that reads like it could have been written by one of the greats of noir fiction. I highly recommend it.” Goodreads reviewer Scott Parsons

“The Yankee Club was a fantastic mystery read!! Shady characters, corruption, romance, mystery and suspense and not once did any of these factors overthrow the plot.” Bookish Wanderlove Blog

“The Yankee Club by Michael Murphy is a hard-boiled historical romp that is inspired genius, peppered with great characters.” Looking for a Good Book Blog.

“The Yankee Club is a compelling mystery, meticulously crafted, and filled with humor and witty dialogue.” Author Peg Glover

“The Yankee Club is a fun read from start to finish.” Blogger Peter Faur

Thanks to everyone who’s read and reviewed The Yankee Club.



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Thanks to Everyone for my book release

A book release is an exciting time for an author and it was for me when The Yankee Club was released Tuesday, August 12. I have so many people to thank for helping me launch the book. First off, thank you to my agent Dawn Dowdle and to my fellow authors at Blue Ridge Literary Agency, for offering support, encouragement, and suggestions to spread the word.

I’ll always be grateful to Dana, Kimberly, April, Heidi, Katie and so many others at Random House Alibi who helped edit, produce a dynamite cover and brought their expertise to the effort to release The Yankee Club and to offer such a terrific special price reduction.

And thanks to all of you who’ve downloaded the book at The Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble Nook Store, Google Play, which is a great place to download ebooks on any android devices, or any of the other sites where ebooks are sold.

Thanks to everyone who’s downloaded the book and a special thanks to those who’ve taken the time to post reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. Your time and effort to post a review is especially appreciated.

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

Inspired by The Thin Man movies

January 6, the second in the Jake and Laura series will be released. You’ll probably want to read The Yankee Club first so you can find out why Jake and Laura travel to Hollywood during Tinseltown’s naughtiest, bawdiest year to date.

Another Jake and Laura mystery

Another Jake and Laura mystery



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