St. Austin's Press
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A writer never has a vacation.
For a writer life consists of either writing
or thinking about writing.
                                                                                       - Eugene Ionesco 

To purchase a book, click on its cover on the right.
The Jake Scarne thrillers, in order:







The Alton Rhode Mysteries, in order:








Cole Sudden C.I.A. Thrillers, in order:




In the first book in this series, private investigator Jake Scarne investigates the death of a reporter in Miami. What starts out as a simple assignment soon turns ominous, putting Scarne in the crosshairs of a media baron, a billionaire crook, various mob families and the F.B.I. -- all of whom have their own agenda and some of whom want him dead.

But at the heart of this thriller is a poignant love story with all the makings of tragedy. 

Still recovering from the physical and mental trauma of his previous case, Jake Scarne is asked by a friend to look into the brutal murder of a young girl.

The police believe the killing was random but the private eye knows better -- although he can't tell anyone how he knows!

In an international conspiracy in which even powerful mob bosses are expendable, an unusual ally comes to Scarne's aid.   

A relatively unknown novelist is murdered in a very public and brutal fashion.

Now, the world's most-famous thriller writer fears he's the next target.  

Enter Jake Scarne, hired on as a bodyguard. He soon realizes just how deadly the threats can be in the ostensibly "civilized" world of high-stakes publishing.

What the private eye discovers is certainly stranger than fiction!  

Scientists are worried as strange diseases affecting people, animals and crops seem to be popping up randomly around the globe. 

Jake Scarne knows nothing of this when he is asked to investigate the death of a rich executive. He only takes the case because he is emotionally involved.

But he soon finds himself in the midst of a conspiracy dating back to the Cold War!   

An ambitious freelance journalist believes that an innocent man is rotting in jail for a rape and murder committed by two of the nation's most-revered athletes. But her editors are reluctant to print the story without iron-clad proof.

Enter Jake Scarne, who is asked to provide that proof. What he eventually discovers -- after more terrible violence -- turns out to be more sinister than anyone imagined.

And it takes allies on both sides of the law to set things right.  

When a woman asks Jake Scarne to find her kidnapped daughter, he is reluctant to take the case. Not because the woman runs a criminal empire -- he just believes the F.B.I. has more resources.

But the mother is adamant. No police! 

And then she brings up something from Scarne's past that forces his hand. 

But what he discovers shocks them both. 

Private investigator Alton Rhode hasn't fully recovered from recent war wounds when an alluring woman asks him to find the man whose bone marrow may hold the key to her young daughter's survival. 

But his search yields unexpected results, not to mention a slew of dead bodies. 

Nothing is as it seems in this twisty tale, the first of the Rhode mystery series. 

Alton Rhode's beautiful new client was apprehended, smoking gun in hand, at the scene of her lover's murder.

But she maintains her innocence and won't take a plea. Rhode finds out why, but before he can act, tragedy strikes. A tragedy that threatens everyone involved. 

It's up to him to salvage the reputations of two women -- and he's not above breaking the law to do it!

A series of murders that have their genesis in the jungles of South America wind up in Alton Rhode's lap -- thanks to an old priest with a suspicious mind.

The next thing he knows, Rhode is traveling across North America tracking a killer who uses her scientific expertise to wreak vengeance on men.

But this turns out to be one beauty who gets too close! 

A nun's brutal murder brings two New England homicide detectives to Alton Rhode's office. What they tell him shocks him to his core.

Before becoming a nun, the woman was Rhode's first real love.

She disappeared mysteriously, leaving him bereft.

Plagued by long-suppressed memories, Rhode sets out on a cross-country hunt to find the killer. A hunt that reveals a terrible secret.

Like everyone else, Alton Rhode is angered by the murder of a Vietnam War hero.

But he soon finds out that the killer is also angry. A veteran himself, the hit man would never knowingly murder a Medal of Honor winner! He wants to set things right.

One problem. He has no idea who ordered the hit. But he knows who can find out.

Once again, bodies pile up as Rhode exacts his typical form of justice. 

Alton Rhode is feeling lonely. Just about everyone he knows is out of town. And he has no clients.

Then a beautiful woman from his past asks for his help. Someone has murdered her grandfather -- a man she just found out existed! 

Rhode heads below the Mason-Dixon Line in search of a killer, only to discover that the murder is the tip of a sordid iceberg. It seems like everyone in Atlas, a "quiet" Virginia town, has something to hide. 

Including a mysterious older woman.


Alton Rhode and his lady love, Alice Watts, attend a "destination wedding" on luxurious Bald Head Island at the mouth of the Cape Fear river on the North Carolina coast. In fact, Rhode is giving away the bride, a former call girl who once was involved in a plot that almost got him killed!

But that's not the weird part, because the private eye soon uncovers a secret on Bald Head that threatens a publishing empire -- and puts him in the sights of a crazed killer who feeds his victims to the sharks!

Cole Sudden moonlights as a damn-good thriller writer. But he is even better at his day job -- apex assassin for a C.I.A. unit that the rest of the agency tries to avoid.

The unit (whose acronym is, appropriately, B.U.R.Y.) does mob hits for hire -- and makes millions for the bigwigs at Langley

But a routine operation backfires on Sudden, who finds himself the target of a deranged mobster and a Category 5 hurricane!   

In the second Cole Sudden thriller, a mysterious series of events that began in a World War II death camp have shaken the American Government.

Soon Sudden and Rebecca Soul, his sometime lover (and always deadly partner), are involved in a "manhunt" that is part science and part science fiction.

But the real danger is home-grown, and they make a very unusual decision.  

A Russian researcher revives a "harmless" ancient virus from the Siberian tundra.

What could go wrong? As it turns out, plenty! Especially when Islamic terrorists get their hands on the virus and target America.

Enter C.I.A. aces Cole Sudden and Rebecca Soul, with a very personal reason for becoming involved.

Bodies, human and animal, soon pile up in this international thriller!