Idaho authors pen mystery, crime novels

“Madam Esmeralda Margarita Magruder” by Richard O. Dahlgren (Boise and Mackay); CreateSpace ($15.99)

Ace Mulligan, an investigative reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle, interviewed Esmeralda on his first assignment in 1920. Eager to know more, he discovered news stories about her. Some were ancient, others current.

A woman of violence, death and romance, she lived a varied and colorful life. During her globetrotting, she befriended many famous people, including Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Ernest Hemingway and the Dalai Lama.

The time span and datelines were unbelievable. The mystery of this woman became an unsolvable obsession until, as an octogenarian on assignment in India, Esmeralda re-entered his life.

Embark on a whirlwind journey through history, with famous names and world-changing events, all as part of the endless pursuit of her identity by the 80-eight-year-old reporter, Ace Mulligan.

“Reaching Montaup” by J Dominic (Boise); Bay Tree Publishing ($15.98)

When a local priest molests a young boy, parents conspire, mobsters appear, an “angel” from Providence descends, and — evoking Montaup’s brutal colonial past — the unsaid gets said. And done.

In the Rhode Island backwater town of Sowams at the base of Mount Hope — or Montaup — a childhood traffic accident has rendered Jate Tavino skull-plated, growth-stunted and rattled-up good. As an adolescent, Jate can’t match the mental prowess of his nonidentical twin brother, Ross, or the physical stamina of his street-wise pal, Pruney Mendoza.

Both Pruney and Ross lament, “Jate don’t get things.” But Jate gets far more than is plate-in-the-head obvious.

And Jate writes it all down: colorfully distorted regional history, hotly debated literature, ethnic religious rituals, tales of the dead and hush-hush cross-your-heart secrets of the living.

Years of cross-country roving have provided J Dominic with the “praspective” expressed by Jate’s dad, “You never get such an up close view as when you’re far away.”

From the publishers

Are you an Idaho author of a new book that’s been released within the last six months? Email your book information (synopsis, publisher, list price and a snap of the book cover) to