Mahu Investigations

 An openly gay homicide detective explores the dark corners of sunny Hawai’i.

 What the critics have said about the Mahu Investigations:

“Plakcy keeps the waves of suspense crashing!” In LA Magazine
“Hits all the right notes as a mystery.” Mystery Book News
“Kimo brings needed diversity to the genre, and the author handles the island setting well.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin
“Spotless pace, intriguing plots twists, and an earnest depiction of challenges faced by people transitioning out of the closet.” Honolulu Advertiser
“Recommended to a wide audience.” Reviewing the Evidence

Perfect for fans of Joseph Hansen, Michael Nava and John Morgan Wilson.

Mahu: Mahu Investigations Book 1

Mahu: A Mahu Investigation (Mahu Investigations Book 1)

A gay police detective investigates the dark corners of sunlit O'ahu

Mahu---a generally negative Hawaiian term for homosexuals---introduces a unique character to detective fiction. Kimo Kanapa'aka is a handsome, mixed-race surfer living in Honolulu, a police detective confronting his homosexuality in an atmosphere of macho bravado within the police force. A man of intelligence, strength, honesty, resourcefulness, and intense dedication to the people of Hawaii, Kimo is a hard-boiled hero you will never forget. Fast-paced, intricately plotted, thoroughly enjoyable, this is a sexy, surprisingly moving mystery about discovering oneself as much as catching a killer.

Kimo Kanapa'aka's world turns upside down in Mahu. At 32, the hero of Māhū has reached the pinnacle of his profession, detective on the Honolulu Police Department's homicide squad, based at the Waikīkī station. But a difficult murder case, as well as turmoil in his personal life, is about to threaten everything he has worked for.

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A life-threatening drug bust in chapter 1 makes Kimo realize that it's time to stop lying to himself. He's drawn to the Rod and Reel Club, a gay bar in Waikīkī, where he has a couple of beers and begins the long process of accepting his attraction to other men. Leaving the club, though, he stumbles onto two men dropping a dead body in an alley, and he launches himself into a nightmare where his private life becomes public news.

Kimo's pursuit of this case takes him from the seamy underside of Chinatown to the elegance of million-dollar homes in Maunalani Heights, from gay bars where young men stride naked down runways to bloody crime scenes.

Mahu Surfer: Mahu Investigations Book 2

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Going undercover means lying to everyone he loves.

MAHU SURFER, the second book in my Mahu Investigations mystery series, sends gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka back to his surfing past. His new boss asks the former competitive surfer to go undercover on Oahu’s North Shore to find the killer of three surfers. The catch: he can't tell any of his family or friends that he has returned to the force, causing him to lie, when he has just come out of the closet and begun to tell the truth about his life.

In his return to the North Shore, Kimo discovers trouble in paradise, from an epidemic rise in the use of crystal meth to increasing pressure on real estate prices. He also rekindles an uneasy friendship with a man whose sexual assault drove him into the police academy, and further into the closet, six years earlier. Readers will enjoy an exotic locale, plenty of aloha spirit and a dash of surf culture, as well as a slam-bang ending.

Also available in audio from Audible, iTunes and other sites.

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 Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for best gay mystery.

Winner of the Left Coast Crime conference award for best police procedural.

Mahu Fire: Mahu Investigations Book 3

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A fiery love affair erupts in the ashes of a deadly bombing.

MAHU FIRE, the third Mahu Investigation from Lambda Award finalist Neil S. Plakcy, begins as openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka attends a local charity event in support of gay marriage. When a bomb disrupts the gala, Kimo, his family and friends are thrust into a deadly contest between the forces of good and evil.

A wave of religious fundamentalism sweeps through O’ahu, at the same time as violence against gay and lesbian-owned businesses is on the rise. Coincidence? Kimo doesn’t think so. Working with hunky fire inspector Mike Riccardi – day and night – Kimo digs through the ashes to discover a motive for the attacks, as well as who is behind them.

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MAHU FIRE showcases a handsome, sexy hero who struggles to overcome personal troubles and makes private sacrifices for the public good. Throw in an exotic tropical locale, plenty of aloha spirit and a dash of surf culture, as well as a slam-bang ending that puts Kimo and the people he cares about in danger, and you’ve got the makings of a page-turning mystery.

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for best gay mystery.

Also available in audio from Audible, iTunes and other sites.

Mahu Vice: Mahu Investigations Book 4

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Can Kimo work with the man who broke his heart?
Openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka is faced with a new murder that comes dangerously close to his personal life.

About a year and a half has passed since the flames engulfed Waahila Ridge State Park at the end of Mahu Fire. During that time, Kimo and fire investigator Mike Riccardi dated for about six months, but with Kimo so visible, and Mike still in the closet, the pressures on them increased to the point where their relationship ended.

When a fire breaks out at a shopping center Kimo's father used to own, and a young boy is killed, they are forced to work together-- and to acknowledge that the embers of their relationship are still hot.

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A lot stands in the way of their getting together once more, including Mike's identity issues, a mysterious man who knows how to exploit Kimo's sexual fantasies, and a deadly little thing called murder.

Also available in audio from Audible, iTunes and other sites.

Mahu Blood: Mahu Investigations Book 5

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Kimo's Hawaiian heritage comes to the fore in this deadly investigation

Openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka and his partner, Ray Donne, are on duty at a rally in downtown Honolulu organized by Kingdom of Hawai’i, one of many competing groups which seek reparations from the US for the loss of land and independence. An elderly woman is shot dead there, only a few feet from where Kimo’s mother and nephews are taking part in the demonstration, and Kimo and Ray take the case.

At the same time, Kimo’s dealing with domestic difficulties, having just moved in with his partner, fire investigator Mike Riccardi. Since both are alpha males, the transition to shared living space isn’t easy, especially because Mike’s parents live next door.

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As Kimo and Mike struggle to adapt to living together, they begin to forge their own ohana—a Hawaiian term which means family, as well as community. The theme of ohana resonates through both Kimo’s personal life and his investigation of the murder as Kimo and Ray follow clues through a labyrinth of competing groups, uncovering a trail of gambling, money laundering, and mental illness.

The title refers both to the blood spilled in three murders, as well as the blood ties that link native Hawaiians to each other. People come together in many ways here—through native heritage and family ties as well as love and fellowship.

Also available in audio from Audible, iTunes and other sites.

Zero Break: Mahu Investigations Book 6

Zero Break: A Mahu Investigation (Mahu Investigations Book 7)

When another surfer dies, it's personal for Kimo.

Zero break refers to the deep-water location where waves first begin, often far offshore. For Honolulu homicide detective and surfer Kimo Kanapa'aka, it means his most dangerous case yet.

A young mother is murdered in what appears to be a home invasion robbery, leaving behind a complex skein of family and business relationships, and Kimo and his detective partner Ray Donne must navigate deadly waters to uncover the true motive behind her death.

Kimo is also in trouble at home, as he and fire investigator Mike Riccardi plumb the limits of their love for one another and consider the future of their relationship.

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Natural Predators: Mahu Investigations Book 7

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Kimo's father may hold the key to a case with roots in island history.

The beautiful tropical island of O'ahu is filled with predators, from high-flying owls to bottom-dwelling criminals. When the body of an island patrician is found in a warehouse fire, tracking his killers will bring openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa'aka into contact with many of those predators, natural and otherwise. Kimo and his detective partner Ray Donne dig deep into the history of Hawai'i as the islands were teetering on the brink of statehood in order to understand the victim, his killer, and their motives.
Kimo and his partner, fire investigator Mike Riccardi, decide to become foster parents for a homeless teen who witnessed the crime, while preparing to become dads themselves.

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Children of Noah: Mahu Investigations Book 8

Children of Noah: A Mahu Investigation (Mahu Investigations Book 10)

On special assignment to the FBI, Kimo faces new dangers

In eight previous Mahu Investigations, openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa'aka has investigated crimes that have taken him around the island, from the Windward to the Leeward Coast and up through the center of the island to the North Shore.

Now, Kimo and his detective partner Ray Donne have accepted an assignment to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, where personnel from a variety of Federal and local agencies are loaned to the Bureau to work on complex cases.

Ray has a chance to shine here based on his own growing familiarity with Honolulu, and Mike has a part to play as well in the investigation of arson at a day care center. Kimo and Ray must also work with other members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, composed of law enforcement officers from a variety of departments.

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Kimo and Ray must negotiate a new bureaucracy and a tricky case, which begins with threatening letters sent to a U.S. Senator and his family. Things heat up as they discover connections to other harassment of mixed-race couples and families, even children. Since his new-born twins are a mix of many cultures, from Hawaiian to haole to Japanese to Korean, Kimo feels especially motivated to solve this case.

Ghost Ship: Mahu Investigations Book 9

Ghost Ship: A Mahu Investigation (Mahu Investigations Book 12)

Who shipped deadly nuclear materials to the Aloha State?

When a sailboat carrying four bodies washes up on the Leeward Coast of O’ahu, openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka, on loan to the FBI, must discover what sent this young family and their deadly cargo on a dangerous trans-Pacific voyage.

Leaving behind his partner and their infant twins, Kimo must work with his police cohort Ray Donne to unravel the forces that led this family to their deaths. From Hawaii’s sunny beaches to a chilly island in Japan to the Pacific Northwest, Kimo and Ray step far out of their comfort zones to confront an evil much greater than any they’ve investigated before.

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Deadly Labors: Mahu Investigations Book 10

Soldier Down: Mahu Investigations Book 11

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A Case Colder Than Mauna Kea

Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka can’t say no when the chair of the House Defense Appropriations Committee asks him to investigate her father’s death. The case may be as cold as the top of Mauna Kea—over fifty years old—but Representative Stacey O’Brien controls the purse strings for the eleven military bases in Hawai’i.

And she’s a mentor to Kimo’s baby mama, Sandra Guarino, who’s in her first time in the House in DC.

The eleventh full novel in the series, Soldier Down requires Kimo to use everything he knows, as well as his family connections, to disturb a series of crimes the military has tried to cover up.

At the same time, he and his partner Mike Riccardi are dealing with the perils of fatherhood as their eight-year-old twins start to question their family situation. Would they really be better off moving between a pair of mom-dad couples? Because that’s not something the adults can manage.

Soldier Down explores the ongoing nature of parent-child relationships while Kimo tracks a killer through the lush paradise of the Aloha State.

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“One of Plakcy's gifts is for his secondary characters. Five stars for the overall effort and dazzling effect of these tales.” A.J. Llewellyn, author of the Last Warrior Series
“Plakcy’s storytelling is tight, flawlessly executed, eminently interesting and inspiring.” George Seaton, Out in Print.

Unruly Son: Mahu Investigations Book 12

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A Missing Mother and Son

A mother and her neurodiverse teen-aged son are missing in one of the parks surrounding Honolulu, and homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka must use his knowledge of the landscape, and of human nature, to tackle this case, with more twists and turns than a mountain trail.

Pressure mounts from civic and tourism leaders, as well as the news media. Kimo must confront old adversaries as he negotiates tricky questions. What does it mean to be a parent? How can you protect your children while at same time preparing them to be free someday?

The heart and warmth of Kimo’s ohana will provide the answers in this thrilling new mystery from an award-winning author.

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The Virgin Homicides: Mahu Investigations Book 13

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Two Dead Women. Will Kimo's Niece be Next?

The latest Honolulu homicides in the long-running Mahu Investigations series are perplexing, even to a seasoned detective like Kimo Kanapa’aka.

The two female victims, a young art college student and a seasoned HR executive, seem to have nothing in common. Yet as Kimo and his partner Ray Donne delve deeper into the investigation, they sense a connection between the two.

Navigating the murky waters of teen dating, fashion influencers, an experimental power company, and a group of frustrated young men, Kimo is determined to find the truth. But when his own family is threatened, the stakes become personal, and Kimo is forced to race against time to bring the killer to justice. 

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Accidental Contact: Short Stories of Crime in the Aloha State

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21 Short Stories

Newly revised to include all twenty-one of the Kimo's short investigations in the Aloha State. From murderers to missing babies to a shaggy dog with an unusual appetite, Kimo has his hands full. The stories fill in the time periods between the main novels. This collection also includes "Macadamia Nuts to You," a story that brings Kimo together with Anthony Bidulka's Saskatoon-based private eye, Russell Quant.

Sun-drenched streets hide bodies in their shadows and clues lurk in the most unusual places, from a hearse to flowering hedge to a psychic who provides Kimo with an unexpected revelation. These sexy, smart and satisfying stories will please new readers and fans of the Mahu series as well.

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Mahu Men: Gay Hawaiian Erotica

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WARNING: These are piece of erotic fiction, not crime fiction, though there may be mystery elements. This is a new and revised edition of the previously published book, confined only to erotica. Other crime stories featuring Kimo are collected in the anthology Accidental Contact.

Dive into the steamy underbelly of Honolulu with openly gay homicide detective Kimo Kanapa'aka in this sizzling collection of ten erotic short stories by acclaimed author Neil S. Plakcy.

Fresh off coming out of the closet, Kimo navigates tricky waters as he tries to find love and connection while solving crimes in Hawai'i. Chance encounters and heated hook-ups with sexy surfers, cowboys, athletes and more feed Kimo's quest for sexual exploration and adventure. But as he juggles passionate physical connections with the demands of his detective work, Kimo soon learns the two worlds are destined to collide.

Balancing explicit, pulse-pounding erotica with a touch of mystery, these stories provide enticing insights into Kimo's personal journey not found in the popular Mahu mystery novels. While investigating pharmacy break-ins and homicides, Kimo indulges in sizzling interludes that push the boundaries of his newfound sexuality.

Perfect for fans of the Mahu series who crave more heat, this collection of quick and dirty stories shows a sensual side to Kimo's personality against a tropical backdrop. Raw, intimate and revealing, Mahu Men exposes the hot-blooded desires of a conflicted cop learning to embrace his true self. Let Kimo take you on a wild ride through the hidden gay haunts and back alleys of Honolulu in this one-of-a-kind erotic anthology.

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