What's New

What's new? There's always something!

Here are the latest novels, stories and other books that I've been publishing lately. I like to alternate between a variety of genres, from the cozy world of Steve and Rochester to the police procedurals of the Mahu Investigations. In between, I'm writing about George Clay, a gay private eye in Miami Beach in 1969, and a series of gay romances set in Victorian Britain.

I'm also branching out into translations. See my translation page for more information.

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In Dog's Image (Golden Retriever Mystery #17)

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Join Steve Levitan and Lili Weinstock as they navigate the treacherous waters of wedding planning.

Amidst disagreements over guest lists, menu selections, and even wedding attire, their impending nuptials face more than typical hurdles.

When a local gallery owner is murdered, Lili is asked to identify artists who graced an event she photographed two decades ago. As shadows of the past resurface, the couple's wedding concerns pale in comparison to the enigma unfolding before them. Lili digs deep into her memories, Steve scans the dark web for details about a crime that went  unpunished, and Rochester sniffs out clues to help them both bring justice.

As they peel back layers of deception, they uncover a complex tapestry of secrets, rivalries, and unspoken motives. Will Lili, Steve, and Rochester unearth the buried truth and deliver justice, or will the past's long-shrouded mysteries remain forever concealed?

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The Virgin Homicides (Mahu Investigations #16)

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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.

With twists and turns at every corner, this gripping mystery will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow Kimo's quest to protect and serve the people of Honolulu with aloha

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"Billie Jean" (A George Clay story in Thriller)

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She says I am the one... but the kid is not my son

I was invited to participate in this awesome anthology of stories inspired by Michael Jackson's Thriller album, and immediately I knew this was the story I wanted to write.

George Clay is a gay private eye in Miami Beach in 1969, dating a handsome Cuban exile. When a young woman tries to blackmail Alex Reyes by insisting that he is the father of her unborn child, George knows it can't be true, because he and Alex were together the night she says the baby was conceived.

But how can George prove she's wrong without revealing their sexuality in dangerous times?

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Dog Rising (Golden Retriever short story)

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A free golden retriever short story!

A production error meant that this story, which was supposed to appear in Black Cat Weekly, went out as a free issue.

Steve and Rochester are helping Rick out at an Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Stewart's Crossing PD when Rochester discovers an autographed baseball. Whose is it and how did it end up abandoned in this park?

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The Art of the Deal (Angus Green short story)

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Flakka, a crazy-making drug, is being distributed in Angus's neighborhood.

You can find it in Black Cat Weekly #74. Eventually I hope to put together an anthology of the Angus stories.

Black Cat Weekly is a great venue for mystery short stories. If you haven't checked it out, here's an opportunity for you.

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The Lord and the Frenchman: Ormond Yard Book 2

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Two wounded men discover true love and a found family in Victorian England

In the opulent courts of Victorian England, John Seales, Lord Therkenwell, is a man of wealth and privilege, expected to marry a woman of his own social standing and produce an heir. But when he meets dashing French diplomat Raoul Desjardins at a soirée arranged by a politically-connected gay couple, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to the man despite the risks of their forbidden love.

"Plakcy crafts a story rich in historical detail and full of charming and engaging characters. The romantic tension between John and Raoul was as exciting as the political intrigue of exploration and espionage between Britain and France. The Lord and the Frenchman is a must-read for Historical Fiction fans!" - Merry Farmer, USA Today Bestselling author of The Brotherhood series.

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Brackish Water

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In the first three books of this series, FBI Special Agent Angus Green has demonstrated courage, intelligence and empathy. One of his core beliefs is the influence his late father has had on his life. But what if he learns that everything he believed about that important relationship might be false?

It's no secret that the relationships between fathers and sons are at the heart of many of my books. Angus Green lost his father at age ten, and the memories he holds of things like looking at an atlas with his dad have had a great impact on his life. 

His new case involves a Cuban refugee who wants to trade knowledge of a stolen Old Master painting for his freedom. From the painting (a portrait I invented of Jesus as a boy with his earthly father) to the motivation of the bad guy, who seeks to outshine his father, to the secret that Angus's mother has been keeping for years.

I loved exploring this story and hope readers enjoy it too.

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The Murder Beats: Structure in Genre Fiction

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For many writers of genre fiction, structuring a book is a real pain point. The Murder Beats solves that problem.

Award-winning author Neil Plakcy has written over fifty novels in mystery and romance, taught college level writing for over twenty years, and lectured at conferences and to writers' groups about the mechanics of writing.

In The Murder Beats, he demystifies many different ways of structuring a book of genre fiction, focusing on element such as beats, scenes, acts, tropes and universal fantasies.

Liberally studded with examples, The Murder Beats can take your nascent manuscript to the next level.

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Bucks County Mysteries: Being John Church

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Jeff Berman is in freefall. He's been denied tenure, then lost his follow-up job as a presenter on the History Channel. But rock bottom comes fast and painful when he learns that the love of his life, the charismatic, passionate, and devastatingly self-destructive Pascal Montrouge, has died. 

At Pascal's funeral, Jeff meets his lover’s parents, who explain that the man Jeff knew was a completely invented identity. As a journalist, Pascal played with facts, and he did the same in his life, where he was the consummate fabulist, fooling everyone a little, and Jeff most of all. 

Distraught and betrayed, Jeff is compelled to dig into the dark secrets of his lover's life. His exploration is part amateur sleuth story, part meditation on the nature of love. As Jeff solves the mystery of Pascal’s life and death he learns how he can move forward into his next chapter. 

A book for everyone who has ever loved and lost.

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