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Andy Hayes Mystery Books In Order

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Publication Order of Andy Hayes Books

Fourth Down and Out (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Slow Burn (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Capitol Punishment (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hunt (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Third Brother (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fatal Judgment (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Empty Grave (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

The “Andy Hayes Mystery” Series is a set of mystery novels by Andrew Welsh-Huggins who loves to refer to himself as a native proud adopted Ohioan. He works as a writer and editor for the Associated Press in Columbus during the day and spends his nights and weekends writing his novels. He is best known for his flagship “Andy Hayes Mystery” series that features the ex-Cleveland Browns and Ohio State quarterback turned investigator Andy Hayes. Welsh-Huggins writes old fashioned detective stories that will have her audiences enthralled from the first page right down to the last. Apart from his mystery series, Andrew has been very actively organizing the author community in Columbus. In 2020, he published the “Columbus Noir” anthology which is a collection of 14 short stories set in a variety of neighborhoods in Columbus. He edited the stories which were written by several authors from Columbus.

Outside his published works, his short fiction has been featured in “Mystery Weekly Magazine,” “Kings River Life,” “Tough,” and “Down and Out Magazine.” “The Murderous Type,” which is a short story he published in 2016 was the winner of the Best New England short crime fiction award at the 2017 Al Blanchard awards. His novel titled “Long Drive Home” made the shortlist for the 2019 Best American Mystery Stories’ “Other Distinguished Mystery Stories” category. He has also been involved in the writing of non-fiction and “No Winner Here Tonight” is deemed the ultimate history of the death penalty in Ohio. When he is not working as a reporter or author, he is spending time with family, reading, running, and trying to remember what got into him that he got two parakeets, a dog and three cats as pets.

The lead in the “Andy Hayes Mystery Series” is Andy Woody Hayes, a former Ohio State University Footballer that had decided to pursue a career as a private investigator. Andy is a believable private investigator from Columbus who still has to deal with negative history from his football playing days. He had once been found guilty of throwing games to pay for an abortion and the fans have never let him forget that they hate him. He does not have many options though and he has to live in the city. Moreover, given his sport playing history, he often has to deal with pain and the violence that is a part of his chosen career sometimes gets to him. He makes his home in German Village but his work often takes him around different neighborhoods in Columbus including Upper Arlington, Bexley, Hilltop, and New Albany. The author captures the essence of the different neighborhoods as Andy navigates shady characters, lying witnesses, and even beatings. These are Middle American noir novels that sometimes draw on current affairs and real events in the telling of entertaining and fun mystery stories.

“Fourth Down and Out,” the first novel of the “Andy Hayes Mystery” series introduces Andy Hayes the lead. He is working on a job that seems easy enough at first glance though it is not. He needs to find a lost and presumed stolen laptop and erase a compromising video from its drive that could jeopardize his client’s reputation. But then someone breaks into the PI’s apartment in Columbus a few hours after he is violently attacked and relieved of the laptop he had managed to retrieve. It is not long before the FBI is at his doorstep asking questions he has no answers to. Soon there is a huge list of people claiming the laptop and most of them have secrets they don’t want to get out. When one of the claimants of the computer turns up dead, the authorities turn up the heat on Andy and he now has to convince them of his innocence. The only way to convince them is to find the man responsible and also locate the laptop before he kills again. The trail soon leads back to Ohio State University where he had made some mistakes as a quarterback and had yet to be forgiven by the fans. That misjudgment from years back still reverberates to this day as it has cost him his legacy in Ohio, several romantic relationships, two marriages and a playing career. As he tracks a killer and a computer from the dodgiest of the neighborhoods to the glitzy suburbs, he needs to confront a shadowy figure from his past and hope that this time he will be more vigilant.

“Slow Burn” the second novel of the “Andy Hayes Mystery” series is set almost two years after Aaron Custer was accused of setting fire to a house and in the process killing three students. Among the victims was a young woman he had a fight with a few hours before and this meant that the prosecution had an ironclad case against the man. Moreover, he is a convicted felon and the lighter found on the scene that police believed had been used to start the inferno has his fingerprints. With such a strong case against him, he had been persuaded to take a guilty plea to avoid a death sentence. But his grandmother is skeptical and hires Andy Hayes to investigate the case afresh by finding a mysterious witness that had never been interviewed. Andy is initially skeptical of Custer’s innocence but initial investigations uncover several motives that implicate drug dealers, the state’s natural gas fracking boom, and several others. Delving deeper, he finds that he has to confront his past once again if he is to move forward. Luckily, Suzanne Gregory who is a TV reporter and his former fiancé has information about the fire that no one else seems to have. However, asking for her assistance would mean the reopening of old wounds at a time when he was starting a new relationship that he was determined to make work.

“Capitol Punishment” the third novel of the “Andy Hayes Mystery” series opens to Andy enjoying a peaceful weekend with his girlfriend and her daughter and his sons. But the tranquility is shattered when Lee Hershey a reporter knocks on their door. Hershey is not a very popular person in these parts but things have become even worse as he has been stepping harder on toes. The reporter thinks he needs a bodyguard and looks for Hayes, hoping that he would be willing to take up the task. Hayes is short of money and hence when he gets offered the job, he takes it up. The job involves tagging along with Hershey on his investigative missions which Hayes finds boring but since it is part of the job he cannot get out of. His first night involves a meeting with representatives, senators and a range of aides. The journalist is pleased with his work and asks if he would like to be retained for the long term. But Hershey ends up dead with Hayes drugged and unconscious. Andy is angry that his client died while in his care and vows to find the killer.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Andy Hayes Mystery

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