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Mike Angel Mysteries Books In Order

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Publication Order of Mike Angel Mystery Books

Mike Angel Mysteries is a series of novels written by David H. Fears. The books follow the exploits of a private detective doing his best to fight crime in the 1960s.

+The Story

You would be hard pressed to find a group of readers that can come to a perfect consensus about the quality of these books. The series is definitely an acquired taste. Those who love the novels often mention names like ‘Spillane’ in their efforts to explain the appeal of the so called Dark series.

The novels could be described as historical fiction. After all, they take place in the 1960s in Chicago. And elements like the Purple Gang are pretty rife. The Mike Angel Mysteries are definitely hard-boiled detective novels.

They focus on a private investigator by the names of Mike Angel. Mike fought in the Korean War. It could be argued that fighting crime is in his blood. After all, his dead father was a career NYPD Lieutenant. The man was murdered and his case has remained unsolved for quite a while.

One cannot help but conclude that his father’s passing had a considerable impact on Mike Angel. After all, as far as private detectives go, Mike is pretty peculiar. You won’t find too many detectives who can claim to hear their father’s voice in their head, a voice that acts like an additional sense, warning Mike Angel about the dangers that wait ahead.

Of course, it could be argued that Mike is just like the many private detectives of the 1960s because he also has a scar that tends to ache when trouble is around the corner. Funnily enough, neither one of those additional senses seems to benefit Mike that much because the private detective can never stay out of trouble.

When he is first introduced to readers, Mike is on a case. He has been charged with following a petty blackmailer. Rather than doing his job, Mike instead gets enamored by the blackmailer’s woman, a woman with a penchant for murder.

If it wasn’t enough for Mike to ignore his responsibilities, the private detective becomes so consumed by his love for the beauty that he helps her dispose of the remnants of her crimes. And it isn’t long before Mike finds himself on the wrong side of the law.

Mike never seems to learn his lesson. He is always trusting the wrong people and getting dragged into a cycle of betrayal. If he isn’t wronging the people around him, then he is stepping on the toes of some truly dangerous people, this including mobsters.

More often than not, women stand at the center of Mike’s many problems. Fortunately for the troubled detective, he usually has help. Working alongside Mike Angel is Rick Anthony, a former NYPD officer who also worked with his late father.

Mike doesn’t always have kind words for Rick who he thinks is over-educated. Rick must come out of retirement to give Mike a hand and to help him learn the ropes of investigative work.

Molly Bennett eventually comes into the picture, running Mike’s office and adding a bit of a spark to his love life. Together, the group tries and fails to stay out of trouble.

The Mike Angel Mysteries appeal to fans of hard-boiled detective stories. They have been criticized for David’s sub par writing. The author supposedly spends too much time telling readers what is happening instead of showing them. Additionally, he tries to cram way too many plots into a few chapters. As such, it can sometimes become a little difficult to follow what is happening.

Another criticism is that the dialogue the author uses is reminiscent of the 1930s instead of the 1960s, and for those people that know the difference this issue can become a distraction.

+The Author

David H. Fears is a historian who grew up loving Mark Twain. The author’s love for the subject was such that he wrote a monumental volume exploring Mark Twain. When he was obsessing over Twain, David was writing short stories.

It was these short stories that slowly but surely came together to form his Mike Angle Mysteries. It was David’s goal to reproduce the works of Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler and the like, and his fans believe that he has succeeded.

The 1960s appealed to David because he didn’t have to worry about political correctness. He could let his characters speak as they wished. The author enjoys throwing as much sex, violence, and complexity into his books as he possibly can.

+Dark Quarry

As a private investigator, Mike Angel normally works within the area of insurance fraud. The Korean Veteran finds his job boring and is more than happy to help a wealthy friend from college track down and follow a petty blackmailer by the names of Joe Ambler.

While Joe Ambler isn’t exactly an impossible target, Kimbra, his woman, presents a challenge for Mike who is enamored by her beauty. When Kimbra commits murder, Mike allows his emotions to talk him into helping her get rid of the body, a man that turns out to be related to the founder of the legendary purple gang.

Mike’s life takes a turn for the worse when a thug not only comes looking for Ambler but the wealthy friend that hired Mike runs away with Kimbra. Things do not end well for him either. His trip to the Bahamas concludes with his death. When Kimbra also vanishes, Mike goes searching for her.

His mission leads him into a confrontation with everyone from Russian gangsters to crooked officials. Mike has added incentive to stay his course when he realizes that the clues he is following could lead him to his father’s killer.

+Dark Lake

Mike Angel is still doing private investigative work in 1960’s Chicago. When Molly is kidnapped, Mike wastes no time in running after his love interest. He knows that she’s been taken to New Orleans, so he follows.

New Orleans turns out to be a wholly challenging landscape where Mike must infiltrate prostitution rings and face off against white slavers in his efforts to get Molly back. Mike only hopes that Molly will be the same person he knew when he rescues her.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Mike Angel Mysteries

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