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Richard Houston Books In Order

Publication Order of Books to Die For Books

A View to Die For (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Book to Die for (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Treasure to Die for (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Letters to Die for (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Relic to Die For (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Secret to Die for (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Something to Die For (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Richard Houston is a mystery author from Missouri best known for his “Books to Die For” series. Houston started as a roofer and carpenter which he did for more than two decades even as he went to college. He graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics and spent more than twenty-five years working at the Johnson Space Center and the Space Shuttle at Vandenberg AFB as a software engineer. He then founded his company Mind SofTools that developed software for the biggest companies in America. In 200,7 he moved to Warsaw, Missouri after early retirement. He got a home just next to the lake since he wanted a view one could die for. He now lives with his wife and their grandchild alongside their dogs. He spends much of his time writing his novels.

Similar to most English students, Houston always dreamed of the day he would write a book though it would take him three decades before he got started. He started writing “A View to Die For” soon after moving from Colorado to “Lake of the Ozarks.” He had been working on several novels set in Colorado over the years but never got past the first few chapters. Soon after moving to Missouri, he found a cave on his land at a time when the History Channel was broadcasting an episode of the “Golden Circle and Jesse James” and how they had stashed some of their stolen property in Kansas. He thought they could also have stashed some of it in Missouri since they were originally from the state. His original name of the novel was “Jesse’s Gold” and he changed it several times to “Murder on the Osage” and several other titles that had Black-Widow in them. But then one of the characters made a clever remark saying that the view of the lake from the deck was one to die for and he thought that would be a great title for his debut.

Richard Houston finally finished writing his novel and just like every other writer tried finding a publisher or agent to look at it. After several rejections, he joined a critique community called Critique Circle, where other writers gave reviews about one’s work. He also studied blogs on how to write a query letter and finally landed an agent only to be disappointed when the agent went silent. For a person that had always had their story read to the class during creative writing lessons, it was quite a low moment that he almost quit. He had grown up being told that self-publishing was not a viable route for a professional author and hence it was not a route he considered taking for even one moment. But then he started hearing of names such as John Locke and Amanda Hocking that had become millionaires from self-publishing on Amazon. By this time, he had finished rewriting the manuscript for “A View to Die For” after getting valuable critique from Critique My Novel. Once his family and friends told him it was good enough, he published the novel on Amazon, where it ranked as high as twenty-six on the mystery category.

Richard Houston’s “A View to Die For” is a thrilling story of a man dealing with divorce and a midlife crisis. Jake is also running out of money and needs to sell some of his items to stay afloat. But one night he is informed that his sister had been arrested and was in jail on a murder charge while his father had a heart attack. Grabbing the little money he has left, he leaves everything, and together with his dog Fred drives to Missouri. On his way to Missouri, he gets robbed when he is involved in a car wreck. Upon arriving at his destination, he goes to see his sister in jail. The police seem to be already biased against him as they believe he was working with his sister in her husband’s homicide. Of course, he is having none of it and all he wants is to help his sister by finding the real killer. Jake reasons that he has a few days to spare and he decides to use them to investigate. His investigation unearths some interesting things he never thought he would find. It turns out that his sister’s husband had been involved in some not so legal things and his associates do not take kindly to his snooping. Jake’s investigations may turn out to be very dangerous not only to himself but also to his sister.

“A Book to Die For” by Richard Houston continues from where the first of the series left off. Jake is not the typical private investigator rather he is an outsourced handyman, software engineer, and author. The story is set in the Denver foothills where the sleuth is the main suspect in manslaughter and he now has the tough task of proving that the homicide was a murder and not an accident. While he is conducting his investigations, he falls in love with a gorgeous game warden while confronting a poaching ring. Jake has been tasked with editing a manuscript that had been left to his friend Bonnie by her now-dead father. Out of nowhere, he is called a hack by a stranger, ridiculed, derided by the sister of his friend, nearly killed by an explosion and then accused of being a murderer and poacher. Someone is setting up Jake to take the blame for some crime that nobody has yet determined.

Richard Houston’s “A Treasurer to Die For” is a novel set in Colorado and involves Jake the author and unemployed engineer who is now a handyman, his golden retriever named Fred, and a sixty-nine-year-old widow. They team up and track down a homicidal maniac who is desperate to find a copy of Tom Sawyer that he would kill to get his hands on. But still, he is not looking for any copy as he has a specific edition he is looking for. Supposedly the edition has the location of a Tenderfoot mine that had been lost. According to legend, the mine in the Colorado Rockies and its location had been hidden in a cryptic code by a 19th-century miner who was deceased before he could tell anyone about it. He had used his old copy of Tom Sawyer to write the message right before he died while making his way across Mosquito Pass. The message had been found several years later by some independent miners looking for uranium though they had not been able to decipher it until now.

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