If you’re new to our crime thriller blog …

then welcome. Lon and I are glad to have you as we work on our 4th novel in the Tom Stone Detective series, which is really a crime thriller series. We’ve also created a thriller short story, A Deadly Path.


A bit about this site: we’d like to encompass a wider range of crime fiction entertainment from classic authors like we did on Edgar Allen Poe, to brief write-ups on TV shows that include the British drama Endeavour, plus the legendary Jack Webb and Dragnet and — from the late 1950s — Have Gun will Travel.

Stay tuned for contemporary authors like C.J. Box and more author interviews from today’s indie authors, plus crime updates on cocaine smuggling and other wild stuff.

So this site is a way to get to know our style and take in a wider view of thriller news and crime dramas.



If you’re not aware of it, our books are on our Crime Books page where you can read summaries and get a load of the fun covers.

Writing and Editing Manual Typewriter

If you like watching video, here I am discussing our crime novels on a San Gabriel Valley, California talk show on the Crown City Network.


Lon Sungalsses and HatAnd if you want to learn about my co-author, Lon Casler Bixby, here’s a brief interview with him: Author Interview: Lon Casler Bixby.






Some of the independent authors we’ve featured include:

PHOTO S.N. BronsteinS.N. Bronstein who writes about Miami prominently;





Meghan Holloway
Follow Meghan online and learn more about her exciting projects.

Meghan Holloway who has a fluid style in her storytelling;








Stewart Giles Author PhotoSouth African novelist Stewart Giles,






Author photoMurder at Midnight author Faith Martin.






Colleen M. Story CroppedAnd if you enjoy reading about the writing process here is a blog post from Colleen Story, wellness writer: Why Writing Crime Fiction, or Any Genre, Doesn’t have to Kill You.





Enjoy browsing our site. If you want to contribute a post as a guest author, please contact Don Simkovich at dsimkovich@gmail.com. Make sure you put “guest author post” in the subject line.


British mystery Endeavour’s fun with family pests

Solving murders in a crime drama is tough enough, but add the challenges that relatives bring and – good grief! Bring out the stress balls!

It’s fascinating to see how detectives are played and portrayed – not just in books, but also in TV and film. Here on our Detective Tom Stone crime story blog, we feature crime fighters from the whole world of entertainment.

The popular Endeavour, a British mystery and drama that airs in the U.S. on PBS, brings us the human foibgI_71240_press-release-1les of Inspector Morse (Shaun Evans) and Detective Thursday (Roger Allam).

In the current season, episode 2, Cartouche, that aired July 1, featured murders in the local movie theater. But the show gave us a personal glimpse of Detective Thursday’s annoyance with his brother Charlie, played by Phil Daniels.


Charlie brought his wife Paulette, played by Linette Beaumont, a good-natured woman who was a bit embarrassed at the antics of her husband and daughter Carol (Emma Rigby) who accompanies Morse on a rather awkward tour of Oxford.

Family brings depth and gives the character a chance to explore sensitivities and quirks that we hide in the workplace.

It’s a personal side that didn’t come out of Jack Webb’s Sgt Joe Friday on Dragnet whom we wrote about here or in Richard Boone’s Paladin in the 1950s western Have Gun will Travel, featured here.

In real life, we can’t avoid chatter from family or co-workers, like Morse not appreciating the banter of assistant DC George Fancy, played by Poldark actor Lewis Peek.

Entanglements are a universal problem and our Tom Stone finds his own in each of the three crime stories so far in the series—from befriending a boy in a foster care group home, to catching his daughter in a marijuana dispensary, and falling for the attorney who defends the man he’s pursuing.

It’s great to see the creators of Endeavour work these personal challenges so naturally into the story line. After all, detectives are people, too.

Crime Fighting Television: Have Gun will Travel

This blog focuses on crime fiction writers, but let’s face it. We’re influenced by what we read and see.

Image Have Gun Will Travel

My co-author of the Tom Stone Detective Stories, Lon, told me about the 1950s crime-fighting western show Have Gun will Travel starring the late Richard Boone in the lead role of Paladin. I asked Lon what he liked about the show.

“I started watching it as a kid and liked it then. Now I see it through adult eyes and I like it more. The stories were written and aired from 1957 to 1963 but they hold up. They’re current, timeless, and they’re morality tales.

“The moral is ‘do what’s right.’ Paladin is a hired gun. He has a conscience and tries to do what’s right. He’s smart A gentleman, knows opera, fencing. Sometimes he has to kill people and he feels badly, but he does what’s right. I also like the acting.”

Lon watches episodes on cable and I pulled it up on YouTube and watched a segment. Cool stuff. Richard Boone, by the way, was a cousin to clean-cut crooner Pat Boone.

I watched a segment, “Show of Force,” where Richard Boone is playing cards in a fancy saloon in ‘Frisco and hears about bad goings on at a ranch. He looks at a headline in the paper and sure ‘nuff. There’s bad stuff going down. Paladin isn’t one to turn a blind eye to justice so off he goes. Watch the segment below after the story excerpt.

Paladin stands out as a strong and dignified character, unflappable in the face of bandits tying him up and threatening his life. He stands for what is good in the face of what is bad.

We even worked Paladin and Have Gun will Travel into the 3rd novel of our trilogy, Tom Stone Day of the Dead.


Here’s an excerpt where our character, Detective Tom Stone is watching the show.

Tom Stone 3 Pack


An actor dressed in old western garb pulled a gun from a holster and aimed at the television screen as a voice intoned. “Put the gun away, Counselor. What good is proof to a dead lawyer?” A simple range of musical notes sounded as an episode of the western Have Gun will Travel got underway.

Stone chewed on a pizza and Silver sat expectantly on the floor waiting for a piece of sausage or strand of cheese to slip and fall. The 1950s western, finding new audiences on cable, allowed Stone to escape away from programs with frenetic edits into a simpler world of black and white. He exchanged the pizza for a bottle of beer on the coffee table while the dog cocked his head, waiting for a bite—or drink.

In the episode “Show of Force,” actor Richard Boone known as Paladin got ready to take action in a dispute between ranchers. Silver started whimpering, focused on the last slice of pizza.

“Okay. If you insist.” Stone tossed a piece of sausage to the floor. “Don’t tell the girls. They say you should eat out of a dog bowl.”

Silver ignored the warning and inhaled the food without even chewing as the storyline unfolded and Paladin confronted the bad guys by talking straight and hitting them in the chin even straighter. A fistfight and chase on horse back ensued. Stone would have liked riding horse and feeling the wind while galloping after a crook. But even back then clues were necessary. He sat back in the sofa and sipped from his beer, letting the half-hour drama take his mind off the chase that continued eluding him. Silver looked over the coffee table, licking his lips.

“All gone, buddy.”

The phone rang, interrupting Stone’s relaxation. “Hello, Stone here?”

“Detective?” A man’s voice was hushed.

On the television set, ranchers squared off. “Yeah.”

“Robert Alvarez.”

“Yeah, yeah. What can I do for you?”

“I know you may be busy, but I wanted to give you an update on Sara.” His voice was strained.