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A PRIMER ON DEATH takes Chicago freelance writer Emerson Ward to Wisconsin’s north woods to look into the grisly murder of an aging beauty queen as a favor to the local newspaper publisher. Ward questions suspects already of interest to the county sheriff’s office, but what he learns points him in a direction they haven’t taken. When he finally convinces the sheriff to take another look, things take a twist that even Ward didn’t see coming.

A PRIMER ON DEATH is available from Amazon.


About the Emerson Ward mystery series:

“Think Travis McGee in Chicago with an Alfa Romeo coupe instead of a moored houseboat and you have a terrific series.”—Jeremiah Healy, Rescue, Spiral


After stints as a manual laborer, dishwasher, bartender, restaurant manager, commercial photographer, magazine editor and public relations executive, Mike decided life should imitate art. He’s now an author and freelance writer. Mike has published six novels in the award-winning Emerson Ward mystery series and a stand-alone suspense novel, Island Life, which was a USA Book News “Best Books” award-winner in 2008.

Night Blind is the first of Mike’s new thriller series set in Seattle featuring Blake Sanders, and he’s working on the fourth in the series now. He’s also completed the first book in a young adult thriller series.

A member and past regional vice president of Mystery Writers of America, Mike has served as an Edgar Awards judge. He’s also a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Authors Guild.

Mike grew up on a farm in northern Illinois, went to prep school and college “back east,” and lived in Chicago for 20 years. He and his family now reside in the Seattle area. Please visit his web sites at and