Quill Gordon Mystery Series

About The Books

The Quill Gordon novels are mysteries in the classic tradition, with an emphasis on good stories and entertainment value. Set mostly in the small towns and countryside of the mountains of California, each book’s story plays out in a different location, with its own characters and sense of place.

Quill Gordon is a former college basketball star and stockbroker who finds himself pulled into the resolution of crimes in the communities he visits on his fly-fishing travels. Through these investigations, he finds himself learning about the aspects of the places that tourists don’t see. As word of his exploits grows, he is sometimes asked to look into suspicious situations as an unofficial private investigator. He accepts no fees and enjoys a certain freedom denied to licensed detectives.

While there is a progression of events and characters through the series, each book stands on its own, and the books can be read in any order. If pressed for a recommendation, the author usually suggests beginning with Book 3, Book 7 or Book 10.

Book #11


Available as e-book or paperback


In 1971, bandits staged a daring daylight robbery of an armored car on a lonely country road — and got away with it. Three decades later, retired insurance investigator Ben Taranian, looking back over his old cases, spots something he missed about the armored car robbery at the time. Needing undercover help, he enlists Quill Gordon to get to know one of the suspects at a fly-fisherman’s club in the Sierra community of Lake Gillette. As Gordon and his friend Peter Delaney meet the suspect and try to figure out how to break his unbreakable alibi, tensions are growing among the holdup men while they prepare to divvy up the take, with interest. One development follows another, and two questions loom large: How did the men commit the crime when they apparently couldn’t have, and will two (or more) people be dead before it’s all over?

The Series

Book 1: The McHenry Inheritance. A corpse by the trout stream. A family torn apart by a deathbed will change. A militia roaming the woods. You call this a vacation?

Book 2: Wash Her Guilt Away. Harry’s Riverside Lodge had a long and colorful history. The locked-room murder was merely the latest chapter.

Book 3: Not Death, But Love. The clues to the English teacher’s murder were in the words she wrote — in her family history and in her journal a quarter-century ago.

Book 4: The Daughters of Alta Mira. It was a small town where everybody knew everyone else, but no one knew who the serial killer was.

Book 5: I Scarce Can Die. In an old Gold Rush town, haunted by ghosts of past lynchings, the recent murder verdict raised troubling questions.

Book 6: The Slaves of Thrift. Two brothers who don’t like each other. An $800 million inheritance coming due. A pack trip in the remote High Sierra. What could go wrong?

Book 7: The Man in the Red Convertible. A teenage girl was handing out church leaflets when she vanished from an isolated rest stop. The trail led to San Francisco at Christmas.

Book 8: True to You in My Way. Too many people in the small mountain town died in suspicious accidents. The explanation was worse than anyone imagined.

Book 9: Hatchback Blondie Summer evenings she drove to the marina and talked to strangers. One night she heard something dangerous.

Book 10: Rush a Gun. On the way to a meeting with an investigative reporter, a whistleblower is permanently detained — by a bullet.

Photo/Chip Scheuer


About The Author

Michael Wallace is a native and lifelong resident of California. He was a reporter and editor at a daily newspaper for two decades and after that was owner and principal of a public relations and publications consulting business. A dedicated fly fisherman, he has had an ongoing love affair with the mountains of his state. In addition to the Quill Gordon novels, he is the author of a California history book, The Borina Family of Watsonville.

He can be contacted at quillgordon@calcentral.com