Search this blog

Sunday 19 July 2015

☀ Wings In The Dark: Jake & Laura Mystery [3] - Michael Murphy

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Wings In The Dark, a historical / cozy mystery novel by (, Alibi, 223 pages).

This is the third book in the Jake & Laura Mystery series.

Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below, as well as details about the whole series. You can read the first chapter and the beginning of the second one on Amazon (see link below). You will also find those excerpts in our other tour stops.

Author Michael Murphy, in conjunction with Kindle Nation Daily, is offering you a chance to win an Amazon Echo between July 16 and July 21. These sell for $179.99 on Amazon, so be sure to register to win. They're very cool.

Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Tour Stops


Witty and stylish in the classic Dashiell Hammett tradition, Michael Murphy’s latest high-flying Jake & Laura mystery features a Hawaiian honeymoon that’s interrupted when their friend Amelia Earhart is accused of murder.

Hawaii, 1935. Mystery novelist Jake Donovan and actress Laura Wilson are in gorgeous sun-soaked Hawaii, but their best-laid plans for canoodling on the beach are interrupted by a summons from famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart. It seems a local businessman has been gunned down next to her plane. In just days, the famous pilot intends to fly from Honolulu to Los Angeles, making aviation history over the Pacific. But now, without Jake and Laura’s help, Earhart’s flight might never take off.

Trailing a killer, the newlyweds’ sleuthing leads to a jealous pilot, a cigar-chomping female officer of the “Royalist Militia,” and a notoriously disagreeable lieutenant colonel named Patton. With a sinister killer lurking in the shadows, it’s safe to say the honeymoon is over . . . and the danger has just begun.

Teaser: Excerpt

This scene takes place half-way through Chapter 2.

Laura reached Sato’s Bicycle Shop and hopped off. She slipped the bicycle into the rack and faced me with a broad grin as I pulled up and returned my bike.

Laura stood with both fists on her hips, reminding me of the lady pilot she played in her last film. “Glad you finally made it, darling.”

I swept her into my arms. I breathed in the fresh fragrance of her dark hair and kissed her.

Laura returned the kiss then playfully pushed me away as two parents and their kids walked by. She dropped to a bench beside the front door, fluffed her black curls and pointed toward the shack. “Second place pays.”

As a successful actress, Laura earned more dough than I did writing mysteries, but I wasn’t complaining. We weren’t hurting like most of the folks in the country. I tugged my wallet from my trouser pocket and went inside.

At the counter, Mikayla explained in surprising detail the features of a camera she was renting to a couple. I looked out the window. Laura glanced toward seagulls circling over the beach. She resembled any other tourist, except for her eye-catching good looks.

In spite of her fame in recent years, she’d changed little. Oh, sure, a touch of makeup and she was glamorous. Laura was also smart, funny, and calm when facing adversity, a wonderful complement to my tendency toward losing my temper.

Our careers provided financial independence during the world’s most devastating economic calamity, the Great Depression. With Japan’s conquest of Manchuria and Hitler and his henchmen building up Germany’s military, the future didn’t look so bright.

I’d tried to explain to the reporter, I couldn’t solve the world’s problems or help folks who’d had more than their share of bad breaks. I accepted our good fortune and the life we led together. For the next few days, I was determined to spend time with Laura, enjoying our honeymoon. In spite of the troubled times we lived in, for Laura and me, everything was perfect.

The couple nodded to me as they left.

“Mr. Donovan.” Mikayla smiled and set the expensive-looking camera beneath the counter. “How was your ride?”

“Wonderful. Nice camera.” I slid a sawbuck across the counter.

“A hobby. Hawaii has so many wonderful sights to photograph.”

“We enjoyed the pineapple plantation and the forest. Thanks for the suggestion.”

“Kalua Plantation is the largest on the Islands.” Mikayla reached beneath the counter. With more than a hint of grease on her hands, she pulled out a book, one of mine, Blackie Doyle Returns. “Excellent mystery, Mr. Donovan. So many suspects. Any one of them could’ve killed the beautiful redheaded dame. Can you tell by looking at someone they might be willing to take another life? Blackie Doyle seems to do that.”

I chuckled. “I’m no Blackie Doyle.”

She held out the book. “Would you sign your novel for me?”

“It’d be an honor.” A request to autograph one of my novels always flattered me. Though far more people asked for Laura’s autograph than mine, I didn’t let it bother me. If Laura and I had never met, I’d ask for her autograph too.

I signed on the title page, adding a personal touch by thanking her for the excellent bikes we rented. I handed the book back.

When she set the book on the counter behind her, I glimpsed a narrow bed, no bigger than a cot, through the open door. I didn’t realize she lived in the shop. Above the bed hung a framed picture of an Oriental building of some kind. Japanese? Chinese? Hawaiian? I thought I’d seen the place before, but I drew a blank.

Mikayla caught me looking and closed the door. As they say, once a private detective, always a private detective.

Understandably, the woman was reserved and kept her personal life to herself. “I didn’t realize you lived here.”

“I could rent a place with more comfort, but I have a wonderful view and the lapping of the gentle waves helps me sleep.”

I gave her a slight bow. “Thanks again.”

Mikayla returned the bow. “Wait, Mr. Donovan. Most tourists with enough money to vacation in Hawaii are not as . . . as pleasant as you and your wife.” She nodded toward the front window where a soft breeze stirred Laura’s hair as she gazed toward Tony and a group of surfers riding the waves. Him again.

“A woman so beautiful, you should take dancing. Plenty of nightclubs in Honolulu.” She pointed out the window on the other side of the shop where a five-year-old Oldsmobile sat beside a gray pickup. “I also rent automobiles. Ten dollars.”

The car looked like it had seen plenty of miles, but if Mikayla maintained the vehicle as well as her bicycles, the Olds would serve our needs. “Any particular club you’d recommend?” She shrugged. “Tourists say good things about the Mambo Club. It’s down the road from the hotel. You could walk if you prefer.”

I’d had enough exercise for the day. A drive would be a relaxing change. I’d come to value Mikayla’s recommendations more than those of the hotel’s staff. “Have you been there?” She laughed. “I possess many skills, Mr. Donovan. Dancing isn’t one of them. And besides”—she held up her nails—“who’d ask me to dance?”

“I would, for one.”

She dismissed me with a laugh.

“I think I’ll take you up on your suggestion and rent the Oldsmobile.”

“After I clean it up a bit, I’ll leave the car parked in front of your hotel.”

“Thank you.” Excited by the prospect of surprising Laura and taking her to a place where she could dress up, I went outside and took her hand. The sun began to set as we strolled down the beach toward our cabana.

Laura moved closer to me, her hip bumping mine, suggesting another night of romance ahead.

As we reached a beachfront bar lit with flickering torches, Laura offered to buy me a drink. I was still getting used to the availability of booze everywhere, including beaches. “Sure.”

“Let me order something tropical.”

“You mean fruity, without whiskey?”

Laura smiled. “When in Rome . . .”

A minute later, she handed me a red, sweet-smelling concoction in a coconut cup. I took a sip. Though the drink lacked any sense of booze, it was sweet and delightfully Hawaiian. As we made our way toward our cabana, a high-pitched shriek shattered the calm of the beach.

Wings In The Dark - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo

The Series: Jake and Laura Mystery

Prohibition-era mystery series. Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book and read an excerpt.

The Yankee Club [1]

In Michael Murphy’s action-packed Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.

In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.

Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever. [Published 12 August 2014, 264 pages]

All That Glitters [2]

In Michael Murphy’s rollicking new Jake & Laura mystery, the hard-boiled writer and the aspiring movie star head for sun-drenched Los Angeles, where a cold-blooded murderer lurks behind the scenes.

Just arrived from New York, Broadway actress Laura Wilson is slated to star in Hollywood’s newest screwball comedy. At her side, of course, is Jake Donovan, under pressure to write his next mystery novel. But peace and quiet are not to be had when an all-too-real murder plot intrudes: After a glitzy party, the son of a studio honcho is discovered dead from a gunshot wound. And since Jake exchanged words with the hothead just hours before his death, the bestselling author becomes the LAPD’s prime suspect.

In 1930s Tinseltown, anything goes. Proving his innocence won’t be easy in a town where sex, seduction, and naked power run rampant. With gossip columnist Louella Parsons dead-set on publicizing the charges against him, Jake has no choice but to do what everyone else does in the City of Angels: act like someone else. Blackie Doyle, the tough-talking, fist-swinging, womanizing hero from Jake’s novels wouldn’t pull any punches until he exposed the real killer—nor will Jake, to keep the role of a lifetime from being his last.  [Published 6 January 2015, 261 pages]

About the Author

Michael Murphy began his first novel in 1999 and is now a full time author. He lives in Arizona with his wife of 44 years, their four dogs, a feral cat, a few chickens (he is a part time urban chicken rancher), and five of their grandchildren whom they have recently adopted.

In 2014 his Woodstock novel, Goodbye Emily, was selected by Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (the site of Woodstock) as their first summer book club read.

2014 also saw the release of his first Jake and Laura novel, The Yankee Club, by Random House Alibi. It’s received fabulous reviews.

The second in the series, All That Glitters was published in January 2015 and finds Jake and Laura in Hollywood in 1933, the naughtiest and bawdiest year in Tinseltown history.

Book 3 in the Jake and Laura Prohibition-era mystery series, Wings in The Dark, was released on 14 July 2015.

Michael Murphy is putting the finishing touches on book four in the series which will be available in 2016.

Follow Michael Murphy:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads

Follow Wings In The Dark's tour at:

July 7th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading
July 8th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy
July 9th: Book Review and Author Interview @ Mystery Please
July 11th: Book Review @ Mallory Heart Reviews
July 13th: Book Excerpt @ Nat’s Book Nook
July 15th: Book Review @ It’s a Mad Mad World
July 16th: Book Excerpt @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog
July 18th: Book Review @ Splashed Into Books
July 19th: Book Excerpt @ BooksChatter
July 20th: Book Excerpt @ It Takes a Woman
July 22nd: Book Review @ Reading Reality
July 24th: Book Review @ Books, Books and More Books
July 26th: Book Review @ Michelle Dragalin’s Journey
July 26th: Author Interview @ BooksChatter
July 28th: Book Review @ Bibliotica
July 30th: Book Review @ Joyfully Retired
August 1st: Book Review @ Vic’s Media Room
August 3rd: Book Excerpt @ Miss Ivy’s Book Nook
August 4th: Book Review @ Miss Ivy’s Book Nook
August 7th: Book Review @ Laura’s Interests


Michael Murphy said...

Thanks so much for featuring Wings in the Dark and the Jake and Laura series. Currently putting the finishing touches on book 4, coming out early next year.

BooksChatter said...

Hello Michael, thank you for stopping by! It sounds like a really good series, and All That Glitters is still only £0.72 in the UK!
Have a great tour!