The Pete Brady mysteries were first published by Dodd Mead and St. Martin’s Press under the pseudonym M.S. Karl, beginning in 1988 with Killer’s Ink. The books, featuring an ex-New Orleans reporter who buys a failing small-town newspaper and gets more than he bargained for, have been re-released through MysteriousPress.com.
KILLER’S INK (Book 1)
His career in shambles, a newspaperman looks for a new start in rural Louisiana
Pete Brady is in a bar on Magazine Street, halfway through his third Manhattan, when he gets a message from the New Orleans underworld. In response to Pete’s recent investigation into drug trafficking, they have sent him a message: slitting his favorite source’s throat, ear to ear. Even a Pulitzer Prize can’t get that image out of Pete’s head, and so he bolts, moving to desolate Troy, Louisiana, where he buys a failing newspaper and tries to turn it into a force for good. But death is not through with Pete Brady.
While tidying the graves in the local churchyard, a group of society ladies discover the body of Frieda Troy MacBride, gossip columnist, whose acid tongue has finally gotten her killed. As he struggles to keep his little paper from going under, Brady must unmask this small-town slayer before every writer on staff meets the same fate.
“Mark this down as a Find of the Month. It’s a wonderful classical mystery set in Louisiana…Killer’s Ink is a flavorful book that you don’t want to pick up when there’s work to be done.” –Syracuse, NY, Post-Standard
DEATH NOTICE (Book 2)
An old convict returns to Troy and sends Brady’s newsroom into chaos
As he was driven to Angola, Cory Wilde prayed his torment was just a dream. But the murder was real, and so was his sentence: twenty-nine years working the sugar cane fields in one of the nation’s cruelest prisons. When he is finally released, he is an old man, drained of every drop of life that once made him such a terror, but his name still has the power to make the people sweat in Troy, Louisiana.
At first Pete Brady, the new owner of the town’s weekly newspaper, doesn’t understand why his readers are so afraid of this broken old man. The original case against Wilde, whose life was spared despite the fact that he committed a capital crime, raises questions Brady cannot answer. Chasing this story could mean a lynch mob whose sights are set not just on the old man, but on Brady himself.
“Numerous realistic characters, good and evil, absorb the reader the tragic mystery, right up to its unpredictable resolution.” —Publishers Weekly
DEERSLAYER (Book 3)
When a young boy is implicated in a murder, Brady goes hunting for the real killer
In Pete Brady’s new hometown, hunting is a religion, and he is expected to convert if he’s to run the local newspaper. When Sheriff Garitty takes his son out for his first hunt, he invites Pete to join them in the deer stand—a drafty, miserable place that would be unbearable if young Scotty weren’t so excited. Pete is staring down his rifle barrel, trying to decide if he has the nerve to kill a deer, when a shot rings out. The boy has hit his target. But when they go to retrieve the kill, they find it isn’t a deer, but a man.
Scotty has trained his whole life for this moment, and Pete can’t believe he would have mistaken a man—even a drunk like Dwayne Elkins—for an animal. To clear the boy’s name, Brady goes in search of an ingenious killer, and soon finds himself in the crosshairs.
“Karl…does more than immerse his characters in a baffling suspense yarn; he also draws some sharply defined contrasts between urban New Orleans life-styles and the more serene character of rural north Louisiana.”
New Orleans Times-Picayune on Killer’s Ink
“The story is fast paced and interesting…As well as holding the reader in suspense, humor is liberally applied. It’s a wonderful whodunit.”
Baton Rouge, LA, Sun Magazine on Killer’s Ink
“Mark this down as a Find of the Month. It’s a wonderful classical mystery set in Louisiana…Killer’s Ink is a flavorful book that you don’t want to pick up when there’s work to be done.”
Syracuse, NY, Post-Standard on Killer’s Ink
“Big-city reporter buys small-town Louisiana newspaper, stumbles onto chain of violence and betrayal going back many, many years…M.S. Karl has fun blowing the dust off the ancient and not-so-ancient deceits.”
New York Daily News on Killer’s Ink
“Numerous realistic characters, good and evil, absorb the reader the tragic mystery, right up to its unpredictable resolution.”
Publishers Weekly on Death Notice
“Karl has a good feel for the rhythm of rural life and its peculiar brand of crime. His evocation of the inhabitants and environs of Troy is subtle but effective, with a real ring of truth.”
New Orleans Times-Picayune on Death Notice