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Art Hardin is a middle-aged guy with a wife, three sons, a dog, and a black Olds sedan―-and he'd be happy to earn his living chasing fraudulent insurance claims and snapping pictures of cheating spouses. That was his plan, anyway, when he'd retired from his position as a counterintelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Service branch of the government. Unfortunately, high-priced attorney Martin Van Pelham has other plans for the battle weary PI.

Van Pelham's niece Karen (who he raised as his daughter) has gotten herself into some deep trouble, and Hardin's job is to make sure she stays alive to answer for it. The first problem he encounters is Karen's reluctance to cooperate with this plan, preferring instead to attack him with a camping hatchet. The next problem is a crooked drunk and abusive police officer named Randy Talon, who happens to be Karen's husband. Even with the help of Wendy, his bounty hunter wife, and Ron Craig, friend and ex-CIA agent, the case is already threatening to become dangerously hard to handle.

This remarkably well-crafted story has the trademark qualities of superior detective mystery: deft plotting, lively dialogue, timely information, knowledgeable opinion, and acute commentary on the ways of the world. Private Heat is the beginning of a very exciting new series.

From the paperback version of Private Heat published by M. Evans and Company. For more information, click here.


Art Hardin, retired military intelligence officer turned private investigator, is content with his regular caseload involving insurance fraud and employee theft. So when a wealthy industrialist approaches Art to find an old flame, he's wary of taking on the case. Only when pressed by his wife, Wendy, does Art agree to help, but only if the decision to make contact is left to the missing person.

The former lover, a reclusive but prominent artist who has changed her name, turns up dead shortly after Art locates her. His client charged with murder and his detective's license revoked, an angry Hardin finds himself the subject of "professional" surveillance, his office ransacked, and his life up for grabs as a shoot-out erupts on the street.

The FBI, long on requests and short on information, approaches Art for his help . . . to act as bait. Seemingly out of options, Art agrees, but with an ace up his sleeve. Aided by an outlaw motorcycle gang, Art decides that, this time, the bait is going to bite back.

From the Kindle version of Dying Embers published by Ignition Books. For more information, click here.


Some secrets age well, others tend to fester. Art Hardin, a private investigator and retired counterintelligence officer, is a man of many secrets. One of these secrets has fallen into the hands of a local TV muckraker, which can cause enough trouble to keep most noir detectives busy for three hundred pages—Art's not that lucky.

Just after Art locks horns with the journalist, his wife, Wendy, takes him to the airport to pick up a young friend returning from a Caribbean vacation. Karen Smith deplanes with a fabulous tan, a new beau, and a suitcase full of money; Karen doesn't know about the money, but her new Middle Eastern boyfriend does.

Using a Canadian passport to enter the US, he put the money in Karen's suitcase so he wouldn't have to carry it through customs.After a donnybrook and a shootout at Karen's house, the money disappears. Lots of people want it. Some of them kidnap Karen, some of them set off a bomb at the TV station while Art is on the air with the muckraker.

After that, things get nasty.

From the Kindle version of Dead Bang, published by Ignition Books. Available in print. Read more here


Robert E. Bailey's Art Hardin became an instant mystery icon with the publication of his first novel, PRIVATE HEAT, which won the Josiah W. Bancroft Award at the Florida First Coast Writer's Festival in 1998 and was nominated for the 2003 Shamus Award, given by the Private Eye Writers of America.

Now, in a new short story, Bailey gives readers a look into Hardin's past and shows us a bit more of what made him the PI he is "today."

From the Kindle version of The Small Matter of Ten Large, published by Ignition Books. Read more here