Books by Robert E. Bailey
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Private detective and retired colonel Art Hardin usually stays away from the flashy kind of PI work, preferring to pay his bills by checking up on false disability claims, routine surveillance, and the like. So when the senior partner of one of the premier legal firms in Grand Rapids approaches Hardin about a job protecting his niece from her soon-to-be ex-husband for a couple of days, Hardin isn't exactly eager to take on the job-especially since the niece herself is under house arrest pending a murder investigation of her former boss, and the sudden disappearance of eleven million dollars. However, Hardin finds that the fee offered is too great to pass up. Of course, after a hatchet attack, a house burnt down, and a few violent encounters with some crooked cops, Hardin can hardly wait for the case to be over...
This novel won the Josiah Bancroft Award given annually at the Florida First Coast Writer's Festival (Judges for the final round: David Poyer, author of numerous nautical bestsellers including The Med, and Lenore Hart, M.F.A. and noted author of Waterwoman). It was a 2002 nominee for the Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel.
What Publisher's Weekly had to say about Dying Embers:
"'Mean streets' may seem more desperate running through Detroit or Chicago than through Grand Rapids, Mich., but Bailey's second Art Hardin mystery (after 2002's Private Heat) showcases a PI who could hold his own anywhere. Hardin is quick with a quip, can give and take a punch, actually knows how to investigate a missing person or workplace theft and has a supporting cast that's not always completely supportive. When wealthy inventor Scott Lambert asks Hardin to locate Anne Jones, an old college flame of Lambert's, Hardin does so with the proviso that when found, further contact will be at the woman's discretion. Finding Jones doesn't prove too difficult, but getting in touch with her is, especially after she's murdered. The case is clearly no simple love story, and Hardin becomes embroiled with his client's affairs. The author ably mixes action and exposition, as Hardin's seemingly simple quest spills over in all directions as the body count rises. Bailey may stretch his plot too thin for elegance, but Hardin and an entertaining cast of cops, federal agents, a motorcycle gang and a street gang led by a dude named Poco Loco reduce that to a quibble. Buckle up and enjoy a wild ride through the mean streets of Grand Rapids."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Dying Embers was a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award in 2003.