Books by Mark de Castrique

SECRET UNDERTAKING  by Mark de Castrique
Released: Sept. 4, 2018

"The hero's easy charm in his seventh case makes the reader feel like a longtime Gainesboro resident and a sleuthing sidekick."
"Buryin' Barry" unearths a corrupt plot in his sleepy North Carolina town. Read full book review >
HIDDEN SCARS  by Mark de Castrique
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"De Castrique's sixth delivers a vivid gallery of suspects, lively dialogue, and an attractive pair of sleuths."
A Carolina private detective investigates a 70-year-old murder. Read full book review >
THE SINGULARITY RACE by Mark de Castrique
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"De Castrique's (A Specter of Justice, 2015, etc.) taut action sequences and strong character relationships triumph over a plot crowded with threads and back stories."
A routine security job takes a dark turn when battling international interests target a secret futuristic technology. Read full book review >
A SPECTER OF JUSTICE by Mark de Castrique
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Sam's fifth case (A Murder in Passing, 2013, etc.) is an entertaining whodunit with colorful characters, swift-footed plotting, and a confident narrative voice."
A pair of creepy killings seems right up North Carolina shamus Sam Blackman's alley, especially when it looks as if a good friend is being framed for the crimes. Read full book review >
THE 13TH TARGET by Mark de Castrique
Released: July 3, 2012

"Though its prose is merely serviceable and its characters stereotypical, this intricate thriller from de Castrique (The Sandburg Connection, 2011, etc.) offers a good deal of interesting and timely information on the Federal Reserve."
A bodyguard turns shamus when his charge is the victim of a suspicious shooting. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"Sam's third case (The Fitzgerald Ruse, 2009, etc.) benefits greatly from the chemistry of its two sleuths and the author's—make that the narrator's—clean, accessible style."
A suspicious death on top of Glassy Mountain turns two laid-back private sleuths into prime suspects. Read full book review >
FATAL UNDERTAKING by Mark de Castrique
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"Buryin' Barry's fifth (Final Undertaking, 2007, etc.) is busy but a bit aimless. Still, de Castrique's style is clean and direct, ideal for the armchair sleuth."
Who better to investigate a killing in a coffin than Buryin' Barry, deputy-cum-undertaker? Read full book review >
THE FITZGERALD RUSE by Mark de Castrique
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"The warmth of Sam and Nakayla's relationship and Sam's challenged but determined heart make for a great read despite some lead-footed plotting."
A complicated mystery with literary roots challenges a rookie gumshoe. Read full book review >
BLACKMAN’S COFFIN by Mark de Castrique
Released: June 1, 2008

"In the struggling Sam Blackman, de Castrique (Final Undertaking, 2007, etc.) has created a compelling hero whose flinty first-person narrative nicely complements Henderson's earnest, measured and equally involving account. "
A disabled Iraqi war vet finds new meaning in life as a private detective. Read full book review >
FINAL UNDERTAKING by Mark de Castrique
Released: April 1, 2007

"Readers may be hard-pressed to keep the tangle of narrative threads straight, but Barry is an amiable guide to untangling them, and a reliable source of many provocative tidbits about embalming."
A sleuthing small-town North Carolina undertaker solves another many-layered mystery. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2003

"The scam in de Castrique's debut is complex, the pace uncertain, the characters flat but plentiful, the regional background sensitive and savory."
Even though it's cost him his wife and his job on the Charlotte police force, you'd think Barry Clayton's reluctant return home to Gainesboro to take over the family funeral parlor from his Alzheimers-stricken father would at least give him a little peace of mind. Not exactly, Barry finds when Matriarch Martha Willard's obsequies are interrupted by her grandson Dallas, who shouts, "Tell Grandma I'll save the land," before emptying his shotgun into his brother Lee, his sister Norma Jean, and Barry himself, chalking up two fatalities and one thoroughly dismayed mortician. Before any of the even more heavily burdened mourners can stop him, Dallas skedaddles, vanishing into the North Carolina hills he's known since he was a child. Attempting to track him, Sheriff Tommy Lee Wadkins, accompanied of course by the wounded Barry, is too late to stem a growing list of casualties, from snakebite victim Jimmy Coleman (eight) to sometime casketmaker Travis (Fats) McCauley. The work of a paranoid schizophrenic, Tommy Lee sorrowfully tells his friend, unaware that Dallas is already dead, sunk beneath a quarry pond with several barrels of chemical waste whose disposal would be a crime all by itself even if they weren't accompanied by a corpse. Just what does this rash of homicides have to do with Martha Willard's last will and testament and Ridgemont Power & Electric's designs on the Pisgah Paper Mill land parcel? Read full book review >