Books by Martin Hegwood

JACKPOT BAY by Martin Hegwood
Released: Nov. 11, 2002

"Quick thinking, soft-spoken Dismas, that steel jacaranda, remains likable as always, but the rest of the cast is weak-kneed, the plot porous, and local color—up to now a reliable series strength—this time disappointingly bland."
Gambling man Johnnie Koscko, a loudmouthed, corner-cutting bottom-feeder, also happens to be a true believer. He's convinced you can go home again—and make all those belittlers in and around Biloxi, Mississippi, sit up and take notice. So back from Las Vegas, where he'd sweated out years as floorman at one joint or another, comes Johnnie with enough chips in his poke to buy the Jackpot Bay Casino, his head swarming with dreams of a Gulf Coast Monte Carlo serving high-rollers by the planeload. And for a while, Lady Luck does tip a wink or two. Jet-setters giving signs of being intrigued, and Snow Mountain, a chart-topping rock group, deigns to be booked in for a ballyhooed appearance. Johnnie's in seven-come-eleven heaven until, inevitably, the dice turn cold. A money drain is suspicious enough to warrant a demand from Bayou Casualty, the casino's insurance carrier, for immediate explanations. Bayou dispatches p.i. Jack Dismas (Massacre Island, 2001, etc.) to announce the unsettling news and pave the way for Tara Stocklin, security auditor extraordinaire—she with the killer brain and legs to die for. Now it's eight-ball time for Johnnie. A couple of murders, plus a multimillion-dollar heist, plus other revoltin' developments, and suddenly jaundiced Johnnie's thinking maybe Thomas Wolfe was right after all. Read full book review >
MASSACRE ISLAND by Martin Hegwood
Released: Oct. 29, 2001

"A likable hero and interesting New South locale, undercut by a ho-hum whodunit."
The woman appealing to p.i. Jack Delmas for help needs it desperately. Carolyn Caviss's smile is pinched, the circles under her eyes dark as pitchblende as she begs him to find out why her daughter Rebecca was murdered. It's a case Jack—and just about everyone else on the Mississippi Gulf Coast—knows about. A few days earlier, in a beach house on opulent Dauphin Island, four young people were found shot to death, and ever since the place has been media mecca of the month. Though Jack also knows how little the official forces of law and order will welcome input from a private gumshoe, those beseeching eyes soon have him in full sleuthing mode, making the many enemies his good sense told him he would. Some of these newfound acquaintances are cops, of course, but some, even nastier, belong to a bizarro environmentalist group. The common interest that unites them all is wanting him off the island. The reasons why are unclear; the letter bomb that almost goes off in his mailbox isn't. But anyone who knows Jack (A Green-Eyed Hurricane, 2000, etc.) is aware of the bulldog in him. Soon enough, he comes to believe that Rebecca died because she made the mistake of being in the wrong place—and that lightning could very well strike a fifth time. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2000

"Even better than Hegwood's pleasant debut (Big Easy Backroad, 1999). Jack Delmas is a series hero who's lively, likable, and as distinctively southern as Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott."
It's easy to understand why everyone in and around Biloxi, Mississippi, has long since lost patience with crusty Casper Perinovich. He's dour and short-tempered, a constant complainer. But private investigator Jack Delmas has a soft spot for "Mr. Cass" that no amount of latter-day crankiness can dispel. He remembers how it was when the old man laughed a lot, how it was before Cass—and all Biloxi, for that matter—had to reckon with "the malevolent green eye of Hurricane Camille." Casper Perinovich lost his adored wife and son to that most vicious of storms and gained the kind of grudge that clings and festers. Camille was wicked, he insists, while confiding to Jack that unspecified human villainy was more culpable in his family's death. What's evident to Jack, however, is that Mr. Cass has become a world-class hater, and that haters of his stripe make world-class enemies. So when the Perinovich house blows up with the owner inside, Jack at once suspects foul play. But whose? Well, for starters there are the junior gangsters, local breed, who've been having a fine time turning harassment into an art form. There's also that cabal of venture capitalists who need the Perinovich land—land he'd sworn they'd get only over his dead body. And that only scratches the surface of a richly varied enemies list. Read full book review >