Michael Stephen Daigle

Michael Stephen Daigle grew up in the Northeast United States from the snow belt shores of Upstate New York, to the woods of Maine and the piers of New Bedford, Mass., all the while writing. His first job was picking blueberries in Maine and his last job was a 33-year career as a newspaper editor and writer. He wrote his first novel 22, and a second one at 24. The first one became the basis for the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series: "The Swamps of Jersey" (2014); "A Game Called Dead (2016); "The Weight of Living" (2017), and "The Red Hand" (2019)

Michael Stephen Daigle welcomes queries regarding:
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"The Weight of Living: Well paced...satisfying. An involving thriller with a memorable protagonist."

Kirkus Reviews


Finalist, Book Excellence Awards, 2019: THE WEIGHT OF LIVING

Notable 100 Book, Shelf Unbound Indie Book Contest, 2018: THE WEIGHT OF LIVING

Distinquished Favorite, Independent Press Awards, 2018: THE WEIGHT OF LIVING

Distinguished Favorite, Big NYC Book Contest, 2018: THE WEIGHT OF LIVING

First Place, Mysteries, Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, 2017: THE WEIGHT OF LIVING

Runner-up, Shelf Unbound Indie Book Contest, 2016: A Game Called Dead

Hometown Phillipsburg, NJ

Passion in life Writing, family


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-944653-04-0
Page count: 302pp

The third volume in Daigle’s (A Game Called Dead, 2016, etc.) mystery series tells the continuing story of a detective as he and his New Jersey manufacturing town recover from setbacks.

Frank Nagler is a dogged investigator with the Ironton, New Jersey, police department who’s seen his town decline over the years due to plant closures, crooked politicians, and a devastating flood. He shut down emotionally after his young wife Martha’s death, finding solace in his work. Lately, a burgeoning relationship with Lauren Fox, a city planner, has been bringing him back to life. Ironton is also enjoying a renaissance with a progressive mayor and small cluster of new stores downtown, including a bookstore owned by Frank’s friend Leonard. But a pall falls over Ironton when a traumatized young girl, wearing just a tank top and shorts, is found in a dumpster on a cold night. At the same time, a mystery group is illegally obtaining local properties. Investigating both cases leads Frank to unearth an evil family’s history. The cases eventually threaten the safety of people important to him, including Lauren; his ancient mentor, Sister Marie Katherine; Leonard; and Leonard’s girlfriend, Calista Knox. As Frank’s friend Del Williams explains, “You see how deep the poison goes, how strong is the wrong in what they doin’ and your soul cries out for justice and you just wanna bring ’em down.” Before the action is done, neither Frank nor Ironton will be the same. Daigle has done an admirable job of portraying the evolutions of Frank and the hometown that he loves and protects. The detective realizes that Ironton has flaws, some self-inflicted, but he’s not ready to give up on it or its people. Many of those people are shown to have his back, as well, including Lauren at home and his colleague Lt. Maria Ramirez at work. This helps him to unravel a complicated, sometimes-repulsive mystery that spans decades and several states. Daigle’s narrative is well-paced, allowing the reader to piece together the clues right along with Frank, and it all leads to a melancholy but satisfying conclusion.

An involving thriller with a memorable protagonist.


Mystery, thriller

The second Frank Nagler Mystery. Two college women are beaten and one dies. Then a series of incidents in Ironton occur: Nagler's friend Leonard's bookstore is demolished and the city's community center is burned. Claiming responsibility is an Internet terrorist named #ARMAGEDDON. The title is from a video game gone live played by college students, including the victims. The story is structured like a game: Who makes the rules, and who changes them last, wins.

ISBN: 978-1-944653-00-2
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Mystery, thriller

It’s the time of pay phones, fax machines and piles of paperwork. And in Ironton, N.J., nine women have been killed, their deaths played out over months as fear grows in the city. Into this scenario is newly-minted Detective Frank Nagler, eager to take on the task of finding the killer, but daunted by the description supplied by the medical examiner: “What we have here is an experiment in death.” “The Red Hand” is a prequel to the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. Among the characters we meet are Charlie Adams, a teenage hoodlum and Martha Nagler, Frank’s wife, whose love carries him through the bad times ahead. Can an old-style detective story capture a modern audience? It can if it is filled with characters that resonate, has a love story for the ages, settings that carry weight and is layered with issues that raise the story above the everyday. It’s gritty, moving, probably confounding, but it resonates. Women are missing. Missing would imply a willingness to leave. They are not missing: They were taken.

ISBN: • ISBN-10: 1944653198
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Mystery, thriller

The First Frank Nagler Mystery. Ironton, N.J. is an faltering factory town that gets slammed by a week-long tropical storm. A mutilated body of a young woman is found in the Old Iron Bog during the storm. Nagler must solve that killing as he pieces together what appears to be the theft of money from city accounts. At the same time Lauren Fox, with whom Nagler has begun a relationship, disappears, and some evidence suggests her absence is related to the theft of city funds.

ISBN: 978-0-9908465-1-2
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Mystery, thriller

Reporter Derek Mainley attends a political fundraiser after reporting on the murder that day of a college professor. He meets the fundraiser's subject, federal prosecutor Cassie Blondell, who one dated the victim. In a teasing, sexy short story, the pair spar over the death, what it might mean, and who could be the killer.

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Weight of Living