Books by Paul Bishop

Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"Mostly pulp-style reprints from a 25-year period that help explain why their original venues (Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine, etc.) are now defunct. "
Emptying the trash accumulated in his desk drawer, Bishop, a detective with the LAPD's Sex Crimes unit, discloses subpar stories, two featuring his series heroine Fey Croaker (Chalk Whispers, p. 337, etc.), four one-page vignettes starring dyspeptic motorcycle cop Charlie McQuarkle, and one amiably goofy tale written to commemorate a friend's 45th birthday. Called "The Night of the Frankengolfer," it pits "the world's most sort-of-adequate consulting detective" Sheerluck Bishop against an evil schemer determined to create a golfing Super-Mensch and combines abductions, nefarious biopsies, and outrageous puns, which culminate in a last-line belly laugh. Other stories feature sneaker theft, a hitchhiking cocaine mule who has the misfortune to catch a ride with a narc, an extortionist too cheap to supply postage, a media executive outwitting a homicidally inclined staff member, a female assassin and her dueling male counterpart, legal aliens torturing illegal aliens, an ex-CIA operative seeking a rock star, three tales of Christmastide morality, and a pair of cop screwups inspired by real life, with Bishop as the goat. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2000

Fey Croaker, daughter of a cop and a cop herself, and still struggling with a legacy of incest at the hands of dear, old, corrupt dad, finds herself and her team of five mired in a murder case with clues that reach back 30 years to her father and his partner Jack Kavanaugh. The dead woman is child advocate Bianca Flynn, who may have been abused by her dad, an easyonsuspectedfamilialmolesters judge, and was middivorce proceedings with a man she accused of sexual debauchery with their kids. As a newly anointed LAPD lieutenant, Fey battles departmental jealousy, but she and her handpicked squad brought over from her days at the West Hollywood precinct ignore the taunts, the practical jokes, the noncooperation and discover: what Kavanaugh's dying message means; why he added a codicil to his will leaving Fey $250,000 that can be traced back to a robbery; what the bartender at the local copbar knows; and why a con, doing hard time in San Quentin, is willing to confess to two murders but not to the one he was convicted of. More die and more kids are endangered before Croaker's late father's reputation takes another nosedive and her current investigation ends with a fireball pell-melling through a church's catacombs. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

A routine cop killing is only the tip of the firestorm—a full-scale civil war for the soul of the LAPD—in the hardcover debut of homicide detective Fey Croaker. All right, no cop killing is routine, but when a streetful of witnesses watch April Waverly shoot her philandering husband as he sits in his unmarked car outside the West L.A. station, it looks pretty straightforward. ``Something like this hurts us all,'' the police chief says as he hands the case to Fey's West L.A. Area Homicide unit. ``I want it wrapped up quick and tidy.'' The only problem: Alex Waverly was already dead when his wife shot him, poisoned by a massive dose of digoxin. Why two different people tried to kill him within minutes is only the first riddle in an outsized plot whose range becomes obvious when a second cop—a ``mockingbird'' who'd gone undercover in a drug ring—is found dead on the UCLA campus, and a second corpse on the scene links his death to Waverly's. Yet Bishop doesn't sustain much tension over the mysterious aspects of his case; he's more interested in the power struggle that bull-headed Fey gradually discerns between the deeply unpopular chief—a political appointee from outside—and the old-time cowboys who are so convinced they know what's best for the department that they're willing to kill anyone, colleague or citizen, who gets in their way. Bishop lays on the corruption with the broadest possible strokes—a heartless seductress compares her latest victim, ``a man who could only do it once a night,'' to the ``true man'' on whose behalf she's plying her wares—and the result has all the inevitability of watching a row of dominoes fall, and not much more subtlety or artistry. If the NYPD isn't dirty enough for you, though, it's reassuring to know that Bishop, himself head of LAPD's Sex Crimes unit, may just have your number. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 21, 1991

A British goalie returns from medical retirement to save an American indoor soccer team from, among other things, Irish terrorists. Author Bishop (Sand Against the Tide, Citadel Run), a soccer-playing LAPD detective, presumably knows all about this stuff. Top-flight English goalkeeper Ian Chapel's last soccer game ended in a kick to the face from a German opponent that left him with just one eye and the belief that he could never play the game again. Working as an editor for one of his brainy brother's sports magazines, Chapel has recovered his fitness but hasn't touched a soccer ball since his accident—and so finds it ludicrous when his old army colonel pitches a proposal that would have him playing goalie for the Los Angeles Ravens, an indoor hockey team owned by the colonel and his partner Nina Brisbane, who has the body of a goddess and hides her shotgun-blasted face forever behind a veil. The Ravens are headed for the league finals, but their goalie has just been murdered, and if Chapel takes the job, the colonel and Miss Brisbane would like him to clear up the murder as well. With much reluctance Chapel caves into pressure, whips himself into good goalie shape, joins the team—which includes the Hun who put his eye out—dodges murderous attacks from Irish terrorists, and copes with the very temperamental Miss Brisbane. Best fringe benefit of the job is the close companionship of the Ravens' second-string goalie, a very fit, ambitious, and pretty young lady. Ultra-violent and politically incredible but rather fun. Read full book review >