Books by Ronald Tierney

Ronald Tierney has been a bus boy, hod carrier, assembly line foreman, retail clerk, Army sergeant, actor, house painter, ditch digger, shipping clerk, salesman, advertising copywriter, frame shop owner, communications director, bank officer, and newspape


THE BLACK TORTOISE by Ronald Tierney
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2017

"A disappointingly perfunctory novella whose main revelation is that when the author of the hard-nosed Deets Shanahan stories (Killing Frost, 2015, etc.) takes off the edge, he takes off quite a bit more along with it."
A second case for forensic accountant Peter Strand (The Blue Dragon, 2015) ushers him into a San Francisco nonprofit to investigate rumored problems that get a lot bigger and more concrete shortly after his arrival. Read full book review >
KILLING FROST by Ronald Tierney
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 1, 2015

"Deets winds up the case in routine but satisfying fashion. The real prize here is the tone, which Tierney keeps expertly hovering between compassionate valediction and civic outrage."
Tierney celebrates the 25th anniversary of Indianapolis shamus Deets Shanahan's debut with an autumnal 11th case whose subject is its biggest mystery. Read full book review >
GOOD TO THE LAST KISS by Ronald Tierney
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 1, 2011

"Every year the genre has its Goliaths, bigger and better ballyhooed than this modest entry. Come Edgar time, however, Tierney's well-written, tidily plotted, character-driven David of a book deserves to be remembered."
Tierney (Bullet Beach, 2011, etc.) serves up a dark, twisty little gem in which a pair of embittered detectives and a not-quite-dead victim combine irresistibly. Read full book review >
BULLET BEACH by Ronald Tierney
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

"Tierney is as entertaining as ever. In particular, thumbs up for the nice, understated septuagenarian love story."
In his 10th appearance, Deets Shanahan (Bloody Palms, 2008, etc.) becomes his brother's keeper, more or less. Read full book review >
DEATH IN NORTH BEACH by Ronald Tierney
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

"Tierney (Death in Pacific Heights, 2009, etc.) places a pair of bright, appealing protagonists in a dim, derivative story even they can't rescue."
A tell-all book gets its author silenced. Read full book review >
BLOODY PALMS by Ronald Tierney
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"Another solid performance from a savvy writer who knows that the best way to plug plot holes is with engaging characters."
At 71, Deets Shanahan (Asphalt Moon, 2007, etc.) might be ready to pack it in. But that's easier said than done. Read full book review >
ASPHALT MOON by Ronald Tierney
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2007

"Fast, smart and blessedly short—the genre's good old way."
From outside his house, someone takes aim at Deets Shanahan (Nickel-Plated Soul, 2005, etc.) and narrowly misses. Was the bullet really meant for Shanahan? Read full book review >
NICKEL-PLATED SOUL by Ronald Tierney
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

"It's nice to see Deets still in there pitching, even if this case, which spends too much time among closemouthed nonentities before delivering its climactic surprise, isn't his finest hour."
What's the first thing you'd do after 35 years in stir? Hire somebody to prove you're innocent, of course. Read full book review >
THE CONCRETE PILLOW by Ronald Tierney
Released: April 19, 1995

Nobody in Luke Lindstrom's family wants him to hire aging Indianapolis p.i. Deets Shanahan (The Iron Glove, 1992, etc.) to figure out who might be trying to kill him—even though two of the other quadruplets, Matthew and Mark, who once played high- school basketball with their brother Luke have already been crippled (Matthew) and killed (Mark) by suspicious falls from high places. Luke's father, trucker Red Lindstrom, tries to buy and threaten Shanahan off the case; Luke's born-again mother, Nancy Rae, orders him to give it up instantly; and even Luke himself seems to be having second thoughts when Shanahan first sees him sunk in heroin heaven. Then the fourth Lindstrom brother—John, naturally—falls from a window in Luke's apartment, and following a conference of his wildly dysfunctional family, Luke calls Shanahan off the case. With his own family problems to worry about—his rarely seen son and never-seen grandson are headed his way—you'd think Shanahan would have enough on his plate without the Lindstroms' troubles, even before a shooting that sends his body into a wheelchair and his mind spiraling back to 1982.... Interesting people, a solid mystery, and poignantly loopy domestic complications. Despite all the action, though, geriatric poster-child Shanahan—now in a fourth outing—doesn't seem feeble, just understandably world-weary. Read full book review >
ECLIPSE OF THE HEART by Ronald Tierney
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 13, 1993

Melancholy derring-do introducing celibate-homosexual Zachary Grayson, a stodgy, middle-aged San Francisco food writer, whose life is turned upside down when he's befriended by the companionable Manny, who suggests he accompany him to Puerto Vallarta. There, Manny disappears, and teenaged scamp and pickpocket-hustler Sal enters Zach's life—as do several life- threatening goons in pursuit of a microchip wanted by various secret agencies of the US government, including the one that employed Manny. Forced into action, Zach is suddenly on the run— and in love. Desperate SOS calls to his S.F. neighbor, the flamboyantly campy Leslie, lead Zach and Sal into even more hot water, with bullets and poison coming into play before Zach can confide—in his diary—his feelings about men. Tierney, whose Deets Shanahan series (The Iron Glove, etc.) also features an admirably rendered middle-aged sleuth, offers up portraits of homosexuals as deft and multidimensional as those by Hansen and Nava. Purists may quibble that, here, he replaces mystery/detection with MacGuffin-hunting, and now and then dips into bathos, but his writerly skills are also evident. Read full book review >
THE IRON GLOVE by Ronald Tierney
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 11, 1992

This time out, aging Indianapolis p.i. ``Deets'' Shanahan (The Stone Veil, The Steel Web) is hired to dig up evidence that young boxer Emilio Ramirez didn't kill Senator Holland's do-gooder wife Sally in his apartment, then set her adrift in the river. Deets believes in Emilio's innocence but has trouble finding the proof- -forensics has blood and skin samples from Emilio's place, and his father-figure manager admits that he quietly removed the dead Sally from the apartment and floated it away. Holland's alibi, meanwhile, seems airtight; but could his political rival be responsible, or his mistress—wealthy and anxious-to-wed Jamie Brothewaite? Elizabeth, the Hollands' daughter, seems mighty uncomfortable around her dad, but it's her diary that seems sure to sink Emilio: It mentions his many outings with Elizabeth and her mother. With some assistance from bartender friend Harry, plus legwork from an alcoholic ex-cop, Deets puts together clues in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, New York, and D.C., then nails Sally's real murderer- -but not before some smarmy facts come to light and her in-laws make a major error in judgment. A modestly clever puzzle, but the book's strength (typical of Tierney's work) is the warm, appealing byplay between Deets and his lady friend Maureen. Read full book review >
THE STEEL WEB by Ronald Tierney
Released: Nov. 25, 1991

A new adventure for Indianapolis old-timer Deets Shanahan (The Stone Veil, 1989), the antithesis of trendy, who now sets out to prove that street-punks Leo and Billy did not bayonet to death Sam Puckett, a cop working undercover on a cocaine bust. With the sometime help of girlfriend Maureen and bar-crony Harry (who shakes a tail), Deets niggles away at magazine publisher/philanderer James Connell, who, for inexplicable reasons, is splashing stories of gang wars and killer punks across his pages, while at the same time prying into Sweethearts, a T&A bar with drug connections, whose manager is blown up in his car. Unraveling Puckett's drug connections is easy compared to uncovering his love life: Who was with him in Barbados? Several red herrings later, Leo and Billy are off the hook (thanks, in part, to a Puckett girlfriend) and Deets discovers the story behind the headlines. Fast-paced, wryly told, and evenly balanced—solid detection combined with warm, empathetic characterization. Besides, it's about time the Modern Maturity crowd had their own pinup. Who better than Deets? Read full book review >