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Recommended Read Quill!Thicker than Water.

A Tony Flaner Mystery

Winner of a RECOMMENDED READ QUILL for Best Novel

Thicker than Water


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There are Debts in The Desert

Tony Flaner, sarcastic, slacking, sleuth from, THE FINGER TRAP, has given up being a good detective. Now he babysits a pampered dog for a high-strung family and of course that dog is kidnapped right under his nose. He tries to care, really he does, but he can’t. He couldn’t even if he weren’t otherwise distracted by the sudden death of his neglected aunt Vicky hundreds of miles away in scenic Moab, Utah.

To solve her murder, Tony wades into tourist town politics and nagging guilt to unravel hot plots and cold cases. He must learn the secret ways of Nordic Indians, elves and goblins, motorcycle maniacs, tabloid slanderers, yapping dogs, hated rivals, and old loves to find out what’s THICKER THAN WATER.

New trouble and old memories drive Tony back to Moab where his parents dumped him one summer while they wrestled with brie. Yes, the cheese.

Tony seeks to solve the seemingly random killing of his beloved Aunt Vicky, mother of Tony's cousin Rick "Thick" Racine, the dumbest but nicest kid you'd ever want to meet. But he's dead too, so you missed your chance.

Tony navigates the past and the present, desert canyons, goblins and orcs, killers and stoners to get to the bottom of old crimes and new murders. Along the way, he's reunited with his first love and his last chance.


This title was Tony's return to print after the troubles of publishing limbo. That the League of Utah Writers embraced him again, and awarded this book a Recommended Read Quill, was more than an honor. It was revitalization, validation, joy and accomplishment.


Genre: Detective Mystery/Comedy
Words: 135,000
Status: Available now from Rough Edges Press.