Poisoned Pawn

Poisoned Pawn

by David Siegel Bernstein


GENRE:   Detective, Mystery



Caleb Jacobs is a man with a past. After serving on a failed dark ops assignment in Afghanistan, he leaves Marine Corps Intelligence to try to build a new life in Philadelphia as a homicide police detective.

Jacobs is happy, for a time, until he is assigned to solve the murder of Shannon Faraday. During the investigation, he is convinced the evidence points to him as the killer. He knows it is only a matter of time before other investigators see the same. He has no alibi and the clock is counting down.

Behind his partner’s back, Jacobs hires a private investigator named Lawrence Holmes. The PI is an irritation to the police, but he is unmistakably brilliant. And, many powerful people in the city owe him favors. Holmes is a bit odd. He insists on calling Jacobs Watson but claims to never have heard the name Sherlock. Jacobs can live with this kind of crazy as long as together they find the real killer.

They quickly link the murder to a series of seemingly unrelated crimes occurring throughout Philadelphia, and Jacobs becomes convinced the murder is related to the truth of what had happened during his time in Afghanistan. Old secrets have come back to haunt him.


Excerpt One:

I felt like shit for having to hire a private investigator, especially one who was most likely insane. Still, I couldn’t deny that his type of crazy got results. Reluctantly I handed over an envelope to the man sitting on the sun-bleached bench.

He opened it. Satisfied with my offering, he slid it into his jacket. “Ah, Watson,” he said. “Good to see you again.”

I shook my head and dropped onto the bench next to him. “My name is Jacobs. Caleb Jacobs,” I said, hoping the reminder might stick this time.

He turned to me. “Did you say something?”

I sighed. “No, Holmes.”

If I wasn’t desperate for his help, I’d strangle him. Of course my superiors at the Philadelphia Homicide Unit wouldn’t appreciate that. But I wondered if a cop hiring a private investigator was any worse of a violation. I needed Lawrence Holmes for his connections and unique viewpoint, things my PHU colleagues couldn’t provide. He might not be the fictional character he played at, but he was a talented PI.


An Interview with the Author:

1. How long have you been a published author?

My first official credit was a fantasy short published Anotherrealm back in 2002. During the next 18 years I’ve accumulated over a 100 publication credits. Much of this work has been featured in literary and genre anthologies (including Best of issues). My nonfiction has been published in academic journals, newsletters, book chapters, science fiction magazines, and a 2017 book.

2. Do you have any new releases coming soon?

Well now that you mention it, yes, I do. It is titled Poisoned Pawn. It is the story of Caleb Jacob, a man with a dark past. After serving on a failed dark ops assignment in Afghanistan, he leaves Marine Corps Intelligence to try to build a new life in Philadelphia as a homicide police detective.

During an investigation, Jacobs becomes convinced the murder he is assigned to solve is related to the truth of what had happened during his time in Afghanistan. Old secrets have come back to haunt him.

3. If you could co-write with another author who would it be?

If he were still alive, I’d say Harlan Ellison. My living choice is Neil Gaiman.

4. Do you listen to music while writing? If yes, what songs are your favorites?

I do when creating, but not so much when editing. Here is the Poisoned Pawn song list:

It is as dark and sexy as the novel.

Time Rages On by Aaron Kaplan

Your Sins Will Find You Out by Eli Paperboy Reed

Love Is A Stranger by Eurythmics

Hurt by Johnny Cash

Dead Eyes by Adia Victoria

Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Waiting Around to Die by Townes Van Zandt

I’m Losing You by Corinne Bailey Rae version

To Leave Something Behind by Sean Rowe

Trouble Ray by LaMontagne

I don’t Care Anymore by Rodney Crowell

Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Mercy Now by Mary Gauthier

Until I Die by TORRES version

Behind Blue Eyes by Jeff Russo, Dan Stevens, Navid Negahban version

Romano by The Savage Rose

Candlelight by Jack Savoretti

Sour Times by Portishead

Killer Shangri-Lah by Pshycotic Beats, Pati Amor

Happiness Is A Warm Gun by The Breeders version version

Ne me quitte pas by Jacques Brel

The Joke by Brandi Carlile

He Called Me Baby by Candi Staton

Are you Satisfied by Marina

Heaven Knows by The Pretty Reckless

Palladium by The Hip Liz Brady

Fast Slow Disco by St. Vincent

7 Heure Du Mat by Jacqueline Taieb

Karma Police by Radiohead

Only You by Yaz

It’s a Shame by First Aid Kit

The New Style by Beastie Boys

Hang Me Up To Dry by Cold War Kids

Come with Me Now by Kongos

Secretly by Skunk Anansie

5. What genres do you write in?

I like writing mysteries and thrillers but I’m mostly known for my science fiction. My nonfiction is mostly about science. A SF/science mashup is my book Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction. If you do a hard internet search you just might find some poetry under my name.

6. If you could write anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I have no preference. There are places I’d like to visit… but then I wouldn’t be writing, I’d be touring. Now if you give me a beer and quiet place, I’ll pump out the words.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

To support his writing addiction and excessively extravagant lifestyle, David Siegel Bernstein, PhD, is a data scientist who consults as a forensic statistician. That sounds really boring until you realize that his clients include the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and a host of other acronymonious agencies who cultivate exciting and shadowy reputations. Alas, those reputations are mere facades that disguise the real reason these organizations exist, which is to keep him entertained and fed.

When David wants a break from this spellbinding work, he writes. His fiction credits encompass two novelettes and sixty shorts. His nonfiction has appeared in newsletters, popular blogs, academic journals and he is the author of the book Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction.

He lives within the shadow of Philadelphia with his wife, Michelle, two children, Seth and Gwendolyn, and a dog named Ringo Biggles Woofington.


Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/bernsteindavid1

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DSBernstein/

twitter: @DavidBernstein

instagram @davidsieglebernstein


David Siegel Bernstein will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

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