Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Clean Win by Kevin R. Doyle (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT


Clean Win


Kevin R. Doyle




GENRE: Mystery






Laura Mosby is like a lot of young women, working in a job she doesn't like, looking for a way out, and doing her best to enjoy her privacy. When she dies a violent death at the hands of an intruder, it's at first brushed off as a standard homicide. But when Lieutenant Santiago, the supervising detective, comes across evidence linking her death to a local politician, he begins to see the faint threads of a much nastier scheme. Desperate to shield his people from potential harm, he turns to Sam Quinton, full-time gym owner and part-time private investigator, to help solve Laura's murder and help the police department evade the wrath of City Hall.






We sat there for another minute or two before I prodded the cop. “Laura Mosby.”

“Right.” Santiago sat a little straighter, as if pulling himself back on track. “We’ve got a possible suspect.”

“From what the local news has reported, you’ve had more than one possible suspect.”

Santiago nodded. “A former boyfriend, another even more former boyfriend, and a low-rent cousin who lives out of state.”


“But they were all dead ends. And now we’ve got someone new to look at.”

“Which I’m guessing has something to do with why you’re slumming enough to visit me this morning,” I said. “So why not get to it. Who’s the new favorite?”

Santiago looked away as he pressed his hands flat on his thighs. Despite our not-so-hot relationship, I decided to give him the time he needed.

He looked back my way, his expression as calm and controlled as I’d ever seen him.

“Bob Marlow,” he said, so quietly I almost missed it.

I blinked a couple of times, processing the name.

“Bob Marlow,” I repeated a few seconds later.

“Yeah,” Santiago said, giving me half a nod.

“As in Mayor Bob Marlow?”

Only a quarter of a nod this time, if that. “Yeah.”

“As in recently-announced candidate for governor Bob Marlow?”

No comment this time, except for Santiago giving me a dead-level stare.

“Well, shit,” I said.

“Yeah,” Santiago said.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


A high-school teacher, former college instructor, and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of numerous short horror stories. He’s also written three crime thrillers, The Group, When You Have to Go There, and And the Devil Walks Away, and one horror novel, The Litter. In the last few years, he’s begun working on the Sam Quinton private eye series, published by Camel Press. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award for Best First PI Novel.  The second book, Heel Turn, was released in March of 2021, while the third in the series, Double Frame, came out in March of 2022. The fourth Sam Quinton book, Clean Win, will be released in March of 2023.








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My review:

3.75 out of 5 stars


“Clean Win” by Kevin Doyle is the fourth book in the ‘Sam Quinton Mystery’ series. A reluctant request from the lead police detective in a murder case embroils Sam in a complicated situation that may have far-reaching political implications. The wily private investigator will have to use his knowledge from both his prior career and his current ones to get to the truth.


This mystery story features an engaging private detective, intriguing secondary characters, and nice twists and turns as the investigation proceeds. I enjoyed Sam’s insouciant attitude and quiet competence as he interacted with folks from all walks of life. The allusions to previous encounters makes me curious about the other stories in the series, but I had no problem reading this as a stand-alone story. Sam’s previous career as a wrestler gives an entertaining dimension to some of his encounters, and I like that he has a (mostly) cordial relationship with the police. This was a fun quick read, and I look forward to reading other stories that feature this colorful investigator.


A copy of this story was provided for review