All Carson Reno Mystery Series Books are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any particular order. It was a disaster beyond most people’s comprehension. There was nothing left standing of the barn, it had burned completely to the ground. Among the rubble and smoking wood, you could see the smoking corpses – which had once been some of the finest thoroughbred stallions in the Tennessee and Kentucky area. Unnoticed, among these ruins, were the burned remains of Aaron Nunamaker, owner of ‘Nunamaker Stables, and one of the best-known horse breeders and stud farm owners in West Tennessee. Killing a human being brings the wrath of the law and the accompanying sorrow and grief from loved ones. Killing a helpless animal brings wrath that is unequaled to that associated with killing a person. This sorrow and grief continue long after the grief over human loss has left. Mankind will forget their own losses, but they never forget similar betrayals to animals. Odd isn’t it? The fire had, obviously, been set and was a deliberate murder of innocent animals – horses. Horses, that could not free themselves from their comfortable stable, horses that trusted their caregiver and felt safe in their home. Horses that died a terrible death, and horses that would never know how they became involved in such a terrible scheme and plan. Tracks revealed that many of the doomed horses had been led from another barn to the one that was burned. This made it more than an act of revenge or rage, but one intended to destroy the animals, all at once, and all at one time. Other than car and horse tracks, the clues were minimal or non-existent. Police roped off the area and considered it an accident or a rival/revenge act until they found the body. Then things changed. He had been shot once at close range with a high-powered rifle. The bullet entered his center chest and exited to some unknown parts of the barn or maybe the surrounding ground. His body was burned beyond normal recognition, like the horses, but his engraved Horseshoe ring, which he always wore proudly on his right-hand ring finger, made preliminary identification possible.
Carson Reno is the best detective in the world!
I love the way Darnell weaves this mystery making it seem like Carson won’t be able to solve it. But after speaking with a lot of people, most good some bad, he finally solves the mystery of who killed Aaron and the horses. I have never been disappointed in the Carson Reno books and look forward to reading more! I highly recommend Horse Tales!
It’s 1962, and the Mafia has discovered some new tricks in getting their drugs from Colombia to the streets of America. Their plans are working perfectly until an unfortunate boating accident puts the FBI back on their trail. Carson’s friend, Elizabeth Teague, has a large amount of cash hidden in her luggage and this cash belongs to the Mafia. They want it back. Protecting his friend and sorting through the details, Carson finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy that has roots in Humboldt. He also finds a murder with too many suspects. From the Everglades to Puerto Rico to Memphis, to Humboldt, to Key West – join Carson as he tries to separate the good guys from the bad guys in ‘the Everglades.’
Thomas E. Buzard
Wonderful book. Love this writer. Well-written mystery…..I only read GP-rated books, and this one fits that rating…Thanks, Gerald…Please keep up the great work…
All Carson Reno, Mystery Series Books, are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any particular order. The witness protection program had simply not worked as promised. He and his wife had been relocated to a one-horse hick town in West Tennessee, with a promise to start life over – on the right side of the law, this time. His factory job lasted less than a year. A strike and major labor dispute had cost him his job – and his running around with other women had cost him his wife. He never intended for any of this to happen, but it seemed he was meeting failure at every turn. He had made that difficult move from the underworld to the real world with all good intentions of making it stick – it wasn’t working. Things were dragging him back, and he was finding it too easy to drift into the dark side of life once again. He knew that if he crossed back over, all chances and opportunities for a life in the real world were over – his one chance gone forever. While he resisted, it just didn’t seem to matter – circumstances were taking him back – he couldn’t stop himself. He started by renewing some old contacts, asking the right questions, and finally by offering his services for hire. It didn’t take long for things to happen, and contract offers coming his way. They started with a call from Anthony ‘Tony’ Scarsetti. He had worked for Tony in the past, and he believed they held a mutual respect for each other – him for his skills and Tony for his leadership. Tony was a rival of Steve Carrollton, and their competition for the vices in Memphis and on Beale Street was well known. Evidently, Carrollton had been temporarily sidelined – but his operations continued. Tony was looking for some professional help to make his temporary situation a permanent one. Once again in his life, things were looking up, and he was feeling good about himself – being useful. His skills were needed, and he would again be a contributor. His little house on Mullins Avenue, in this hick town of Humboldt, would also be useful. Quiet, out of the main activity in Memphis, and allowing him to operate under the radar. Besides, the government had bought it, why not put it to good use? He would start by sharpening the skills that had once made him successful. After all, failure was not an option in this business – only death. Hours in the local forests and woods would give him the privacy required – he had the perfect set-up and the perfect location. Nobody local to challenge him, and besides, if someone did – he was still the best at what he did. Everybody knew that.
Too close to home
Another thriller with a too-close-for-comfort situation. I enjoyed getting the back story on Carson’s sidekick Joe and how it all started with them. Once again dominatrix Liz had her lapdog Carson under her boot. Yoiy!!! This one had me really worried for Carson in the 11th hour. I was sweating bullets for him. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review. The narrator did a good job bringing it to life.
All Carson Reno Mystery Series Books are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any particular order. The year is 1962 and Carson Reno, once again, gets himself into situations that would be better left alone. A Memphis client hires Carson to prove infidelity, but instead, he finds corruption and murder going all the way to the top of Memphis politics. A Jack Logan client investigation takes him back to Humboldt looking into automobile fraud, which lands him smack in the middle of a murder. Not just any murder, but the murder of a local beauty queen – one who seemed to have too many enemies for a girl her age.
Another book by Darnell that I couldn’t put down!
I became a fan of Gerald W. Darnell’s Carson Reno Mysteries after I read the first book! His characters are believable and interesting to follow in his books. “The Price of Beauty in Strawberry Land” has twists and turns that keep you wanting more. It is a book I had trouble putting down because I had to know what was going to happen next. I encourage everyone to read this, and the other books, by Gerald W. Darnell.
Set in the sixties, Carson Reno is the owner of the Drake Detective Agency in Memphis. When asked to investigate what might be infidelity by a wife who thinks she is hiring a stranger, he ends up implicated in the murder of JR Maxwell in his own hometown. Two thugs (Bubba and Bobby) try to convince him to keep his distance while the police chief insists he returns to Humboldt to answer some questions. Of course, there are some lovely ladies to provide some distraction, as well as Carson’s friends at Chiefs and the Starlight to provide support and libation. The union shut down at the textile mill, the trucks not allowed to leave, and the questionable meetings of JR, especially with General Samson and Judy Strong, give the story added dimension. Having come of age in the sixties, the classic cars and social norms depicted by Darnell held a touch of nostalgia. The characters seemed to fit the times. The plot was easy to follow, but JR’s murderer and the motive weren’t obvious until the end. Fans of Perry Mason, Mike Hammer, Donald Lam, and others from that era will like Carson Reno for sure. This is the first in the Carson Reno series, the 12th (Justifiable Homicide) was published in October 2014.
Throwback to the Sixties
Set in the sixties, Carson Reno is the owner of the Drake Detective Agency in Memphis. When asked to investigate what might be infidelity by a wife who thinks she is hiring a stranger, he ends up implicated in the murder of JR Maxwell in his own hometown. Two thugs (Bubba and Bobby) try to convince him to keep his distance while the police chief insists he returns to Humboldt to answer some questions. Of course, there are some lovely ladies to provide some distraction, as well as Carson’s friends at Chiefs and the Starlight to provide support and libation. The union shut down at the textile mill, the trucks not allowed to leave, and the questionable meetings of JR, especially with General Samson and Judy Strong, give the story added dimension.
Having come of age in the sixties, the classic cars and social norms depicted by Darnell held a touch of nostalgia. The characters seemed to fit the times. The plot was easy to follow, but JR’s murderer and the motive weren’t obvious until the end. Fans of Perry Mason, Mike Hammer, Donald Lam, and others from that era will like Carson Reno for sure. This is the first in the Carson Reno series, the 12th (Justifiable Homicide) was published in October 2014.
All Carson Reno’s books are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any order When an old girlfriend finds herself in trouble Carson is asked to help – things quickly get out of hand. After getting himself arrested for murder, it seems that it’s Carson who needs the help and not the ex-girlfriend. A recent casino robbery is somehow linked to the problem, and when that investigation heats up, people start dying. Shady characters are everywhere, and some are after Carson’s head. Join our story and come along to help Carson find the clues, search for the truth, and try to solve the case of:
Carson definitely has a type as witnessed by his previous liaisons. He definitely needs to reevaluate his life choices, because they seem to have bad long-lasting after-effects. As always, Carson ends up digging his way out alive!!! Another interesting journey.
All Carson Reno books are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any order When a potential client turns up dead in his Peabody Hotel room, Carson finds himself in the middle of a six-month-old armored truck robbery. Seemingly unconnected, his longtime friend Sheriff Leroy Epsee has been suspended from duty and under investigation for the murder of a political opponent. Going in circles, Carson believes there is a link but isn’t able to connect the dots. Things heat up quickly. Shady characters are everywhere, and some are after Carson’s head. Join our story and come along to help Carson find the clues, search for the truth, and try to solve the case of:
Reckoning One Degree of Separation
Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews
What a magnetic story in Reckoning – One Degree of Separation by Gerald Darnell. I am a definite fan of this author! Whatever this author writes, I read. This is another great Carson Reno story, and I swear, they keep getting better and better, more intriguing. And in each book, there is always something new to learn about Reno. Murder, corruption, various clues, and Carson. He always ends up in the middle of something and reading and seeing how the pieces are put together, is magnificent. This book deserves a second read! It is a very well-written plot, and I enjoyed it. It’s one of those embraceable stories. It’s definitely un-put-downable! It is always an honor to read this author’s books. A definite attention-grabber, so much I couldn’t put it down. Both thrilling and intriguing, all the way to the end. Masterfully written! This author not only tells the story but shows it with words as well. It’s raw and thrilling, and sometimes, very chilling. Reckoning – One Degree of Separation is a definite recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. I hope to read more books by this author.
All Carson Reno books are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any order. When a nightclub stripper is brutally murdered, her boyfriend is quickly arrested and charged with the crime. Carson is hired by the accused man’s twelve-year-old daughter to prove him innocent. Things quickly get out of hand. Bodies pile up and it appears that a serial killer might be at work, and perhaps his client’s father could actually be guilty. The Memphis underworld of the 1960s is somehow involved and complicating the investigation. Then, when some critical witnesses disappear – others come along to take their place. Join our Cast of Characters and come along to help Carson find the clues, search for the truth, and try to solve the case of:
Sin and Stilettos
Carson is back
It’s been a minute since I was in the unique world of Carson Reno, and I have missed his humor, intelligence, and secondary characters that I’ve come to appreciate. This had all the twists and turns that I’ve come to expect and enjoy following along to their conclusions. His secondary characters are every bit as rich and interesting as his main characters. I also like “not knowing ” until the big reveal and explanations. I really savored and enjoyed this journey. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of the audio version of this and am giving an honest unbiased review. The narrator did an excellent job bringing the characters and story to life. Well done.
All Carson Reno books are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any order. Carson has been hired to locate a client’s missing brother, and it quickly gets complicated. Somehow the missing brother is linked to a gangster who has stolen thousands from the mafia, but that link isn’t clear. Carson’s search doesn’t turn up the brother, but it does turn up a body – the body of a gangster who was on a mission of murder. It seems that the Memphis Mafia and the Memphis Police are also searching for his client’s brother. Finding him first becomes a real priority. The pursuit takes him to New Orleans, where a whole new mystery unfolds, which puts Carson in some very serious danger. Then, if possible, things get worse. More bodies appear while the Mafia chases their money, and it seems people are not who they claim to be. This old fashion crime story takes Carson Reno and his crew on a complicated adventure, where it seems the solution may be worse than the problem. Join our Cast of Characters and come along to help Carson find the clues, search for the truth, and try to solve the
Disappearance of Robin Murat
Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews
Darnell’s stories are never disappointing!
Another great Carson Reno story and Darnell delivers it so well. With all the books in this series I have read, I think each new one Darnell releases gets better. This reader loves the character of Reno and the interesting cases that Darnell puts in front of him. Filled with action, mystery, and a grand investigation by Reno, and his cohorts. I loved this story, and it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. Cops and mobsters are just the beginning and filled with twists and unpredictability, this is a magnificent story. It’s more than just a story or page-turner, it’s a heart-pounder as well. I look forward to reading more by this author, in this series or anything he wants to release. This book is a definite recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews.
All Carson Reno Mystery Series Books are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any particular order. Carson’s feud with a local crime reporter continues, and then suddenly the husband of his client is brutally murdered – a husband he’s been hired to investigate. Mysterious characters weave a web of blackmail and suspense while leaving Carson with more clients than he can handle. The Memphis police have warned Carson to back off, but an employee of a friend is missing from a murder scene and he’s determined to find her and the killer. Follow Carson to New Orleans, Humboldt, Memphis, and Florida where he chases numerous suspects trying to track down a missing person and the killer he’s been hired to find. Enjoy this unusual adventure for Carson Reno, as he struggles to solve the case of
‘Murder and More’
Mr. Richard Lw Bunning
Darnell Keeps the 60s Breathing With a Little Help from Private Detective Carson Reno
A detective mystery set in the 1960s with an authentic feel of the 1960s. The book could so easily have been written then rather than in 2015. The read is nicely scattered with illustrative pictures from the period, which I can see adding a lot to the reading experience of those born later. I felt that I could be reading a period Mickey Spillane novel; the script felt authentic. I’d even say that there are more than a few similarities between Mike Hammer and Carson Reno— well at least as how I remember the character. Then again, possibly Reno is more like James Garner in the Rockford Files TV series. Okay, that was very 1970s scripted, but the Rockford character could have been slotted seamlessly into any ’50s/60s detective series. So then, for me, Carson Reno is possibly best described as a blend of Mike Hammer and Jim Rockford. The writing has a sharp journalistic economy, never burying us in irrelevance and keeping a brisk pace. Some of the bit players are easy to confuse, but that problem is relieved by the index of characters. This is the first Darnell book I’ve read. Love it. I can see this series of books on every paperback turntable in front of every ’60s newspaper store. The mass market paperback days are, generally speaking, history, but that shouldn’t limit the availability and popularity of Darnell’s Carson Reno. This book is an object lesson in how to get that old paperback buzz into the e-market. For those still addicted to traditional paper, the lovers of the smell and feel of ‘pulp’, for those that still have or are discovering vinyl records and classic cars, the hands-on version looks just as 60s slick. The period will always be culturally cool and so will Carson, with bourbon and coke and an after-dinner cigar. This is a mystery detective novel, not a voyeuristic trip through violence and death, as so many modern genre books are. A read that may seriously damage your place in time.