My fiction-writing career owes it start to the bad navigation of an 18th century pirate. For it was in 1717 that a ship, the Whydah went aground, reportedly carrying a treasure. In the 1980s, three salvage groups went head-to-head, competing to find the wreck. The controversy over the salvage got hot at times and I thought there might be a book in their story.
I developed my own detective, an ex-cop, diver, fisherman, and PI named Aristotle “Soc” Socarides. He was more philosophical than hard-boiled. Making his first appearance in “Cool Blue Tomb,” the book won the Shamus award for Best Paperback novel. After many years in the newspaper business, I turned to writing fiction and churned out five more books in the series.
Clive Cussler blurbed: “There can be no better mystery writer in America than Paul Kemprecos.”
Despite the accolades, the Soc series lingered in mid-list hell. By the time I finished my last book, I was thinking about another career that might make me more money, like working in a 7-11.
Several months after the release of “Bluefin Blues,” Clive called and said a spin-off from the Dirk Pitt series was in the works. It would be called the NUMA Files and he wondered if I would be interested in tackling the job.
My wife closed the deal when she said: “What else have you got to do?”
The answer was “nothing,” and I took on the writing of “Serpent” which brought into being Kurt Austin and the NUMA Special Assignments Team. Austin had some carry-over from Soc, and another team member, Paul Trout, had been born on Cape Cod. The book made The New York Times bestseller list, as did every one of seven NUMA Files that followed, including “Polar Shift,” which bumped “The DaVinci Code” for first place.
I continue to write and am working on the e-book release of my Soc series. Christi and I live on Cape Cod in a circa 1865 farmhouse with two cats and have three children.
Where to find Paul Kemprecos online
Cape Cod fisherman and P.I. Aristotle “Soc” Socarides meant to launch a new career. But when a slip of the tongue brings a Russian KGB mogul down on him, Soc gets more than he planned: a murder suspect who thinks he’s Captain Ahab; a case of cannibalism; a missing artifact; and underwater technology with deadly potential. “The little, grey lady of the sea,” has a dark side and a slip can be fatal.
Off Cape Cod, a tuna buyer is found dead, a harpoon in his chest. The man’s grandfather asks part-time P.I. Aristotle “Soc” Socarides to investigate and Soc needs the money. Soc can’t shake an uneasy feeling, but he is curious. The case soon explodes into an excavation of the bluefin-fishing community. As Soc learns, it is a cutthroat group, where a single tuna’s price tag may inspire evil.
The Mayflower Murder
When a worker is killed at a replica Pilgrim village, suspicion falls on Joe Quint, the man who threatened to destroy Plymouth Rock. The case seems easy until Cape Cod fisherman-diver-detective Aristotle “Soc” Socarides investigates. Soc must face the militant Indian Warrior Society, dive into a mysterious underwater cavern, expose an illegal Native American artifacts trade, and rescue a hostage.
For Aristotle “Soc” Socarides, private investigator, summer on Quanset Beach can be irritating. Still, this is home, and Soc likes it. That is until the day screams shatter Quanset Beach’s calm. A swimmer is killed, his body viciously disfigured. The town panics, and when bodies start coming ashore, there is no time to lose. So much for a quiet summer.
Death in Deep Water
Aristotle “Soc” Socarides has got a business card as unusual as his name: he’s a private investigator, a diver, and a fisherman operating out of Cape Cod. But he’s definitely got the perfect resume when the owners of a marine park desperately need someone to prove that a suspect is innocent of murder—the suspect being Rocky, a ten-ton killer whale who’s the park’s star attraction.
A simple missing-persons case: Find Frederick Walther’s beautiful young daughter. Simple until Leslie Walther’s lover turns up dead. Part-time fisherman—part-time private eye “Soc” Socarides finds Tom Drake had a number of acquaintances, all with reason to want him dead. Soc’s investigation takes him into dangerous waters, but if he makes one wrong move, it could drag him to a cold, wet grave.
Cool Blue Tomb
A 50-million-dollar salvage operation. An expert diver dead at the bottom of the sea. Aristotle “Soc” Socarides, part-time fisherman, part-time PI, is swimming with the sharks. He’s the bait…and blood is beginning to boil to the surface. Snarled in a net of smuggling, treachery, and revenge, he’s finding out that no matter how far down you go, nothing’s harder to salvage than the truth.
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