Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Brookins was a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has reviewed mystery fiction for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and for Mystery Scene Magazine. His reviews now appear on his own web site, on more than a dozen blogs and on several Internet review sites, Brookins is an avid recreational sailor and has sailed in many locations across the world. He is a member of Sisters in Crime, and Private Eye Writers of America. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave. He writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney, the Sean Sean private investigator detective series, and the Jack Marston academic series. He lives with his wife Jean of many years, in Roseville, Minnesota.
Where to find Carl Brookins online
Where to buy in print
The Case of the Deceiving Don
Private Investigator Sean Sean arrives at his quiet suburban home late on a summer afternoon and finds a blown up wheelchair, a body and several squad cars scattered across the street. He knows something’s gotten seriously out of hand. He’d been planning to put his red Keds up on a footstool and have a cool beer after a long boring surveillance, but fate has other plans that might be deadly.
The Inside Passage
Murder, love, loss, adventure on the high seas, and struggles for redemption mark Michael Tanner's journey.
A short story about a short detective, Sean NMI Sean, and his adventure chasing a drug-smuggling murderer through the horse barn at the great Minnesota State Fair.
The Case of the Stolen Case
Flipping! Foreclosures! Construction scams! Diminutive detective Sean NMI Sean takes on a roving band of thieves and murderers who come to town hoping to cash in on a variety of real estate scams. With tongue in cheek and gat in hand Sean is up to the task.
Mary Whitney and Tanner embark on a romantic sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands. During a quick swim off their chartered boat, Tanner finds three hundred dollar bills. Contact with the authorities leads to murder and a tense search for millions of missing dollars. Tanner is kidnapped, sending Mary on a frantic quest to save both Tanner and herself.
Daddy's Little Girl
College administrator Jack Marston (BLOODY HALLS) gets more than he bargained for when he responds to entreaties from a student's father. Upon entering the woman's apartment, he finds a distraught man and a dead body sprawled on the floor.
Winthrop was never meant to live ashore. When the barmaid he was seeing flirted with another guy there was a small dustup over her attentions. win knew if he didn't get to sea, at least for a while, he'd be in trouble. So he sailed off onto the Inside Passage alone, never dreaming this night would never end.
The Case of the Great Train Robbery
Diminutive P.I. Sean Sean is attacked in a suburban back yard when he unearths an old stash of cash and a weapon. Trying to discover the source of the money, Sean is led on a dangerous trail of conspiracy, corruption and long-delayed justice. Loosely based on a ninety-year-old Railway Express train heist in South Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Carl Brookins’s tag cloud
Smashwords book reviews by Carl Brookins
- Motherly Love
on June 23, 2010
Crisply written, this gem of a story would make a great mother's day gift, especially for those of us who are sure there are a lot of unanswered questions about our universe!
- Danger in Deer Ridge
on Sep. 24, 2011
I liked this novel a lot. Sure, there's a big fat coincidence early on, but these things happen in real life, so why not in our fiction as well. After enduring a really nasty abusive relationship with her husband for far too long, Elizabeth moves out with her son and goes deep underground. Readers will experience her terror at making a mistake and being found. And there's more at stake than "just" the lives of her son and herself. A nice job of building both a positive relationship and Elizabeth's growing apprehension as her husband draws closer.
- Pun-ishing Tales: The Stuff That Groans Are Made On
on Nov. 09, 2011
I don't do puns. I don't even like them all that much, especially when they appear in book titles. I was provoked, or challenged to read this one by the author. So I did.
Have you read Aesop's Fables? This volume is sort of like that, although maybe without quite as much depth or significance. It's a group of short or very short stories, many involved with crimes, including the crime of punning. I laughed as some, groaned at others. There are good puns and not so good puns or plays on words here. It's fun and worth every penny.
- Fatal Catch
on Aug. 11, 2012
In 1963, a ten—year-old girl named Missy Canfield, the narrator of this interesting tale, is confronted by one of the worst calamities imaginable. Her beloved father, Daniel, has been killed in an automobile crash. She is living in a small community somewhere in the central part of the United States. It doesn’t matter exactly where. It is universal small town America and the family is solidly rooted in all that implies, including a very marginal income. The children wear hand-me-downs, Missy’s surviving parent is a woman of questionable moral virtues, yet she works hard, clearly loves her children and struggles to meet her obligations to her family.
Wise beyond her years, readers will quickly become enamored of this child and her siblings. Her observations of the parade of “uncles” who take up temporary residence in the family, her “take” on ordinary family gatherings, by turns trenchant and naïve, propel the story forward in a way that almost requires we continue to read. A sense of foreboding permeates the atmosphere almost from the very first page and that foreboding grows.
Yes, there is murder, yes there is domestic violence, and menace toward the children and yet through adroit maneuvering there is a sense that the family will persevere. This novel is amazingly middle American in almost every sense. For all its occasional shifty flaws, the narrator is so endearing most readers will come away saying, she got it right. That’s really the way it was in those times. That’s who we were. There is not much more a writer can ask.