Robert Miller


I started teaching in 1970, and for thirty-two years I worked full-time in public high schools. In addition, I accepted part-time assignments in community colleges and in the teacher-credentialing program at San Jose State University. In the early days of my career, most of my high school students were immigrants and there was little information about the Mexican school system available. I enrolled at the University of San Francisco, and the result was my doctoral dissertation-- a description of literacy instruction in Mexico. From 1978 to 1998, I continued to visit some of the twenty-six schools used in the study and at the ten-year mark, I replicated half of the research. In 1998, I redid the entire study. Over the years, I published many articles, some teaching materials, and a couple of books based on my conclusions. In addition, I gave several speeches.

Now that I am retired, I can pursue my real passions which are cooking, drinking wine and writing fiction. Out of this love came Rick Podowski and the Hefty Trio. The five books are filled with descriptions of food and wine. Since by nature I am a researcher, I was forced to visit the twenty-eight wineries in the books and sample as appropriate (and sometimes I sampled more than what was appropriate!). In each case, I talked to the various people at the wineries and learned some wonderful stories about the lure of wine. This has been a great experience.

I decided to take a break from the Rick Podowski series. My children are in their thirties and my cats have taken their place. My latest book is a tribute to my cats and the joy they bring to our lives.

Where to find Robert Miller online

Where to buy in print



Mellow Out--Lessons Learned From Household Cats
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 21,280. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire
Mellow Out--Lessons Learned From Household Cats is a fun read that explores the influence cats have on our lives. The book delves into twenty areas where their behavior provides a calming effect. The broad themes of the book focus on how to take care of ourselves, how to tolerate adversity and how to embrace our emotions
Death of a Foster Child
Series: Rick Podowski and The Hefty Trio. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,090. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Death of a Foster Child focuses on the failed placement of a teenage girl and the brutal murder that occurred after she left the home. Rick Podowski and The Hefty Trio work to find the killer and discover that the foster child was involved with gang members and drugs. The process to become a foster parent and the guilt associated with failing are an integral part of this mystery.
Death In the Science Classroom
Series: Rick Podowski and The Hefty Trio. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,290. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Rick Podowski, the head grievance representative for the teachers' union enters the science lab and finds the body of a teacher hanging by a braided rope from the metal frame of the overhead florescent light fixture. As Rick and the Hefty Trio investigate, they find Dan Longreen's dark secret.
The Winning Certificate
Series: Rick Podowski and The Hefty Trio. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,870. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
After the death of her adopted mother, Sylvia develops an insatiable desire to find her birth mother. She becomes a teenage gang member trapped in a life style of violence and hopelessness. Rick Podowski helps Sylvia through writing poetry and eventually Sylvia is able to leave the gang. She finds her birth mother and becomes an unwilling participant in a plot by her mother's two stepsons.
The Fishy Chips
Series: Rick Podowski and The Hefty Trio. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,480. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
General Zhow in Beijing, China knows that a simple assassination is often the easiest way to eliminate problems. And there are big problems with his operation half a world away in Santa Clara, California where a group of students and college instructors have been recruited to steal the secret chip that is at the heart of the U.S. Military's anti-ballistic missile system.
Murder Before the Bell
Series: Rick Podowski and The Hefty Trio. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,110. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
The administration building at Central High School is set on fire to cover up the death of the principal. When the new principal is charged with the murder, Rick Podowski and the Hefty Trio work to prove their friend's innocence. As the plot thickens, they discover their friend's involvement in illegal activities including prostitution and police corruption.

Robert Miller's tag cloud

adoption    advice about being mellow    advice about life    alfaro family vineyards    amateur detective    amateur detectives    amateur sleuths    beauregard    big basin vineyards    burrell school vineyards    cat lovers    cats    cats and people    cats behavior    cats life    clos la chance winery    coopergarrod    cozy murder mystery    cozy mystery    cozy mystery amateur sleuth    cozy mystery series    fernwood cellars winery    food and wine mystery    food and wine pairings    food mystery    foster care    hallcrest    high school    high tech mystery    humor cats    hunter hill vineyard    irish food and wine pairing    irish food wine pairing    irish recipes and wine pairing    italian food and wine pairing    italian food wine pairing    italian recipes and wine pairing    kathryn kennedy    loma prieta winery    martin ranch    mexican food and wine pairing    mexican food wine pairing    mexican recipes and wine pairing    mja vineyards    muns vineyards    myka cellars    mystery    naumann vineyards    nicholson vineyard winery    odonata wines    pairing wine    pelican ranch winery    pets    poetic cellars    polish food and wine pairing    polish food wine paring    polish recipes and wine pairing    recipes    rexford winery    river run vintners    roudonsmith winery    salamandre    santa cruz mountain vineyard    santa cruz mountain wines    santa cruz mountains wines    school based mystery    school teachers    silver mountain    soquel vineyards    suicide    teachers    travieso    villa del monte winery    windy oaks    wine pairing    woodside vineyards    zayante vineyards   

Smashwords book reviews by Robert Miller

  • The Healy Murders on Aug. 04, 2011

    This is not a book for the faint of heart. There's lots of blood, torture, and killing. It is well written, and although it requires some suspension of belief (like stealing a gun, and then walking out of the police station), it is fast paced and difficult to put down.
  • Catho Darlington--Lessons Learned in the Space Age on Sep. 16, 2011

    I really enjoyed reading this book which is about a time when the kids had to create their own fun. Catho and her friends were always off on some adventure, and the adults just took it in stride. This book is in stark contrast to today's world where parents are afraid to let their kids play, and excitement comes from the computer screen.
  • Windy City Blues on Aug. 23, 2012

    This is a nicely crafted mystery starting with a simple death that lures the reader into a web filled with pay-offs, prostitution and murder. Most of the characters have quirks and that adds to the enjoyment of the novel. Reviewed by Bob Miller, Global eBook judge 2012
  • Maxwell Street Blues on Aug. 23, 2012

    This book is a fast read. The pace is lively and the plot takes enough turns to make it interesting. Some of the characters are overdone, but it's easy to suspend belief and to continue on with the story. Reviewed by Bob Miller Global eBook judge 2012
  • Ice on the Grapevine on Aug. 23, 2012

    This is a well-written, well-developed traditional mystery. The characters are very down to earth and engaging and this is especially true for the main character who is very patient and has lots of flaws. I look forward to learning more about Hunter Rayne as I read the other novels in the series. Reviewed by Bob Miller Global eBook judge 2012
  • River's Bend on Aug. 23, 2012

    This is a great story and the author does a wonderful job of adding a Southern flavor to the mystery. The author also provides an historical narrative about the people who left the South for Mexico and ultimately for Brazil after the Civil War. If you like reading mysteries set in the South, then this book would be an excellent choice. Reviewed by Bob Miller Global eBook judge 2012