SJ Slagle


I'm the proud honoree of the 2018 B.R.A.G. Medallion for excellence in historical fiction. My book, London Spies, is the first of a trilogy about a young woman in military intelligence in WWII.

I am an unabashed lover of mysteries. Sue Grafton, Sherlock Holmes, Lawrence Block, Walter Mosley, JA Jance and Tony Hillerman are just a few authors who have tantalized my imagination over the years and I reread their work whenever I need stimulation. And instruction. A writer goes to the master to learn that certain turn of phrase, a unique POV or how to kickstart the story reverberating in your head.

I grew up in Illinois, moved to Arizona and, after college, toured some of the world including Puerto Rico, Florida and the Virgin Islands. I've traveled throughout my lifetime giving setting and tone new twists as my horizons expanded. My work as a teacher in Language Arts and video production have proven time and again to be superb launching pads for my writing.

I write mysteries and historical fiction as SJ Slagle and western romances as Jeanne Harrell. My sister and I started writing children's books long ago and those are published under both our names: Sinda Cheri Floyd. The stories we write are loosely based on our collective experiences during childhood.

Enjoy my books and happy reading!

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your book?
I'm a huge fan of mystery writers such as Sue Grafton and Tony Hillerman. In developing my own style, I wanted to use much familiarity with this novel and a first person point of view. So… The book is set in Reno, Nevada where I live and the plot involves a mystery at the local art museum that I know and love. The main characters of Lucy and Cindy are based on my best friend and me, with her dog as role model for Baskerville. A few of the crazy antics we've gotten into have resurfaced as fodder in the plot. It's a lot of fun to write a novel with composites of people you know as the protagonists. But it's a whole lot of hard work to write a mystery with all those story threads to cast out and weave into a good story. See what you think and happy reading!
Read more of this interview.


Phyllis Bowden
A three book series about the wartime experiences of Phyllis Bowden, secretary for the War Department in London, Oslo and Washington, D.C. Based on true events.
London Spies
Price: $2.99 USD.
Sherlock and Me
This series of books is about amateur sleuth Lucy James and her trials and tribulations towards becoming a private investigator. The setting is Reno, Nevada, her mentor is Sherlock Holmes and her helpmates are friend Cindy and trusty dog Baskerville.


Book Tour Madness
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 62,180. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
Jaynie Floyd, a mystery writer, has a book on the New York Times bestseller list. Her agent wants her on a book tour to promote it, but Jaynie is newly widowed and hesitates. Once she goes all hell breaks loose. An author on the tour is murdered and her instincts as a mystery writer are called into action. Her curiosity puts Jaynie into danger. Bodies pile up as she gets closer to the truth.
The Case of the Pink Carbuncle (a Sherlock and Me Mystery)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,960. Language: English. Published: August 16, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
The fifth novel in the Sherlock and Me series has sleuth Lucy James running for her life in foreign locations. When an elderly woman dies, her precious pink diamond called the Pink Carbuncle disappears. Lucy goes to find it in Spain and Morocco.
The Case of Billy's Missing Gun (Sherlock and Me Mystery)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,990. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Reno sleuth Lucy James is hired to find the Colt pistol once belonging to Billy the Kid. Hampered by dishonest experts, a pawnshop murder and a massive snowstorm, her investigation falters. Then there's her father's abrupt firing from a local kids' show and the Christmas marriage of her best friend. Mystery and murder are never easy.
Oslo Spies
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,340. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Jewish
Norway is a destroyed country at the end of World War II. Enter Phyllis Bowden, a young woman in military intelligence, assigned to the American Embassy after the Germans have retreated. Her already difficult job is complicated by the appearance of a runaway child and the disappearance of her fiancé, an Mi5 agent, putting Phyllis in the worst struggle of her young life and career.
London Spies
Series: Phyllis Bowden. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,640. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Phyllis Bowden, an American in London during WWII, is catapulted into the limelight when the Military Attache at the Embassy is arrested for espionage. With everyone under suspicion, Phyllis' questions are her entrance into the shadowy underbelly of diplomacy. Bombs are still falling on the devastated city where she discovers saboteurs, black-out balls, pink gin and no safe passage.
The Reunion
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,380. Language: English. Published: April 15, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Murder at his high school reunion. David Wilson is a popular teacher with a dark secret from high school. Suddenly, the police are looking his way. But what really happened? His wife, Lisa, decides to ask a few questions which leads her into unimaginable danger. Hunting for the truth puts David and Lisa in way over their heads.
Sherlock and Me: The Case of the Ghost Horse
Series: Sherlock and Me. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 40,980. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Danger stalks Lucy James, brand new PI. A ghost horse. A missing truck driver. She tackles both cases set in Reno, Nevada and Pyramid Lake on the Paiute Indian Reservation. The horse belongs to a special needs child and must be found for the boy's therapy. Indian mythology swirl around the case. The missing trucker's fiancé is a former lady-of-the-evening who desperately wants a new life.
Sherlock and Me (The Case of the Feathered Snitch)
Series: Sherlock and Me. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,840. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
Puzzles are magnets for Lucy James. Movie theater manager by day, amateur sleuth by night. The parrot she's babysitting shrieks in French leading Lucy to a mysterious diary and an elderly man with a secret from WWII. Trouble stirs when a friend's dog disappears and her detective internship sours. With help from trusty dog, Lucy picks her way through the labyrinth of confusion.
Sherlock and Me (The Case of the Starry Night)
Series: Sherlock and Me. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 46,400. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Lucy James can't seem to finish college, but she's good at figuring at puzzles. A big one drops right in her lap. Something's wrong at the local art museum and with her best friend and trusty dog, she attempts to find out what. With help from her mentor, Sherlock Holmes, Lucy weaves her way though a complicated maze of danger and deceit. But will her meddling bring trouble to them all?

SJ Slagle's favorite authors on Smashwords