From 2010 to 2014, I wrote private detective mysteries. I wrote them for a lot of reasons, but the main one was simple: I love reading mysteries. Like everyone else, I loved Chandler, Crumley, and Hammett, and I wanted to do–or try to do–what those guys did so well. So I wrote one. And then another. And another. And another. Honestly, I’m proud of the Eli Sharpe series and Alphabet Land, my stand-alone noir thriller. And I’m grateful to the publishers–Camel Press and 280 Steps respectively–who took a chance on me, just as I’m grateful to any and all who read those books. My four novels haven’t made me rich, but they were challenging to write, and that made me a better writer. My goal has always been to get better.
Which is why I took a long hiatus from publishing: I wanted to work on my craft. Plus, I was burnt out and needed to figure out what I really wanted to do next. So now I’m jumping back into the pool. . .only this time, I’m going a different route: self-publishing a collection of short stories. Using Createspace, which is surprisingly user-friendly, I’m currently in the process of formatting a book of eleven stories tentatively titled All the Different Ways Love Can Feel. My goal is to have this book available in paperback (print-on-demand) and Kindle some time later this summer. If you’re interested, I plan on revealing the book cover soon as well as writing more about the stories in the collection.
Grateful is my word of the day because Split to Splinters (Eli Sharpe #2) is a finalist in the Best P.I. Paperback Original category for the 2016 Shamus Awards.
Bill Pronzini. Ross MacDonald. Harlan Coben. Robert Crais. Dennis Lehane. Michael Connelly. Alison Gaylin. Paul D. Marks. M. Ruth Myers. These are just some of the many previous Shamus Award winners whose work I greatly admire, whose books have entertained, thrilled, challenged, and inspired me. My love of reading is the main reason I started writing, and today, I’m feeling particularly grateful to all the aforementioned novelists for providing the blueprint on how to craft a first-rate mystery. But, perhaps more importantly, I’m grateful to my publisher Camel Press. Thank you Catherine Treadgold for taking a chance on an unknown writer, and thank you Jennifer McCord for the editorial guidance.
I’m also grateful to The Private Eye Writers of America, not only for selecting my book as a finalist, but for staying committed to celebrating, recognizing, and elevating the sometimes maligned P.I. genre. Without PEWA, an organization that I use as a source for book recommendations, I might never have discovered many of my favorite sleuths such as Elvis Cole, Myron Bolitar, and Maggie Sullivan. For that, too, I thank you.
So congratulations to all the nominees this year, and I like forward to meeting everyone in New Orleans at Bouchercon.
With no humans in sight, Eli shifted the car into drive and pulled into a small gravel parking lot situated to the left of the house. There, sitting atop a purple and gold ambulance, sat Leland Leviner, the man who’d made the frantic phone call the night before. The man who was now holding a shotgun.
Got time to kill? Got discretionary income? Like to read mysteries? If you answered yes to all three, then go pick up Ed, Not Eddie (An Eli Sharpe mystery) today. Only $4.95 for Kindle, and $14.95 for a paperback. Oh yeah, Split to Splinters (Eli Sharpe #2) is only .99 on Kindle all through April.
The third installment in the Eli Sharpe series, Ed, Not Eddie is my favorite book I’ve ever written (this month, anyway), so you should go buy it, and if you read it, too, so much the better! And if you review it, well, I’ll simonize your car for you. Nah, not really. Don’t do manual labor. Too old. Too out of shape. Anyhew, here’s what some nice folks have written about my little book:
“With well-developed characters that are colorful and unique, this enjoyable story has a solid plot that flows smoothly and seamlessly from scene to scene, pulling one in as it entertains…. Rich with a well-written story line, vivid descriptions, wit, and smart, snappy dialogue, this intriguing mystery will appeal to readers of many genres and is a welcome addition to any collection.”
—Janna Shay for InD’Tale Magazine
“Ed, Not Eddie is the best written of the Eli Sharpe mysteries. There are strong characters with an intriguing plot. Best of all the narrative flows smoothly. Pages glide by. It has the potential to be a break through book for Everhart…. Eli has become of my favourite 21st century sleuths. Everhart’s series is the best mystery baseball series I have read since the Kate Henry mysteries of the late Alison Gordon.”
—Bill Selnes for Mysteries and More
Exciting news item #1: “Pink Elephant,” an Eli Sharpe mystery, is FREE on Kindle right now, AND it has reached #1 on one of Amazon’s bestseller lists. Please, go download this fast-paced story involving a stuffed pink elephant, drugs, and a bad guy named Mr. Spoon immediately. (Thank you in advance for leaving reviews on Amazon!)
Exciting news item #2: Ed, Not Eddie (Eli Sharpe #3) is out today and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Only $4.95 on Kindle or Nook, $14.95 for paperback. This go round, Eli Sharpe is tasked with figuring out who is sending death threats to a hotshot female knuckleball pitcher in rural Cook, South Carolina. It’s good. I promise. So buy it and read it and review it.
Exciting news item #3: The Kindle version of Split to Splinters (Eli Sharpe #2) is only .99 all throughout the month of April. That’s right: you can get a brilliantly-written, highly-entertaining piece of literature for less than a dollar. AND, if you’ve already purchased the paperback, you can get the Kindle version for FREE! Just get as a gift for someone else who hasn’t read it. Or read it again on a different format. Just get it, pretty please.
Thanks to Jack Magnus at Readers’ Favorite for a five-star review of Ed, Not Eddie.
Here’s the full-text:
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Ed, Not Eddie: An Eli Sharpe Mystery is a private investigator mystery novel written by Max Everhart. Eli’s been called to investigate a series of threatening letters that had been received by Ed Leviner, a collegiate knuckleball pitcher who is being seriously considered by the major leagues. While she doesn’t seem all that concerned about the letters, her father, Leland, is, and Eli is working at his behest. The small town atmosphere of Cook County, South Carolina is a far cry from Eli’s urban haunts in Asheville, North Carolina, his adopted hometown, and the more Eli hears about the entangled relationships between the possible suspects, the more he is convinced that this small town harbors a dangerous person who seems bent on thwarting Ed’s major league career, even if they have to kill her to do it. Major league baseball is a bittersweet memory for the private eye, whose own chances at bat were destroyed by his alcoholism. Eli’s determined to make sure Ed gets her turn.
Max Everhart’s private investigator mystery novel, Ed, Not Eddie: An Eli Sharpe Mystery, is fast-paced, exciting and filled with twists and turns. This is the first Eli Sharpe Mystery that I’ve read; however, the author included enough background information to allow me to enjoy this book on its own. Everhart’s characters are complex and authentic, especially Sharpe and his mentor and friend, Ernest Carpenter, but the author makes each and every character seen in this compelling and gritty story stand out in full relief. The plot is first-rate, and I particularly enjoyed the ongoing references to the fictional private eye Jim Rockford and the classic noir mystery writers. Then there’s Ed, the main star of the entire tale, whose story reads like a psychological thriller; one that I’ll be puzzling over for some time. I had a marvelous time reading this book and intend to catch up with the previous books in the series. Ed, Not Eddie is most highly recommended.
Elena Hartwell, author of the forthcoming mystery ONE DEAD, TWO TO GO, wrote a nice blurb for me. Here it is.
“Max Everhart writes a great story with the twists and turns required for a solid mystery, but the home run in Ed, Not Eddie is his ability to craft dynamite characters. From the wisecracking protagonist Eli Sharpe to the walk-on characters with only a single line, Everhart invents a unique voice for everyone. The small town of Cook, South Carolina, and its division III College, are abuzz with the potentially history-making Ed Leviner. But becoming the first woman to pitch for the majors isn’t the only obstacle dogging Ed (never call her Eddie!). First, she has to live through the big game at the school. Hired to find out if the death threats to Ed are real, Eli soon finds himself embroiled in all the complications of a small town. Sex, drugs, corruption, and baseball make their way into a plot that keeps you guessing. If this is your first foray into the Eli Sharpe mystery series, Ed, Not Eddie will have you scrambling to catch up with books one and two.”
—Elena Hartwell, author of the Eddie Shoes Mystery series
Ed, Not Eddie (Eli Sharpe #3) is now available for pre-order (click here to do so). So in an effort to get you to order a book several months before it will be shipped to you, I’d like to offer a bribe. The first (10) people to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a proof of purchase for Ed, Not Eddie can choose (1) prize from below. This bribe is good until October 31st, so act now.
Keep in mind that if you’ve already purchased all of the above titles, I can still give them away to a person of your choosing. All I would need is an email address where the recipient can redeem the eBook.
Brass tax time, people. I need to sell a few dozen more copies of my books in order to receive my very first royalty check (fingers crossed). So if you’ve read my books and enjoyed them, pick up Ed, Not Eddie as well, and then give your prize to another lucky reader.
Max (struggling novelist/frustrated English instructor/misanthrope/
The editorial suggestions provided by the editor(s) at Camel Press were light, but very beneficial to the mystery in Ed, Not Eddie (Eli Sharpe #3). They pointed out several places where I was making the rookie mistake of “cheating” the reader by completely withholding information in order to “surprise” at the end. Perhaps it’s time I re-read Raymond Chandler’s Ten Commandments for Writing a Detective Novel. Regrettably, I violated commandment number 10, and, to a lesser extent, number 5 as well, but no matter: I fixed it, and now this mystery sings.
But as I was working on these edits, I did think of a question regarding revisions. Writers, when you write your novels/short stories/books do you revise as you go, or completely finish a draft, and then go back and read/revise/edit? Feel free to leave a comment; I’m always curious about others’ writing process.
Just received the initial edits for Ed, Not Eddie (Eli Sharpe #3) from Camel Press. Delving back into this one, I’m re-discovering how much I enjoyed writing tough and resourceful and complex female characters, of which there are two in this mystery: Ed Leviner, the female knuckleball pitcher in peril, and Vivian Vaughn, Sharpe’s long-lost love who is now a TV reporter. I’m also discovering just how much I like Eli Sharpe. He’s a good guy, sarcastic and an on-again, off-again alcoholic, to be sure, but he has a strong moral compass, he is iconoclastic, and he is an excellent detective. I truly hope readers (a lot of them, please!) like Sharpe as much as I do.
“Pink Elephant,” an action-packed short story featuring the always resourceful and quick-witted Eli Sharpe, is available now for only .99 cents on Kindle! Buy it here, and as always, if you like it, write a quick review on Amazon and/or share it on social media.
Description: Former pitcher Darren “Duck” Williams hires ex-ball player/present private detective Eli Sharpe to make a delivery—a stuffed pink elephant to Duck’s daughter. Stuffed with what? Drugs, that’s what, unbeknownst to Eli, and the girl isn’t related to Duck at all. Eli owes Duck bigtime for bailing him out once, or he’d never try to save his ass after being played—taken for a drug mule. The bad guy he’s up against, Mr. Spoon, is one stone cold killer. But Eli always has a card or two up his sleeve. Introducing Eli Sharpe, PI extraordinaire of the Eli Sharpe Mysteries, set in Asheville, NC. Full-length novel adventures include Go Go Gato, Split to Splinters, and the upcoming Ed, Not Eddie.