Tag Archives: Eli Sharpe mystery series

Ed, Not Eddie (An Eli Sharpe Mystery) Official Release!

ed not eddie

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


Book Giveaway for ED, NOT EDDIE (Eli Sharpe #3)…bribe offered!


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 maxeverhart30@yahoo.com 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/

ED, NOT EDDIE Edits. . .finished!


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.


ED, NOT EDDIE (Eli Sharpe #3) edits. . .

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.


GO GO GATO update AND good websites for agent query letters

It’s almost been one week since my novel was released, and I’m pleased to report that there are (7) five-star and (2) four-star reviews on Amazon. As an obsessive-compulsive personality type, of course, I’ve read every word of those reviews, and I’m grateful and flattered some readers have taken the time. I’m also grateful for any and all who have bought my book and will just ask when you finish it to a) drop a few nice words over on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and b) maybe mention GO GO GATO on social media. Again, for a small press author, word of mouth is crucial, so I apologize if I harp on the review requests. . .

In other news, I finished a final edit on A SUNDAY IN ALPHABET LAND (my gritty crime thriller), and I’m shopping it to agents. Quick word to aspiring authors like myself: take your time when writing the agent query letter and plot synopsis. These are, I’ve learned the hard way, incredibly important. I’ve linked to some excellent articles and websites below that will help in those enterprises. (Thanks to my wife Libby for hunting them up for me and forcing me to read them!).

And finally, I just turned in final grades for the semester, and it is time to go back to work on the Eli Sharpe series. Over the next several months, I will be revising and editing the second Eli Sharpe book, which should be released some time later next year, and I will begin writing the third book in the series. After spending three months writing a pretty dark novel, I’m looking forward to getting to know Eli Sharpe again–his sarcasm, his strong moral compass, and, of course, his keen skills of detection.

Excellent website for sharpening your agent query letter:


Great article on the basics of writing a plot synopsis for agents:






GO GO GATO Book Launch!!!

Finally, the day is here: Go Go Gato is officially available for sale (eBook or trade paperback) on Amazon! To all those who pre-ordered, I say thank you. I worked pretty hard on this book, I’m proud of it, and I sincerely hope everyone enjoys reading it half as much as I enjoyed writing it. And again, if you do read my book and enjoy it, please do me one more favor and write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and well, anywhere else. And then, tell a friend about it. Or an enemy. Or both.

Some more good news: to celebrate my book launch, I am the guest blogger today over at Southern Writer’s Magazine.  I’m honored and grateful they allowed me to write 424 words about how I managed to write and publish my first novel. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t easy.) I’d love for you to click on the link below and read my article and spend some time browsing and/or subscribing to Southern Writer’s Magazine. I read and enjoy it all the time.



I’ll sign off by saying it has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to be a novelist, and now, my dream is coming true.  So thanks again!




A SUNDAY IN ALPHABET LAND, my latest novel

I am 33,000 words into my new crime novel A SUNDAY IN ALPHABET LAND, and I am sneaking up on what I think will make for a killer ending. Similar to my Eli Sharpe books, this one features a “problem-solver” (a.k.a. detective) named the Rook, who is trying very hard to clean up Alphabet Land, a neighborhood that has gone to the dogs since the nuclear plant was decommissioned nine years prior.  Set in a fictitious town in South Carolina, Alphabet Land is blue-collar all the way, a neighborhood that has relied on the plant for employment for the past forty years, and when the novel begins, Alphabet Land is awash in drugs, violence, and crime, all of it controlled by a man named Luke Bump (a.k.a. villain).

This novel takes place during one Sunday, and it is action-packed, gritty, and totally noir.  It has guns and fights and cool, but scary settings where all the action takes place. I’m hoping to have this book finished within the next couple of weeks, and then I plan to submit it to agents before the summer is out. Hopefully, someone will be interested in it.

In the meantime, be on the lookout for the first book in the Eli Sharpe series entitled GO GO GATO. It’ll be released on August 1st. Click on the link below to pre-order.


Or enter my Goodreads giveaway and win a signed copy.




Early Praise for GO GO GATO

Thank you very much to Steve Ulfelder, James L. Thane, Jack Remick, and Paul D. Marks for reading GO GO GATO and providing blurbs. It is always nice when authors you read and respect end up liking your work, too. Check out what they had to say about my debut novel below.

From its hero to its milieu to its eccentric, three-dimensional characters, Max Everhart’s GO GO GATO is a terrific read. The North Carolina minor-league baseball scene feels authentic and beloved, and I was always rooting for protagonist Eli Sharpe. The best news is that this excellent mystery is first in a series. Fans of Harlan Coben will want to check out Max Everhart, a major new talent!

– Steve Ulfelder, Edgar finalist author of WOLVERINE BROS. FREIGHT & STORAGE

GO GO GATO is the debut entry in a promising new series by Max Everhart, and it’s a fast-paced, entertaining tale. Eli Sharpe is a very appealing character who combines just the right amounts of wit, humor, intelligence and courage, and it will be fun to watch him in action as the series continues to grow and develop.

– James L. Thane, author of UNTIL DEATH and NO PLACE TO DIE

A missing person’s case turns deadly. In Go Go Gato, Everhart executes the classic mystery with ease and more than a few twists. All the modular scenes are there—the sleuth’s office, first encounter with the femme fatale, the victim’s lair, digging up the past, witness interviews, suspect interviews, and that essential—the corpse. But we’re not in LA or Boston. We’re not in SF or NYC. Everhart sets this fine novel in Asheville, NC and he breathes new life into an old form with a convoluted plot, detailed characters, and a very flawed detective. Chandler would be proud.

– Jack Remick, author of THE BOOK OF CHANGES

Max Everhart scores a homerun with this first novel in his new Eli Sharpe mystery series. Eli finds much more than he bargained for in his search for a missing baseball player in this fast read, best enjoyed with a glass of George Dickel in hand since that’s Eli’s favorite “poison”. Like a good curveball you won’t see the twist ending coming at you.

– Paul D. Marks, author of the Shamus Award-Winning novel WHITE HEAT


Checklist for Writing a Mystery Novel

One of the many mystery/crime writing blogs I follow is called Writing Mystery is Murder by Elizabeth Spann Craig.  Craig is an accomplished mystery novelist and award-winning blogger, and she always posts incredibly helpful articles about the business of being a writer.  Recently, I was scrolling through the archives of her blog, and I came across a post entitled “Mystery Writing Checklist.” As I was (and am) in the process of outlining my third book in the Eli Sharpe mystery series, I read the article and found still more useful tidbits about preparing a mystery novel to be sent out into the publishing world.  Below are the items I believe are the most important. A link to the entire article is posted below.

Genre: Have you got a clear genre for your book? Thriller, cozy, police procedural, hard boiled? If you can’t identify your genre to an agent or editor, your manuscript won’t go too far.

To add to that, you might want to have a good idea what published authors write in your milieu; both agents and publishers always want to know where your manuscript will fit in the current market.

An Engaging Beginning: Have you started out with a bang? Or have you started out with some messy backstory that no one wants to wade through at the beginning of your book? Make sure you’ve lured your reader in from the very beginning so they’ll want to stick with you.  Think twice before using a prologue or using flashbacks at the beginning of your manuscript.

Personally, I do not like books that begin with prologues, particularly prologues that do not begin with action. Too, and this is just my humble opinion, many times too much of the mystery is given away in a prologue. Start with action, and sprinkle in relevant backstory throughout the narrative.

A Murder that Happens in First 50 pages or so: Don’t wait until you’re half-way through the book for a body to be discovered. Your reader may give up on you.

When I read mysteries, I want someone to get killed, kidnapped, blackmailed, or beaten pretty quickly. (And yes, I know that sounds awful).

Protagonist: This will be your sleuth or police detective. Are they likable people or at least people interesting enough for your readers to want to spend time with? What special talents do they have that make them capable of solving the crime? Are they easy to talk to? Have they spent many years in the police department? What sets them apart?

Of all the elements in a mystery, the protagonist is the most important to me. If the star of the book is interesting, I’m in. Characterization is always the hook for me. Write interesting characters, and interesting situations will follow. And when interesting situations follow, I’ll be reading.

Suspects: Do your suspects all have motive, means, and opportunity? Does their motive make sense and is it believable? Have you given the reader a chance to meet each suspect and learn about them? Have your suspects misdirected your readers and provided some red herrings? Have they lied to the sleuth and the reader? Do they have secrets? Do they have some depth?

Always remember MMO (motive, means, opportunity). And when it comes to suspects, try to avoid cliches.

Clues:  The clues need to be made available to the reader as well as the detective.  You have to be fair with your reader in providing them the clues, but make sure they don’t stand out too obviously in the scene.  If they do, think about pointing the reader’s/detective’s attention in another direction, quickly.  There also needs to be more than one clue–preferably three or more.


Exciting Chapter Endings: Don’t let your reader put down your book and go to sleep. Do you have some exciting chapter endings so they’ll want to go on reading?

When I was rewriting the second book in my Eli Sharpe series, I realized just how important chapter endings were (and are). Think of it like show business: always leave the reader wanting more.

Resolution: Did you catch the bad guys in the end? Did you tie up all the loose ends that you created? Did you explain how the sleuth/police followed the clues?

A professor of mine once said that the ending of a story has to be surprising yet inevitable.  The resolution, by extension, must make sense, and, if you’re writing a series, perhaps you could give a bit of hint about what’s next for the protagonist.

Mystery Writing Checklist