Tagged: Jonah Borden


Getaway Front Cover 1

Hooray! Today is the day! Superior Getaway is on sale in the Kindle store. Please feel free to share the link, share on facebook, twitter etc.

Happy reading to you all!





I am very excited to let all of you know that my lovely and talented wife is about to release her first music album in more than ten years. If you like some of the music that Jonah Borden listens to, you will like Kari Hilpert. Of course, Jonah has a wide range of tastes. Kari falls into the singer/songwriter category, with a unique, hopeful, inspiring voice. Her songs are deep, often thoughtful, and her whole style is reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Patty Griffin and other singer/songwriter types. Steely Dan, she is not.

Jonah Borden aside, Kari Hilpert is MY favorite musician, by far Smile

There are three free sonMaybe It's Time Covergs available for download here, and three more you can you listen to on her website, here.You can pre-order the album on iTunes here, or on Amazon, here. The actual release date is October 1st. If you pre-order, rather than wait, it will actually help her ratings once it is released.

Go on, get out of here, and go get you some music!

More is here, more is coming…

It breaks my heart to hear from readers, asking if I have any other books, when they have only read one or two!

As of 2014, there are three Superior Mysteries: Justice, Storm and Secrets (written in that order).

Many of you, of course, have read all three, and for that I thank you! The normal message I get from you folks is: “When will #4 be available?”

2014 has been an ADHD year for writing for me. I finished a theological work, started writing a memoir of growing up in Papua New Guinea, started producing an audiobook version of Justice and (drumroll please), outlined TWO MORE Superior Mysteries.

Of course, outlining isn’t writing, but rest assured, there is plenty more to come from Jonah, Leyla and the crew.

In the meantime, please keep telling people about these books, and if you haven’t already, write some reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads. This series is entirely “reader supported.”

Also, if you haven’t already done so, please read the others!


(sound of trumpets, or drums, whatever you prefer):

Superior Secrets Cover Kindle

At long last, here it is folks! Superior Secrets, the third Lake Superior Mystery featuring Jonah Borden, is available on Kindle, starting today! Unfortunately, the print version is not yet ready to go, but we anticipate that happening, as planned, by the first week of December.

In case you didn’t know, you do not have to own a kindle device to get it. You can read a kindle book on any android tablet, ipad or computer. All you need is the free kindle app.

PLEASE… repost!



PLEASE…spread the word!

Click on the picture, or here, to buy it!

In case you are new, here’s the skinny:

It’s wintertime on the North Shore and the snow is thick on the ground. Jonah Borden, the coffee-guzzling, wisecracking, mystery-solving man of the cloth, is about to tie the knot with his sweetheart, Leyla Bennett. But just a few weeks before they do, Leyla decides to go undercover in a new cult to get an exclusive exposé which would make her name as a journalist. However, as time goes on, Borden is worried that her commitment to the troubling new religion and her devotion to its evil, charismatic leader are more than just professional.

When Borden confronts the cult leader, he is turned away and threatened. Meanwhile, mysterious hunting accidents begin happening around the town of Grand Lake. Assisted by his friends, Jonah tries to find a way to get Leyla out. What he uncovers is bigger than any of them had guessed. Now, he’s in a race to save his own life, and those of his friends, before a powerful enemy finds them and destroys them.

Superior Secrets is set amidst the wild beauty of Lake Superior. Featuring a cast of unique, memorable characters, this is part of the Lake Superior Mystery series. None of the books have to be read in order.

Tom Hilpert writes character-driven mysteries with humor and flair. He loves cats, as well as dogs, and is kind to little children. Go to http://www.tomhilpert.com for more information, or “like” his Facebook Author page.



Today, the last free promotion before the debut of my new novel, *Superior Secrets*. If you haven’t already, now is the time to get in on the cornucopia of humor, action and good food that is the *Lake Superior Mystery Series*. Get the first one free today on Amazon Kindle. Re-post, and tell your friends!



Minolta DSC


Thanks for your patience with me as I complete the third Superior Mystery. I’m thrilled to tell you that I am now done with the first draft! Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to do. Editing will take quite some time, and we have to select a cover, and write some marketing materials. But the biggest part of the job is done!
Just because I appreciate you guys (you’re the reason I write) I am giving you a sneak-peak of the first chapter.



Chapter One

I discovered the dead body three days after my fiancée, Leyla Bennett, joined the cult.

At the time, I thought it was a hunting accident. Later of course, I knew what really happened. If I had known it all before, I might have said something different when Leyla proposed that she become a certified, sandal-wearing, vegetable-eating, ohm-chanting member of the Forest Way.


It all started about two weeks after Thanksgiving. Leyla and I were eating lunch at Dylan’s, my favorite waterfront café in Grand Lake. The café was in a strip that looked across the street to the Grand Lake waterfront, which, at this point in the year, was actually an icefront. The name of the place came from the Minnesota North Shore’s favorite son, Robert Zimmerman; better known the world as Bob Dylan. Dylan of course, had spent more time in Hibbing, MN than the Lake Superior Coastline, but it was close enough. More importantly, the café named after him had excellent food and service.

Alex Chan was there too, along with Julie, who was the part time secretary at both the church and Chan’s law office.

“One of you is paying for this,” said Julie, looking first at me, and then Chan. “I don’t care who.”

“She looked at you first,” said Chan, chewing his food and hardly glancing up.

“That’s just because he’s so easy on the eyes,” said Leyla, patting my cheek, and then staring at me with a ridiculous expression of sickly adoration. I slid my eyes at Julie and then returned Leyla’s look.

Julie made an indelicate noise. “You two make me sick. Get a room.”

“We gotta get married first,” I said.

“Yeah, when is that happening again?” asked Chan, taking a drink of coke.

“New Year’s Day,” said Leyla, rearranging her napkin.

Julie looked at me out of narrowed eyes. “You planned it that way just so you’d remember your anniversary, didn’t you?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said blandly, concentrating on a french-fry that I intended to eat.

Leyla laughed. I never got tired of hearing that sound. “Don’t worry, Julie, I know all about him. I’m sure that was part of it. But we also agreed that we loved the idea of starting out new with each new year. And I always wanted a winter wedding by candle-light.”

“Barefoot in the spring,” said Julie firmly.

“That’s so cliché,” I said. “Everyone wants that. We’re doing barefoot in the snow.” For some reason, Leyla kicked Chan under the table. He yelped and spilled a little Coke on the table.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,” said Leyla, putting her hand on Chan’s arm. “I meant to kick Jonah.”

“You ever play soccer?”

“No, but she’s been practicing on me for quite a few months now,” I said. “She’s also got quite a punch. My shoulders are black and blue.”

Everyone watched Leyla while she slowly unclenched her raised left hand, and used it to play with her thick, dark long hair while looking innocently out at the falling snow.

I took a sip of coffee and leaned back. I felt warm and happy inside, enjoying the company of dear friends, my love and good food. The whole world was right.

“I want to join the cult,” said Leyla.


OK folks, I’m looking for feedback here, and I’ll even sweeten the deal.

I’m about 20% in to the next Superior Mystery. My problem is, I don’t have a title yet. So I thought I’d seek a little help from my readers. Below is my *rough* blurb/description of the book. Hopefully, I’ll polish it more before the book is published, but I’ve got to finish writing it first. Read the rough blurb, and what I say about the book after the blurb. Then, give me some title suggestions. The title must begin with “Superior” and I think I’d like to stay with just one other word after that. So your title suggestion should be “Superior [your suggestion]”

If I choose *your* suggestion, I’ll send you a free signed copy of one of my books – whichever one you choose. If you choose the new one, bear in mind, I’m still writing it, so it will be many months before you get your copy. Otherwise, pick Superior Justice or Superior Storm, and I’ll mail you a signed copy.

I’ll announce the winner in my next blog entry, and on my Facebook Author page.

Here’s the blurb:

It’s wintertime on the North Shore, and the snow is thick on the ground. Jonah Borden, the coffee-guzzling, rear-end-kicking, wisecracking, gourmet-cooking man of the cloth, is about to tie the knot with his sweetheart, Leyla Bennett. But before they do, Leyla joins a cult, ostensibly in order to complete an investigative report. Borden is worried: there are signs that her commitment may have become more serious.

When Borden confronts the cult leader, he is rebuffed. Meanwhile, mysterious hunting accidents begin happening around the town of Grand Lake. Assisted by his friends, Jonah tries to find a way to get Leyla out. What he uncovers is bigger than any of them had guessed. Now, he’s in a race to save his own life, and those of his friends, before a powerful enemy snuffs them out.

Some further thoughts: I think this one is going to surprise some people with a twist or two. It’s set in the wintertime.

Okay folks, go to it!



The title of this blog entry was stolen from an essay written by Raymond Chandler, the creator of the iconic hard-boiled private detective, Philip Marlowe. In the 1940’s and ‘50s, Chandler changed the mystery genre in fundamental ways, though in his essay, he suggests that those changes were made by other writers before him. He names Dashiell Hammett (the Maltese Falcon) among a few others, as the real pioneers.

In any case, Chandler’s ideas about the “new” mystery genre remain a guiding light for my Superior Mystery Series. Chandler advocated realism; in my opinion, actually, he advocated a “reality” that was a lot grittier and darker than the real lives that most people live. Even so, he also advocated redemption in the person of the main character:

“But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished, nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor – by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.”

I didn’t read this essay until recently, but I find that I have been writing this way all along.

The Lake Superior Mystery Series stands or falls upon the capable, but human shoulders of Jonah Borden. He is the hero; he is everything Chandler describes above. A few of my negative reviews said he is too good. So be it. He stands in exalted literary company if that is the case.

As Chandler says:

“If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.”

What are your thoughts? Who are your favorite main characters in mystery literature?

What can make a Tough Guy Cry?



With almost forty thousand copies combined of the Superior Mysteries out there, it was only a matter of time, but I’ve started to get a few negative reviews. Not enough to change the overall 4.6/5 Amazon ratings of either book, but, surprisingly, enough to get at me a little bit. I pride myself on my generally thick skin, but when it comes to writing, apparently, I’m as sensitive as a peeled grape.

I find myself wanting to defend certain decisions I made on character and plot. I want to explain what a few readers obviously missed. I want to break down, sobbing like a wuss, and cry out “why don’t you love me?”

I mean shouldn’t everyone love my work – if I’m good enough?

But the truth is, my Superior Novels are mostly for entertainment, and maybe a little bit for art. I can’t think of any form of either one of those that is universally adored by all. For example, there are certain genres of music I just don’t care for. And even within a genre I love, there are certain artists who just don’t do it for me. I bear these people no ill will. I’m certain that they are talented enough to find a sizable audience who does love their stuff. The fact that I don’t care for their music is not an ultimate judgment upon their talent.

I have to learn to accept that I am not the one worldwide exception to all this when it comes to writing.

One thing does puzzle me, however. I rarely finish reading a book I don’t like. Life’s too short. Who reads a book you dislike all the way through, so you can write a negative review?

I did that once, a few years back, and I just have to say, Ed Gorman, I apologize. You’re a fine human being, a talented writer, and I wish you the best in finding your devoted audience.

Free Kindle Give-away: May 2 and 3!

It’s been a while, but today and tomorrow we have another free giveaway: Superior Storm on Kindle. This is a great way to introduce folks to the Superior Series, so please share with all your friends!

Get Superior Storm Today