Novels

Red Bear in the stacks of a Port Townsend, Washington, book store

Purchasing My Novels

Links that redirect to Amazon.com are included in each synopsis found below. Use these links to purchase my novels in paperback or Kindle formats.

The List

Click the link provided in the list to access a synopsis of the novel or simply scroll down the page. Links to excerpts from each novel are included with each synopsis.


The Innocents (Book 1: Myers/Benton Chronicles)


Wave and Whirlwind (Book 2: This replaces previously published Red Bear and Afloat in the Myers/Benton Chronicles)


Pinctada (Book 3: Myers/Benton Chronicles--currently being written)


Daisy (Book 4: Myers/Benton Chronicles--not yet available)


Mobtown (Book 5: Myers/Benton Chronicles--not yet available)


Small Bite of a Big Apple (Book 6: Myers/Benton Chronicles--not yet available)


24 Minutes  (Book 7:  Myers/Benton Chronicles)


Tuscarora


The Helper  


Angel in the Valley (No longer published)


Where Golden Apples Grow (Manuscript only)

The Innocents

Book 1 of the Myers/Benton Chronicles

  

San Francisco Book Review: "As the police chief in a small town, World War II veteran Karl Myers is the prototypical hard-edged cop. His marriage has dissolved; he lives in the brief space between calls--too many that entail the antics of juvenile delinquents, rather than real crime--and reaches for the bourbon bottle more often than is good for him. Not much serious crime goes down in this cookie-cutter rural suburbia, so the brutal murder of a young boy rocks the community. While husbands and wives struggle for perfect outward appearances, inside, two families in this small town are just about to shatter when a brutal murder pulls back the curtains on abuse, battery, and the trauma of a nation.   

 

"The Innocents explores the dark side of the family life of “The Greatest Generation.” This is a murder mystery that is less about “who done it” than about exploring the trauma of a world still reeling from the fallout of World War II. Author Jeff Lee writes with an excellent sense for tension and humanity with such attention to detail that readers can feel the choking claustrophobic lives lead by the wives of war-traumatized veterans. There’s a distinct sense of time in the book, which works much to its overall advantage. 1955 comes to life in this novel in a profound way.   

 

"As a warning to more squeamish readers, there are points of serious brutality in the book, but they are necessary to the plot, rather than gratuitous violence. All the same, this brutality may offend some readers…overall, The Innocents is a highly readable, tension-filled novel that will hold readers through to the very end."

 

To purchase a paperback or Kindle edition, click here:  The Innocents  

To read an excerpt of The Innocents, click here: The Innocents excerpt

One of Beanie's dogs

One of Beanie's dogs

Wave and Whirlwind

Book 2 of the Myers/Benton Chronicles

The title comes from a line in "The Building of the Ship" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:  Build me straight, o worthy master! Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel, that shall laugh at all disaster, and with wave and whirlwind wrestle, a line that is appropriate for the challenges faced by Karl Myers and his son, Bill Benton, in Wave and Whirlwind.


In 1955, Karl Myers heads west to find his long-lost wife, and in the process, he also encounters a prison break, unresolved murders, his wife’s bigamy, a son he never knew, and the place his heart is destined to call home. 


Disillusioned with police work and with life in general, Karl Myers heads west in 1955 in search of his wife, Laura Benton, who was last reported to be living in Port Townsend, Washington. 


In North Dakota during the trip west, serendipity deposits Myers in the midst of a prison break, and he captures an escapee named Mato-sa; fate also reunites Myers with Reginald Rhodes, a marine brother he first met in 1942. Rhodes joins Myers on the trek to PT.


As have others before them, Myers and Rhodes work at the Town Tavern in PT in exchange for a bunk upstairs. In the days that follow, Myers and Rhodes begin to grow roots and relationships in their new town where the US Marshal’s Service has placed Mato-sa in a witness protection situation. Myers becomes immersed in solving murders that have chilling connections to Mato-sa, Laura, and to Mirabelle Charles, a Native American woman with whom Reggie falls in love and marries. 


Myers’ greatest challenges are dealing with Laura’s bigamy—she has married a wealthy Seattle Surgeon—and dealing with the discovery that he and Laura have a seventeen-year-old son: Bill Benton. 


Bill finds PT too confining to deal with the circumstances that arise now that Myers is in town, and with the South Pacific as Bill’s destination, he runs away aboard a sixty-foot yawl accompanied by a bright and beautiful young woman who is desperate to escape the shame of an unwanted pregnancy. 


Myers faces a contrary challenge: realizing and accepting that his world has shrunk to the size of PT, and that the town might not be large enough to accommodate him, his wife and his son.


Wave and Whirlwind is available in paperback and Kindle formats. It is the second book in the Myers/Benton Chronicles and has replaced Red Bear and Afloat in the series.

To purchase a paperback or Kindle edition, click here:  Wave and Whirlwind   

 To read an excerpt of Wave and Whirlwind, click here: Wave and Whirlwind 

Point Wilson Light at Fort Worden near Port Townsend, Washinton

Point Wilson Light at Fort Worden near Port Townsend, Washinton

Pinctada

Book 3 of the Myers/Benton Chronicles (Currently being written)

  

Pinctada margaritifera: Commonly known as the black-lip pearl oyster, the general consensus is that the quality of pearls from this species is the highest out of all pearl oysters; a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Pteriidae, this species is common in tropical, Indo-Pacific, coral reefs. (Wikipedia)

 

Pinctada is a coming-of-age story set in 1956: teenagers Bill Benton and Bambi Macey encounter tumultuous years in French Polynesia that destroy what is left of their adolescent innocence and load the full responsibility of parenthood and basic survival onto their shoulders. 

 

When they land in Tahiti, Bill and Bambi  are befriended by Edward Carlyle, an anthropologist who had been a member of Thor Heyerdahl's expedition to Hiva-Oa in the Marquesas. Carlyle has an ulterior motive—smuggling black pearls to the world market—and believes Bill and Bambi’s yawl, the Ultima Thule, will be the perfect transport for the pearls hidden in sacks of copra. Carlyle enlists Oliana, the elderly niece of the recently deceased Tahitian Chief and famous orator, Teriieroo a Teriierooiterai, to help Bill and Bambi settle into Atuona on the Marquesan island of Hiva Oa, famous as the resting place of Paul Gauguin and as the site where Heyerdahl investigated giant tikis carved by the early Marquesans. 


Carlyle also enlists Matthew Stump, the master of the Picayune, a tramp freighter that services the islands of French Polynesia, to be a partner in his elicit scheme, but Carlyle misjudges Stump, who has designs on Bambi and on being the sole benefactor of the smuggling operation, of which Bill is initially unaware. 


Once the home to a flourishing Marquesan culture, the population and the culture of Hiva-Oa were decimated in the 1800’s by European diseases and stifling religion brought by missionaries, sailors, and fortune hunters. As a result of this and Hiva Oa’s isolation, Billy and Bambi are forced to bring a baby into the world on an island where civilization is held at arms’ length, except for temptations born of greed and desire. Betrayal, death, Pacific storms, and survival provide the tension that drives the story forward to its resolution.  


To read Part 1, The Welcome, click here: Pinctada


SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DIP YOUR TOE INTO PINCTADA BY READING THE FIRST PAGES, YOUR FEEDBACK WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. PLEASE USE THE CONTACT JEFF LEE BYREM SECTION ON THE HOMEPAGE TO SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK.

Pinctada margaritifera

Pinctada margaritifera

24 Minutes

Last Book (#7) in the Myers/Benton Chronicles

  

 24 Minutes examines an elderly man's personal capacity to deal with legacy and relationships juxtaposed with aging and death.  At 77 and on the eve of the 2016 Presidential Election, Bill Benton knows full well that he does not know the meaning of life, but he is determined to live whatever life he may have left as though there are only 24 minutes remaining.  

 

The story is set in and around Lewes, Delaware. First settled in 1631, the sea and Lewes are inseparable because of proximity and because the town’s existence and longevity are due to the pre-eminence of the Delaware pilots that have been navigating shipping in the Delaware Bay and River estuary since before the Revolution. 

 

Like the town, Billy has been intertwined with the sea his entire life, but his life has also been intertwined in relationships with significant women who complicate his attempts to unravel what should be important at the end of one’s life, including understanding his role as a father, and as the richest man in town, understanding how to best apply the power his significant wealth provides. 

 

To purchase a paperback or Kindle edition of 24 Minutes, click here: 24 Minutes

To read an excerpt of 24 Minutes, click here: 24 Minutes excerpt

The Delaware Breakwater Light as seen from Cape Henlopen near Lewes, Delaware

The Delaware Breakwater Light as seen from Cape Henlopen near Lewes, Delaware

The Helper

  

"In the psychological mystery, The Helper, three lives intersect in New York City…good characters and an interesting plotline…an engaging thriller using Native American shamanic traditions."  San Francisco Book Review

 

The Helper is set at the turn of the millennium when a self-appointed angel of death is on a killing spree of NYC street children, and First Nation descendant Martha Beauvais and her grandmother, a Lakota shaman, help David Lacey, a gay, Upper West Side, stay-at-home father deal with a dark and troubled past.

 

When Lacey's partner disregards him one too many times, David embarks on a night of debauchery, which goes awry and leads to a fight for survival on a Chelsea street. Alerted by a vision seen by Martha's grandmother, a shaman of Oglala Lakota descent, she and Martha rescue Lacey and take him to their home in Connecticut, where the grandmother leads him to a non-ordinary world of reality that ultimately reveals the identity of The Helper, as well as the man responsible for Lacey's troubled past. 

 

FOR MATURE READERS   

 

To purchase a paperback or Kindle edition of The Helper, click here: The Helper

To read an excerpt of The Helper, click here: The Helper excerpt

 

The Helper

The Helper

Tuscarora

  

In "Tuscarora," The life of a young man is turned upside down in 1970 when he is implicated in a murder. A wanted man, he escapes to the Appalachian Trail where he spends decades among the high ridges and valleys of the Appalachians as an anonymous exile known only as Walker. Fate ultimately leads him to the valley of the Tuscarora where he reconnects with two women who loved him when he was sixteen. 

 

One has become a cold and calculating Lieutenant Governor who, in 2002, will be running for the Governorship of Pennsylvania, which she sees as a stepping stone to the Presidency in 2008. Her gubernatorial run is under the tutelage of a Machiavellian political operative who is seeking redemption after having been associated with a corrupt President: “I want the White House. I want to feel the power again, power that weighs on one’s shoulders like a shroud of heavy metal. I want to be in a room where a single word sends billions of dollars flowing or mobilizes armies. I want to be in the middle of a media crowd that hovers endlessly with the hope it will hear a single phrase that might make a headline. There is nothing like it, and I want to feel it again.” 

 

The second woman has existed in Walker’s mind as a decades-long dream until he stumbles back into her life, a life rife with the challenges that blue-collar American women must face in their world, one which is still a man’s world in the mountains of Pennsylvania in 2001: “I’m talking about what should happen between two people who tell the world they love each other by being married, and that doesn’t mean going through the motions, pretending you love somebody. I was a fraud. I lived a lie, and I did it because I was scared. It doesn’t justify what I did, but I was scared…scared of being alone, of not being able to make it on my own.” 

 

Love, jealousy, resentment, power and murder are the passions that unfold in the rich tapestry that is “Tuscarora.” 

 

To purchase a paperback or Kindle edition of Tuscarora, click here: Tuscarora 

To read an excerpt of Tuscarora, click here: Tuscarora excerpt

Appalachian valley in Pennsylvania

Appalachian valley in Pennsylvania

Photographs that accompany synopses of The Innocents, Red Bear, and The Helper, above, are the copyrighted property of 123RF Limited, their Contributors or Licensed Partners and are being used with permission under license. These photos may not be copied or downloaded without permission from 123RF Limited.


Photos that  accompany the synopses of Tuscarora and Pinctada, above, are copyright-free pictures published by Pixabay under Creative Commons Public Domain deed CCO.


All other photos are covered by the copyright listed below and cannot be reproduced without the permission of Jeff Lee Novels.