Recognition and Honors for Straight River:

2019 Kindle Book Review (KBR) Awards Semifinalist–Mystery/Thriller

2020 Chanticleer Book Review CLUE Award Finalist–Suspense & Thriller Fiction

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The first book in the Matt Lanier trilogy. Straight River throws professional musician Matt Lanier into the improbable roles of amateur detective and unlikely “superhero” against a powerful and deadly enemy. It’s a mystery-thriller set during the emotional and financial aftermath of the Great Recession.

Straight River Cover

Two mysterious deaths compel Matt Lanier, a professional musician by trade, into a search for the killer. With no superhero skills other than his brilliant musical mind and razor-sharp hearing, Lanier quickly uncovers a land-grab conspiracy that could mean financial ruin or death for thousands of farmers . . . and for himself.

If you’re a fan of unique characters who defy all odds and stand up against powerful, ruthless foes, then you’ll love this story of a musician/hero who marches to a different drummer.

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Straight River is also available at Or click HERE for other eBook and print options.

New in 2020, find the e-book version at:  Link to

For every copy of my books that you buy–print or eBook–I’ll donate $1.00 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern MN. Thanks for your support of a great mentoring organization.

Am I brazen to compare Straight River to these classic debut novels? Judge for yourself. More intriguing lists by other authors can be found at

My pick for five best mystery-thriller debut novels

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