The central character in all the mysteries is Hardy Durkin, a twenty-seven-year old American with dual US and German citizenship, who is a hiking tour outfitter specializing in European treks. Considerable attention is paid to the history, culture, cuisine and character of the milieu and its inhabitants. Hopefully, the novels provide a sensory experience of the region to the reader. If I had to categorize the books I would call them cozy travel mysteries.

In Corsican Justice Hardy is visiting Corsica for the first time to explore the possibility of arranging a hiking tour for segments of Corsica’s infamous hiking trail, the GR20. He also seeks some closure for the fact that his father was killed in a highway accident on the island several years earlier. When Hardy learns his father was actually murdered his world is shaken; he seeks the truth amid arms smuggling, Russian mobsters, and judicial corruption. Corsican Justice encompasses justice on several levels, with an understanding of the Corsican vendetta as the core of the island’s justice system that goes back centuries.
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In my second book, Abruzzo Intrigue, Hardy Durkin leads a hiking tour into Italy’s Abruzzo region where they experience the area’s culture, food, and history. There is a good deal of exposure to the region’s religious and spiritual past, and one of the tour group members struggles with an odyssey of the soul that ends in redemption. Some of the cast of characters are who they seem to be, but most aren’t. A member of the group, a grieving widower, plans to steal one of the Vatican’s most precious religious relics, The First Eucharistic Miracle, from the Church of San Francesco in Lanciano. The book is a collision of values and traditions while hiking through the oft overlooked beauty of ancient Abruzzo.
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Hardy and company are visiting the Black Forest area of Germany, staying in the guest wing of a local castle, Schloss Haeflin. In the midst of hiking the Black Forest, enjoying all things Swabian, and spending a day in Baden-Baden, the hikers find themselves at ground zero for coeds disappearing from the nearby University of Freiburg and foul play is suspected. Unresolved personal issues of several members of the group threaten the tour’s cohesion, and Hardy discovers the Baron who owns the schloss has stolen someone’s identity as well as his fortune. Ever the sleuth, Hardy untangles the web of deceit, madness, and murder in The Black Forest Reckoning.
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Hardy Durkin is working outside the box of travel outfitting when he heads to the Balkans on a surveillance assignment for the French Foreign Legion under the guise of sailing the Adriatic for some R & R. The mission becomes a rescue operation when he is joined by Colonel Alain Clotiers to find and save a fellow Legionnaire who has gone missing. Hardy becomes entangled in the dark world of sex trafficking, drug smuggling, and illegal arms sales while trying to find the killer of a Roma beauty in Dalmatian Traffick.
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