Wednesday 18 August 2021



Synopsis/blurb ....

Two thrilling detective novellas in one exciting volume!

In Frank Zafiro's Hallmarks of the Job, Meticulous private investigator Stanley Melvin likes to keep his work grounded in reality, not at all like the classic detective novels he has read incessantly since childhood. But his best friend and annoying neighbor Rudy quickly points out that his routine "cheater" case is rapidly taking on all of the features that Stanley steadfastly insists are mere fictional tropes of the genre.

In Michael Bracken's Aloha Boys, Private investigator Morris Ronald “Moe Ron” Boyette is still adjusting to his new digs above Millie’s Tattoos and Piercings when a homeless woman hires him to find her missing half-brother. Searching for the young man sends Boyette through the depraved underbelly of the local university, reunites him with a mob boss best left in his past, and leads him to question everything he thought he knew about families.


Each installment of the P.I. Tales Double Feature series consists of two lightning-fast detective mystery novellas, some featuring beloved P.I. Tales series characters, others operating as standalone stories featuring new protagonists. The goal of the series is to combine the elements of a long-form mystery with the speed and precision of short-form narratives. Every Double Feature volume contains two independent stories that can each be read in one sitting without skimping on the essential elements of mystery and suspense that discerning readers adore!

This PI double feature gave me the opportunity for a quick catch up with a favourite author and a chance to get acquainted with someone who I've been meaning to read for a while now. Win - Win!

Frank Zafiro - Hallmarks of the Job was a light read with a slightly quirky, awkward PI with some definite OCD tendencies. I think the author had some fun working through the stereotypical tropes generally attributed to PIs and their case work. The case in itself is a cliche. A husband wants a man to follow his wife. He believes said wife is sleeping around and wants our man, Stanley Melvin to get the goods on her.

Stanley gets the job done eventually, but not without a few incidents and mishaps. Friend Rudy is there to pick him up and dust him off at the end of each exhausting day as Stanley works the case.

Enjoyable, entertaining, humorous, satisfying - yes. Memorable - maybe not. Time will tell whether I can recall it in a few months or a year's time.

Michael Bracken - Aloha Boys was slightly grittier in content. 'Moe Ron' Boyette helps out a homeless women search for her missing half brother. 

University, a frat-boy clique with something to offer and plenty to hide, customers, victims, a scared missing man, an unhelpful professor, a possible romance, a tattoo parlour and some hefty back-up and some overlap into OC territorys. It's quite a busy little story which came together nicely. More than one thing was going on and 'Moe Ron' with help gets the job done.

Another breezy, satisfying story which I ripped through in under an hour.

Overall - a decent hour and a half's reading and a good time was had. 

4 from 5 

Read - August, 2021

Published - 2021

Page count - 91

Source - review copy from one of the authors

Format - Kindle


  1. I really like that idea of pairing two authors like that, Col. As you say, it's a chance to get acquainted with a new author, and 'say hello' to an author whose work you already like. And the stories sound engaging, too, and a solid fit for each other. Glad you enjoyed them.

    1. It's a cracking concept Margot. And I do love some PI fiction.

  2. Zafiro is good. Bracken I don’t know, but I will look correct that.

    1. Elgin, I want to dig a bit deeper into his work. Pretty sure I picked something up of his, though I can't remember what! My memory isn't as sharp as it used to be I'm afraid.