The Frank Nagler Mysteries are the stories of the investigations and life of Ironton. N.J. Detective Frank Nagler.
In response to the many questions from curious readers at recent book show and fairs, (THANKS!!) here is a guide to the five-book Frank Nagler Mystery Series.
They are presented here in the order of Frank’s chronology, from his first case in The Red Hand to the newest story, released in September, Dragony Rising.
Kirkus Reviews: “One of modern fiction’s expertly drawn detectives.”
Thank you Collingswood Book Festival for the wonderful welcome and response.
THE RED HAND: A prequel to the series. Frank Nagler is a rookie cop assigned to a case of a serial killer. He also faces the dire illness of his young wife, Martha, his childhood sweetheart.
“He knew he needed to push the confusion aside, to ask again: What do we know?
This: Six women gone.
Gone could be voluntary.
They were taken.”
5 Stars. Unique and Captivating!
So it’s unusual that this author released the prequel after the first several books in the series had already been published, and since I hadn’t read the others, I certainly enjoyed getting a fresh start with this one. Gotta love the style of Frank Nagler! His personality, dialogue, and inner voice ring true of somebody who grew up in “Joisy.” He is true detective through and through – and I enjoyed how much in depth the scenes were which moved along quite nicely!
Distinguished Favorite in the 2019 Big NYC Book Contest; Second Place winner for mysteries in the 2019 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards; Notable 100 Book in the 2019 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Awards; Distinguished Favorite in the 2020 Independent Press Awards; Nominee in the 2020 TopShelf Book Awards
THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY: The discovery of a dead girl in the Old Iron Bog leads to an investigation of political and business corruption that ensnared Nagler’s companion, Lauren Fox.
“The ancients knew what to do with rain like this, he thought wickedly, squinting into the horizontal blast of water. Conjure an honest man with a ship and spin a parable about the wages of sin. Nagler laughed sourly. And then get out of town. Nagler plowed his car through the treacherous bumper-deep water that filled the downtown streets. Random spotlights, swinging loosely from dangling wires on damaged poles or hanging off ripped roof tops banged with the hollow, doomed echo of cathedral bells at the end of times and flashed a shifting and sinister light on flooded parking lots or intersections rippling with dark water. Store after store was dark, some with boards covering glass windows; others had jagged shards of glass that gleamed menacingly in the fractured light, hanging in dented window frames.”
As I began this book, I could almost hear Humphrey Bogart reading the narrative portions describing the fictional town of Ironton. Frank Nagler is a tough, gritty, and tired detective who has yet another murder to deal with, and a local government that’s reeking with corruption. Throw in a sensitive side and a “foxy” woman, and Nagler’s cynical humor is often laced with memories of happier times. The story is occasionally long with descriptive passages, but the action is fast paced at other times and keeps the reader committed to finding out who the girl in the bog is and who killed her. I look forward to future Nagler tales!
A GAME CALLED DEAD: An internet terrorist turned a video game into a real-lifer game of killing and urban destruction placing Nagler and his friends and the City of Ironton in danger.
A Runner-Up in the Shelf Unbound 2016 Best Indie Book contest.
“How often did you laugh? Nagler wondered, examining the pieces of two lives scattered before him. When did you last sit on the bed and share wine, cookies from home or a joint and tell stories about high school and your first date? Sprawl on the bed eyes closed and lose the world in the music in your earbuds? Ask for help on a history paper, deeply dissect the national political news, campus gossip, bitch about a professor, salute good grades or bemoan bad, celebrate athletic triumphs or dissect defeats; play cards, recall pain and joy; share your bed with your lover, naked and smooth, lick and probe, taste, devour and then lie chest to chest, fulfilled? Never, Nagler thought, did you think of this.”
5 stars. Love Me Some Frank Nagler!
The third book in the series won’t disappoint. Frank Nagler has a serious challenge – he’s the one with the target on his back. He’s not sure why, but “A Game Called Dead” is using the internet to play this game with the seasoned detective in Ironton, N.J. The cruel opening murder scene is only the tip of the iceberg! Well developed and as always, the author keeps you on the edge of the seat!
THE WEIGHT OF LIVING: A search for the family of a young girl found on the cold streets of Ironton leads Nagler to hunt through clues of a 100-year-old murder, clues the raise questions about his modern companions.
“She seemed hollow, the girl did. Breathing, hearing, touching, but absent. Small, dark dots sunk into an ashen blank face, eyes impossibly dull for someone so young, eyes that stared straight ahead at the faded green wall; hard, eyes so hard that did not seem to register the color of the wall, the brown of the tabletop, the lightbulb above her head or the presence of anyone else; eyes lightless, passages not to a dark soul, but to one seemingly hidden or removed; spaces missing life. Eyes not filled with pain, but absence.”
5 Stars. Intense, dark, fascinating!
Early on, I assumed this would be a typical crime thriller – crime, clues, solved! Boy was I wrong! This book was filled with suspenseful subplots. I couldn’t put it down! I didn’t realize this book was a part of a series until I was partially through and am thrilled to say that it makes a great standalone book. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
First Place for Mysteries in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Award contest; Notable 100 Book, Shelf Unbound 2018 Indie Book Awards; Named a Distinguished Favorite, 2018 Independent Press Awards; Distinguished Favorite in the 2018 Big NYC Book Contest; Finalist in the 2019 Book Excellence Awards.
Named A Gold Star Award winner in the 2020 Elite Choice Book Awards
DRAGONY RISING: The new Frank Nagler Mystery. Ironton, N.J. awakes one morning to an explosion that levels part of downtown. It is the opening act by an ancient organization with aims to own the city. The city’s only defenders are Detective Frank Nagler, Lt. Maria Ramirez and city planner Lauren Fox.
“Fear brings pain, my friend. Pain destroys hope. It must be seared away. You must burn away your own pain, Mr. Noiglar. Let this city burn. Only then does your future begin.”
“You don’t believe that, you in fact believe in nothing.” Nagler locked his ankle and stood tall.
“Ah,” McCarroll said with scorn, “What ya believe about it don’t matter when it’s happen’ right in front of ya.”
5 Stars. Exceptionally Well Written Book!
A very well written and highly engaging book that sucked me in right away. The author masterfully crafted a fast paced and very realistic crime story. If you are into crime drama or mysteries, this book is a must! Well done…well done, indeed!
Also available online at Barnes & Noble, but by individual book title.