September 27, 2013 – Windsor, ON
After an almost four year absence from bookshelves, Canadian author John Schlarbaum’s entertaining private investigator Steve Cassidy returns to form in Off The Beaten Path. The third novel in this compelling series finds the super sleuth getting entangled in a new mystery during a romantic getaway!
On a relaxing weekend trip, Steve and his girlfriend Dawn board The Tour of True Terror sightseeing bus to discover the City of Dannenberg’s deadly history. The three-hour excursion highlights crimes from the past century, allowing the anxious tourists an up-close look of each murder scene. Final destination: the stately McDowell Mansion, built in 1902 by the most powerful man of his time as the ultimate status symbol. Decades later, it is now known as the site where great-great-grandson Eric McDowell killed his school teacher wife Lucy in cold blood … or, so claims Guide Rodney Dutton, the Retired Detective who worked the case six years earlier.
“The idea came to me following the release of the second novel, When Angels Fail To Fly,” author and private investigator Schlarbaum states. “In that book, as well as in Barry Jones’ Cold Dinner, I had thoroughly explored Steve’s troubled professional and romantic relationship past, establishing what makes this man tick. With this novel, I wanted to showcase what Steve does best: solve cold cases in his own unique way.”
Not one to retreat from a challenge, Steve discovers that the depth of deception involved in this crime will test his skills like no other case has. Unlike the first two novels in which he was a lone wolf-type character, this time Steve has some much needed help to keep him focused on the mystery at hand.
“The great part about writing a series is that you can develop characters over a longer period of time, compared to stand alone novels,” Schlarbaum explains. “The very casual relationship Steve began with a waitress in the last book, blossoms into a full-blown partnership, both at home and when they are occasionally conducting surveillance together on the road. Dawn is funny, smart and given a much bigger role. She is definitely Steve’s better half, allowing him to be, dare I say, happy, which only enhances his outlook on life and his investigative skills.”
Written in the same vein as the series first successful mystery, Barry Jones’ Cold Dinner, Schlarbaum believes readers will embrace the new novel.
“I think this book is the perfect companion piece to the previous novels and will satisfy the loyal fans who’ve been patiently awaiting Steve’s return.”
Brimming with unforgettable characters, Cassidy’s trademark sarcasm and investigative intellect, Off The Beaten Path will leave you twisting in anticipation as its shocking conclusion is methodically revealed.