Alex Rutledge Mysteries

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The Mango Opera
The Mango Opera
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Although he prefers magazine work, freelance photographer Alex Rutledge won't turn down an occasional crime scene shoot for the City of Key West Police Department. But when a string of murders takes his viewfinder into strangely familiar territory, Alex's mellow island lifestyle shatters. One after another, someone is killing women who have intimately crossed Alex Rutledge's path. Maybe it's a coincidence. Maybe it's a conspiracy. Or maybe he's crazy. But the connection marks Alex as the prime suspect in a case so hot it's drawn in the county sheriff, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. In a desperate race to save his name and his life, Alex dives into a one-man search for the dark, sweltering truth beneath a case that's pounding toward meltdown.

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Alex Rutledge Mysteries (Volume 1)

Tom Corcoran

St. Martin's Press

Although he prefers magazine work, freelance photographer Alex Rutledge won't turn down an occasional crime scene shoot for the City of Key West Police Department. But when a string of murders...

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Air Dance Iguana
Air Dance Iguana
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Two men, twenty miles apart, are killed in the same strange way on a quiet summer morning in the Florida Keys. Forensic photographer Alex Rutledge finds that he may be the only person interested in pursuing justice, especially when his brother becomes a key suspect.Alex connects the current-day murders to a thirty-year-old scam amidst revenge smoldering since the Nixon years. He races time to thwart a final killing and, if possible, to prove his brother's innocence.Tom Corcoran once again delivers a deftly plotted and gripping mystery with all of the flavor and intrigue that Key West can offer.

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Alex Rutledge Mysteries (Volume 5)

Tom Corcoran

St. Martin's Press

Two men, twenty miles apart, are killed in the same strange way on a quiet summer morning in the Florida Keys. Forensic photographer Alex Rutledge finds that he may be the only person interested...

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Octopus Alibi
Octopus Alibi
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In three previous novels, Tom Corcoran established himself as a shrewd observer of Key West’s eccentricities and landscape. In Octopus Alibi, he delivers Alex Rutledge to labyrinths of the past, agendas of power, and greed that jumps generations.

The suspected murder of a long-missing woman, the death of an elderly mentor, and the suicide of Key West’s popular mayor are revealed a single April day. Rutledge, a freelance photographer with part-time forensic ties to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and the KWPD, must accompany fishing guide and friend Sam Wheeler to identify a body in Broward County. Hours later, back on the island, a Key West detective coerces Alex into documenting Mayor Gomez’s demise. Rutledge also learns he must administrate the estate of Naomi Douglas, the woman who encouraged his creative photography.

Rutledge soon suspects that nothing is as it appears. The police choose not to see crimes. Only Rutledge senses foul play on the island, a linking of deaths, and the threat of more peril.

Home-front troubles compound the dilemma. Teresa Barga, Alex’s new housemate, is absorbed by the arrival in town of Whitney Randolph, a college friend with cash, wild stories, bent morals, and more alibis than an octopus has suckers. Randolph, it appears, has already slithered into the unfolding suspense, linking himself to scam victims and murder victims.

Rutledge must ignore a relationship gone sour, then focus on wisps of clues to connect the past and present. Friends act out of character, officials become duplicitous, and threats of violence take Alex to the most dangerous confrontation of his life.

Filled with edgy characters and insights to island existence, the tight plot of Octopus Alibi promises Tom Corcoran’s most unforgettable tale of the hot, crazy tropics.

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Alex Rutledge Mysteries (Volume 4)

Tom Corcoran

St. Martin's Press

In three previous novels, Tom Corcoran established himself as a shrewd observer of Key West’s eccentricities and landscape. In Octopus Alibi, he delivers Alex Rutledge to labyrinths...

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Bone Island Mambo
Bone Island Mambo
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A pleasant Key West Sunday in January turns into a tropical nightmare.

It's early. The tourists are still asleep. Freelance and part-time crime photographer Alex Rutledge bicycles near-vacant streets, taking pictures for his own enjoyment. But he's challenged at a restoration district construction site, accused by a developer of snapping photos for an expose.

An hour later, the city police request Rutledge's forensic photo expertise. A murder victim has been found - at the same work site. Detective Dexter Hayes, Jr., is caustic and inept, and Rutledge is dismissed before he completes his work. An hour later, the county sheriff, Chicken Neck Liska, asks Alex to photograph another murder victim, this time on nearby Stock Island.

Rutledge soon suspects that the murders are linked - illogically, through him. He can't divulge the link to his lover, Teresa Barga, for fear of compromising her police media liaison job. Alex questions the detective's blundering, while the cops begin to link him to the crimes. A powerful real estate broker offers Rutledge an odd, lucrative job. Friends are threatened. He and Teresa dodge gunshots. Yet there is no identifiable antagonist, no motive, no reason for Rutledge to be a hub for evil. To protect himself and his friends, to avoid arrest - unsuccessfully, at first - he must scratch for information on an island where few tell the truth.

At the core of Bone Island Mambo is betrayal, retribution, and revenge. The plot twists in surprising directions, and Corcoran's characters are true characters, never as laid-back as they first appear. Visit Key West, and hang on for dear life.

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Alex Rutledge Mysteries (Volume 3)

Tom Corcoran

St. Martin's Press

A pleasant Key West Sunday in January turns into a tropical nightmare. It's early. The tourists are still asleep. Freelance and part-time crime photographer Alex Rutledge bicycles near-vacant...

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Gumbo Limbo
Gumbo Limbo
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Alex Rutledge, freelance and part-time Key West crime scene photographer, awakes to his first day off in months. Late August, the off-season, the dog days. Everything's okay until his phone rings. His old navy buddy, Zack Cahill, now a successful Chicago banker, is in town and, at 8:00 a.m., drunk in Sloppy Joe's. Zack demands that Rutledge join him for a celebratory beer. When Alex arrives at the bar, eight minutes later, Cahill is gone.

The day continues downhill. A high-noon murder in the tourist district, the ransacked apartment of a local bartender, and the chance encounter of Abby Womack, Cahill's ex-mistress, combine to convince Alex that Zach Cahill's disappearance may be linked to all of these events. An overnight fire and a drive-by shooting the next morning amplify the strangeness and danger.

By calling in favors from a crew of Key West characters, stepping aside of law enforcement, and traveling to New Orleans in an attempt to help his friend, Rutledge will fall deep into a mysterious range war, a fight for the profits from a twenty-year-old smuggling deal.

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Alex Rutledge Mysteries (Volume 2)

Tom Corcoran

St. Martin's Press

Alex Rutledge, freelance and part-time Key West crime scene photographer, awakes to his first day off in months. Late August, the off-season, the dog days. Everything's okay until his phone rings....

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