Larry Darter

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Author Profile

Larry  Darter

Larry Darter is a retired police officer turned crime fiction author. He has written three novels in the Los Angeles based Malone Mystery series. More than twenty years of law enforcement experience uniquely positions Larry to write the style of gritty, realistic mystery/thrillers that crime fiction fans love to read. Having spent the majority of his life as a voracious reader of detective mysteries and police procedurals, Larry is heavily influenced by writers ranging from Raymond Chandler to Robert B. Parker, and Joseph Wambaugh to John Sandford. For more information, please visit or follow Larry on Twitter @larrydarter


Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair (Malone Mystery Novels, #2)

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A gorgeous socialite. A maverick investigator. A deadly connection. When a drop-dead gorgeous socialite with a wad of cash walks into Ben Malone’s office with a sordid tale to tell, he does what any self-respecting private investigator with rent to pay would do – he takes the case. But soon, he realizes he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Book Bubbles from Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair (Malone Mystery Novels, #2)

Where the title came from

At first blush, a crime fiction novel titled "Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair" might leave some scratching his or her head wondering where that came from. Actually, all the titles of the novels in my Malone Mystery series come from lines in Shakespeare's plays. First, as a nod to the genius of The Bard, and secondly because I easily find in his works many great, title-worthy phrases for crime fiction novels. After all, maybe you've never thought about it, but Macbeth is one of the greatest crime fiction stories ever told. Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair is now available as a part of a 2-book set with Come What May at a special price.

Larry  Darter

Foregone Conclusion

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

More than 15 years after the biggest diamond heist in U.S. history, the whereabouts of $68 million worth of the stolen gems remains a mystery. Are they hidden beneath the floorboards of an abandoned building somewhere? Were they sold to Arab princes on the down low? Or are the diamonds in some jewelry store's window the very same ones stolen in 2003, laundered through middlemen until they were clean enough for a legitimate dealer to buy them? Los Angeles PI Ben Malone is good at finding things. Whether it be a missing person, a runaway child, a deadbeat ex-spouse, or hidden assets. The insurance company that swallowed the loss wants to hire Malone to answer those questions. Along with the case, they offer him the promise of a $500,000 bonus if he recovers the diamonds. But, even for Malone, successfully recovering the loot from a 15-year-old heist is no foregone conclusion. Kyle Murray, one of three men responsible for the heist, and the only suspect arrested for the crime did his time without telling anyone what happened to the missing diamonds. Fifteen years later, Murray has been paroled and promptly disappeared, his whereabouts unknown. Malone, lured by the chance at a $50,000 payday, takes the job. But once Malone and his new partner, T. J. O’Sullivan, get to work, it becomes clear that the case is far more challenging, not to mention treacherous than they’d assumed. Not only do they find themselves following a convoluted trail of clues halfway across the globe, but they also discover they aren't the only ones on the trail of Murray and the stolen gems. Along the way, they encounter a shyster lawyer, and his cold-blooded female partner, who quickly demonstrate they will stop at nothing, including murder, to eliminate any competition in the search for the fortune in diamonds.

Book Bubbles from Foregone Conclusion

Contradictions Bring Characters to Life

Even when reading about a corpse, no reader wants to be served a cardboard cutout. The challenge for authors is to help readers think about a character in their minds in a way that they can visualize the character as a person - the way they look as well as recognizable subtle traits that help make a character a little more human. It seems a contradiction to try bringing a character "to life" for the reader when the character is dead. But, seeing a corpse through the eyes and emotions of another character is one way of doing just that.

Tough as Old Boots

Los Angeles private eye Ben Malone is a matter-of-fact guy who doesn't embellish the truth or beat around the bush. He also doesn't engage in false modesty. Some may misinterpret his confidence as conceit. But, that doesn't bother Malone. He doesn't spend much time worrying about what others think of him. Save $2 off the $3.99 cover price when you pre-order Foregone Conclusion before Sept. 11.

Malone is back

If you like high-octane detective thrillers, with deadly villains, and sharp humor, then you will love Foregone Conclusion, the fourth novel in the Malone Private Investigator series. Malone and his Kiwi sidekick T. J. O'Sullivan are on the trail of an ex-con and $68 million worth of rare diamonds stolen is a heist more than 15 years ago. The chase takes them from Los Angeles all the way to O'Sullivans' home, "Land of the Long White Cloud." Available September 4, 2018.

Larry  Darter

Working Title: The Chinese Tiger Ying

This Book Is In Development

The Chinese Tiger Ying

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

The Chinese Tiger Ying is the third novel in the thrilling T. J. O'Sullivan Private Eye Series. If you like clever female sleuths and page-turning action with plenty of twists and turns, then you’ll love this suspense-filled private detective story. Brandi Camargo runs Makana Antiques and Treasures, an upmarket antique shop in Honolulu. She hires T. J. O'Sullivan to track down a rare three-thousand-year-old Chinese artifact worth over half a million dollars that has gone missing from her store. The artifact, called Tiger Ying, is on consignment from Austin Bryce, a private collector of antiquities, and Camargo's most valued client. When Bryce learns of the theft, he shows up at the shop and after castigating Camargo for her negligence, takes back another of his objets d'art, a bronze statue of the deity Quan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy, which Camargo finds most upsetting. Bryce leaves after vowing to return and remove the rest of the items he has entrusted to Camargo on consignment for an upcoming antiquities auction. O'Sullivan starts her investigation looking for a man named Lee Tran who Camargo fingers as the most likely suspect. That turns into a dead end when he's fished out of the Ala Wai Canal with a bullet in him. Back to square one, T. J. turns her attention to the

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from The Chinese Tiger Ying

Where do book ideas come from?

I'm often asked where the ideas for my crime thriller books come from. In the case of this novel, The Chinese Tiger Ying, the idea came from a fascinating news article I happened across recently. The article was about the auction of a real-life, rare, and valuable Chinese cultural artifact called the Tiger Ying. I actually created the plot of the book around the artifact mentioned in the news article. Much like the jewel encrusted falcon in Dashielle Hammet's enduring classic, The Maltese Falcon, the Tiger Ying plays a pivotal role both in the solution of a crime and the unraveling of secrets. Look for The Chinese Tiger Ying in March 2019.

Larry  Darter

Working Title: Honolulu Blues

This Book Is In Development

Honolulu Blues

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Widowed and wealthy Los Angeles socialite Madison Edwards thought she had found her soulmate on an Internet dating site. Madison fell so hard for Dr. Bernard Clemens that she didn't think twice about accepting his invitation to visit him in Honolulu. But, Madison awakes one morning to find Clemens' missing from her bed, and $250,000 worth of her jewelry missing from her hotel room safe. Enter Honolulu private eye T. J. O'Sullivan. After finding that Clemens is as phony as a three dollar bill, T. J. knows finding him won't be easy, especially while trying to stay a step ahead of a gang of murderous Chinese gangsters also looking for him. As the trail winds from Honolulu to Hong Kong, T. J. calls on trusted allies HPD detective Mike Young and her helicopter-flying business partner, Jackie Fitzgerald to help her track down Clemens and recover her client's jewels.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Honolulu Blues

More Than the Sum of Its Parts

My approach in the T. J. O'Sullivan thrillers is that a good detective story should be more than just a series of problems to be solved by the sleuth. From the beginning, the private eye story has sought not only to entertain but to increase the reader's understanding of the world around them. I feel that Raymond Chandler was particularly effective at writing that kind of story. To stay true to that concept I endeavor in this series to create interesting, realistic characters, a compelling plot, plausible dialogue, and believable settings. Take a virtual journey with T. J. and her best friend and sidekick Jackie Fitzergerald in the pursuit of a con man that takes them from the streets of Chinatown in Honolulu, and the white sand beaches of Waikiki, to the exotic, mysterious environs of the Hong Kong, pitting the duo against the members of a ruthless underworld gang. Preorder the eBook now at a special price and save.

Keeping it Real

Like me, I'm sure my fellow crime fiction fans love the thrilling action scenes in a novel most. But, in the interest of realism, parts of the book have to relate how private detectives develop information. Despite television and movie dramas, the work is not just one fistfight, shootout, and car chase after another. In reality, a detective's job is really a lot more mundane and boring than that. In this bubble, T. J. visits a parole officer looking for information on her suspect.

Hawaii as a Novel Setting

More than thirty years ago, I fell in love with Hawaii the first time I visited there. I still remember my first views of Hawaii vividly, entering Pearl Harbor while serving aboard a U. S. Navy ship. To me, Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth. That makes it a perfect setting for a book. Since that first time, I've visited Hawaii more times that I can honestly remember. I use the personal knowledge, and memories acquired over the years in writing the T. J. O'Sullivan series. I try my best to help readers get a real sense of being there as they see the sites of Honolulu through the eyes of T. J., the woman private eye who is the lead character in the series. I'd never wish to shortchange readers by giving them a bunch of lifeless, static descriptions of the sights and sounds of Hawaii. Instead, I want to help them feel they are actually there, to lose themselves in a personal experience of the sights and sounds of what is truly a unique and beautiful place.

A Lonely Widow and Her Wealth are Soon Parted

Remember the simpler times when we read books and didn't fall in love with people on the Internet?

Mare's Nest (T. J. O'Sullivan Series, #1)

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

When Los Angeles P.I. T. J. O'Sullivan is sent to Honolulu by her boss to track down a client's missing daughter, it seems like a simple missing person case. O'Sullivan is excited by the prospect of mixing a little business with some pleasure on the beaches of Waikiki. But the case turns out to be anything but routine. In fact, it becomes a regular mare's nest of extortion, betrayal, and murder. Only after arriving in Hawaii does T. J. learn from the client his daughter didn't actually go missing. Instead, she has been abducted and is being held for ransom. To make matters worse, while T. J. tries to get a lead on the daughter, she has to fend off the sexual advances of her predatory client. The client gets murdered, and T. J. gets framed. Now she must solve at least one murder to prove her own innocence, resolve a criminal conspiracy involving her dead client's own family, and save herself from the clutches of some serious bad guys.

Book Bubbles from Mare's Nest (T. J. O'Sullivan Series, #1)

She wasn’t looking for a knight she was looking fo

"She wasn’t looking for a knight she was looking for a sword." That quote from a mysterious modern-day bard, who prefers to be known to the world simply as Atticus, inspired my creation of the character, T. J. O'Sullivan. Too often, female characters in literature are tediously boring, portrayed as mere supporting actresses in their own stories, fragile, docile creatures dependent on a man for just about everything in life. I'm blessed to have a number of close women friends, and the way women are usually portrayed in books just doesn't square with how my friends truly are. That's where T. J. comes in. She is strong, smart, confident, and tough as old boots. But that doesn't mean she isn't still very much a lady. She is a composite of my close women friends, and the kind of character that I hope young women readers will be able to admire, and possibly aspire to be like.

Why Strong Female Characters in Fiction are Import

I feel that the depiction of strong female characters in fiction can positively influence readers' emotional reactions and attitudes toward women. Strong, independent female characters can in some ways help challenge some of the negative traditional gender-role stereotypes that some readers hold about women. Having grown up as the brother of three sisters and as the father of two daughters, I think there is a real need for strong women and strong female characters. As girls grow up, I feel they need role models who come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. Whether they be fictional or real women, there need to be strong figures for girls to look up to.

Edge-of-your-seat action

This is the first book in a new series featuring T. J. O’Sullivan, who previously was a supporting character in Cold Comfort, the third novel in the Malone Mysteries series. If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat detective thrillers featuring a woman sleuth as the strong female protagonist, you’ll love Mare’s Nest. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Meeting the Client

The first meeting with a client is when a P.I. learns the specifics of the case and the client’s objectives. It's only after the first meeting that investigators can begin doing their job.

Larry  Darter

Working Title: Mare's Nest

This Book Is In Development

Mare's Nest

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

T. J. O'Sullivan is a newly minted private investigator at a small Los Angeles detective agency. When her boss sends her to Honolulu on what seems a routine missing person case, T. J. is thrilled to escape her steady diet of divorce cases and eager to apply her investigative abilities to something a bit more challenging. However, as soon as she arrives in Hawaii, the case turns out to be anything but routine. T. J. finds herself at the center of a real mare's nest of revenge, betrayal, money, and murder. With desperate criminals, the Honolulu police, and even her own client all after her, T. J. has to find a way to save not only her own professional life but her own skin by solving the convoluted case.

Rough-Cut Book Bubbles from Mare's Nest

Sneak peek

T.J. O'Sullivan, Malone's side kick from Cold Comfort, is back in her own series. When Malone sends her to Honolulu on a routine missing person case she expects to combine work with a little beach time. Unfortunately, once she arrives she first learns the client's daughter isn't exactly missing. She has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. Things just go down hill from there for T.J. as she faces her first test as a private investigator.

Cold Comfort (Malone Mystery Novels, #3)

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A knock on the office door of Los Angeles private eye Ben Malone can only mean one thing, a new case. Defense attorney Liz Harper from the Los Angeles law firm Ross & Logan pays Malone a visit with an interesting story to tell. Harper's client, bad-boy actor Zack Sinclair, whose appetites for booze, gambling, and extramarital sex are as out-sized as his ego, has been charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Holly Sutherland, one of Hollywood's biggest and brightest stars. Her client has next to no alibi, and to make matters worse, he is on the hook for a gambling debt of a quarter million bucks. As her sole heir, he had multi-million reasons to kill his wealthy wife. Harper believes her client is innocent, at least of the murder, and she hires Malone to prove it before the case goes to trial. Malone starts investigating. The case quickly gets darker when he uncovers some ugly secrets about the deceased. His search for he truth puts him squarely in the path of a mafioso who tells Malone to drop the case or else. Malone enters into a daring game of cat-and-mouse, a game he might not come out of alive.

Book Bubbles from Cold Comfort (Malone Mystery Novels, #3)

A favor for an old, and very attractive friend and

Sometimes when a PI decides to look into the notorious murder of a Hollywood starlet mostly out of admiration for a client's attractive legs, things can go down hill fast, quick, and in a hurry.

Come What May

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

A spellbinding tale of deceit, dark choices, and murder that reviewers describe as "gripping," ”full of suspense and thrills," and "hard to put down." Inspired by a shocking true story, Come What May, the debut book in the new Malone Mystery series, is a high-stakes thrill ride through the gritty underbelly of the City of Angels. Hollywood Division detective Ben Malone is caught up in a run of bad luck. The worst of it, his unfortunate entanglement in three separate fatal on-duty shootings in less than a year at a time when activists are protesting the use of deadly force by police and provoking riots all over the country. The spate of shootings has his LAPD superiors questioning his judgment. Is he too quick to use deadly force? Relieved from street duty, Malone is sequestered in the RHD Cold Case Homicide Section to keep him under wraps while he undergoes department-mandated psychiatric evaluation. Malone and new partner, Jaime Reyes, come across the files of a cold as ice, 23-year-old unsolved murder case. Convinced the theory pursued by the original investigators, death resulting from a burglary gone sideways, was completely wrong, they embark on an "off-the-books" investigation that creates more problems, especially for Malone. It quickly becomes clear that there are powerful forces at work both inside and outside the LAPD determined to keep the truth behind the murder buried. But even when his own career is placed in jeopardy, Malone is determined to uncover the truth, come what may.

Book Bubbles from Come What May

What gunshot wounds reveal...

In the case of multiple gunshot wounds, a forensic examination of blood spatter, soot deposition, the wound tracks, and an assessment of relative lethality and incapacitation can reveal the possible motive and intent of the murderer.

Inspired by a shocking true story...

Murder is the violent crime that's most likely to be solved, at least according to national statistics. But we've probably all heard of unsolved cold case homicides like the Elizabeth Short murder in 1947. Known posthumously as "the Black Dahlia," Short was found murdered in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. That case has never been solved. What is more remarkable is when a decades-old murder case is solved by the identification and arrest of the perpetrator. When I happened across the true story of such case that also coincidentally occurred in Los Angeles, I immediately knew I wanted to write a novel based on it. What really fascinated me about this particular murder case was that the identity of the murderer was so obvious the case should have been solved almost immediately. But LAPD detectives pursued the wrong theory, and as a result, the case went cold. It remained unsolved for 23 long years before the victim and her family finally got justice.

Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish