Genre: Mystery
About the Book

An Art Hardin Mystery

Robert Bailey
M. Evans & Company, Inc.
February 2001
Format: Hardcover. Paperback

Private Detective and retired counterintelligence officer Art Hardin usually stays away from the flashy kind of PI work, paying his bills by doing surveillance, checking up on false disability claims, and the like. So when the senior partner one of the premier legal firms in Grand Rapids approaches Hardin about a job protecting his niece from her soon-to-be ex-husband for a couple of days, Hardin isn’t exactly eager to take on the job—not the least because the niece herself is under house-arrest pending a murder investigation of her former boss…and the sudden disappearance of eleven million dollars.

However, Hardin finds that the fee offered is too great to pass up, and takes on the job of making sure the niece stays alive to answer for the missing money and the murder. Of course, after a hatchet attack, a house burnt down, and a few violent encounters with some crooked cops, Hardin can hardly wait for the assignment to be over.  But when the husband is found murdered, the niece attempts suicide, and Hardin is brought in on a trumped-up warrant for the crime, it’s no longer a case that he’s willing to walk away from—even if he could. It’s just Art Hardin’s luck that when things seem to be bleakest—that’s when they get even bleaker.  Dirty cops, hard-nosed Feds, dastardly attorneys and desperate criminals are just the beginning.  The real adversary comes from out of Art Hardin’s past, and lurks just out of sight.  This remarkably well-crafted story has the trademark qualities of a superior detective mystery: deft plotting, lively dialogue and characters that seem as real as your friends. PRIVATE HEAT is the beginning of a very exciting new series.

It “deserves praise for sheer action and suspense…Bailey has a good sassy sense of humor.”  In this “hard boiled homage…there’s no denying his narrative drive, which keeps the reader moving right along until the last page.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (December 17, 2001)

“First-novelist Bailey delivers a well-constructed, action-packed thriller….  A series to watch.”—Gary Niebuhr, BOOKLIST (January 1 & 15 2002)

“Well-focused episodes…clever plotting, crisp prose, and thrilling action commend this to all collections.”—LIBRARY JOURNAL (March 1, 2002)

“PRIVATE HEAT is Robert Bailey’s first novel and the first in his Art Hardin series. No doubt, Bailey will quickly gather many devoted fans (including myself) with this action-packed, well-crafted thriller. His vivid characters and brilliant sense of humor won me over. I look forward to reading more from this talented new author.”—THE MYSTERY REVIEW (Spring 2002)

A “knockout debut private eye novel…. There are a few classic scenes that would be great for a movie version…. Full of high speed, adrenaline-charged action and vividly drawn characters, Bailey’s classic hard-boiled effort is a real gem, easily a candidate for best first private eye novel of the year honors.”—Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book shop and reviewer for the LANSING STATE JOURNAL

About the Author
Robert E. Bailey

Robert E. Bailey spent half a decade as a corporate security director in the city of Detroit and twenty years as a licensed private investigator. An award-winning combat pistol shot, Bailey returned to his first love, writing, when he was injured on the job and no longer able to work the street. His first novel, Private Heat, an action-packed thriller featuring private investigator Art Hardin, won the Josiah W. Bancroft Award at the Florida First Coast Writer’s Festival in 1998 and was a finalist for the 2003 Shamus Award, given by the Private Eye Writers of America. His second novel, Dying Embers, also featuring Hardin, was a 2004 finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award, Also in January 2007, Mystery Scene magazine named Art Hardin one of its top 100 private eyes.


Sadly, Robert Bailey passed away in 2013. His wife, Linda, and a good writing friend of Bob’s have worked together to complete the edits on his final work, Deja Noir, forthcoming from Ignition Books®.

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