A sampling of the acclaim for Lee Goldberg’s books…
Praise for “Dream Town”
“An exceedingly fun and thrilling novel Dream Town is the perfect continuation of the Eve Ronin series — an equal mix of Hollywood theatrics, personal/family drama, criminal mayhem and investigative prowess”
Best Thriller Books
“Old bones, paparazzi, rappers, sex tapes, the whole nine yards—topped off with a surprisingly Big Reveal”
“Goldberg has created a terrific character in Eve Ronin, and he knows how to write a fast-paced thriller mixed with humor and inside jokes with no fluff. Like Michael Connelly, Goldberg also utilizes the Los Angeles landscape effectively.”
Praise for “Calico”
“Calico is alluring and entrancing. Extraordinarily thought-provoking and riveting. Memorable and mind bending. Something exceedingly different from the typical thriller. Vivid, immersive and endlessly fascinating, Lee Goldberg has crafted a tale that is as engrossing and inventive as anything you’ll read this year. A creative novel that you won’t be able to stop thinking about for a long time.”
Best Thriller Books
“Calico is an audacious thriller which probably should not work, but it does thanks to a bravura performance from author Goldberg and a straight-shooting, stand-up-gal heroine. Goldberg steers his plot with care, maintaining a perfect sense of intrigue and suspense throughout. There [is] a leavening of wry humour and some genuinely heart-warming touches, plus a great sting in the tail”
“Expands the boundaries of the police procedural in rip-roaring ways. If you have time for only one mystery, one Western, and one SF this year, this will ding all three targets.”
“Goldberg serves up impeccably crafted entertainment.”
The Times (London)
“A cleverly complex plot wreathed in Goldberg’s brilliant humour makes this a rocket-paced story. This novel, where wryly amusing moments abound, comes highly recommended.”
Historical Novel Society (Editor’s Choice)
“Goldberg delivers something altogether new, radical and exciting for his readers. Calico is a very clever crime-fiction novel authored by an absolute pro. Highly recommended.”
“Goldberg’s plots are always first-rate, but this one is especially suspenseful and surprising.”
“Goldberg has crafted is a page-turning novel that has surprises up to the final page. Calico is arguably one of his best.”
” Goldberg interweaves two storylines into a remarkably unconventional crime novel that is warm, thrilling, and fun to read.”
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
“This is an enthralling book. Goldberg’s puzzle is well-paced, his sense of time and place is pitch perfect and his characters are terrific. Calico is such a well told tale that it deserves to find a huge audience.”
Live & Deadly
Praise for “Malibu Burning”
“Goldberg is a master of his craft, creating vibrant characters brought to life through Eric Conger’s voice-acting talents. A nail-biting thriller that will have listeners on the edge of their seat”
—Library Journal STARRED review (audiobook)
“The heist mystery is having a resurgence, and among the leaders of this venerable subgenre is Lee Goldberg. The prolific Goldberg melds the heist with the procedural into a solid plot with fully realized characters in the highly entertaining Malibu Burning.”
“A master thief with a conscience? Only from the pen of Lee Goldberg, a virtuoso of crime fiction who knows how to keep the pages turning. This fiery tale of revenge against powerful Malibu homeowners is the background of what, if it’s successful, will be the biggest heist in U.S. history.”
“Lee Goldberg writes a scorching hot thriller that delivers on all the heat. Fast paced, the plot moves relentlessly to an unexpected climax”
“If Malibu Burning was a wine, we’d describe it as rich and full-bodied, with tasty top notes of humor and light-heartedness, a robust blend of experience infused with enormous heart”
The Thriller Zone
“Both fans and newcomers to Goldberg’s work will enjoy the fast-moving, at times terrifying, tale and its close look at firefighting and arson-investigation techniques. A bonus is the companion buddy story featuring likable new police-procedural partners and their unusual focus.”
“A fast-paced, over-the-top caper that entertains while keeping readers guessing.”
Library Journal STARRED Review
“Goldberg’s well-drawn characters will keep readers rooting for both crooks and cops, and he hangs everyone’s fates on a clever, complicated con. The result is as explosive as a wildfire.”
“Goldberg returns to the wildfire he memorably chronicled in Lost Hills (2020) from a strikingly new angle….A businesslike thriller that shows how rewarding it can be to revisit the same story from a new point of view.”
“Given a timely sense of authenticity with respect to the fires currently plaguing Southern California, Malibu Burning by Lee Goldberg will have a special appeal to fans of police procedure mystery thrillers. Original and compelling from first page to last, Malibu Burning is highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.”
Midwest Book Review
Praise for “Movieland”
“The fourth book in Lee Goldberg’s series is his most ambitious and best realized yet…Movieland is crime-writing of the highest order. Goldberg’s style touches on both Michael Connelly and Robert Crais, in whose company he now squarely belongs.”
“Movieland, Lee Goldberg’s fourth novel featuring Ronin, is every bit as good as the first three. The characters, including victims, suspects, and an assortment of lazy, hardworking, honest and corrupt cops, are quirky and well developed. The depiction of police procedures feels authentic. The writing is vivid and precise. And with startling twists around every corner, the suspenseful tale unfolds at a furious pace.”
“Bestseller Goldberg’s strong, fourth Eve Ronin mystery… the assured prose matches the tight plot.”
“An intelligently written series with memorable characters and intriguing plots. Lee Goldberg is one of those authors with natural-born story-telling gifts..”
“Goldberg’s compelling follow-up to Gated Prey is a fast-paced, riveting police procedural influenced by actual events in California. A character-driven series entry that skillfully depicts Hollywood corruption.”
Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Murder, politics and deception in the heart of Hollywood…oh my! Movieland brings the heat and packs a punch like a shotgun blast to the face.”
Best Thriller Books
“A tense, gritty, and engaging novel with wit, suspense, action, and some great twists.”
Mystery and Suspense Magazine
Praise for “Gated Prey”
“Goldberg is every bit the equal of Michael Connelly… Superb reading entertainment.”
Against all odds, Goldberg not only ties up most of the loose ends, leaving just a few deliberately dangling, but links some of Eve’s investigations in ways as disturbing as they are surprising. The seamy side of California dreaming.
Hollywood decadence and duplicity are at the heart of bestseller Goldberg’s entertaining third outing for Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Eve Ronin. Lively descriptive prose enhances the tight plot of this episodic crime novel. Columbo fans will have fun.
“Gated Prey begins, moves and ends at the speed of a bullet. Goldberg has a knack for adding subtle character nuances into his series, and here we find Eve and partner Duncan Pavone more complex than ever.
The Mountain Times
“Strong writing with just enough humor…Goldberg keeps the energy high throughout. One can hope that Goldberg will keep things moving for the foreseeable future, as there’s something special about what he’s started. This is a great series.”-
Mystery & Suspense Magazine
“A beautifully cinematic novelist who strikes a precise balance between darkness and humor.”
Praise for “Bone Canyon”
Full of unexpected plot twists, brisk dialogue and solid entertainment.
Lansing State Journal
Lean, nicely paced… the kind of psychological tension and guilt-free distraction we need right now.
“The tension ratchets up in this fast-paced police procedural, which addresses sexism, cronyism, and corrupt officers, while also dealing with the investigative process. Goldberg follows Lost Hills with a riveting, intense story. Readers of Karin Slaughter or Michael Connelly will want to try this.”
Library Journal STARRED Review
“The discovery of a homicide victim’s scattered bones in the aftermath of a wildfire plunges Eve Ronin, the “youngest homicide detective in the history of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” into a politically tense, risky murder investigation in bestseller Goldberg’s fast-paced sequel to 2020’s Lost Hills. Readers will cheer the determined Eve every step of the way as she strives for justice. Goldberg knows how to keep the pages turning.”
“Thought-provoking, compelling, and unafraid to tackle the tough subject of sexual violence, Bone Canyon is a terrific read that doesn’t let up the pace until the final page. Goldberg has created a powerful character in Eve Ronin, a talented and dedicated woman in a tough job.”
“Lee Goldberg proves again that he is a master storyteller with this piece. His ability to develop strong plots and use a fast-paced narrative keeps the reader on their toes as things progress. Poignant characters also help keep things enthralling until the final reveal for the attentive reader.”
Mystery & Suspense Magazine
“Goldberg is clearly a fantastic storyteller”
The Nerd Daily
“Mark this one down as a page-turning thriller that is not to be missed.”
The Real Books Spy
“Goldberg’s dialog crackles with realism, humor, and biting emotion.”
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
“Goldberg’s pacing and plotting are both pitch perfect, and his command of the story places him at the top of modern-day California crime writers staking a claim to the mantle of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett. Bone Canyon is destined to be the first great mystery of 2021.”
“Goldberg’s characters are engaging and well-drawn…the tale is fast-paced, and the author accurately depicts investigative practices, making for another first-rate police procedural.”
Praise for “Fake Truth”
Hilariously surprising. The author’s juggling of truth and fiction is almost as dexterous as his hero’s.
Delightfully outrageous.There are shootouts, bombings, car chases, and plenty of almost slapstick—but still murderous—mayhem. There are hilarious lines, too. For readers who enjoy madcap action. And a good laugh.
Goldberg continues to inject a welcome dose of levity into the thriller genre
Praise for “Lost Hills”
A cop novel so good it makes much of the old guard read like they’re going through the motions until they can retire… the real appeal here is Goldberg’s lean prose, which imbues just-the-facts procedure with remarkable tension and cranks up to a stunning description of a fire that was like ‘Christmas in hell.’
[A] nimble, sure-footed series launch….The action builds to a thrilling, visually striking climax. Readers will cheer Ronin every step of the way.
“Lee Goldberg’s Lost Hills is not only the first book in what promises to be a superb series — it’s also that rare novel in which the formulaic elements of mainstream police procedurals (blood, violence and forensic science) share narrative space with a unique female protagonist. All that, and it’s also a love letter to the chaos and diversity of California.
National Public Radio
What a police procedural should be: a clever and likable lead detective, a supporting cast of both hardworking and lazy cops, wisecracking (and occasionally ribald) station house banter, a smattering of quirky characters, a fast pace, a faithful depiction of investigative techniques, and a writing style as precise as a sniper’s rifle.
New York Journal of Books
Goldberg’s storytelling is vivid and powerful, and his characters well-drawn and believable.
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Goldberg shines a light on the lesser-known SoCal crime-fighting agency. He excels at employing realistic forensics, ratcheting up the department’s political tensions and using the region’s real-life wildfires in climatic scenes while leavening the proceedings with just the right amount of cop humor
Los Angeles Times
Goldberg’s smooth way with a yarn is in evidence here, as his ability to mix mayhem with mirth, but the particularly well-crafted plot with its hardboiled action, forensic detail and, especially, its fully dimensional heroine, move it a step up and away from his previous fiction.
Mystery Scene Magazine
[A] police procedural that shrugs off the norm in favour of rocking its own path. More notable is a genuinely original female protagonist, Eve Ronin. An intriguing story, snappy dialogue and clever use of language give the narrative a fizz. Add to that a dark tense atmosphere that builds to a nervy denouement and you have a winner.
NB Magazine UK
[The] suspense and drama are guaranteed to keep a reader spellbound. Those elements, coupled with Goldbergs’s extensive research, adds up to a real thriller.
Fans of police procedurals in the vein of Michael Connelly will appreciate the Hollywood backdrop and timely details. Can a “Bosch”-style TV series be far behind?
An energetic, resourceful procedural starring a heroine who deserves a series of her own.
Eve Ronin is a great character and her debut story does not disappoint. The police procedure appears to be as authentic as Goldberg can make it without being in law enforcement himself. I’ll be watching for more stories about [her] with eager anticipation.
This is so great. It’s a modern-day detective novel written in a way that’s even appealing to people who don’t typically like detective novels.
Yahoo Style UK
Praise for “Killer Thriller”
The pleasure here is watching Goldberg mock the thriller form while creating a first-rate one, boiling with chases, fights, sweaty-palm tension, snappy dialogue, and glamorous, exotic locations—this time, post-Maugham Hong Kong and its stunning outdoor escalators. It’s really a sophisticated exercise in metafiction: commenting on narrative while creating it.
Intrigue, dry humor, fast-paced action and an ‘it could really happen’ plot sets Killer Thriller up among the best of the spy caper novels.
Killer Thriller is a laugh-out-loud thrill ride in which life imitates art imitating life.
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Goldberg walks a fine line between satire and action with exciting and hilarious results. The story reflects current news cycles with the economy and America’s relations with China, and with Goldberg’s talent for telling fun stories, the end result is a blast. The ending also forecasts future adventures for both Ludlow and his fictional counterpart Straker, which will be eagerly anticipated.
Killer Thriller straddles the line between being a parody of the Jack Reacher-style of adventure paperbacks and delivering a genuine kick-ass thrill-ride of a novel. It is a helluva lot of fun to read. The plot and action sequences are both absurd and absorbing. If you’re a fan of men’s action novels and their film adaptations, you are the intended audience for this love letter to our genre. Highly recommended.
A great read, jam-packed with compelling characters, thrilling set pieces, laugh-out-loud humor, and plenty of affectionate jabs at thrillers, both literary and cinematic.
Mystery Scene Magazine
Goldberg’s thrillers are some of the wittiest around, and his newest doesn’t disappoint…a meta-thriller that’s genuinely heart-pounding but also clever enough to keep you smiling and reading on.
A solid thriller that moves fast and is tons of fun. It’s rare for a sequel to be better than the original, but Lee Goldberg’s Killer Thriller takes Ian Ludlow to new heights. Diehard fans of the genre should definitely check this one out.
The Real Book Spy
Praise for “True Fiction”
Fans of parodic thrillers will enjoy the exhilarating ride…[in] this Elmore Leonard mashed with Get Smart romp.
[A] crackerjack thriller…Goldberg just won’t be totally serious…but this mockery is the right touch for a story of life imitating art, or trying to…So the wild finale plays out like…well, like a thriller somebody wrote.
If great pacing with awesome characters is what keeps you up at night, then make a pot of coffee and open this book.
Thriller fiction at its absolute finest—and it could happen for real. But not to me, I hope.
This may be the most fun you’ll ever have reading a thriller. It’s a breathtaking rush of suspense, intrigue, and laughter that only Lee Goldberg could pull off. I loved it.
This is my life…in a thriller! True Fiction is great fun.
Ian Ludlow is one of the coolest heroes to emerge in post-9/11 thrillers. A wonderful, classic yet modern, breakneck suspense novel. Lee Goldberg delivers a great story with a literary metafiction wink that makes its thrills resonate.
James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor
Praise for “The Job”
It’s the kind of book to take on a plane trip because it is almost guaranteed to amuse its readers…both Kate and Nick distinguish themselves for being charming as well as outrageous
Evanovich and Goldberg offer another wild ride. Even if you can’t always tell the good guys from the bad guys, there’s no doubt who’ll come out on top when the Fox is in the hen house.
**** 1/2 The dynamite duo is back in another hiliarious installment of their Fox & O’Hare series. The reluctant pairing of FBI agent Kate O’Hare and con artist and master thief Nick Fox is a truly match made in comedy heaven.
RT Book Reviews
witty repartee, breathless action and the ever-present romantic undertones, make this a light and engaging tale to read between cricket overs.
The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
This is the third brilliant writing collaboration between Janet Evanovich, author of the massively popular Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, bestselling author of the Monk series….This is an extraordinarily addictive series, each book providing an entertaining, standalone crime caper with plenty of twists and turns, dark humour, dodgy villains, pulsating action and exquisite frissons of sexual tension between the tough cookie agent and her handsome, sweet-talking partner.
Blackpool Gazette (UK)
The Job is a smart and entertaining caper—another fun-filled adventure with a quirky cast of characters. While the story was written with a fun-loving sense of humor, it’s still a clever caper. Fox and O’Hare don’t fly by the seat of their pants the way that Stephanie Plum does. They’re trained professionals who are dealing with some vicious criminals—and, in life or death circumstances like these, each job requires careful planning (as well as multiple back-up plans). So although it’s a light and amusing read, it’s still pretty thrilling, too.
NPR Ohio – Shelf Awareness
This suspense series continues to mix the humor from Evanovich and Goldberg’s books with the intricate cons seen in the best episodes of Mission: Impossible. The banter and thrills are nonstop, and readers will be anxious to see what happens next.
Praise for “The Chase”
**** 1/2 The odd couple of covert law enforcement is back as master con artist Nick Fox and FBI Agent Kate O’Hare join forces. The quips are flying, as are the fists and bullets. This wild and wacky romp crisscrosses the world as Fox and O’Hare hunt for stolen art while matching wits with some untouchable criminals. Laughter can be the best medicine, and this outlandish adventure provides a hefty dose.
RT Book Reviews
A lean, stylish thriller and caper novel that takes a reader gliding along from start to finish…The Chase is a polished diamond. Their secret ingredient is a winning sense of humor that informs both their prose and their decision-making. Like their con-artist hero Nicolas Fox, Evanovich and Goldberg have made charm their most important weapon.
Great fun, with plenty of twists and action
The action never stops… The characters are exciting, and the story escalates as the initial job becomes more elaborate. Hopefully there will be more adventures by this writing duo!
The Chase takes us on a joyride in extremis from the very first page. It is hotter and faster than a flaming-red Lamborghini
For those who enjoyed the first entry, know that this continues with the fun, and actually is a more enjoyable ride with not just one con, but four, each more daring than before….Evanovich and Goldberg seem to be having loads of fun with their creation. THE CHASE will delight readers who want some breezy fun and action
The Chase literally starts off with a bang …outstanding action, legitimately funny humor, sparkling banter and witty dialogue…a read that cannot be put down and is unrelenting in its captivating plot and entertaining characters
Kings River Life Magazine
Praise for “The Heist”
The con is on in this humorous and action-filled launch book in a hot new series from Evanovich and TV writer Goldberg. This White Collar-esque tale has a dogged FBI agent trading standard operating procedure for high-stakes, high-concept operations plotted by her con-artist nemesis. Hang on as the action in this caper races around the globe, producing situations that are vintage Evanovich — both dangerous and hilariously absurd!
RT Book Reviews
Great characters, witty dialogue, great plotting and above all, great writing
Brendan DuBois, Shamus Award winning author
Evanovich has top billing here, but she gets some solid support from screenwriter and crime novelist Goldberg, whose own take on comedy and crime, evident in the wacky TV crime series Monk and books like My Gun Has Bullets (1995), matches Evanovich’s over-the-top style to a tee. Their first book in the new Fox and O’Hare series is a near-seamless demonstration of their talents.
The Heist is the perfect title to carry on a trip to the beach. The laugh out loud humor that readers expect from Evanovich is in full force, and Goldberg’s crafty and elaborate writing is prominent. . . . Everyone will be eager for the next book in the series.
Praise for “King City”
Imaginative mayhem and crisp writing make this a page-turner. This is the debut of a series, and the deft Goldberg has successfully set the hook.
Lee Goldberg’s King City brings the sensibility of a western to the contemporary crime novel and the result is exhilarating, compelling, and a thrill to read. Tom Wade is an iconic hero with a strong, personal code trying bring order to a lawless frontier…which just happens to be smack in the middle of a dying, industrial American city. He’s an unforgettable and deeply compelling character in the most original crime novel to come along in years.
King City is a book that only Lee Goldberg could have written. He’s got the high-velocity prose of a best-seller, coupled with the highly visual elements that make his television writing so compelling. Factor in the terrific characters and some very cogent takes on human nature, and you’ve got a rollicking thriller. King City is a pleasure from start to finish.
T. Jefferson Parker
Praise for “Adjourned”
Lee Goldberg is well-known for his novels about Monk, the obsessive-compulsive detective, but years ago, when Goldberg was a college student, he was already making his mark as a writer, albeit under a pen name. These were the days when series books aimed at the men’s market were showing up everywhere, and the ones by Goldberg, about a vigilante out to rid the world of scum, are still entertaining today. Fast-moving, filled with sex, violence, and snappy patter, these are just the thing for people who like expert storytelling and action-packed escapist novels. Check ’em out.
Bill Crider, author of Outrage At Blanco
Praise for “Dead Space”
The novel’s satiric slant is strong enough to have an effigy of Goldberg beamed into outer space at the next ‘Star Trek’ convention.
Los Angeles Times
Praise for “Diagnosis Murder”
When it comes to delivering a first-rate mystery, Lee Goldberg has the hands of a master surgeon.
The Past Tense contains all the elements of a fine mystery novel: good characters, interesting plot, surprising twists and, above all, crisp and enjoyable writing.
David Montgomery, Chicago Sun-Times
Producer Lee Goldberg wrote the very best Diagnosis Murder episodes, so it’s no surprise that the book delivers everything you’d expect from the show. This is a clever, high-octane mystery that moves like a bullet train.
Lee Goldberg’s Diagnosis Murder series is the perfect prescription for readers looking for thrills, chills, and laughs.
Praise for “The Jury Series”
Generous helpings of sex and violent action, along with some smart-aleck dialog. But if you’re a fan of Robert B. Parker, Dirty Harry, or the Die Hard movies, you’ll have a very good time.
J.A Konrath, Author of The List and Afraid
If you long for the days when the drugstore book racks were filled with men’s adventure series like The Executioner, The Destroyer, The Marksman, The Butcher, The Penetrator, and so many others—all but gone today—then Lee Goldberg’s The Jury Series books will take you back to a time when kick-ass action and kick ass heroes splatter their way across the pages of the paperback originals. Violence, sex, and more violence, The Jury Series gives you all of this along with smart-aleck one-liners and dark humor. Buy the complete set, see what Dirty Harry on steroids would be like. Satisfaction guaranteed for action junkies.
Paul Bishop, Author of Citadel Run and Chalk Whispers
Praise for “The Monk Series”
Goldberg’s succinct writing style—with an emphasis on witty dialogue, laugh-out-loud hijinks, and nonstop action—will make a devoted Monk fan of anyone who picks up this surprisingly entertaining read.
Paul Goat Allen, Barnes & Noble Ransom Notes
The scenes flow seamlessly and quickly, the dialogue is always fun, and while some of the situations frankly stretch the limits of believability, there is some indefinable quality to Goldberg’s writing that makes us believe it anyway.
You’d be hard pressed to find another recent work that has so many hip and humorous moments
Hilariously funny and devilishly clever…an impossible-crime lover’s delight.
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Praise for “McGrave”
Sitting down to read McGrave is like getting hit in the face with a double-fistload of two-by-four… Strap in and hold tight
Mel Odom, author of the Left Behind Apocalypse series
Pages of awesomeness…think of this as some sort of lost 80s action film. McGrave is a super-breezy and easy read.
This a first-rate, one-night read. For me it’s a five-star implementation of a five-star idea.
This book is the literary equivalent of buffalo wings and boilermakers.
Post Modern Pulps
Holy Crap, this book is insanely fun…it’s high impact, high adrenaline, and high class all the way.
The Blue Site
Praise for “The Walk”
>Harrowing and funny…
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Lee Goldberg’s hard-to-classify but not-be-missed The Walk, set in the aftermath of a major Los Angeles earthquake, pokes fun at the TV industry in the midst of disaster…
Jon Breen, The Year In Mystery and Crime Fiction 2004
This is a magnificent novel—by turns hilarious, scary, sad, witty and ultimately wise on its judgments about the way so many of us live these days. And it’s one hell of a page-turner, too.
The Walk is one of the very best novels you’ll read this year or any other year.
The Walk is a book about what normal people would do in a life-or-death situation. What’s remarkable, though, is that it also manages to incorporate all the fantasies we and our culture have had about those situations and consider what role they might play in our survival (or not). More than anything, it’s a story that makes us confront the fact that most of the time most of us can’t save the day—we can only save ourselves.
I think the best point was the fact that the main character was so realistic. He wasn’t a hero. He didn’t profess to be a hero… However, the author managed to still make you empathize with this character… Mr. Goldberg has done something very difficult in this book. He has made his main character unlikeable, then changed my mind by the end. The character development is just excellent.
Red Adept Review
Lee Goldberg’s novel, The Walk, is as much about the transformation of a man as it is about the ordeal he undergoes, and that is one reason it is so powerful. If anything, the interior life of the hero, Marty Slack, is as central to the novel as surviving a devastating quake that flattens Los Angeles. There are two themes, really: one is sheer survival in the chaos of the quake; the other is the effect this ordeal has on Slack. […]By following the evolution of Marty Slack, and by putting Slack through an unimaginable ordeal in a shattered world, Lee Goldberg gives the novel a richness and truthfulness that wouldn’t exist if it were only about a cardboard man fighting exterior threats. The story becomes far more poignant because it is about the hero’s moral courage as much as it is about a paralyzed world. This is memorable fiction.
Praise for “Watch Me Die”
Approaching the level of Lawrence Block is no mean feat, but Goldberg succeeds with this engaging PI novel, the first of a new series. Harvey Mapes, an overeducated security guard for a Southern California gated community, is pulled out of his rut when a wealthy resident hires him to tail his wife. Genre readers won’t be surprised that this simple assignment turns more complicated, but those who like their mean streets settings to be coupled with a twisty solution will enjoy the surprise ending. While Mapes’s rampant sexual appetite may not be for everyone’s taste, readers who devoured Block’s brilliant Chip Harrison mystery picaresques (which doubled as affectionate pastiches of Nero Wolfe) will find Mapes a worthy (if slightly more mature) successor to Harrison and clamor for more.
As dark and twisted as anything Hammett or Chandler ever dreamed up…leaving Travis McGee in the dust.
Kirkus Reviews (*starred review!)
Watch Me Die has snappy dialogue, tight plotting and near-perfect pace. Mapes is laugh-out loud funny in the way of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, and the plot is surprisingly graceful, keeping the reader guessing to the very end. Harvey’s growth as a human being is an added bonus. One can only hope this is the first of many novels about this engaging character.
The Oakland Press (Michigan)
Harvey Mapes could be me. He’s a guy who reads a lot of PI novels, loves the old PI television shows and he thinks he can solve mysteries. The similarities are almost disturbing. However Harvey is fictional, and a bit more willing to take chances. The book sets up nicely with Harvey working in his guard shack for a gated community in California. One of the residents makes a nice monetary offer to him in exchange for services, in short the old rich guy wants his wife followed. Harvey having read many books and seen many TV shows feels he’s up to the job. What ensues is a wonderful story of the pitfalls of overestimating yourself, and what happens when you surpass your own expectations. Goldberg has a knack for combining just the right amount of humor and realism with his obvious love for the PI genre and his own smart ass sensibilities. [Watch Me Die] is a terrific read and I for one would love to see this become a series. Goldberg is the real deal and should be on everyone’s must read list.
Jon Jordan, CrimeSpree Magazine
Lee Goldberg is right there with the best and his character, Harvey Mapes, is an Everyman for the Ages, troubles, stumbles, and grit. [Watch Me Die] simply gives it up: danger, humor, society laid bare, and Goldberg at his best, which is very good indeed. With wannabe, ever-at-risk Harvey, Goldberg has turned the PI genre on its head.
Meet Harvey Mapes, a fledgling private eye who’s learned everything he knows from mystery novels. Hold your calls, turn off the tube, put your feet up and prepare for a witty, wicked and dare I say wise little book. Lee Goldberg shows off more than just his funny bone here. He reveals a keen eye for the wrenching heartbreaks and triumphs that forge heroes—even from the Harveys of the world.
Lee Goldberg’s [Watch Me Die] is a very funny book about the ironclad LA class system, life in a security guard’s shack, and the crucial differences between violence as experienced on a TV show and in real life.
Watch Me Die is a quick fun read with a satisfying and unexpected ending. Harvey Mapes is a hero I hope we see in a sequel.”
If you’re a fan of TV private eyes like Mannix and Rockford, and the heroes of the old Gold Medal paperbacks like Travis McGee and Shell Scott, you’ll love Harvey Mapes. He’s nothing like them, but he loves them, too, and in an attempt to emulate them and get away from his boring security guard job, Harvey goes on the ride of his life. Lee Goldberg has succeeded in producing a clever, witty and intelligent parody of, and homage to, the PI genre.
Lee Goldberg is a sly and funny writer, with a warm heart and an ease with words. He never disappoints.
A wonderfully fresh voice in the mystery genre, Goldberg will delight fans of Janet Evanovich and Robert Crais. His security guard Harvey Mapes’ crash course in the difference between fictional and real P.I. work makes for hilarious reading. I had huge fun reading this, though I must admit wannabe P.I. Harvey Mapes struck a little too close to home for me. I guess all mystery writers have more Harvey in us than we care to admit.
Likeable loser Harvey Mapes is my new favorite private eye, the guy with the dead-end job who longs to be Mannix or Travis MaGee. [Watch Me Die] is a cool, smooth read, and Lee Goldberg knows how to keep the reader turning pages until the very end. Bravo. I hope the folks in charge of the Shamus nominations are paying attention.”
Great concept and great execution…it’s funny, thrilling, and quirky, with a completely satisfying ending you won’t see coming.
Barry Eisler, New York Times bestselling author
Lee Goldberg is known for his cleverness and sense of humor. He shows how a masterful plotter can take a character in a comic situation and lead him into unexpected danger in an eye-blink.
Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author
When Harvey Mapes gets a chance to step out of his job as a security guard to be a private detective […] he finds courage he never thought he had and the malleable conscience every successful PI needs. If you’re looking for a great read, look no further.
Joel Goldman, bestselling author of Motion to Kill
This is the story of sad Harvey Mapes and how he tried to become Travis McGee, or the International Op, or even, Joe Mannix. If you want to know how well he succeeded, read the story. It’s a very funny novel. It’s a very good plot with some surprising twists I never saw coming…Lee Goldberg certainly has the demonstrated chops to be able to produce this risible, amusing and very diverting story…this novel is just first rate.