New Book Coming Soon: Below The Wheel

After publishing Angel with a Broken Wing last Summer, my next thought was… what do I do now? Go to the beach?

After much rumination, I decided to write another book. I wanted to create a hard-boiled detective novel that took place near Philly. Should I try to make the story inspired by real events? Maybe…

I also wanted to make it about a couple of guys who were friends and decided to go into business together. Using the classic Hitchcockian premise of the common man getting caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I wanted to explore some of the darker sides of life but seen through the eyes of lighthearted unique characters. I also wanted something with a shorter, tighter timeframe than my previous book.

And, Below the Wheel was born.

Below the Wheel takes place over two weeks in the Summer of 1998.

Alex Hunter and Scott Appel are two ex-investment brokers turned private investigators. Burned out from the competitive sales environment of buying and selling stock, they open the Watchman Detective Agency in Camden NJ. They spend their days investigating disability claims for insurance companies and law firms. Occasionally, they perform surveillance on errant spouses and even solve a crime now and then. But Alex and Scott aren’t taken seriously by local law enforcement, especially the chief of detectives, Lt. Ezra Chambers, and his belligerent assistant, Sgt. Otis Guth.

Alex is the obsessive suit and tie-wearing overachiever, who drinks too much and lives dangerously. Lately, he’s been trying to tame some of his vices by quitting smoking and seeking some spiritual guidance from a local pastor. His life at the agency is a bit mundane, but Alex dreams of one day solving a really high-profile case.

Five years ago, he invested the inheritance of an attractive local newswoman Alyssa Ward. He was immediately smitten with her. But, the portfolio tanked, and she lost a small fortune. She blamed Alex for the loss and never spoke to him again. Recently her younger sister Jennifer disappeared, and Alex has taken it upon himself to find her. Jennifer always had a wild streak, and Alex thinks she may have been recruited to work in an exclusive sex club somewhere in Camden or Philly. The only problem is, no one knows where the club is located, or if it even exists.

His partner Scott is the laid-back one. He enjoys watching cartoons, listening to heavy metal, and smoking weed. He’d be happy to just work the cases they get referred, keep the agency in the black, and leave the exciting stuff to the police.

The guys share the office space with an insurance agent named Genevieve Bouchard. She’s an independent hard working woman but is trapped in a bad relationship with her abusive common-law husband Bruno Cartiglio. When Bruno’s not involved in some sort of sleazy activity, he’s working construction at one of the nearby bridges. Genevieve hates her life with Bruno but is afraid that if she leaves him, he’ll hurt her. Scott’s attracted to Genevieve, but she’s already involved in some dangerous activities.

During an unbearable heatwave, the boys are caught up in a bizarre case. The Camden Strangler, as the media call him, has been murdering prostitutes in the area.

A teenage girl named Luna, whose mother was the latest victim, turns to Alex and Scott for help. Scott is reluctant to take on a client who obviously can’t pay, but Alex sees it as an opportunity to be a hero and takes the case pro bono.

Alex enlists the help of coroner Ignatious Feeny, who gives him access to the morgue and autopsy information on the victims. Alex also picks the brain of the brilliant but cantankerous Robert Wick. He’s a professor of criminology at Rutgers University. Although he’s bound to a wheelchair, he’s a master of criminal profiling. He tells Alex that the only way to solve the case is to go where the killer goes and see what he sees. Subsequently, Alex is drawn into the dark and sleazy world of the skin trade.

The boys work the case and it’s full of twists, and red herrings. Will they ever figure out who’s doing the killings in Camden? Will Alyssa’s sister ever be found?

You’ll have to read the book and find out.

Planned Release Date: June 22, 2021



Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here:

My New Book, ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is Now on Sale at Amazon! (kindle & paperback)

Get it here:


We’ve been in quarantine for months here in Philly. My daughter and I have been making the best of it. She’s been recording new music in our home studio, and I’ve been holed up in my office working on a book.

I like to work and be busy. But there’s been nowhere for us to go, since March 14th. Everything’s shut down. There was nothing we could do about it, but collect unemployment like the other 40 million people out of work in this country.

At first, we both slept in and enjoyed being off from work. It was a welcome repose from the daily grind of being on our feet all day, both working in restaurants in this city. I think we both had hangovers from working in a tough industry.

I remember putting in 55 hours a week at my last job, and some days thinking… “I wish this would all just stop.”

And it did.

It was like a miracle. It’s as if we rubbed a lamp and were granted just one simple wish.

I remember in the beginning, I rested and sometimes didn’t bathe because I suddenly didn’t have to be anywhere.

But after a week, I began writing like mad on my blog. I wanted to respond to what was happening with my words. I was posting up to 6 times a day just to give my readers content on ways to deal with these extraordinary circumstances.

I went to bed earlier, and woke up earlier. Most days between 7 and 8am. It was nice to want to see the day. The full day. I let my hair and beard grow. I liked that I started to resemble the Big Lebowski, or a fat Thor, from not having to be running around all the time.

I would get up early, shower, eat breakfast, run any errands needed for the house, and then write.

But something was itching at my brain. I needed to create something of value during this sudden vacation. A time where I didn’t HAVE to go to work to meet my obligations. My daughter felt the same. We both realized we couldn’t squander this gift.

Lorelei bought some special recording equipment and decided to start recording her own songs. She did a cover of a cool song by Doja Cat and she and her friend shot a video. Then she started working on an original composition. She wrote the lyrics and the music for a new song. Her song. An original composition.

I was blown away that this feat could be accomplished. Because I come from a world where I had to pay thousands of dollars to go into a studio to do the very same thing thirty years ago. But technology rocks!

I wanted to create something new. Not a non-fiction, compilation of stories from my blog. Something new. A story. A fable. A love story that included all of the elements of all the films I liked. A thriller, road movie, romance, mystery, action yarn that would be full of twists and turns.

The world had gone a bit mad, and I wanted to create a world I could control. I wanted it to take place in a time before there were smart phones or social media. A story about a boy and a girl trying to fall in love, during extraordinary circumstances. Let’s put a fancy car in there. Have them drive across the country on a road trip. Let’s throw a bad guy in there. That’ll keep them on edge. Let’s make it a mystery too. Let’s David Lynch it up a bit with some interesting, unique characters. Let’s make them all flawed in some way. They all have the potential to be good, but they’re all struggling with themselves. They all want something, but they don’t know the right way to get it. A collection of misfits all trying to find themselves. All broken in some way. They want to fly, but their wings are broken, so they choose to run.

You run away in an attempt to find yourself, but in the end, maybe you realize that what’s important, is you’ve been there the whole time.

So I started writing this book. I worked on it every day. 7 days a week from 10am to around 7pm everyday. Literally keeping those restaurant hours without having to be on my feet.

I wanted to create something completely original. Not a collection of stories from all of my dating adventures here in Philly. Something born from my mind. That’s how, Angel with a Broken Wing came about!

What should the cover be? A picture of an old statue from ancient Rome with one of it’s wings broken off? No. A photo of a fallen angel? Please.

Then it struck me. How about a pen and ink drawing of the female lead wearing a white pashmina on her head and a cool pair of sunglasses? There she is, fresh from a sumptuous dinner with her romantic suitor in Palm Springs. It’s dusk in the California desert, and she looks at the horizon. The palm trees reflected in her sunglasses, she turns to him and allows him a kiss. Has she made a mistake?  Will she yield to him? Probably not… but maybe.

That could work for the cover. That could be the very essence of the book. So I decided to create the artwork for the cover myself.

But I drew that back in 1980, when I was 17 years old,and an art major in high school.

What if you could just run away from your current life?

Christian Blackmore works as a manager at a local finance company in New Jersey. He’s burned out from all the bad loans, and making collection calls every night. He spends his days laboring at a job he hates, and his evenings drinking at a local bar with his best friend. 

When his favorite uncle dies, and leaves him a unique inheritance, he begins to question the path he’s taken in life.

He decides to take a road trip across the country with a woman he just met. She’s a mysterious beauty, who may hold a dark secret. 

What begins as a romantic journey, becomes a nightmare, when he realizes he’s being followed by an elusive stranger. What does he want? Is it Christian, the girl, or something far more sinister?

Angel with a Broken Wing, takes you on a terrifying, coast to coast thrill ride across America. Can one man fall in love, and stay one step ahead in a cat and mouse game with a killer?

Get it here:




Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is available now on AMAZON!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Angel with a Broken Wing is Now on Sale at AMAZON

“What if you could just run away from your present life?”

I’ve been composing my first work of fiction.

It’s a romantic thriller, that takes the reader on a cross country odyssey across America.

A young gentleman meets a nice girl, and they decide to take a journey together.  Both wanting to escape their mundane lives.

What begins as an idyllic road trip, turns into a nightmare, as they discover they’re locked in a cross country, cat and mouse game with a mysterious stranger.

It’s a real corker of a story, so hopefully you’ll want to read it!

You can get it here:



Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Angel With A Broken Wing, Now on sale on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly