In September 1935, police detective Patience Quince flees from French Algeria to the other side of the world--an island resort off the Oregon coast, where she considers the alarming marriage proposal she's received from Ali ibn Mustafa al Agba. During Patience's first night on the island, a violent storm washes away the bridge and the telephone line to the mainland, leaving guests and staff trapped offshore with no way to call for help. When vacationing composer George Pullman is discovered murdered in the hotel garage, Patience must set aside examinations of love and marriage to employ the art of transcendental detection she learned in Paris: she will drink, dream and philosophize her way to unmasking Pullman's killer. Patience knows that the wrong suspect is locked in the hotel cellar and none on the island is safe, but a quixotic foreign woman who quotes Immanuel Kant from memory and keeps a loaded pistol in her purse can find it très difficile to gain the cooperation of suspicious Americans. Even so, Patience has promised the "shadowy man" from her transcendental dreams that she will find him and bring him to justice.

The Transcendental Detective is a comic homage to Golden Age detective fiction, with nods to the works of Christie, Allingham, Sayers and Chesterton. Arthur Conan-Doyle and Dashiell Hammett might be on the scene as well, not to mention Samuel Beckett and Anton Chekhov (who wrote a detective novel beloved of Agatha Christie). It's a hoot and a half, with loaded guns, well-dressed corpses, and a lot of cocktails. I wrote it quite a few years ago but it seems to hold up well enough.

A novel must have readers or it will have no life, and so I've decided to give away copies of this admirable little book. You can download it right here in the form of an A4 format PDF file. I apologize for any ungrammatical French you may find in the novel.