Ken Kuhlken


Ken’s Midheaven was chosen as a finalist for PEN’s Ernest Hemingway Award for best first fiction book.Then came the California crime series, which includes: The Loud Adios, Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin’s Press best first novel; The Do-Re-Mi,  finalist for the Shamus Best Novel Award; The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles, San Diego Book Awards best mystery; and The Good Know Nothing, finalist for the Los Angeles Book Festival best mystery.

From Hickey & McGee by Ken Kuhlken:

Road Kill  and No Cats, No Chocolate: Authors Alan Russell and Ken Kuhlken met at a mystery convention and soon hit the road to promote their books. Their bizarre adventures make delightful reading for anyone who has considered or dreamed of a career as a writer and for anyone else inclined to laugh at the antics of a couple strange fellows.

Reading Brother Lawrence is a memoir in which a book and a memory lead the way to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Writing and the Spirit: Who needs inspiration? Everybody, especially artists. Here’s where and how to find it. 

Cars: California Stories is a collection of fiction and biography as offbeat as the state itself.

Newport Ave is a gripping novel in the tradition of classic noir in which a Sunday school teacher plots murder.

Midheaven (Lake Tahoe, 1974) Jodi McGee, whom readers will meet again in The Very Least and the Answer to Everything, tells the haunting story of her treacherous eighteenth year and the battle between her quest for God and her love for a dedicated and troubled atheist. 

The Very Least: (San Diego, Tijuana, Lake Tahoe, 1985)  A dear friend of Clifford’s cousin Bo crosses the border on the run from a charge of molesting children in a church nursery school. After journalist Clifford offers to help Bo clear her friend, he infuriates dangerous cholos, politicians, and tycoons on both sides of the border.

the Answer to Everything: (San Diego, Tijuana, Lake Tahoe, 1990) Attorney Alvaro Hickey assists in the murder of a Tijuana cartel sicaro then becomes the murderer’s lawyer. The cartel, which has lately massacred an entire family, now targets another whole family, the Hickey-McGees. 

Midheaven, The Very Least, and the Answer to Everything together comprise an exceptionally gripping and epic love story, the whole of which, entitled Hickey and McGee, is available as a bargain priced single ebook.

For America, a saga in five books, includes:

Supermen: Readers accompany Otis Otterbach on a road trip to the little league world series, share his torments prompted by sex and other facts of life, follow him and his best friend and catcher Casey through the MLB draft and on a mysterious mission directed by Casey’s mother, the deranged and homicidal Cyjnthia Jones.

This Rough Beast: Otis  attempts to make a life after baseball and after Casey disappears, perhaps on the run after committing murder. The story follows and interprets the hopes and turmoil of the 1960s including the Vietnam war through the eyes of an infantry soldier, a helicopter pilot, and a deserter; the protest movements in Berkeley; the rise and fall of the folk music and coffee house scene; the Manson family and what its existence caused and taught, from the point of view of the girl whose testimony assured the conviction of Charles Manson.

The Gas Crisis: Following the loss of his home and Casey, Otis faces tough questions, such as whether to stay married, what sort of work and life to pursue and, above all, whether to kill Henry Tucker, whom his nemesis Cynthia Jones calls the Enemy. These dilemmas send him from California to Iowa where he enrolls in a prestigious graduate school. But panic attics and encounters with famous writers living and dead convince him to flee in haunted desperation.  

War: Otis decides not to inhabit the same world as the one he holds responsible for burning down his home and killing his dearest friend. He trains to make himself into a ruthless warrior then and sets off on what will likely be a suicide mission. After searching in wilderness and jungles, he finally arrives in the capital of Mexico, where the Enemy and followers await him.

The Holy Grail concludes the For America saga with Otis finding in an island prison a measure of peace, which then is disturbed by baseball and the rape of a woman he loves. He escapes from prison and flees Mexico to settle with the rapist and with the resurrected Enemy, and with the deranged and relentless Cynthia Jones.

After Otis once again falls in love and renews his pursuit of a baseball career, a team of screwball Charles Manson worshippers come seeking revenge against his dear friend Nancy, once a Manson family girl. 

Read about Ken and all his stories at

Songs from For America.