The novels, which begin with Tom’s first investigation at age twenty-one and continue, over ten books, until his eighty-fifth year, are riveting stories of crime, heroics, and sacrificial love that also offer a vivid and panoramic vision of California as it transforms from a frontier to the most influential place on earth. Readers who accompany Tom and his extraordinary family on their adventures enrich their knowledge of America and the dark and bright recesses of the human heart.

“Tom Hickey is one of detective fiction’s most original and intriguing creations.”  San Francisco Chronicle​

“Elegant, eloquent, and elegiac, Kuhlken’s novels sing an old melody, at the same time haunting and beautiful.” Novelist Don Winslow

Readers are encouraged to start with a single book, as each of them were created to stand alone, or begin with one of the four parts, whichever suits their historical interest.

Young Tom Hickey

The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles:  (L.A. 1926)  Unless a famous evangelist will take agnostic Tom Hickey into her confidence, he may never learn if the Ku Klux Klan lynched his friend.   San Diego Book Awards Best Mystery.

The Good Know Nothing (L.A., Tucson, and McCloud, CA. 1936) Author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, an outlaw who may be the Sundance Kid, and publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst stand between Tom and the truth about the disappearance of his father.   Los Angeles Book Festival Best Mystery Award.

Time travel through the Prohibition era and the Great Depression with Tom Hickey and his wild kid sister. The two book Young Tom Hickey set is available as a bargain in ebook and in paper from our bookstore.


Tom Hickey’s War

The Venus Deal: (San Diego, Mount Shasta, Denver, Tijuana, 1942)   A gifted jazz singer leaves her job at Tom Hickey’s San Diego nightclub to avenge the sexual crimes of a spiritualist guru.

The Loud Adios: San Diego, Tijuana, 1943) With the whole world at war, Tom is an MP at the border when he discovers Nazis plotting to make Baja California a German colony.  PWA Best First P.I. Novel. 

The Angel Gang: Lake Tahoe, San Diego, L.A. 1950) An L.A. mob’s beef against Tom leads to the kidnapping of pregnant Wendy Hickey. Alone, Tom can’t save her, but with the help of the Nevada mob and Tahoe’s resident angels, maybe . . .  


Hickey and Sons

The Do-Re-Mi: (Rural Northern California, 1971)  The Hickey’s adopted son Alvaro, a musician booked at a folk festival, flees from a murder accusation. His brother Clifford’s best chance of proving him innocent requires the help of hippies and Jesus freaks. Shamus Best Novel finalist. 

The Vagabond Virgins:  (San Diego, Rural Baja California, 1979)  When a heavenly apparition appears in Baja California rallying the faithful to overthrow the corrupt Mexican government, Alvaro Hickey joins her crusade.  


Hickey and McGee

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 and a profound and honest account of deepening faith. The collection of three books, together entitled Hickey and McGee, is available as a bargain priced single ebook.