The award-winning Frank Nagler Mysteries, books 1-3 are compiled in ‘The Frank Nagler Mysteries’. This anthology contains: ‘The Swamps of Jersey’, ‘A Game Called Dead’, and ‘The Weight of Living.’
Read the first three books in this series back-to-back. This hardback compilation is the perfect gift for the mystery lover in your life!
This anthology of the Frank Nagler Mysteries contains the first three books in the series: Swamps of New Jersey, A Game Called Dead, and The Weight of Living, as well as a bonus short story. Set in the fictional post-industrial city of Ironton, New Jersey, each novel has a different theme, giving each a distinctive feel and a new experience for the reader. Swamps of New Jersey’s theme, to me, was about decay; the corruption and decay and breaking down of post-industrial America, where the stable, blue-class way of life most people enjoyed has gone and isn’t coming back. It’s also about what lies beneath, be it beneath the murky waters of a swamp, or behind a friendly face or respectable facade. A Game Called Dead is, on the other hand, a cat and mouse game between a ruthless, ambitious murderer and the symbolic champion of law and order. The who is almost immediately apparent, but the tension is built over what they’ll do next, and how the protagonist will prevail. The Weight of Living concerns the cycle of abuse and how people live with their traumas, alone and together.
Michael Stephen Daigle’s writing style is dynamic and vivid, with long atmospheric streams of description that let you taste the grit of Ironton’s streets in your mouth. He accurately captures the simultaneous despair and defiance common to post-industrial towns, colored by Nagler’s perspective. Nagler is not a hard-boiled detective relying on his fists and his pistol. Instead, he’s a perceptive, thoughtful protagonist, whose melancholy threatens to, but never succeeds in, dampening his sense of right and wrong. His words may be cynical, but his actions belie his inner hope that no matter how bad things look, they can get better. Wounds can be healed. Wrongs can be righted. It’s this inner conflict that makes Frank Nagler a compelling protagonist.
In the interest of transparency, I should mention that I am a member of a writing group that Michael Daigle is part of, but these books were already published well before I had joined. I purchased this anthology (and the fourth novel, The Red Hand) on my own and have received no compensation of any kind for this review.
Pick up your copy of ‘The Frank Nagler Mysteries’ today!
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The books in the Frank Nagler Mystery Series are each deserving of the awards they have recieved, they are compelling and masterfully crafted. We at Imzadi Publishing feel privileged to work with Mr. Daigle and look forward to the next installment in this series. If you haven’t read a Frank Nagler Mystery yet these are sure to satisfy craving for a good crime novel and are available in print or ebook today!
Among the favorite words an author likes to hear are: “I really liked your book.” The other favorite words are: “Your book has been accepted for publication.” So, I am pleased to announce that the fourth in the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series, “The Red Hand,” has been accepted for publication by Imzadi Publishing of […]
The search to find the name and home of a barefoot young girl wearing a tank top and shorts on a cold March night leads Ironton, N.J., Detective Frank Nagler down the twisting, dark path of a family whose history has ensnared many victims, including a nun from Nagler’s youth and Calista Knox, a companion of Nagler’s best friend.
The third Frank Mystery, “The Weight of Living,” brings Nagler and his friends dangerously face to face with an evil that knows no bounds and threatens to consume anyone in its path.
It is a story with twists and turns as Nagler fights through layers of lies and half-truths and searches a sketchy past to bring the chance of healing to the damaged, and a criminal to justice.
“God has given me many tasks. This is the last.” – Sister Katherine Marie.
The Weight of Living Awards & Accolades
NOTABLE 100 BOOK in the 2018 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Contest.
FIRST PLACE Mystery category winner – 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Award Contest.
Cover art award – GOLD MEDAL, 2017 Cover Contest sponsored by authorsdb.com
Daigle hits his stride in this third Frank Nagler Mystery. The characters are strong and convincing, and the plot is unpredictable, with sudden twists that take even a careful reader by surprise. The setting is dark, unsettling and gritty, a northern NJ city caught up in the aftermath of decades-long political corruption and financial hardships. Detective Frank Nagler is the last honest man in this city, the white knight who defends the weak and downtrodden. Of the three books in the series, this is the one that pulls out all the stops and tells a story of such depravity and evil that there will be times when you pause your reading and you’ll want to wash your hands. But it’s in this juxtaposition of the dark and light that the exquisite tension of the story builds, the decency and strength of the Nagler character is revealed and the sordid mystery of the little girl left filthy and neglected in a dumpster unfolds. This book is recommended reading if you’re looking for an inventive plot and boldly drawn characters.
I’ve read all of the Frank Nagler mysteries, they are all page turners. The Weight of Living was an even more intense page turner. If you haven’t read any of them, I highly recommend them to you, you will be caught up in the web created by this talented author.
I greatly enjoyed the first Frank Nagler story, “Swamps of Jersey.” The writing is superb, settings so vividly portrayed as to be nearly palpable. The plot is engaging and the main character captivating. I was thrilled to learn that a second Frank Nagler story was in the works and couldn’t wait to read it. In “A Game Called Dead,” Frank Nagler is still intriguing, a man whose sense of morality drives him to soldier on despite his deep personal pain. I may have actually hit on one of the clues well before the book ended which didn’t at all detract from the reading pleasure. The story isn’t so much a “whodunit” as a “why they dun it,” and the wide-ranging effects of the crime. I was rooting for Nagler to solve it because this very private person reveals himself in the how and why of his detective work. The only question I had left when I was finished was “when’s the next Frank Nagler book coming out?” The Weight of Living didn’t disappoint. It presents a mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. The crime involves stones that many influential people would like to see unturned, stones that have kept secrets buried for generations. Despite grave opposition and at personal cost, Nagler, driven by his moral code, compassion, and commitment to help the helpless, keeps digging until his and his worthy cohorts have uncovered the truth. I sincerely hope this series continues.