Undiscovered Books

stephen-buehler-headshot-2-red-background by Stephen Buehler

I thought occasionally I’d take the time allotted to me on Writing Wranglers & Warriors to share a book that many may not know of.

First up is THE LOCK ARTIST by Steve Hamilton.

The Lock Artist - 1





Steve Hamilton

Steve Hamilton might be best known for his PI series featuring Alex McKnight. The first book in that series, A Cold Day in Paradise, won both the Edgar and the Shamus for Best First Novel. He has written 10 Alex McKnight books winning multiple awards.If you like PI books that are more than just solving the mystery these books are for you.

But THE LOCK ARTIST is a departure from that series. It’s a story of Michael, an 18 year old, who since a childhood tragedy remains mute. The astonishing skill Michael does possess is that he can pick or unlock any lock, with or without a key or knowing the combination. Unfortunately, the wrong people find out about Michael’s ability and force him to work for them. Michael looks for a chance to escape and return home where he wants to unlock the secret that has kept him mute for so long.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the voice. Michael is a mute yet THE LOCK ARTIST is told from a first person perspective. What he can’t communicate to other people in the book he communicates to the reader. Long after finishing the book Micheal’s voice stayed with me. You root for Michael throughout the book, wanting to know why he doesn’t speak. It’s a thriller, a mystery and a coming of age book all wrapped up into one. Without giving anything away the ending does not disappoint.

The Lock Artist - 2

I don’t want to talk about too much about the plot as there’s plenty of twists and turns but I can state that THE LOCK ARTIST is an absorbing book. You fully enter Michael’s world and it stays with you.

THE LOCK ARTIST came out in 2010 and won the Barry Award for Best Novel, The Steel Dagger Award, the Edgar for Best Novel and was a finalist for an Anthony, a Gold Dagger and a Dilys Award.

I hope you check out THE LOCK ARTIST. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology and A Job’s a Job in Believe Me or Not An Unreliable Anthology.  He is expanding his novella, The Mindreading Murders about a magician into a novel and shopping around his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. On top of all that he is a script consultant, magician and a dog owner of Seymour.  http://www.stephenbuehler.com




24 thoughts on “Undiscovered Books

  1. Definitely like how the author chose a mute for the POV. Intriguing enough that it’ll go down as a must-read novel. Great idea, Stephen, giving recommendations on books to read.


  2. You definitely made me want to read this book! Good review! And I too am fascinated and inspired by his choice of a mute to tell the story, but why not. It must make the reader feel privileged to know the person’s inner thoughts when he can’t express them to the people in his own world. Another way to pull the reader in.


      1. Another’s book once in awhile is fine, but I and probably a lot of the others that read this blog will be more interested in how you came up with the ideas in your stories. How did you go about placing them in all the places you have published, or what makes you tick. I’m sure there’s a trick to that question. Thanks again. Cher’ley


  3. Thank you for sharing about a book I’ve not heard of, Stephen. Sounds quite compelling. I love the use and development of a character many would not have created. Sounds like a read I should pick up for cabin time on the mountain!


  4. Sounds like a great book. Your story is interesting to me because my husbamd used to do some Christian magic, and our oldest grandson used to love magic. So I’d find myself wondering through gift shops and magic stores, this was all pre-Google, Amazon or Ebay. I’m thinking of going on a cruise and I hope they have a magic show, or maybe I’ll get a chace to stop in and see Mike someday and we’ll take in a magic show. Thanks Cher’ley


  5. Linda used to have a blog that was dedicated to book reviews. Not sure if she still does. I know she wanted reviews about different books I’d read. Cher’ley


  6. That sounds like an interesting, and probably quite poignant read, Stephen. He isn’t an author I’ve come across before. My reading of PI mysteries isn’t a large list these days though I read a lot in my late teens.


    1. SJ
      The Lock Artist is not a PI book. It’s a coming of age story embedded in a crime story. Steve Hamilton also writes PI books but this is a stand alone for him. I hope you do pick it up. I think you’ll enjoy it.
      Thanks for reading the blog.
      – Stephen


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