Pub Date, October 27, 2014. Blank Slate Press



Disgraced African American St. Louis Police Lieutenant Carlo Gabriel wants fiercely to return to the headquarters hierarchy from which he has been exiled to the city’s tough North Side. All he needs do is track down the missing husband of the mayor’s vivacious press secretary. Instead he unwittingly and unwillingly unearths a morass of corruption, educational malpractice and greed that consigns thousands of at-risk youths to the mean streets of America’s erstwhile murder capital. Worse, it’s the kind of information that could get a cop killed.

Fighting for life and his honor, Gabriel makes chilling discoveries that ultimately lead to a life-threatening and life-changing decision—a choice that could affect not only his own future but also that of the city and its top leaders.

Christmas At Long Lake

Rick Skwiot: Christmas at Long Lake

“Skwiot’s vivid descriptions of the physical and emotional landscape…are poignant, entertaining, and instructional… There is magic in this depiction of a setting and a way of life that can be described only as Edenic.”–Library Journal

“Rick Skwiot works his own magic… As usual, Skwiot’s writing is sure…And his tale has a gritty, blue-collar cachet…This is good reading.” –Kansas City Star



Read Excerpt Now!

Key West Story

Rick Skwiot Key West Story Novel


“Key West is beautifully captured in all its shallow, hedonistic glory.” — Kirkus Reviews

Hemingway reincarnate, Havana and hurricanes enliven this romantic island tale of love and redemption. Con Martens, once a bestselling author, finds himself down-and-out in Key West, where he encounters a miraculous emissary from Writers’ Heaven—a young Ernest Hemingway sent to get him back on track as a man and an artist.

In Con’s quest to recover his talent and integrity, we glimpse Key West life from the mangroves to the mansions and a dark Havana while spending quality time with Hemingway in his prime.



San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

San Miguel De Allende Mexico Memoir

Rick Skwiot’s earthy, funny and self-effacing chronicle of his heathen days south of the border. With little money and few prospects the troubled freelance writer takes off to Mexico to find himself. Instead he discovers fast-living, amoral, yet spiritually grounded Mexicans who infect him with a soulful lust for life.

Sexy, surreal, and darkly comic, this sultry memoir seduces any reader who values honest reporting of a spiritual journey in which the author finds his deliverance through the senses.



Death In Mexico

Rick Skwiot's Death In Mexico

Hemingway First Novel Award Winner.

The passionate mystery of a son’s compulsive search for his father’s bones—a quest that draws him into an exotic Mexican underworld of sex, mysticism, drugs, and sudden violence.

Sensual but gritty, vibrant but darkly poignant, Flesh exposes the simmering passions—fired by jealousy, vengeance, love, lust, and greed—when Anglo and Hispanic cultures clash.



Sleeping With Pancho Villa

Rick Skwiot Pancho Villa

Finalist for the Willa Cather Prize.

“A thoughtfully layered backdrop of Mexican culture…impressively crafted labyrinthine setting…Snappy and often funny dialogue.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“Life in a Mexican town…laid out beautifully …A skillfully written portrait of an entire community. Highly recommended.” –Library Journal

“This book alone heralds the arrival of a great new writer.” –The Colorado Springs Independent



Read Excerpt Now!

Recent Blog Posts

  • Key West reading/signing this coming Sunday, Feb. 15, noon

    For friends, colleagues et al in Key West and environs: I’ll be doing a brief reading/book signing of my new mystery novel FAIL, Sunday, noon, at the Coffee Plantation, 713 Caroline St. Free and open to the public. Great coffee, cakes, quiche, etc. available via hosts Diane and Theo Glorie. Book sales proceeds to benefit

    Read more

  • FAIL reviewed in today’s Key West The Newspaper

    Today’s Blue Paper features Rick Boettger’s thoughtful review of FAIL. You can read it here. Also, last week’s Konk Life ran Rosalind Brackenbury’s perceptive review of my novel: “When I attended the 2014 Key West Literary Seminar on “The Dark Side”, I learned some things about writers of crime fiction. They know how to do

    Read more

  • FYI, I’m reading tonight at the renovated Central Library in St. Louis, 6:30 p.m.

    For my St. Louis friends, colleagues et al, today, Wed., Jan. 28, I am reading from FAIL and signing books, courtesy of Left Bank Books, at the impressive Central Library, 1301 Olive Street in downtown St. Louis, 6:30 p.m., in the Carnegie Room. You can learn more here. Also, a new review of my book

    Read more

  • Upcoming readings/book signings in St. Louis, Columbia, Mo., and Key West

        FYI, I’ll be reading from my new mystery novel Fail at these venues in the coming days and weeks: Tuesday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m., Orr Street Studios, 106 Orr St., Columbia, Mo. Also speaking that night will be plein air landscape painter Brian Mahieu. Thursday, Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m., STL Books, 100 W. Jefferson

    Read more

  • Recommended: A compact Cuban history by a noted Cuban exile author

    Some three years ago I was asked to edit the English language version of noted Cuban exile author Carlos Alberto Montaner‘s compact history of the Cuban people, The Cubans. The history–ranging from 1492 to possible future scenarios for the island–serves as a good foundation for understanding the island’s politics and people as we debate the

    Read more

  • “Fail” cited in year’s favorite books in St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Thanks to Robin Theiss of STL Books & Gifts for her recommendation in Sunday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch story on the year’s favorite books: “Fail” by Rick Skwiot (fiction) • This novel has also been in high demand, possibly spurred by the situation in Ferguson. Skwiot shows off his versatility with this thriller, the story of

    Read more