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Mike Fitzgerald is an ex-jewel thief trying to go straight, but since his release from prison someone has been committing robberies and making it look like he did them. To add to his misery, two San Diego Sheriff detectives are determined to send Mike back to prison and are willing to break the law to do it.

Mike finally gets a break when a wealthy couple hire him to draw a mural at their mansion, but his dreams of success as an artist soon dissolve when the wife is murdered in a botched robbery of jewels worth ten million dollars. Of course, Mike is the prime suspect and this leaves him with only two choices. Find the real killer, or spend the rest of his life on the run.

At first, Mike runs for it, but in the Mexican border town of Rosarito Beach he comes across a crooked cop who convinces him that he can help find the real killer if Mike pays him a substantial bribe. Mike agrees and they return to the United States in search of the killer.

As they search,  Mike discovers that he has been a puppet on a string ever since his release from prison, and the puppet master is about to cut the strings.
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“MERMAID JEWELS is a gritty, tough tour de force that moves along at a breakneck pace. Grady’s characters are hard core and realistic. Hang on to your seat as he takes you on a ride you’ll long remember.” Vaughn C. Hardacker author of SNIPER, THE FISHERMAN, and THE BLACK ORCHID

“…Frank Grady makes us truly empathize with an ex-con turned artist who has to fall back on his original skillset to nab the real criminal who pins a crime on him. A truly fun, twisting mystery.” C. Hope Clark, author of The Carolina Slade Mysteries and The Edisto Island Mysteries, Bell Bridge Books.

“Readers looking for a hard-boiled, edge-of-the seat action thriller are advised to grab Frank J. Grady’s MERMAID JEWELS, then hold on tight for an adrenaline-pumping ride that doesn’t ease up on the thrills until the last page.” Harold Schechter, author of  THE SERIAL KILLER FILES.”

“IMPRESSIVE DEBUT CRIME THRILLER!  Be prepared to lose a chunk of your life, because once you start reading this book, there is no way you’ll be able to stop. In MERMAID JEWELS, Grady delivers a taut thriller that unfolds at a blistering pace and culminates in a stunning conclusion you’ll never see coming.  As a physician who has written about diabolical doctors capable of murder, I was especially hooked by the portrayal of the villainous doctor. Be sure to hop on this thrill ride!” John Benedict MD, best-selling author of Fatal Complications.

“Mermaid Jewels is a book with a hero you can’t help but sympathize with. Mike Fitzgerald is an ex-con who wants nothing more than to go straight and pursue his dream of becoming an artist. But just about everyone he encounters sees him as the perfect fall guy, someone they can use to further their own tawdry schemes to make money.  There are the San Diego detectives who accuse him of a string of burglaries. There is the well-to-do doctor who invites him to help out with a fundraiser. There is the Mexican bandito who would like to relieve Mike of his stash of jewelry. Mike is able to dodge these bullets because he has a few tricks of his own, some of which he acquired while in the joint. With everyone either wanting him dead or back in jail, you can’t blame Mike for being close to giving up on human nature. But this book is full of surprises and unexpected twists — and it’s always darkest just before the dawn.” Albert Ashforth, author of the spy thriller, The Rendition.

“Grady deftly hands us an ex con we can really care about as he fights for his life against corrupt cops and murderous medicos.” Caroline Taylor, author of Jewelry from a Grave.

“You’ll find yourself cheering for an ex-con determined to beat the odds.” Gail Oust, author of the Spice Shop Mysteries

“Murder, manipulation and millions of dollars in stolen jewels add up to a gem of a first novel by Frank Grady.” Glenn Ickler, author of One Death Too Many and many other mystery novels.

“A murderous collage of art and intrigue.”  Mario Acevedo, author of Rescue From Planet Pleasure.

“In Frank Grady’s debut novel, Mermaid Jewels, he’s created a beguiling main character in ex-con Mike Fitzgerald. The ex-con wants to go straight, works six-days and nights a week as a waiter and in whatever spare time he finds he practices his drawing, something he learned in prison. Art has replaced thievery, or at least Fitzgerald wants it to. A not so understanding wife, two crooked sheriff detectives, millions in jewels are all there to complicate Fitzgerald’s life. Grady weaves his character through troubles that begin in Southern California and flow into Tijuana, Mexico and a little further south to the seaside town of Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Of course, Fitzgerald is accused of theft, but Grady’s unusual way of getting the ex-con exonerated makes for an exciting read. Having spent years in the areas of Southern California and Baja, Mexico, I appreciated Grady’s knowledge of the area and how he uses the locale in his novel. Mike Fitzgerald would make an interesting series character.” Michael Haskins, author of the Mick Murphy Key West Mystery Series

“There’s an old saying, “It takes a thief to catch a thief.” More than 50 years ago, it inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s creation of a frothy romantic thriller set on the French Riviera starring Cary Grant as a reformed jewel thief trying to save his reputation and freedom by catching a new thief imitating his techniques, But now it has inspired Frank Grady’s Mermaid Jewels, a dark suspense tale in which our reformed jewel thief  finds himself the target of a front-page murder investigation. He has no choice but to return to his criminal past to try to save himself from whoever has set him up. Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a tense and haunting version of rehabilitation that no prison warden would ever endorse.” Michael A. Kahn, award-winning author of The Sirena Quest and the Rachel Gold mystery series.”

“Get ready for a wild ride with an ex-con and jewel thief who must run for his life and return to his old profession to survive bad cops on both sides of the US-Mexico border when set up for murder. Fast paced and will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey.” Mike Befeler, author of Murder on the Switzerland Trail, Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse and the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series

“Mike Fitzgerald, witty though not always likable, has a knack for compounding his own troubles, especially after securing a commission to produce a mural for wealthy clients and a charity event. That job ends with murder and $10 million in stolen jewels. Fitzgerald – morally ambiguous, guilty of some crimes but not others – is immediately the lead suspect. Frank Grady gives his protagonist a wild ride from California to Mexico and back again. Along the way, self-awareness and integrity take a turn for the better after an assistant police chief gives Fitzgerald a second chance, helping him play the role of police detective to sort through a morass of marital affairs and police corruption, all to expose the true killer.” Susan Froetschel, author of five suspense novels, including Allure of Deceit 

“Get ready to be enthralled. Frank Grady’s debut novel, MERMAID JEWELS, is guaranteed to keeps its readers riveted in page-turning suspense. Grady’s main protagonist, ex-con, Mike Fitzgerald, won’t quit until he finds vindication for being wrongly accused of robberies he didn’t commit. And it gets worse. He’s being hunted down by a cast of characters he would rather not know. Follow Mike through the twists and turns of the Mexican border towns of Tijuana and Rosarito Beach, as he finds himself in harrowing situations that propel this thriller along with edge-of-your-seat excitement. Grady, whose own eclectic past experiences as a boxer, DJ, ASCAP Rep, Madison Avenue copywriter and now, author, has served him well. He knows exactly how to weave a tale, and he does it with such skill and style, you’ll wonder where he’s been all your life.  MERMAID JEWELS is a book you won’t want to put down, and Grady’s fast-paced hijinks will keep you begging for more. Slip into a margarita, and settle in for a literary ride you won’t soon forget.” Judith Marks-White, author of Seducing Harry and Bachelor Degree, Random House/Ballantine