Lance Bailey
Created by Ray Nayler

In American Graveyards, his first recorded case, elderly private eye LANCE BAILEY may be way past his expiry date, but he's got one last case to solve, and he will --even if it kills him. And so he heads out into the Mojave Desert, hot on the trail of the the killer of his one true love. Lance is suitably noir -- obsessed and driven by revenge, he's been tracking down this guy, a former client, for twenty years or so.

But he's no fool -- he's also working on a paying case at the same time. According to the blurb, he's "haunted by an enigmatic nightmare of being a deep sea diver losing his air supply... Lance finds himself struggling to keep up with a world that is growing more and more fragmented and deadly with each passing moment. His one saving grace is the secretary who has been loyal to him all these years, whose very life depends on Bailey's ability to come through against the odds one last time."

It's an ambitious novel, flip-flopping back and forth in time, and full of a keening psychological depth that owes more than a little to Ross Macdonald.

Ray Nayler was born in Quebec and educated in California, where he studied American Literature and Film Noir at the University of California. His short fiction has been published in allover the place, including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Heist, Blue Murder, The Edge (USA), and The Berkeley Fiction Review, among others. American Graveyards is his first novel. A collection of his crime and detective stories, Sleepwalking, was released in 2012. Ray calls it his "sort of 'final statement' for (his) noir years."


  • "Dark, dangerous and intoxicating, Ray Nayler's fiction is a potent elixir that will slam your senses. It'll leave you shaken and stirred, with cool characters on ice, and a plot served up neat with a twist. Ready for a heady shot and a slow burn?"
    -- Elise Lyons, Blue Murder
  • "(Ray Nayler has) pulled off something worthy of your attention, I'll tell you that... All of the conventions of the private eye story are here, except that this time, the PI is the one feeling the guilt. Lew Archer was a blank slate, it seemed, a device to expose dark secrets to the light of day. With Lance Bailey, we sometimes wonder if he really wants the truth to come out. And that's what helps make this stand above typical PI tales. All the moral murkiness of the old pulp novels explored with a psychological depth and literary style shows why Nayler and a handful of other young crime writers are blazing the trail for others in the New Pulp arena."
    -- A.N. Smith of Plots With Guns

  • "Ray Nayler writes like Jim Thompson on crack, only his prose is twenty times better."
    -- Plots With Guns



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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