Hush Money


As a deputy public defender, Jack MacTaggart’s controversial acquittal of a gang thug who promptly killed an LAPD homicide detective opened wounds in L.A.’s criminal justice system that still haven’t healed.

Years later, when his courtroom talents land him at Henley & Hargrove, “Pasadena’s oldest and snobbiest law firm,” Jack is assigned to handle an insurance claim on behalf of socialite Sydney Everett. Hush Puppy, Sydney’s champion show horse, has died unexpectedly on the eve of the Fieldstone Riding Club’s annual grand prix competition, and the great horse’s death appears to have been anything but natural.

Jack soon learns that the insurance claim won’t be Sydney’s first.  Years earlier, Jared Henley – the playboy son of managing partner Morris Henley – represented Sydney in connection with the death of another equine champion, and the file from that case has gone missing from the Henley & Hargrove archives.

Jack’s investigation draws him into the high-stakes world of professional show jumping, where he encounters romance, rivalry, and an old blackmail scheme whose revelation leads to murder. And with homicide detective Tom Parker – the very cop whose partner was killed by the gang thug Jack had acquitted – leading a rush to judgment, Jack finds himself both the prime suspect and the next likely victim.

Best Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Adventure Novel, 2010
SouthWest Writers Annual Writing Contest

2010 Storyteller Award Winner
SouthWest Writers

Hush Money is a fast-paced, funny mystery and Jack MacTaggart is a delightful, wisecracking hero.  I hope we see more of him.”

Phillip Margolin, New York Times best-selling author of
Capitol Murder.

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