During the time between the sinking of Dorchester Publishing and my emergence with another publisher, I worked on some other projects. I did not want to just sit and wait for something to happen, and I was interested in trying some of the self-publishing outlets that people were talking a great deal about.

While I was going strong with Dorchester, I was also working on mystery and noir. I had had success with a story in that vein (“At the End of the Orchard”) to the extent of winning the Spur Award, and I had written other short stories and middle-length fiction set in the fruit fields of California, where I had worked a great deal in my teens and early twenties. During my down time with westerns, I brought out two mystery/noir novellas under a single cover and available in print format. Dead for the Last Time, which first appeared in an electronic magazine and then as a Kindle e-book, was the first of these two. Trouble in the Labor Camp, which first appeared as an e-book with Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery and had been available through Smashwords, Kindle, and other outlets, was the other.

While the e-book format has been very good for bringing out works of variable length and making them available to a wider audience, I was happy to have my work in print format. In my scale of value, the print book is still at the top, and I am glad that Two Novellas was priced to compete with mass-market paperbacks.

Here is the back cover copy for this book:

In Dead for the Last Time, Larry Sterne is a free-spirited young fellow who comes back to his home town after his first year of college. He learns that an old pedophile has been found dead in an abandoned milk factory and some of his friends are suspected. Before long, one of the friends turns up dead as well. Set in the summer of 1967, this is a nice period piece as well as a genial murder mystery with a serious undertone.

In Trouble in the Labor Camp, Morgan Cross is a field worker who follows the crops. He wants to move up in the world, and he knows that he has to stay out of trouble in order to do it. He meets Rosa Maria, a pretty girl whose family is staying in the same labor camp, but things get complicated by murder and tawdry sex. These two novellas continue the retro/noir style in which John D. Nesbitt has earned distinction. His depiction of farm work, migrant housing, and small-town life in California in the 1960’s is superb.

The book format of Two Novellas was available through Create Space on Amazon until I arranged to have it reprinted (along with several other titles of mine) with Speaking Volumes. From time to time I enjoy picking up this book and hearing one of these two narrators tell about his experiences in that now-distant time and place.

Two Novellas is available at Amazon.

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