Mike Markel



Mike Markel

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Mike Markel writes the Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery series, which is set in the fictional small city of Rawlings, Montana, home of Central Montana State University. That university is somewhat like Boise State University, where Mike taught writing, but in Rawlings the weather is colder, the football team less successful, and the serious crime rate much, much higher.

You can also meet Mike at his website


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Swerve: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 8)

The Central Montana State community has waited a year to learn whether Syclone Systems, a maker of self-driving car technology, will enter into a long-term R&D partnership with the university. At a live demo on campus, where the company is expected to announce its decision, its man on campus, Bryan Orville, is run down by one of his experimental cars. Whoever altered the car’s computer code to kill him also erased all the forensic evidence. Because Orville had some nasty habits–fooling around with grad students, stealing promising research ideas, and publicly humiliating professors who didn’t meet his standards–Seagate and Miner are swamped with suspects. When a second body turns up, and then someone hacks Syclone and threatens to put them out of business, the detectives devise a plan to lure the killer out of hiding with a phony reward for solving the hack. But the killer knows there is much more money to be made selling the company’s trade secrets on the dark web. Besides, the killer is quite busy planning one last murder.


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Players: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 7)

The death of Lake Williams, a former football player at Central Montana State, in his squalid tent in a homeless camp looks to Seagate and Miner like a routine heroin overdose. Soon, however, they discover that someone hired a courier to deliver the uncut heroin, knowing that Lake would shoot up and die instantly. When a second body turns up, and then a third, the evidence points to the head coach and the other leaders of the football program, who appear to be covering up a secret that would destroy the program. When a man comes forward, claiming to have committed numerous felonies on behalf of the program over many years, the detectives don’t know whether he is the killer or merely a decoy in an elaborate misdirection play. In a heart-pounding final confrontation, Seagate and Miner confront the killer–and realize they have walked right into the trap.

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The Reveal: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 6)

“I was kept guessing until the end, even second guessing whether they’d arrested the right person until they’d tied up all the loose ends. This one kept me up late, eager to find out whodunit.” BigAl’s Books and Pals

Many citizens in the small college town of Rawlings, Montana, are unsurprised to learn that Virginia Rinaldi, the world-famous sociologist, was murdered. A few are secretly pleased. Her political enemies knew her as an ideologue who used insults, threats, and blackmail to promote her unpopular social views. When Detectives Seagate and Miner begin their investigation, they discover that a local prostitute had recently moved into the professor’s house, angering Rinaldi’s college-age son. And when the community learns that the prostitute made a lesbian porn video with one of Rinaldi’s students, tensions on campus erupt, leading to more bloodshed. Drawn into a horrifying world of sexual violence and exploitation, Seagate devises a plan to flush out the killer. The plan appears to be on track–until Seagate unwittingly jeopardizes the life of her partner, Ryan Miner.


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Fractures: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 5)

“It seems I can’t rave about them enough…Markel has another winner on his hands.” BigAl’s Books and Pals

The fracking boom in eastern Montana has minted a handful of new millionaires and one billionaire: Lee Rossman, the president of Rossman Mining and the leading philanthropist in the small city of Rawlings. Rossman is the last person Detectives Seagate and Miner expect to discover dead in an alley next to a strip club. Later, when Rossman’s son is found with a belly full of fracking liquid, the detectives know the two crimes are related. In their toughest case yet, Seagate and Miner must solve a mystery awash in enormous fortunes, thwarted ambitions, and grudges both old and new.


Three-Ways: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 4)

“You will have a hard time finding a better way to entertain yourself with a book; this is fine summer reading.” Alex Stiber AVP

When grad student Austin Sulenka is found strangled, nude on his bed, the first question for Detectives Seagate and Miner is whether it was an auto-asphyxiation episode gone wrong. Evidence strewn around his small apartment suggests that he spent his last night with a number of different women. One was Tiffany, a former student who still resented the injustice of getting a C in the course when he promised her a B if she slept with him. Another was Austin’s beautiful girlfriend, May, who had never before encountered a man she could not totally beguile. Then there was his thesis adviser, Suzannah Montgomery, who might have inadvertently revealed to Austin some information about her past that could ruin her own career. These three women and their other partners had plenty of reasons to kill the philandering graduate student. As Detective Karen Seagate and her partner try to unravel the complicated couplings, she finds herself in a three-way relationship that threatens to destroy her own fragile sobriety.



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The Broken Saint: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 3)

“With Broken Saint, author Mike Markel demonstrates why he is one of the rising masters of the detective mystery.” Bruce Robbins on Amazon

Karen Seagate and Ryan Miner investigate the murder of Maricel Salizar, a young Filipino exchange student at Central Montana State. The most obvious suspect is the boyfriend, who happens to have gang connections. And then there’s Amber Cunningham, a fellow student who’s obviously incensed at Maricel for a sexual indiscretion involving Amber’s boyfriend. But the evidence keeps leading Seagate and Miner back to the professor–and LDS bishop–who brought her into his dysfunctional home. Karen Seagate takes it in stride when she and her partner learn that the professor can’t seem to tell the truth about his relationship with the victim. After all, Seagate’s philosophy is, If he breathes, he lies. But to her devout partner, a high-ranking fellow Mormon who has violated every sacred trust deserves special punishment.



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Deviations: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 2)

“It’s hard-hitting and reckless. Detective Karen Seagate is probably one of the most messed up characters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in quite some time.” Shewhirler on Amazon

Former police detective Karen Seagate is drinking herself to oblivion and having dangerous sex with losers from the bar when the new police chief tracks her down. It seems there were problems with her departure. A high-profile murder gives Seagate a chance to work as a detective again … but the new chief is one for the rules, and Seagate has too many deviations from official protocol. These deviations might get her fired. They might also get her killed. But she’s determined they’ll help her find the killer.



Big Sick Heart

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Big Sick Heart: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 1)

“The main dialogue is brilliantly conceived to build and refine the characters, and it is clever and entertaining even while probing the sick soul of police work. I chuckled a lot and,I have to admit, I shed some tears as well.” Karen J Dahood AVP

Police Detective Karen Seagate is having a rough time with her family, the police department, and her drinking. A high-profile murder that has the Chief breathing down her neck is not what she needs, especially with a brand new partner just promoted from uniform rank. Still, Seagate intends to track down the killer. The victim, Arlen Hagerty, created plenty of enemies as he clawed his way to the top of his Soul Savers organization. The organization’s founder, whom Hagerty shoved out of the way, Hagerty’s wife, his mistress, his debate partner, and the politician he was blackmailing–all had reason to wish him dead. But who would kill a man who was dying anyway? Author Mike Markel creates a compelling mystery with intriguing and conflicted characters in his first novel.


  1. Donna Fasano says:

    Great reviews! I enjoy detective novels. Welcome, Mike!

  2. Hey there, Mike. I’ve had the pleasure recently of reviewing several well-crafted detective novels. Love them! Picked up a copy of BIG SICK HEART this morning. Hmmm…a question: do I need to read your series in order?

    • Mike Markel says:

      Well, not technically. But the protagonist develops in important ways over the three books, so if you could stand to start with Big Sick Heart, Karen Seagate’s evolution (or, occasionally, devolution) will be more clear.

      By the way, Big Sick Heart is permafree. Without risking a penny, you’ll be able to see if you can stand Karen Seagate–and me.

      • Thanks, Mike. Not that you need the reviews – your books seem to be doing quite well – but when I finish reading BIG SICK HEART I’ll do a full review. What can I say? I love writing reviews (and reading them!) and this novel sounds good.

  3. Mary Smith says:

    Welcome to eNovel Authors at Work, Mike. I like the sound of your detective novels, especially ones with the same protagonist. Like Sharon, above, can I ask if we should read them in any particular order?

    • Mike Markel says:


      The main characters are the same from book to book, but they do develop–Karen Seagate especially. I’d try Big Sick Heart first for a very important reason: it’s free.

  4. Jackie Weger says:

    Hey! MIke Welcome! I am reading The Broken Saint right now! Whoa! It is a knockout book. You can write! So happy to have you in eNovel Authors at Work.

    Jackie Weger

    • Mike Markel says:

      Well, Jackie, that’s nice to hear. Although I’ve been writing for a long time, I’m never sure of my skill. The problem is that, as I read more, my standards improve, so even as my own skill improves, the horizon keeps retreating.

  5. Wow! What a terrific series! Looks like I’m going to be up until the wee hours turning these pages!


  6. Hi Mike. I love mysteries, and series, so your books are going to be the perfect combo for me!

  7. Charlie Ward says:

    Hi, Mike! I just downloaded Big Sick Heart, and I can already tell that I’ll be wanting to get the other two. I guess that’s kind of the point, though, huh?

  8. Hi, Mike! A warm welcome to our group. Your novels sound chilling as well as fascinating!

    • Mike Markel says:

      Linda Lee-

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I’d be boorish if I agreed with the adjectives “chilling” and “fascinating.” But I’d be very happy with “cool” and “interesting.”

  9. Jenny Harper says:

    I’ll be looking out for your books, Mike! And welcome to the group.

  10. Pete Barber says:

    Hi Mike,

    As the newest member of eNovelAuthorsatWork, I just wanted to stop by and say hi! I look forward to working with you to spread the word about your stories.


  11. Jenny Harper says:

    Good luck with the new book, Mike.

  12. Mike Markel says:

    Results from the R&R campaign for my mystery Three-Ways with Jay at Choosy Bookworm:

    The campaign ended almost two weeks ago. So far I have received about 14 reviews (from about 31 people). And yesterday Jay apparently pestered the readers to post reviews if they hadn’t already done so, and a half-dozen did. My conclusion: Jay’s program is very valuable. I urge you to give it a try!

  13. Dale Furse says:

    Congrats on the Choosy Bookworm promotion. 14 reviews is great.

    I’m reading Three-Ways now, but didn’t realise it was book for until today. Teach me to read covers more closely, lol.

  14. Pete Barber says:


    I think that’s an excellent return. I have a 50% goal. If 50% of the people that request my book actually accept the gift, then if 50% of them write reviews, I’ll be delighted.

    So far, I have 16 send, eight claimed and three of those have written reviews, but it’s been less than two weeks since the book appeared, so early days.

    When I self-published my first novel, I scrolled through 6,000 Amazon reviewers names to find 150 people who liked my genre and also published their email address in their Amazon profile (not many do). Of those 150 that I sent a tailored, begging email to, less than 1/3rd accepted the book and actually wrote reviews. And don’t even start me on the percentage response from the blogger and review sites I wrote to. I read for one, and I see the competition every day. We have eight reviewers and no matter how fast we read and review, there are never less than 1,500 books in the TBR list.

    It too me four months hard work (2-3 hours a day) to obtain my first 28 reviews. I’m grateful to every one of those people, but I have no doubt that the program Jackie has put together with Jay is unique and an incredible opportunity for us–it’s ugly out there!

  15. Mike – I’m out and about on the site, meeting and greeting authors. Must say you have quite a collection on Amazon, with your numerous technical books and your Detective Seagate and Miner Mystery series. I look forward to reading them.

    Good results for you from Choosy’s R&R program. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I will.

  16. KJD says:

    Hi Mike,
    As I’m the newest member of the group, Jackie suggested I contacted you and say hi – well that’s done then, eh? My author page will be up on this site shortly and you’ll see that I write crime thrillers too.

    Would you be interested in being interview in my blog? I thought we could chat about your work, motivations, and anything that comes to mind.

    Over to you mate,
    Kerry 🙂


    • Mike Markel says:

      Hello, Kerry. Yes, I’d love to be interviewed. Let me know what to do next.



      • KJD says:

        Hi Mike,

        Sorry about the tardy response (forgot to click the ‘notify me’ button).

        I’m in the middle of the second edit of my WIP – hope to finish by 14th Sept. After that, I’ll have a few weeks free and we can sort some decent questions out.

        If you don’t hear from me in a couple of weeks, rattle my cage – I’m not being rude, just forgetful. 🙂


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