r. scott mackey

Review of ‘Courage Betrayed’

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When a man seems to be admitting to a murder while talking in his sleep, his wife hires PI Ray Courage to investigate. As Ray digs deep into the man’s dark past, more things come to light than he expected.. R. Scott Mackey hits another one out of the park with Courage Betrayed. Though shorter than previous offerings, the author still manages to pack a lot of punch in the few pages. Don’t miss this one.


I received a complimentary copy of this book. It gets five stars from me.

Review of ‘Courage Lost’

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Retired college professor turned PI Ray Courage is hired by an attorney to find the son of a billionaire couple who’s been missing for twenty years. As he begins to dig, and eventually discovers that the missing heir is dead, Ray unearths an even murkier mystery, one that, if he’s not careful could end up with him being dead.

Courage Lost by R. Scott Mackey is yet another offering in the Ray Courage mystery series, and it’s just as good, if not better than the previous stories. Follow Ray as he burrows into a devious plot that twists and turns from central California to Honduras and back, and he has to deal with skeptical cops, murderous street gangs, and greedy grifters—all the while trying to make sense of his arid love life. This one’s a page-turner that you won’t want to miss.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. It’s a five-star one for sure.

Review of ‘Courage Stolen’

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When Jerry Langford, the security chief at Granderson University, hires Ray Courage after someone steals the files of a PhD student working on a project that could lead to a way to reduce greenhouse gas and revolutionize the energy industry, it seems a fairly routine case. Ray is dragooned into being the bagman when the thief demands a $20 million payment for return of the files.

What appeared to be a simple case, though, quickly becomes complicated when two murders occur, and Ray finds himself dealing with crooked corporate executives and a band of criminals who would just as soon see him dead. He and his sidekick, Rubia, must unravel the mystery of the Monarch Project before they become the next victims.

Courage Stolen by R. Scott Mackey is book four in the Ray Courage Private Investigator series, and continues the excitement of the first three. The author is a master wordsmith who knows how to meld wry humor, pathos, and action into a story that grabs you by the hair and twists until you submit. Pithy dialogue and incisive narrative give readers a picture full of soot, blood and gore, with touches of hilarity that seem to fit the world that the protagonist inhabits. This is a book that you simply cannot put down until the closing scene.

I received an advance copy of Courage Stolen in exchange for my unbiased review. If you’re a mystery fan, particularly noir mysteries with a liberal dose of humor, this is a book you absolutely must read.

One of the easiest five star ratings I’ve given all year!

Review of ‘Courage Resurrected’

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Ray Courage’s wife, Pam, has been dead for 13 years—killed in a strange auto mishap, ruled an accident because no other vehicle was ever found. Ray has tried to move on with his life, with a modest degree of success, until one day he receives an email purporting to be from Pam, accusing him of trying to kill her. At first, he thinks it’s a sick joke, but he receives further communication, and then he learns that the police have been contacted and informed that he somehow tried to kill his wife.

In Courage Resurrected by R. Scott Mackey, we follow Ray as he struggles with the possibility that his wife is not dead, and furthermore, she is pretty steamed at him, believing he tried to do her in. He’s determined to get to the bottom of it, but that becomes complicated when a skeptical policewoman gets on his tail, and fresh corpses start turning up, with clues pointing at him. When one of his wife’s former co-workers ends up dead in his apartment, a warrant is issued for his arrest, and he has to make a decision—turn himself in, or go on the lam. In typical Ray Courage fashion, he decides to take the latter course of action.

In the third book in the Ray Courage mystery series, we follow Ray as he tries to stay one step ahead of the law while catching up with a killer who is determined to keep old secrets worth killing for.

Mackey writes with a deft touch of humor and a sharp eye for description of locale and human behavior. He’s also good at planting subtle clues that a sharp-eyed reader will pick up on, provided he or she is a really sharp-eyed reader. There are surprises, red herrings, and more twists than a roller coaster at King’s Dominion, and it’ll leave you just as breathless.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. I give it five stars.

Review of ‘Courage Begins’

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After working for 22 years as a professor at Sacramento State University, Ray Courage retired and set out to become a private investigator. In order to get his license he needs 4,000 hours of paid intern work, and has signed on at California Farmers Insurance. His boss gives him a cold case involving the death of a wealthy real estate agent, Tiffanie Bate, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning along with her lover. Although the company suspected foul play, in light of her husband having taken out a $1.5 million policy on her life shortly before she died, he has an iron clad alibi, and the police are calling the death accidental.

In Courage Begins, a novella introducing Ray Courage, written by R. Scott Mackey, the reader follows Ray as, with the help of his former student and ex-gangbanger, Rubia, he digs up ghosts that someone wants to be left buried. Ray knows that he’s on to something when the town drunk swears that he saw the husband near the crime scene the night of the death—despite video evidence placing him at a very public event many miles away. When someone tries to get him to drop the case, using the same method that killed Tiffanie, Ray knows he’s on to something. The question, though, is whether or not he can prove it before he becomes the next victim.

Pithy dialogue and on-the-mark narrative descriptions, along with a good mixture of humor and horror, mark Courage Begins as a must-read book for mystery fans. I received a free copy of this introductory novella in exchange for my review. A five-star book!

Review of ‘Courage Matters’

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Ray Courage was a college professor with a major addiction to baseball. When a student tried unsuccessfully to seduce him to get a better grade, and then accused him of coming on to her, he gave up teaching, and decided to become a private investigator.
When his former lover, Jill Stroud, comes to him with a plea to help her dad who thinks he’s about to be cheated, Courage has some doubts about this, his first case, but takes it anyway.
In Courage Matters by R. Scott Mackey, follow the sometimes funny, sometimes scary adventures of Ray Courage as he learns to be a PI – with the help of Rubia, a former gang-banger who owns the Say Hay Bar, a baseball-themed establishment.
I received a free review copy of Courage Matters, and while it was my first time reading Mackey’s work, I’m looking forward to another turn at bat.
Great dialogue and description, and some really wacky, but totally believable characters, and I like the way the author weaves his encyclopedic knowledge of baseball into the story. Mackey gets five stars for this one.