Series: The Fifth Precinct
These are Mystery & Crime stories set in modern-day America, many occurring within the jurisdiction of the 5th Police Precinct in Manhattan's Chinatown. Although there are numerous characters that appear in this series, the main protagonist and antagonist -- Ex-mercenary Mark Sauer and Jade Dragon Triad killer Li Joi -- are descendants of Hezekiah Sauer and Li Ch'ou Tzu, the main characters in my series In Peril in China. Over a dozen stories are now in print; the magazines or collections that each story appears in are listed below.
Woman's World Weekly, Jan 2003
Woman's World Weekly, Sep 2008
Calliope 126 -- Mensa
Calliope 133 -- Mensa
Calliope Magazine 136, Jul 2012
The Storyteller Anthology
FARK in the Time of COVID
The Odds are Against Us
Woman's World Weekly, Nov 2007
Deadly Ink 2008 Short Story Collection
Deadly Ink 2010 Short Story Collection
Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine
The Gift of Murder
Anthology (Toys for Tots)
Short Story Collection
Short Story Collection
"The One Dollar Caper"
"Fast Fingers and Coffee"
"A Killing Season"
"Death in the Bright Darkness"
"A Season for Money"
"Interception in the Desert"
"Murder, and a Multitude of Other Sins"
"Only Death Gets Your Respect"
"A Diamond of a Joke
"The Franklin Folio is Missing"
Private Eye Mark Sauer gets wrangled by triad killer Joi Li into finding out who tortured and killed a good friend of hers. The only clue? In the dead woman's pocket was an antique magazine subscription envelope containing seven $1 bills stacked together.
Detective Karen Marx is investigating a phone scheme that bilked an old woman out of $3000 -- and is trying to do the same thing a second time. But how is it possible, since the con man is apparently the one answering the old lady's 9-1-1 call?
Every so often, someone's deposit to the bank just vanishes out of the computer. It's up to Fifth Precinct Detective Karen Marx and her partner Tom Mackenzie to figure out who the thief is and how they are getting away with it.
1000 word flash fiction -- the first mystery I ever wrote, which sold to the first market I sent it to. I got $500 for it.
Fifth Precinct Sergeant Tom Mackenzie asks Sergeant Nick Serrano to help him uncover a jewel thief -- and at the same time, avoid causing an international incident in the process while doing so.
Lt. Veronica Marx and Sgt. Tom Wills investigate an apparent accidental death whose fall from an upper balcony suddenly doesn't look all that accidental after all.
700 word flash fiction "solve it yourself" story
PI Sauer tries to warn a nerdy, hapless diamond thief to skip town and hide from the thugs who hired Sauer to find him. When the harmless thief is gunned down by crooked cops who also want the diamonds, it's up to Sauer to figure out where the diamonds are, before the crooks or the cops do.
When someone steals the corpse of a homeless Chinese man out of the Manhattan South morgue, PI Mark Sauer does on the hunt to find out who would want a dead body, a crime made all the harder to solve with triad killer Joi Li tagging along beside him.
[A prequel to this series.] Mercenary Mark Sauer is on patrol in Chad in Africa when he is given a mission: find an enemy agent provocateur trying to sneak into the country, and stop them. But can he do so and not get involved in a shoot-out with local anti-government rebels?
The patrons of the Lansdale Public Library have pooled their money in what looks like a get-rich-quick scheme. Reference librarian Miriam Mackenzie (Sgt Tom Mackenzie's cousin) must unravel the scheme before six good friends of hers get taken for all they have.
Disgraced ex-Fifth Precinct cop Ed Fong and his friend Micah Brooks get stuck in a rest stop in Vermont during a blizzard ... and find a fresh corpse in the snow. One of the people trapped in the rest stop with them is a killer. But which one?
Triad killer Joi Li masquerades by day as a Bounty Hunter. When she and her team go looking for a guy who skipped bail, her team once again leaves her in the background -- until one of them is killed by the perp they have cornered. Can Joi Li use her so-called "Red Lantern magic" to bring the dead back to life?
PI Sauer is awoken in his dead grandfather's country retreat in Lansdale, CT by a monstrous explosion that lights up the night. A gas well on the neighboring property has exploded and one of the owners is dead. Sauer would leave it alone, but something smells funny in all this.
A folio of papers written by Benjamin Franklin has been stolen, and it's up to ex-mercenary-turned-Private Eye Mark Sauer to find out who stole them ... and when his employer turns up dead, Sauer has to find who killed the man, in order to prove his own innocence.
"The Seven Dollar Clue"
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Copyright 2021 Joseph Benedetto Jr.