Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer


When I was a kid, I had a soft spot for tough guys. I loved them in the movies, on television, and the guys I met in real life. Okay, maybe I still have a soft spot for them. That’s one of the reasons I loved all the Spenser books Robert B. Parker wrote.

A few years ago, I had a chance to write a boxing novella for an editor, something I’d always wanted to try. That one had a supernatural element to it, but the boxing was clean and the 1950s atmosphere was strong, at least in my opinion. I also loved the first-person voice I came up with for the character and I enjoyed sinking into the world.

At any rate, I released the short story on Kindle and it caught the attention of Paul Bishop, a career LAPD detective, who — like me — grew up on pulps, Gold Medal novels, and the idea of tough guys. We ended up talking about the story, about our mutual loves and wistfully wishing that someone still wrote stories like that. The more we talked, the more we realized we wanted to do that. BTW, Paul is a bestselling writer and a television star as well (Take The Money And Run).

So we decided we would write those stories. We set them back in the 1950s. My character, Mickey Flynn, is a merchant marine sailor who’s tough as nails. Paul’s character is Patrick Flynn, an LAPD detective on Chief Parker’s infamous Hat Squad. The brothers grew up in an orphanage in Chicago where they were taught the “sweet science” by Father Tim. The orphanage is nicknamed Our Lady of the Glass Jaw.

Once other writers found out what we were doing, a few of them wanted on board and we gladly let them. (There were a lot of orphans that went through Our Lady of the Glass Jaw!) Next up is Eric Beetner’s Split Decision, and that will be out in December.

These beautiful covers are by Keith Birdsong.

Paul and I had a lot of fun with these first two books, and we’re already planning the next round for our characters. So if you like tough guys, boxing, noir, crime stories, and pulps, I hope you’ll find something in these books that you like. Let us know.

About The Cutman: Havana, Cuba. 1954.

Mickey Flynn is an ex-Korean War vet turned merchant marine. He was born in the ghettos of Chicago and raised in an orphanage with his younger brother, Patrick. He was one of several young men who received an education from the nuns at St. Vincent’s.

But he was also taught the “sweet science” by Father Tim, a Golden Gloves boxer and retired police officer who only knew one way to bring a troubled boy to manhood. Father Tim worked with his young charges, taught them how to jab and punch and throw a hook that seemed to come out of nowhere. When the young men left St. Vincent’s (Our Lady of the Glass Jaw), they were changed, fit and ready to take on the troubles the encountered around the world, no matter where they found them.

Now Mick’s in Havana, working on Wide Bertha, his ship. After surviving a fierce storm at sea, the last thing Mick and the crew need to do is get crossways with the Italian organized crime flooding Havana, but it doesn’t take much to put him in the cross hairs of a vengeful mob boss working for Lucky Luciano.

Unable to get free of bad luck and unfortunate circumstance, Mick ends up in the ring in an illegal boxing match fighting a human killing machine.

About Felony Fists: Los Angeles 1954

Patrick “Felony” Flynn has been fighting all his life. Learning the “sweet science” from Father Tim the fighting priest at St. Vincent’s, the Chicago orphanage where Pat and his older brother Mickey were raised, Pat has battled his way around the world – first with the Navy and now with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Legendary LAPD chief William Parker is on a rampage to clean up both the department and the city. His elite crew of detectives known as The Hat Squad is his blunt instrument – dedicated, honest, and fearless. Promotion from patrol to detective is Pat’s goal, but he also yearns to be one of the elite.

And his fists are going to give him the chance.

Gangster Mickey Cohen runs LA’s rackets, and murderous heavyweight Solomon King is Cohen’s key to taking over the fight game. Chief Parker wants wants Patrick “Felony” Flynn to stop him – a tall order for middleweight ship’s champion with no professional record.

Leading with his chin, and with his partner, LA’s first black detective Tombstone Jones, covering his back, Patrick Flynn and his Felony Fists are about to fight for his future, the future of the department, and the future of Los Angeles.

2 Responses to “FIGHT CARD Debuts”

  1. Did you write Cutman and Paul Bishop write Felony Fists or did y’all write them together? Are all the books going to be under the name Jack Tunney?

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