Local author releases prequel to thrilling crime series

“A Deadly Game” will have a book launch and signing at MacArthur Books in Carmel on Sept. 30 from 2-4 p.m. (Photo provided/Michael Dabney)

“A Deadly Game,” Indiana author M.B. Dabney’s second novel, is officially out.

Dabney’s latest novel is a prequel to his debut novel “An Untidy Affair,” which first hit bookshelves in June 2021. “A Deadly Game” introduces readers to a new side of David Blaise, adding exciting context and nuance to his life and struggles as a young, Black private detective in 1984 Philadelphia. The book, which was officially released on Sept. 1, is scheduled for a book launch and signing at MacArthur Books in Carmel on Sept. 30 from 2-4 p.m.

“David Blaise is a detective with struggles. His girlfriend wants to have the talk with him, Mafia figures want to kill him, his brother-in-law lies to him and a beautiful city official snubs him. He has to solve this murder case in order to survive,” Dabney said.

Dabney said the story unravels a little bit more of Blaise’s life and personality as a man who is used to nonviolent cases is thrust into a world of dangerous twists and confusing turns while attempting to determine who he can trust to solve the case.

“It explores, I think, his personality more than the previous one,” Dabney said. “It shows more of not just his strengths, but … where his weaknesses are, and it has one of my favorite scenes that I’ve ever written in fiction in this book.”

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Although Dabney’s first two books have been published within two years of each other, he said he has been sitting on the manuscripts for a little over a decade. Both David Blaise novels were written during National November Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. 

“He [Blaise] has an office On West 52nd Street … he has a two-office suite he rents from his brother-in-law for $1 a month because he had done something the previous year for his brother-in-law,” Dabney said. “When I did this novel, I thought, ‘Okay, what was it that he did for his brother-in-law?’ And that’s what this book is about; that’s how I came up with this.”

Marian Allen, managing editor for Per Bastet Publications in Southern Indiana, worked closely with Dabney to edit both his first and second book and said she has always loved his characters for their distinct personalities and voices on the page. She said readers can anticipate more action and excitement and compelling humor in “A Deadly Game.”

“This is a prequel to the book that’s already out, and you read that book and you think, ‘Oh, how did this happen? How did he get into that position? What happened with this relationship?’” Allen said. “This prequel explains some of that, so you get some questions answered that if you’ve read the book that was published before, you probably had those questions because the characters are so compelling.”

“A Deadly Game” is available now. MacArthur Books, 2169 Glebe St. #100a, Carmel, will host a book launch and signing with Dabney instore on Sept. 30 from 2-4 p.m. The event is free to attend but tickets can be reserved on Eventbrite.

Contact staff writer Chloe McGowan at 317-762-7848 or chloegm@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @chloe_mcgowanxx.