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Soundings in the Dark

Minneapolis private investigator Lyle Dahms investigates the murder of an old high school buddy. The dead man, now a highly successful software developer, is found repeatedly stabbed, swastikas carved into his corpse. Suspicion promptly falls on the dead man’s son, a high school student who had gone virtually overnight from star athlete and scholar to rebellious skinhead whose hate-filled diatribes spare no one, least of all his privileged, liberal father.


Dahms soon discovers others with motives to kill his old friend, chief among them a white supremacist leader and publicity-hungry “minister” who frames his racist views as divine law. But before Dahms can close in on the truth, his investigation is hampered by the arrival of the dead man’s former girlfriend, now an embittered hooker. Claiming to know who killed his friend, she refuses to tell Dahms for fear that she will be the next victim. She does, however, leave him something. When she bolts, she abandons her three-year-old daughter to his care, leaving Dahms charged with keeping the little girl safe, finding her mother, and solving the murder before the killer can strike again.

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The Lyle Dahms Mysteries Book Three

Praise & Reviews for Soundings in the Dark

Brian Anderson’s third Lyle Dahms mystery Soundings in the Dark shows his mastery of character creation and development. The characters grow from simply interesting personalities to pals who you would want to have your back. This happens as you turn the pages anxiously following the twists and turns of politically and emotionally charged exploits fraught with danger…Dahms appears initially as the hard-boiled detective à la Philip Marlowe – tough, unsentimental, quick with the quip, violent, and dogged. But, with the arrival of his girlfriend Naomi, the dog Basil, and little Ava, we find that he is really soft-boiled under the hard shell.

"What and engaging cast of characters!!!"

Private Investigator Lyle Dahms bulldozes and wise-cracks his way through a murder investigation of an old friend like a Midwestern Philip Marlowe. The nefarious world of neo-Nazism is explored and condemned; refuting this brand of white supremacy may seem obvious, but given the current social and political winds, it could not be more relevant and timely. The one thing that cannot be refuted or overlooked is the author's razor sharp wit, found so rarely in today's mystery genre where most everything is graphic sex and excessive violence, but few laughs and little humanity. This entertaining and enthralling novel is replete with both.

"Highly recommended!"

When I open the first page of a novel and instantly ‘know’ the character, I know its going to be right up my street. The hero in this story is a PI. While PI Dahms is battered and bruised in the course of getting to the truth and putting himself in danger, there is a sense of reality. Rather than the super-hero who doesn’t ‘hurt,’ you feel his pain. The story, sub-plots and pace are well drawn, and the additional characters are beautifully written, taking on a life of their own.

"If you love a fast-paced murder-mystery, well I suggest you choose this as your next read."

The Cough of Birds

The Lyle Dahms Mysteries Book Two

When Minneapolis private investigator Lyle Dahms visits a friend who makes armor at a rural Renaissance festival instead of a day of medieval merrymaking he witnesses a grisly murder, watching helplessly as one of the friend’s colleagues is pinned to a wall by an arrow shot by an unseen assailant. Although warned to stay out of the case by the local constabulary, Dahms gets drawn in further and further as he uncovers drug dealing, crooked cops, infidelity, more deaths, and even stumbles into an unlikely chance at love with a comely and independent-minded barmaid. 


As lies and hidden agendas reveal themselves, Dahms must keep his wits about him as he navigates an unfamiliar bygone land of knights in armor, wandering jugglers, lusty wenches, strolling minstrels, and both gun-toting and broadsword-wielding adversaries. All that and, of course, something with which Dahms is all too familiar—murder. 

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Praise & Reviews for The Cough of Birds

Award-winning author Terry Persun writes "Reminiscent of Robert B. Parker’s Spencer character, Dahms is antagonistic and smart-mouthed—especially with the authorities—but serious and capable when he needs to be."

"Fantastic Mystery"

This is a story that will keep readers’ interest for the sharp, biting dialogue and quirky, fascinating characters—and flavored with all those things involved in the world of Renaissance faires—from the costumes, to the period speech patterns and food options. Dahms himself is a treat. Reminiscent of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser PI, his dry humor and smart mouth are a welcome change in mystery fiction. In short, he’s a keeper.

"Complex plotting, diverse characters, edge of your seat suspense."

The Cough of Birds is a detective novel in the grand tradition, with a wise-cracking P.I. with a tough exterior and a heart of mush. What separates this from most others in the genre is the general sense of fun that Anderson brings to the story, and that I imagine he had while writing it. No slow or dull moments, the narrative moves forward quickly and relentlessly as the plot unfolds. Some sex, some romance, some violence, but it’s drizzled lightly and doesn’t detract or distract from the story. Highly recommended!

"Funny and Suspensful"

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The Shiver in Her Eyes

A Lyle Dahms Mystery

Hired by a mob-controlled pornographer to investigate a grisly murder, Minneapolis PI Lyle Dahms faces murderous gunmen, merciless gang members, and a massive ex-professional wrestler who, besotted with the dead man’s wife, insists on tagging along.

The real mystery involves the pornographer’s mistress, a dark and vulnerable beauty who steals Lyle’s heart—and who may not be everything she seems. As the lies continue to mount and loyalties change like the Midwest weather, Dahms risks his life to seek justice and protect the woman he loves.


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Praise & Reviews for The Shiver in Her Eyes

Lyle Dahms is a PI protagonist unlike any I have encountered before. The story from Lyle's point of view offered fresh internal dialogue that had me laughing while I continued to turn page after page to find out what happened next. I can't wait for the next Lyle Dahms mystery to hit the shelves!

"Private Eye Page Turner!"

Shiver in Her Eyes is quite the page turner. It's a gripping chapter in a new series I've been hearing about from other mystery fans who, like me, formerly lived in the Twin Cities. As someone who spent years in Dinkytown, I can vouch for the loving details of the setting. Lyle Dahms is a fascinating character and not the usual over confident private investigator. He's a believable person full of doubt at times. He's surrounded by other memorable characters especially a wrestler. The writing is light and on its feet and will grab anyone who loves Raymond Chandler. Look forward to future installments. I'm hooked!

"A Great Kick-off to a Gripping Detective Series"

I loved this book. The characters are a hoot. the dialogue clever, and the situations unique. This book just draws you in tighter and tighter as the story approaches its climax. I didn't want it to end and I'm ready for more from this series.

"A gripping story that draws you in tighter and tighter"

Sunset in Ocean Shores, WA

About Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota whose Dinkytown neighborhood provides the setting for his mystery series featuring private investigator Lyle Dahms. The Dahms novels spring from his lifelong love of mystery fiction, especially the works of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, as well as more contemporary masters like Robert B. Parker and G.M. Ford. He is a three-time finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association mystery and suspense contest.


Brian spent much of his professional career working to alleviate domestic hunger serving as the operations director of the Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle & King County as well as the manager of the Pike Market Food Bank in downtown Seattle. Married with three beautiful daughters, he now lives and writes in Ocean Shores, a small city on the Washington coast.

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