Jack Martin

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After receiving his Juris Doctorate from UCLA, he worked for The Department of Defense and the aerospace industry, specializing in contracts and regulatory issues. Tracing his Californian ancestry all the way back to the 1830s, Martin developed a passion for American history and the mystery genre. With encouragement and support from his beloved wife Sonia, he began writing The Alphonso Clay Mysteries. Sonia passed away on Christmas Eve 2009, following a brave battle against ovarian cancer. He promised her he would finish the books and become a published author. The series includes: Treason on the MississippiThe Siege of KnoxvilleMurder on the MarchMurder by Plague, and Assassination at Willard’sDestroyer of Worlds is next in the series. His latest novel, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (Amphorae Publishing), picks up with Clay in the late 1920s. Clay lives on…


Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?  

Brother cover

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Published by Blank Slate Press

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? Reviews

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Set in the 1930’s amidst the effects of Prohibition and the Depression, there is a conspiracy to assassinate President Roosevelt. Hoover’s Bureau of Investigation is in full-swing, and his key agent, Harry Bierce, has been tasked, with and without “knowledge,” to find the hit man. During his ceaseless delving, he solves several other cases which, unbeknownst to him, are tumbling dominos leading him to home plate.

Bierce’s unusual tactics and his resemblance, in many ways, to Dorian Gray, keep the question marks flying through your head. Who, or better yet, what is he? How is it he knows so much? How would a photograph taken in 1865 have him in it…and him look exactly the same now?

Refreshing compared to today’s modern action/thrillers, it takes you back to a time when men and women really dressed well and where intuition, sleuthing and skills were needed to track down and apprehend bad guys. No cell phones, GPS, computers or even police radios. Martin keeps you thinking and craving until the last word. You finish saying to yourself, There has to be a sequel!

Martin has taken 90% historical facts and events and inserted Harry Bierce in such a way that you are confused with reality. ‘Standing ovation’ writing.

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Treason on the Mississippi – An Alphonso Clay Mystery of the Civil War (2018)

Published by TouchPoint Press

Treason on the Mississippi Reviews

Treason on the Mississippi is the 1st novel in the Alphonso Clay Civil War Mystery Series.

Martin designs and constructs an intricate web of events extrapolated from in-depth research of Civil War memorabilia, journals, photos, and correspondence. Although this a fictional account of the months before and the time during the Battle of Vicksburg, the characters and information are very much real.

The John Brown depicted is not the infamous Brown who ignited the War Against the States but a former Boston detective who solved a gruesome child murder case which caught the eye of Abe Lincoln, appointing him to U.S. Grants battalion. Brown uncovers treason at the highest levels of the Union Army. He sends for the one person who can help him with the investigation, Cpt. Alphonso Clay but before Clay could meet with Brown, Brown is assassinated. Now it is up to Cpt. Clay to decipher Brown’s cryptic notes and follow his deductive instincts to solve the murder, unveil the traitors, and ensure the Union’s victory at Vicksburg, a decisive battle of the war.

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The Siege of Knoxville – An Alphonso Clay Mystery of the Civil War (2019)

Published by TouchPoint Press

The Siege of Knoxville Reviews

The Siege of Knoxville is the 2nd novel in the Alphonso Clay Civil War Mystery Series.

A traitor, a freelance female spy, and a murderer-all must be dealt with or the Army of the Ohio is lost.

Tennessee, Autumn 1863. Staggered by the loss of Vicksburg in July, the Confederacy has rebounded with a crushing defeat of the Union forces at Chickamauga. The shattered Union army now lies stranded and under siege. Washington has dispatched Ulysses S. Grant to repair the situation. Grant finds that his task is made almost impossible by the presence of a rebel spy high in the Union command structure. Unfortunately, the only officer who could identify the spy is murdered before he can reveal the traitor’s name. Grant assigns Captain Alphonso Clay to root-out the murderous turncoat, but Clay soon finds himself in a nest of intrigue. To identify the traitor, he must solve the murder, deal with a lethal female undercover agent bank-rolled by financier Jay Gould, and overcome a monstrous secret society that is older than the United States itself. As Longstreet’s army surrounds Knoxville, Clay races the clock to keep the Army of the Ohio from being betrayed to the Confederacy. If that should happen, the Confederacy would regain all that it lost at Vicksburg, and will be well on its way to ultimate victory.

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Murder on the March – An Alphonso Clay Mystery of the Civil War (2020)

Published by TouchPoint Press

Murder on the March Reviews

Murder on the March is the 3rd novel in the Alphonso Clay Civil War Mystery Series.

Georgia, the summer of 1864: General William Tecumseh Sherman commands a mighty Union army, tasked with delivering a knockout blow to the Confederacy by rendering the rich resources of Georgia unavailable to the rebellion. Relying on impeccable intelligence, he launches an all-out attack on the Confederate lines at Kennesaw Mountain – and is bloodily repulsed. To make matters worse, his most reliable scout, Captain Ambrose Bierce, is critically wounded, and Sherman’s most reliable general is mysteriously killed under the cover of battle. Sherman is persuaded by Union Army nurse Teresa Duval that these are murderous attacks perpetrated by a saboteur in his army. She urges him to summon Major Alphonso Clay, General Grant’s sinister troubleshooter. However, Sherman is unaware that Duval is a spy for Wall Street financier Jay Gould, and has her own agenda regarding Clay. Clay and his friend Lieutenant Jeremiah Lot find themselves accompanying Sherman’s army on its march through Georgia, desperate to identify the traitorous murderer before he can strike again, and possibly allow the Confederacy to snatch a miraculous victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat.

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Murder by Plague – An Alphonso Clay Mystery of the Civil War (2021)

Published by TouchPoint Press

Murder by Plague Reviews

Murder by Plague is the 4th novel in the Alphonso Clay Civil War Mystery Series.

The murderer of our late beloved president, Abraham Lincoln, is still at large.

April 1865. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia has surrendered to Ulysses Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.

The Civil War is all but over, the Union victorious. However, a sinister plot has been hatched to restart the war, and the assassination of Lincoln is only the beginning. The consequences could cost hundreds of thousands of civilian lives and tear the country apart forever.

Colonel Alphonso Clay has been tasked by the Secretary of State to thwart this conspiracy at all costs. Aided by a beautiful, mysterious agent he embarks upon a dangerous journey into the heart of a cult even older than the United States that is determined to destroy the country.

If they fail in their task, all that has been gained in four years of savage combat will be lost.

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Assassination at Willard’s – An Alphonso Clay Mystery of the Civil War (2022)

Published by TouchPoint Press

Assassination at Willard’s Reviews

Assassination at Willard’s is the 5th novel in the Alphonso Clay Civil War Mystery Series.

It is the summer of 1869. America is only four years removed from the end of the war that nearly destroyed it. Southerners groan under what they perceive as an unjust military Government, propped up by corrupt Northern civilian officials and recently freed slaves who, they believe, are not suitable for a voice in Government. Embittered Confederate veterans are forming an organization, the Ku Klux Klan, to fight what they perceive as the unjust oppression of the North and the Freedmen.

However, Ulysses S. Grant, the newly inaugurated President, sees things very differently. He views the Klan as a terrorist organization, using arson and murder to destroy the newly won rights of former slaves and the newly re-established authority of Washington in the South. He is looking for a way to break the back of the Klan without returning to the slaughter and destruction of the Civil War. Desperate, he turns to his most trusted agent, Major Alphonso Brutus Clay.

Clay accepts the assignment, not realizing that the Klan violence is being secretly encouraged by the Wall Street speculators Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, sinister financiers hoping to distract Washington from their plan to gain control of the country’s entire gold supply, and hence of the country itself. Clay also does not know that the plans of the speculators are in turn the merest smokescreen for an even more sinister, far-reaching plot; one that will encompass the entire world.

Aided only by his friend the writer Ambrose Bierce, and by his lovely, terrifying mistress Teresa Duval, Clay embarks on his greatest challenge yet. Not just to preserve the unity of the country, not just to prevent corrupt financiers from gaining control of the United States, but to save the world from the designs of an organization far older than the United States itself.

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