A sentimental journey … 

a shot at stardom … a talking cat.

What could possibly go wrong?


by Michael Craft

The idyllic little town of Dumont, Wisconsin, is atwitter with the news that its favorite son, actor Thad Manning, is returning from Hollywood to try his hand as director of a film recalling his youth.

A test scene is scheduled, right there on the town commons, with a cast and crew from Tinseltown. Locals are needed as extras. And there’s even a role for a cat.

Enter Mister Puss.

When the big day arrives, though, something goes terribly haywire. The test footage looks fabulous, but in a shocking development, someone ends up dead.

It was murder, all right, and suspects abound.

Architect Brody Norris and his husband, Marson Miles, have been busy preparing to move into a new house they are building. But now Brody is called to reprise his role as amateur sleuth and sidekick to Sheriff Thomas Simms.

And once again, Brody himself gets a bit of help—from that chatty Abyssinian, Mister Puss.

“In this third installment of a series, a Midwestern architect and a clever cat are pulled back into the detective game when a Hollywood movie—and a Hollywood murder—comes to town … Craft writes in typically polished prose, illustrating his characters with precision and humor [in] this personality-filled and altogether pleasant sojourn in Dumont.”   — Kirkus Reviews

“A fine mystery that successfully integrates the evolving relationship and lives of a gay couple, a talking cat, and the conundrums they face in trying to reconcile past, present, and future worlds … Readers of LGBT fiction who love cozy mystery styles with a bit of supernatural cat action will relish the setting, approach, and delightful twists and turns of HomeComing, where Mister Puss truly shines.”   — Midwest Book Review

“It is a clever sleight-of-hand … All of this kept bringing to my mind Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries, in which cozy small-town wisdom and darker, uglier truths are woven together through the voice of a narrator who is local, and thus both familiar and unthreatening.”   — Ulysses Dietz, Backlot Gay Book Forum

Available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book.

288 pages, Questover Press. 

Copyright © 2020 by Michael Craft.

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Note from the author.

READERS WHO KNOW ME primarily for my seven Mark Manning mysteries, published between 1997 and 2004, are well acquainted with the fictitious town of Dumont, Wisconsin, which served as the setting for the last five installments of the series, beginning with Body Language in 1999; that novel also introduced the character Glee Savage. Because my recent fiction, beginning with the 2016 story collection Inside Dumont, returned to that setting with Glee still present, many longtime readers have naturally wondered: What happened to Mark Manning?

HomeComing provides some answers. It also offers a tantalizing glimpse backwards to the origins of a distinctive Taliesin house on Prairie Street and the tragic events that unfolded there. If you’re curious to know more about the house—and its significance to Mark Manning and his nephew, Thad—you’ll find the whole story in Body Language, Mark Manning mystery #3. The original print editions from Kensington Books can be hard to find, but the 2013 digital edition from Open Road Media is readily available from online booksellers.

                                                — Michael Craft