Staying alive depends on knowing whom to trust and when to run.


“An ambitious mystery."

—Kirkus Reviews



P as James Bond1


If you’re reading this, you trust words. I once trusted words. As a reader/teacher/scholar, I put my faith in them. As a mystery writer, I trust that words will misdirect, deceive, and hide desperate deeds and motives.

About Should Grace Fail

A Twin Cities Mystery

Detective Erik Jansson recognizes the murder victim found in a dumpster:

“This was more than the tired cliché that no good deed goes unpunished. This was the ultimate punishment for good deeds. Here lay a man killed because he did what people like Erik did—took risks to save others. Then a voice, voices, Foster, the woman, were making light of the situation to stave off despair, saying that the detectives waltzed in and took the credit when the techs did all the work. Foster and the tech said that this time Erik was welcome to it. He could bear all the credit (blame, more likely). Too many hot-button issues: a dead peace officer (you’re never fully an “ex” to the force); victimized teens and women; addiction; police corruption; protests. No investigator in his right mind would gladly take on such a case."

“This is an ambitious mystery that tackles heavy themes, such as the darkness of addiction and the fragility of human existence. Paton adroitly crafts engaging sentences that immediately hook the reader’s attention.”


—Kirkus Reviews

Should Grace Fail tackles addiction issues in a compelling way, thanks to its endearing cast ”

—Foreword Reviews

Should Grace Fail is not the expected police procedural. It . . . succeeds as something more like literary crime fiction. What’s impressive is how Paton captures a diverse array of characters, making each seem credible and fully believable. It’s a good story, worth the careful reading it requires. ”



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