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Swamp Yankees -- A Different Breed

The people who live in southern Rhode Island are a breed apart. Many of them descend from the men and women who arrived hundreds of years ago, carved out a life despite the rocky soil and dangerous seas, and now want only to preserve that way of life for the generations yet to come.

The Swamp Yankee Mysteries are dedicated to those hard working, hard-edged souls.

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The smallest town in the smallest state has some BIG problems!

Little Penwick Chief of Police Gus Haddock has just been appointed to his job, replacing the former Chief Haddock, his father, who is now in jail.  The state’s Attorney General, who sent the elder Haddock away, has appointed a new Special Master to keep tabs on Gus’ department.  And Chief Haddock’s three tours with the U.S. Army Rangers in the Middle East has left him with a touch of PTSD.

But Gus starts investigating the unusual circumstances regarding the disappearance of the patriarch of the town’s bad-seed local crime family—the case that inspired the Attorney General to send his Dad away.  And then SHE walks in.

The Glitter Girl.  Young, drop-dead gorgeous and apparently deeply involved in the case. Who is she? Why is she living in Little Penwick?  How does she fit in the web of intrigue that links the town, the AG, the Providence Mob and everything else?

Gus Haddock has his hands full. But he’s a Swamp Yankee … the salt-of-the-earth natives who have been carving a living out of the rocky land and dangerous seas in this part of New England for four hundred years … and if anybody can figure out what’s going on, he can.


In the second Swamp Yankee Mystery, the protagonist is Julius Haddock, who is out of jail and looking for revenge.

While he decides the best way to strike back against the corrupt Rhode Island officials, Julius decides to take a new look at some of the cold cases at the Little Penwick PD. The oldest is the murder of Donna Dixon, a 17-year-old who disappeared on her way to a summer job back in 1991.

Julius begins sifting through the old case files, hoping to find a lead that could help him find the killer.

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All seems peaceful in Little Penwick, the smallest town in the smallest state. Then, Police Chief Gus Haddock is run off the road, someone shoots at the police station and the realization sets in …

… She’s baaa-ack!

Janine Stone, the Glitter Girl in Book One of James Y. Bartlett’s Swamp Yankee Mysteries, has returned to town and she’s looking for the pot of gold she was owed from the human smuggling ring she ran for the criminal element up in Providence.

So Chief Haddock and the Little Penwick department start searching around town … for Janine … for the stash of money … for the local idiots Janine paid to shoot up the station.

At the same time, Gus Haddock’s personal life is set aflame when his girlfriend, the Providence lawyer-turned-abused-women’s-advocate Maggie Wells announces she’s pregnant.

It’s all in a day’s work for a Swamp Yankee like Gus Haddock in this exciting new small town police drama.



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It’s 1924 and Rhode Island is Dry. And hating it.

Prohibition was never popular in the state that refused to ratify the 18th Amendment banning the sale and use of alcoholic beverages. As the Ocean State, lots of Rhode Islanders found work as rum runners. Especially shuttles out to ‘Rum Row,’ a flotilla of boats loaded with booze sitting at anchor in international waters, just outside the three-mile boundary limit.

John Edward Haddock is a merchant mariner in the town of Little Penwick who is offered a cool grand to take the Black Duck, the fastest motor vessel in Narragansett Bay, out to Rum Row just before New Year’s Eve. The Duck, upgraded with surplus WWI aircraft engines, is even faster than the Coast Guard cutters patrolling the coastline.

John Edward knows it’s wrong, and he’s loathe to get involved with the criminal element, like Boston’s notorious Charles ‘King’ Solomon … but he could use the money. To start building the house of his dreams, and to propose to the girl of his dreams: Vollie Jeffords.

Rum Row is the novella that tells the story of that dramatic nighttime voyage. And it’s a prequel to the Swamp Yankee Mystery series by award-winning author James Y. Bartlett.

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