My Summer Reads (so far)

Thanks for all of the great summer reading recommendations! Feel free to send more. Here are the books I’ve read this summer (so far anyway) and what’s on deck for the rest of the summer.

Use of Force, by Brad Thor
Part of the Scot Halvarth series.  Halvarth is a former navy seal, transformed into a spy.  Action packed, interesting insights into the biz of espionage and all the things we think are happening behind the scenes, but don’t want to ask.  4 stars.

Code Name Camelot, by David Archer
Part of the Noah Wolf series.  Noah is a tough dude, with no emotions.  This special characteristic allows him to act violently with no remorse.  But it’s a two edged sword.  3 stars.

Testimony, by Scott Turow
A legal thriller with interesting twists.  Bill ten Boom changes his life and takes a position as a prosecutor for the International Criminal Court.  His first case is the investigation of into the disappearance of a refugee camp.  5 stars

Camino Island, by John Grisham
A gang of thieves steal irreplaceable and priceless items from Princeton University.  An novelist, Mercer Mann, is pulled into the intrigue. 4.5 Stars.

The Stranger, by Albert Camus
An ordinary man, is drawn into a murder on an Algerian beach.  3.5 stars

On my  “To Read” stack:

The Tender Bar by JR Moerhinger – Thanks to Jake Brand PI subscriber Stephanie who suggested this book.


Jake is racking up the ⭐ Stars!


Jake is racking up the stars for his audiobook adventures! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Reviews👁 🕵  💪:
⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Lots of action and danger!…Fun yet full of twists and turns. … Colin Iago McCarthy does an excellent performance.” Listeners
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Would sit in car to finish chapters! … When a book leaves me wanting more, I know I’ve hit a winner!”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I loved the internal repartee carried on in Jake’s head and his vulnerability, while being the tough noir PI. Very entertaining!”

Brian’s Book Blog
⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 “A thriller filled with twists and turns.”

Me Love Books
“If you are looking for a fast-paced and action-packed detective thriller that reads/sounds like a proper action movie, Secondhand Smoke is definitely a great choice.”

Erika Loves To Read
“I think this book would probably make an enjoyable movie due to the numerous action-packed scenes. P.S. This book made me wanna visit Portland!”


Where Jake Went: Books FTW

A BIG thanks to everyone who took Jake Brand PI on vacation with them.  We hope you had as much fun reading and taking funny photos as we did seeing where Jake ended up.   A compendium of photos is below for your viewing pleasure.

Reading books For The Win! 

And thanks to Jake Brand super fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for sharing the love! M. did a live video interview on the Books Go Social Readers Group last month – check it out on Facebook.

The NEWS:  BOTH Secondhand Smoke and Angel’s Devil are available as audiobooks!  #Yay!


Your commute is about to become WAY more FUN!

Your commute / workout / dog walking / cooking / boring job is about to become WAY more FUN!

Secondhand Smoke (Jake Brand PI 2) is now available as an audiobook!   Over 7 hours of danger, twists, turns and  smart alec repartee are now available to vastly improve some of the more hum drum parts of your life.  (Ok, well some people actually like working out but even so, a rollicking good story with thrills, laughs and a touch of romance is going to level up a workout from “like” to “love” right?)

Secondhand Smoke by M. Louis, narrated by Colin Iago McCarthy
Audible / Amazon / iTunes

Set on the espresso stained streets of Portland, a simple missing person case is just the beginning of a trail of danger & intrigue.

In the midst of peril, Private Detective Jake Brand still finds time to annoy his yoga instructor, and fall for the woman with more secrets than answers.
“…endlessly entertaining in any situation, especially the perilous kind.” -Kirkus 




Free Sample via YouTube Below

Take Jake with you and win! (new prize)

Jake is getting around!  Contest photos are streaming in from all over the place.  The Take Jake Book Tour Contest will be going the entire summer long so bring your favorite Jake Brand book with you on vacation (or even to the dog park), snap a photo and post it to Twitter or Instagram with #TeamJakeBrand in order to get in on the prize action.  OR you can just email us the photo and we will post it for you.

You could win a gift certificate from your local indie bookstore or from Amazon (your choice!) 

You can even get in on the ‘Take Jake’ Book Tour Contest by taking a screen grab of your device while listening to the audiobook of Angel’s Devil and posting on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #TeamJakeBrand.

Here are some pics we’ve received from all over the place!

Maryland, Hawaii, New York, Virginia, Oregon, Washington DC and MORE!

Take Jake Book Tour Contest

M. is super busy writing the 3rd book in the Jake Brand Private Investigator series and watching Game of Thrones (which he calls “research”) so we at Team Jake Brand are taking things into our own hands to launch our latest crazy idea to get the word out about his fun and fast paced crime thrillers.  So, we bring you (drumroll)…

The Take Jake Book Tour Contest!

Jake Brand book one, Angel’s Devil and book two, Secondhand Smoke are going on a book tour with YOU!

All you need to do is take a photo of one or both books out there in the wild and post it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #TeamJakeBrand or you can email it to us at

Extra credit for:

  • Both emailing a copy AND posting on social media
  • Letting us know where the photo was taken

There will be prizes!

Every month we will select a winner and award them either an Amazon gift card or a gift certificate for their local indie bookstore.

Follow M. Louis on Twitter @Jake_Brand_PI  |  Instagram and the hashtag #TeamJakeBrand to quadruple your fun!

So take your copy of Angel’s Devil or Secondhand Smoke with you out there in the wild world, prepare your selfie sticks and enjoy being a part of our latest crazy idea.

PS: Kindle / Ebook readers you can participate too! Just make sure that the cover of the book is visible on your reader when you take the photo.

Team Jake Brand Contest

And Some Other Stuff, Also on the Run

Wait for it…

there are donuts involved.


Secondhand Smoke – Jake Brand PI book 2 – by M. Louis – Available on Amazon (free on Kindle Unlimited / 2.99 ebook) and these fine Indie Bookstores:

Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl Street (on the Pearl St. Mall)
Boulder, CO

Boulder Bookstore Online

Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219

Broadway Books
1714 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

What’s harder than writing a book?


How are big important decisions made at Team Jake Brand HQ? Rock, paper, scissors naturally.

After losing a 2 out of 3 match with Hallie, Team Jake Brand member Julienne was tasked with cajoling author M. Louis into writing more blog posts.  To make it a little less tortuous for him, she started with an interview style piece. Below are the hilarious results.

Team Jake Brand:  What’s harder than writing a book?

M. Louis:  Writing a blog. Ugh.

Team Jake Brand:  Quit whining. I’m just trying to help, so let’s start at the beginning. Why did you start writing?  Had you always wanted to write?  Are you one of those people who always felt he had a book in him?  Are you in fact, a masochist?

M. Louis:  I started writing as a result of the occurrence of several events at the same time. First, I was trying to tweet for my day job….and hated it. Second, I read two books by two best selling authors that were so flawed that I spent more time critiquing then intriguing. Third, I was interested in a new intellectual challenge, and writing is nothing if not intellectually challenging. In fact here’s the recipe; blank paper, pen poised, no name for the book, no plot, no protagonist, antagonist, location, conflict, and best of all no clue about how to write a book.  But I made up for it by having bad grammatical skills. What the hell, it was kismet!

Team Jake Brand:  Yeah, your grammar does kinda suck, but you hired some great editors so no one but us will know.  Oh oops – sorry I guess the cat is out of the bag now huh?

M Louis:  Yeah well, moving on… I did write stuff occasionally; technical papers for my work as a tax geek, Christmas letters bragging on my fake family (the truth was just too average or brag-a-docious), and filthy dirty birthday limericks for friends (lots of fun, but not shareable).  Also my friends and family didn’t give me grief over my poor grammatical skills.

I never thought there was a book in me, but I’m a passionate reader. Reading has taught me everything I don’t know about writing. Seriously, read, read, read.

Team Jake Brand:  Well, I must say you do read quite a lot. Kudos for posting your book reviews.  Think we can get you to post some real blogs?  This having to trap you in your office and forcing you to answer questions could seriously become a drag for good ole Team Jake Brand.

M. Louis:  Ok, ok.  Masochist is my middle name.  Hmmmm, I think I’ll share some of me, mixed in with some fiction, and throw it out there for complete strangers to critique or praise.


Team Jake Brand:  Good on you M! I’ll tell Hallie to put away the thumbscrews.

M. Louis is the author of the Jake Brand PI series.  Sign up and get a free copy of book 1, Angel’s Devil rated 4.6 stars on Amazon.   Secondhand Smoke (Book 2) is now available. It’s free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers / 2.99 for ebook.


Holiday Thrills and Benefits

Season’s Greetings from M. Louis and his buddy Jake Brand, Private Investigator!

M. working hard on the next Jake Brand, PI novel...

M. working hard on the next Jake Brand, PI novel…

While M. has been having fun messing around with copies of his second novel, Secondhand Smoke, Jake has been hard at work solving more difficult cases from his home base in Portland. We thought it was time to send a friendly holiday greeting and keep you updated on some fun happenings.

Benefit Win/Win!

If you have readers on your gift list this holiday season, consider sending them Jake’s own “brand” of intrigue, jaunty repartee and on-the-edge-of-your-seat action. If you purchase either Angel’s Devil or Secondhand Smoke, a portion of the proceeds will also be donated to Trillium Family Services. It’s a win-win!

Broadway Books 1714 NE Broadway Portland, OR 97232 503-284-1726

Broadway Books 1714 NE Broadway Portland, OR 97232 503-284-1726

Shop Local – Portland

Copies of Secondhand Smoke are flying off the shelves atBroadway Books in NE Portland! Swing by and get yours so they don’t have to keep picking them up off the floor.

You can even buy copies from them online!

Secondhand Smoke
Angel’s Devil

Author M. Louis and everyone here at Team Jake Brand HQ encourage you to shop local and support this fine store.

All Jake Wants for Christmas

Loved Angel’s Devil, or Secondhand Smoke, or both? All Jake wants for Christmas this year is for you to leave a review on Amazon.  Reviews from readers are one of the best ways to spread the news about this great crime thriller series.

Every time you leave an honest review for a Jake Brand PI series book, an Angel gets her wings and a Devil gets annoyed. Help us make this happen!


Have you seen the book trailer for Secondhand Smoke yet? It’s a good time in under 2 minutes. Check it out and be sure to watch all the way to the end for a special bonus…

Sending you wishes for safe and peaceful holidays! – M. Louis, Jake Brand, P.I. and Team