Mystery Alley

Traveler, take heed as you venture deeper into the alley, for the people you meet along the way may be more than they first appear. Some are killer-crazy, and like a coiled snake, they are best left undisturbed. Around every twist and turn lies another story yet to be told; another mystery to be solved. Let the adventures begin!

Welcome To T. C. Isbell's Mystery Alley!

Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy looking around. I completed Southern Cross earlier this year. Set in the time period just before the start of Second world War, Southern Cross is the first historical novel in my Prelude to War series. I am feverishly working on the second, Icarus Plot, and plan release it in 2012.


Surpassing even loyalty to country, the desire for revenge can sear white-hot and be as addictive and as all-consuming as the strongest opiate.

German agents Elsa Gable and Chris Schulte grew up together in a Germany ravaged by the Great War. They became inseparable as they matured into more than friends, more than family. They had a bond no one could destroy, at least that’s what Chris believed until the night of December 2, 1938.

Not the typical spy murder mystery, Southern Cross is a unique tale of double agents, espionage, revenge, and murder leading investigators from a morgue in Manhattan to the SS Southern Cross, a passenger liner sailing from New York to Cuba. Forced to use limited resources, a doctor from San Francisco and a young Paris police inspector scramble to uncover a vicious murderer before another passenger is killed, and before the ship docks in Havana and five-hundred travelers flood the pier.

If you are one of those people who read the last page first, . . . don’t!


“I couldn’t put it down!”

“I read Southern Cross in one sitting.”

“A highly recommended page turner.”

Southern Cross was recommended by an old friend. I ordered a copy from Amazon and started reading after dinner. Big mistake, it was a little after midnight when I finished the book and had to be up the next morning at 4:30. Great story and characters, with an interesting twist at the end. Trust me you won't be sorry if you add this book to your collection. Exciting blend of history and mystery.”

Southern Cross is a great read! I ordered it from Amazon and started reading it in the morning. Good thing I had the day off --- I couldn't put it down! . . . (T. C. Isbell) creates heart-stopping suspense and intrigue from the very first page and the drama continues to the end. The author also does his homework. The book is filled with historical detail and multiple characters who come to life with detailed descriptions and authentic dialogue. I will be recommending this book to all my mystery-spy-book-loving friends!”

Southern Cross has consistently been listed within the top twenty books under WW2 Historical Fiction on Amazon.


The paperback and eBook editions of Southern Cross are available in many countries including US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, Spain and Italy through Amazon. Google Play lists an ePub edition of Southern Cross that is compatible with many eReaders, such as Sony and Kobo. There may be some limitations on availability due to country. Barnes & Noble can supply either the paperback or eBook editions. In addition, any independent bookstore can order Southern Cross for you.

If you would like to purchase Southern Cross please use the links below or contact your local independent bookstore.

Southern Cross

Link to Southern Cross (Kindle)

Southern Cross

Link to Southern Cross (Nook)

Southern Cross

Link to Southern Cross (Google Play)


Icarus Plot, a sequel to Southern Cross, takes place in the Panama Canal Zone in 1940. Tanaka Yashiro, a Japanese agent, has a plan to turn the Panama Canal into a useless ditch before 1941. Agents working to stop Yashiro must overcome bureaucratic apathy and a belief that the Canal is impregnable while they scramble to learn Yashiro's plan and prevent certain catastrophe. Their efforts are further hampered by someone in Washington who would profit if the Canal ceases to function. Icarus Plot will be relaesed in late 2012.

I am also working on The Last Man, a third historical novel that is not part of the Prelude to War series.

The Last Man, takes place in Seattle. In 1956 a cold blooded murder is committed in full view of over thirty witnesses. A gun battle ensues between the murderer and a retired Seattle police detective. The murderer is shot dead at the scene. Curiously, the murderer is also a retired Seattle policeman. The crime isn't solved until 1975 when Walter Downs, a crime desk reporter for the Seattle Weekly Gazette, becomes intrigued by the case. Downs quickly draws the unwanted attention of those who thought the case was dead and buried in 1956.


Excerpts of Southern Cross and Icarus Plot may be read by clicking on the tabs at the top of this page. The Last Man tab eventually will also include an excerpt, but for now there is only a short synopsis. If you would like to learn more about me, I have provided a short biography. Join and "like" Southern Cross on FaceBook.



Please feel free to use the link below to contact me with your comments and questions. I'd love to hear from you. If you would like to know when my second book becomes available, I'll place you on my personal mailing list. Rest assured I will NOT sell or give your information to anyone, ever. I hate SPAM as much as you do. Thanks for stopping by and thanks to those who have already contacted me, T. C.


In 2010 I wrote a short story called Mattie's Shoes. It placed in the 79th Annual Writer's Diget Writing Competition in the category of Literary Short Story. It's not a mystery, but you might enjoy reading about Mattie Johnson. She, like many of us, ignores some of life's more painful issues until they no longer remain hidden and she is forced to confront them. Click on the link below to read an excerpt from Mattie's Shoes.

Link to Mattie's Shoes

Several years ago I wrote a short story called Surf's Up. Like Mattie's Shoes it's not a mystery, but you might enjoy reading one of Billy Bonzer's adventures. Billy looks at the world a little differently than most of us. Click on the link below to go to the Amazon Kindle store and read an excerpt from Surf's Up.

Link to Surf's Up - A Billy Bonzer Short Story


I recommend the following authors. Some are self-published and others are traditionally published. Their books are not all mysteries, but they are all exceptionally well written and well worth your time.

The Prospect of My Arrival Eleven The Hardest Way The Assassins Club Desolate Garden Fire Men Stories

Jack's Last Promise Common Threads House Justice The Beholder The Ark

Titanic 2012 True Brit Grit – A Charity Anthology Titanic Deception The Dragon Dancer – The Awakening Manchester 6

The Tesla Formula Walking the Wilderness A Leprechaun’s Lament Deadly Errors The Last Matryoshka

Skid Row Murders Knights of the Chosen Rising Son A Human Element Disturbed

After reading any of these authors' books, please take a few moments to write a review and post it with the merchant where you purchased your copy or on the author's website and be sure to tell your friends. Written reviews and personal recommendations are important to readers and authors alike. Thank you. T. C.

Follow my Blog, Let's Talk About The Author's Journey, on Publetariat.

Publetariat - People Who Publish

Link to Let's Talk About The Author's Journey.

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