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Eamon Gold is your basic meat-and-potatoes San Francisco private eye. He's a blue-collar sleuth just trying to keep his head above water in a tough, knuckles-and-know-how business.

Abner Carlisle spent a quarter century in a ten-by-six cell on twenty-three hour a day lockdown, serving a sentence for a botched armored car robbery. After he is released, he asks Eamon Gold to find the wheelman for the robbery, Eddie Rice, who disappeared years earlier with the take and Carlisle's daughter Lydia. Gold suspects that Carlisle intends to murder Rice, and refuses the case.  Carlisle is found murdered in his hotel room days later, piquing Gold's interest. Gold discovers that the insurance company that paid off the armored car claim will pay ten percent for any amount of the heist money that is recovered.

Gold, temporarily bucks-up but ready for a challenge, takes up the search for Eddie Rice on spec, trying to make a little quick bank on the coldest of cold cases he's ever investigated. As usual, things become complicated.

Brittle Karma WON the 2021 Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award!


“Eamon Gold is the real deal, a City-By-The-Bay ex-cop turned private dick, with a taste for Glenlivet, Spenseresque wisecracks, and tossing darts around his office...He's your basic meat-and-potatoes eye, and his creator, Richard Helms, is simply one helluva storyteller, a master chef who knows when to stir the pot and when to let the ingredients just speak for themselves.”

– Kevin Burton Smith, Thrilling Detective Website

"Richard Helms writes the classic private eye novel with panache, class, and a self-assured breeziness. Helms and his hero, Eamon Gold, are welcome additions to the genre."

-S.J. Rozan, Edgar Award-winning author of Paper Son.


"More twists and turns than Lombard Street. Richard Helms serves up some of the smartest dialogue in the genre!"

​- William Kent Krueger, Anthony and Edgar Award-winning author of This Tender Land.

"“…(Grass Sandal) offers a return to classic “dick lit” (i.e. private eye fiction) in a classic location…Helms’ two Shamus Award nominations, in 2003 and 2004, testify to his understanding of and skill with this genre in his Pat Gallegher series, and we are very excited about the prospect for even more success with Grass Sandal…”

​- Publishers Weekly

"If the first chapter doesn't hook you on Grass Sandal, give up reading mysteries! Highly recommended"

​- Jeremiah Healy, Shamus Award-winning author of The Only Good Lawyer

"Cordite Wine is tough, funny, exciting, and very good!"

​- Robert B. Parker, MWA Grand Master


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