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The Penitent Thief (The Agora Mystery Series Book 2)

My new short story/novelette in the Agora Society series:

The Penitent Thief 

A string of thefts ends in a grisly murder. Certain evidence leads Captain Barnwell to suspect a former thief, Rutherford Nordlinger as the culprit. Carl Brooke becomes personally involved as Nordlinger’s guilt is questioned.

In the style of Arthur Conan Doyle, CJ Martin brings back the Agora Society and its premiere scholar, Carl Brooke. This is the second in the Agora Series, the first being, Two Tocks before Midnight.

2015-03-07_2128I have a lot of fun writing these stories. I actually have a third mostly completed, but I have several other projects that I’m trying to finish up first.

That’s one of my problems. I have too many pots cooking.

I have books, ebooks, iPhone apps, physical products, and websites that all need my attention. To make matters worse, I went in several directions at once with my writing. I have the Agora Series, the Temporal Series, the Tanaka Series–as well as a new children’s book series about a Messianic Jewish boy detective. It’s all fun, but being spread out so makes it hard for any one series to get any traction. Each series speaks to a totally different audience.

That being said, I am thrilled The Penitent Thief is finished. I actually started this story over two years ago. I had to do a reality check on our finances and for the past year and a half, I really haven’t done much writing. After the first of the year, I returned to writing and The Penitent Thief was the first fruits.


I’m even more thrilled about The Penitent Thief’s first review:

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This author has it going as to short historical mysteries modeled on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle with a compelling story line, great mix of characters and a superb finish that had me guessing! I’m going to have to go back and grab “Two Tocks Before Midnight” as well which was the first book in the Agora Society series just as soon as I finish reading “Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter” since I’ve got that one waiting for me in my archives. My newest favorite author – great stuff!

I’m simply floored.

Thank you, Mr. Kidwell!

Two Tocks before Midnight Audiobook Sample

Two Tocks before Midnight by CJ Martin & Narrated by Wayne Farrell (Right click to download)

The audiobook is finished! It should hit the digital shelves of iTunes,, and Amazon MP3 very soon.

Here is the ebook on Amazon and on B&N. I only have four reviews on Amazon and zero on–if you would like a free review copy, please let me know.

New Review for Two Tocks Before Midnight!

George Polley–the author of Grandfather and the Raven and the Old Man and the Monkey–kindly wrote a review for Two Tocks before Midnight.

5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable pre-Civil War mystery, March 24, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Two Tocks before Midnight (Kindle Edition)

Having read C. J. Martin’s “Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter”, I was surprised to see him appear with a mid-19th century murder mystery. The surprise was very much worth the read. Short, fast=paced and with an ending that surprised me. Very well-done, Mr. Martin.

I did do a review for one of his books, but I wasn’t expecting this review. He just happened to discover that I had it out, read it, and left his review.

Thank you Mr. Polley!

Get it today for only .99!

Two New Reviews for “Two Tocks Before Midnight”

Yesterday, I received an email from Adrian Magson–the British spy/thriller writer. Last month, I had asked if he wouldn’t mind reading Two Tocks Before Midnight and then promptly forgot about it. His email yesterday pointed me to his review on Whohoo!

First, I have to say that I am deeply honored that Mr. Magson would read my stuff and thrilled that he would take the time to review it. I highly recommend his two Harry Tate thrillers Red Station (see my review here) and Tracers (my review forthcoming).

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, February 20, 2012
This review is from: Two Tocks before Midnight (Kindle Edition)

I found this a pleasant change to read, harking back in style and language to the writing of Poe and others, but with a slight modern twist. Good story and atmospheric portrayal of characters and setting.

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty good about that.

THEN, this morning, I had another surprise. Yet another review!

5.0 out of 5 stars Tick Tock Totally Worth Reading!, February 20, 2012
Lyne Frost (Vancouver, Washington) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Two Tocks before Midnight (Kindle Edition)

I was enthralled with the story Sherlock Holmes-esk, the story is unique and fun to read. A short story that isn’t bogged down with unnecessary verbage or so thin that a reader is left wondering what is going on. The writting brings me back to nostalgic readings of classic literature.

Lyne, I do not know you, but THANK YOU!

If anyone would like to read Two Tocks Before Midnight (about 10,000 words–a long short story or short novella) for free (whether or not you write a review), please contact me via this website.

Thank you,