The Steam Locomotive Murders (A Charlie Komensky Novel)
The discovery of a body disfigured by fire and smoke inside an old steam engine interrupts Charlie’s vacation and threatens his relationship with his capable but frustrated fiancée. She threatens a breakup, and Charlie may stray with the willing female investigator assigned to the case. At the same time, shadowy criminal elements conspire to take advantage of Charlie’s distractions while the grotesque murders mount up.
The most gruesome and unthinkable murders keep Private Detective Charlie Komensky on the move through territory far beyond his geographic comfort zone in this second novel and third case of the series. The discovery of a body disfigured by fire and smoke inside an old steam engine interrupts Charlie’s vacation, and almost destroys his relationship with his capable but frustrated fiancée. As Linda threatens to completely break off the relationship, Charlie may stray from it with the young and willing female investigator assigned to the case. At the same time, shadowy criminal elements conspire to take advantage of Charlie’s distractions, and the grotesque murders mount up. Always on the financial ropes, Charlie tries to escape being shot, electrocuted, and framed for attempted murder while uncovering clues that lead to an old diamond heist and his own blocked memory. Confused and off his game, worried about Linda and his business reputation, he might not escape the mind-changing drug that could put him at the mercy of the mysterious Georgio and force him to face long forgotten memories about his trusted friends, and about the judge who has been his mentor and male role model since his father was killed by a mob bullet. Tortured by the truth, Charlie must swallow his moral indignation and use the judge’s connections to solve the case while trying to save the diamonds, his girl, his police contacts, his detective business, and maybe his own sanity.
Includes a glossary of American locomotive terminology, much of which is also common to the U.K.
The Train Watching Detective
Charlie Komensky loves trains. He will watch them, ride on them, go out of his way to see them. Train fanciers, or fanatics, if you will, are sometimes called "foamers" because it is thought they foam at the mouth at so much as the thought of a train or a railroad. His betrothed suffers the same frustrations as all of us who love a train lover. Sometimes, Charlie's love of railroads can help him solve a case, and sometimes it can ruin his day. Both are true in this, the second outing for Charlie Komensky, the train watching detective.
Books by Charles A. Turek
Flaws come with private detectives like mustard and onions come with Chicago hot dogs. Charlie Komensky’s flaws don’t just get in the way, they seem to multiply like roaches in a Chicago tenement. Will the hard-driving, relentless detective be brought down as a fatal flaw emerges that could end his career? The answers and more thrills and adventure than Charlie can handle can be found in this comprehensive Charlie Komensky collection.
Short story completing the arc between the first and second Charlie Komensky novels. The publisher of a controversial periodical for Chechen separatists sustains fatal injuries in an SUV rollover. Was it murder, suicide, or just an accident? Laid up from injuries sustained in The Flat Tire Murders, Charlie Komensky faces a challenge: He must solve a mystery while confined indoors, and he must do it with his fiancée looking over his shoulder.
Bullets, car bombs, brutal murder and more explode from the pages of this fast-paced mystery of lust, love, fraud and desperation. Private detective Charlie Komensky, in true murder mystery form, never fires a shot as he investigates an apparent double homicide. He is hired by a rich, seductive client from Iowa who wants to pin the murder of her adulterous lover on the widow, and Charlie finds out murder can be more unusual out in the country.
When Charlie’s fiancée Linda is arrested for domestic terrorism, failing to prove her innocence draws him into a nightmare of death and perversion where Linda isn’t the sweet girl he knew. It’s a world of secret sex clubs, covert militias and high-tech weapons beyond his imagination, where Charlie hangs onto moral high ground by his fingertips. No other case has led Charlie into sexier situations, faster action, more thrills, or higher stakes.
The stalker of a local news celebrity becomes a murder victim, and Charlie can’t avoid getting involved when she’s killed almost right under his nose. Did the celebrity look-alike stalker get targeted because someone mistook her for the real thing? Or did she learn something while stalking, something so powerful she had to be silenced? Charlie exposes the anchor's ties to the Russian Mafia and becomes a threat to more than just organized crime.
The tragic story of Frank Cermak, a fictional, first-generation Bohemian-American living in Chicago at the verge of The Great Depression. He's a proud and opinionated young man, and he thinks he has the world figured out. The old freight tunnel system buried under the city is the tool that Frank uses to rob, murder, and flourish as a petty mobster, and the stage on which he learns more about his other sins than he would like.
A young agent for an international trade agency has remained the strong friend of a college professor who studies ancient science. The agent becomes the subject of an assassination attempt, and finds that his professor friend is not surprised. The professor has known all along that there are powerful people who seek the knowledge of the acceleration of time, and of the words that make it either a weapon or a useful natural phenomenon.