Historical novels of mystery, suspense, intrigue, and adventure

Our website is under construction. Close but not finished yet. Our novels are available at Amazon.com and other ebook and paperback retailers. Any comments as we finish the site are most appreciated.

My passion for writing takes me to the fascinating era of the 1920’s through WWII. I love to pit my characters against the deadly intrigues of those most turbulent times.

Mike Downs

New Release!

An FBI agent. A murdered friend. A San Francisco manhunt. And a girl.

Arriving home from the horrors of World War One, young Barry Keys is devastated to find his family has died from the Spanish Flu. His life is unfocused until he joins the Bureau of Investigation (forerunner of the FBI).

When a fellow agent is killed trying to arrest a car thief, the Bureau sends Keys to San Francisco to capture the criminal. Targeting only high-end cars, the thief kills again and again, making good his escapes.

Keys is new to the city but finds being shown the sights by a daring young woman much to his liking. However, he can’t be too distracted from his duty. The murdered FBI man was a friend and he will risk everything to bring this criminal down.

The thief strikes again. While trying to escape on a train full of passengers, he kills a local deputy. Now the local police want the car thief, alive or dead. Keys wants the man alive to stand trial. The Bureau chief wants the man alive also but is fearful the criminal will add Keys to his list of victims.

Read this thrilling adventure, Meet Agent Keys, now.

This short story marks the beginning of the Barry Keys Detective Adventure Series.

Meet Agent Keys, a short story             $.99 USD




Jack Novac Series

Jack Novac is a young man with the world at his feet. He is a very competitive and very successful auto racer. After winning Indianapolis he turns his sights to Europe. He and his mechanic, Carl, race against the best of European racers, but manage to run afoul of  Nazis who are insistent that he is a spy. Challenges and intrigues run through all of the Jack Novac series novels.

Novac's Race

Jack Novac needs a new challenge. Barnstorming European speed records could set him up for life. The crowds that come to see Jack perform love him. But when a high-ranking Nazi’s wife disappears, Jack becomes a target for revenge.


Novac's Run

Jack Novac meets Maddy Rosen. He thinks his life is complete until he wakes up in a Berlin torture chamber.  Breaking free, he and Maddy must run for their lives,  desperately seeking freedom with Nazi thugs closing in behind them.


Novac's Way

Jack Novac’s injuries kill his auto racing career, but he still needs a spark of adrenalin. His good left hand guides the tiller of a racing airplane. The world air speed record is his for the taking until a gun-shot on a dark night changes everything.


Barry Keys Series

Barry Keys is an old-school FBI agent but after twenty years, the bureau is changing and so is he. He is a rough-and-tumble type, but his heart belongs to his wife, Mary. They take the good times with the bad and together they punch out a living bringing wrong-doers to justice.

Sounds of Deception

FBI Agent Barry Keys must stop a Nazi saboteur from gaining American radar and sonar secrets. The murderous  madman is bent on getting the secrets, and glory, by destroying the Mare Island Shipyard.


Agent Keys Steps Out

Late at night Barry Keys, a 20-year FBI veteran, lies seriously wounded and alone on a wet San Francisco street. His wife, Mary, demands a change, but chasing down bad guys is what makes him tick. Opening his own detective agency with Mary brings unexpected life and death challenges.


Roosevelt's Riddle

Coming Soon......

Barry Keys is back in a new investigation. This time his job takes him to Washington, D.C. and the office of the President. FDR wants answers. What American companies are war profiteers? Keys soon finds big corporations take no prisoners.

Stand Alone Books

The Artimus Box

Van Taylor is a present-day LAPD detective on the verge of retirement. A 70-year old murder mystery pulls him into a case that delilghts his love of vintage race cars. But this case could cost him the love of his life: his wife, Kathy.


Bobo's Raid

Count Reginald Bobrowski, the son of a wealthy Polish Count, is living the high life in England. Fast cars and gracious living are his lot. He plans a lark through Algeria, but British Intelligence has a different idea. Is he a poser or a man who can stand against Nazi tyranny?



“Mike’s…ability to develop new characters quickly
in the story line so you feel like you know these people is most skillful. Set in a most interesting and challenging time period for this country, the history of hundreds of German, Japanese, and Russian spies in the US during WW II was a
real challenge to the Feds to keep vital weapons related information under wraps. Very entertaining read and fast moving with some surprising twists and turns
along the way.” 

Steve L.

Vintage cars and car racing is an unusual setting. The time and scenes from the past will never be again. Downs uses strong characters, and trouble laced with facts from the past, woven with interesting bits and intrigue.

Kas K.

Jack is back in Los Angeles, building his aircraft instrumentation business in anticipation of the war he is sure will come. The story of a new invention…a US military contract…communists and an innovative speed record airplane take the reader on a well told adventure. The action is fast, told in a sparse style to keep the action and the reader’s imagination at full revs. This one will entertain…just like the previous Jack Novac adventure novels.

Victory Lane Managzine

“I sat down with Sounds of Deception for a complete escape. What a great book! I enjoyed it as a thoroughtly escapist read.”

Jan T.