Midnight Cranes sets the Polish Dragon on a new murder investigation in a manufacturing plant that leads to the Dragon Trail. What inspired the setup to this mystery story?
Years ago as a martial arts student and as an employee in the material handling industry I had thought about how interesting it would be to have someone like Chuck Norris be the hero and discover, as an undercover cop, a drug ring going on inside of the plant. I had outlined the story and sent it to one of his students, who also was making movies, to see what he thought of the idea. He liked the idea but said he was too busy and didn’t really have the time. Fast forward many years and now that I am an author I thought why not make it into a book instead. The only change was having the Polish Dragon P. I. be the one going undercover.
I enjoyed how well the story is developed in so few pages. Is it your intention to make your stories short, or is that just your writing style?
It is a little bit of both. My intention is to write the story in a novella so that it makes for a quick and easy read. Some of my fans have said how much they enjoy the shorter read as sometimes a full novel can be too long and filled with unnecessary information. So if you’re riding a train say from New Jersey into New York City you could finish half the book on your ride in and the other half on your ride home. I have noticed though, that each new book I write seems to get a little bit longer each time.
What were some new challenges you wanted Tom to face in this book that were different from the previous books?
I wanted Tom to face the challenge of going undercover and having to maintain the cover as long as he could. Another one was to have him finding help from one of his colleagues and not just for digging up information but actually working on the case with him. That is where Suzie Mandrake comes in, a detective on the Cleveland police force who aspires to be a private investigator like Tom. Her big dream is to be a partner with Tom in his Polish Dragon Investigations business.
What is the next adventure you have lined up for the Polish Dragon P.I.?
Tom will now have to partner up with Suzie again as a friend of hers has a 600 year old family bible disappear after his father was killed in a car accident. The bible may hold clues to a dark secret from the families past.
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Still recovering from jat lag as a result of his last case, Tom Sipowicz, the Polish Dragon P.I., is needed yet again. This time he is asked to go undercover at MaGed Material Handling to get to the bottom of a couple of mysterious deaths, with suspicions of theft and drugs just to make things a little more interesting. As Tom makes his way around the warehouse, trying his best to blend in, his well trained eye is quick to pick out a few suspects and odd happenings among his new peers. With the help of some friends as well as his own set of skills, Tom soon finds just how deep the problem goes!
In The Polish Dragon P.I. (Midnight Cranes) by Steve Zimcosky, we again get to follow the intriguing exploits of Tom Sipowicz as he seeks to solve all manner of enthralling mysteries. This time he’s asked to help solve a couple of deaths at an international company that specializes in building hardwares. The president isn’t satisfied with the official report by the authorities, and Tom is recommended to him. Instead of his usual methods, Tom is asked to go undercover so he can better assess and observe those at the warehouse, knowing that at least one of them is potentially responsible for the deaths. This provides for an entertaining narrative twist that puts the P.I. in different situations. Along the way, Zimcosky does an excellent job of fully immersing the reader in the environment Tom is living and working in. The plot moves fast even with lots of details given to the reader throughout the story.
Like the other books in this series, Midnight Cranes is a fun and quick read. Tom is the kind of character that is instantly likeable and seems to be capable of just about anything; a trait that provides him with his many adventures. The quick references to past books makes everyone seem more relatable and familiar, which makes the book even more enjoyable.
Midnight Cranes is the perfect book for some light and fun reading that delivers intrigue and entertainment on par with a full length novel but Zimcosky does it in under 90 pages. This is a book that will excite long time fans of the series as they’ll find the tried and true protagonist in new situations, but new readers will enjoy the easy story and alluring mystery.
Pages: 213 | ASIN: B093MX47QX
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The Lineage Sword follows the Polish Dragon P.I. on a case that leads him into the realm of the Waiting Warriors. What inspired you to write this story?
Over the last several years a few of my Tai Chi students had asked me why I haven’t written a mystery about Tai Chi and I really had no idea about where to begin. Then I came across some martial arts stories about how the leadership of a school is passed down in the more traditional schools. The master when he is ready to retire or is near death will appoint his most senior student to take over and generally that turns out to be the oldest son. The Waiting Warriors came into play when I came up with the idea that, what if, when the last emperor of China fell that there was a secretly formed alliance of all of the old guards with one specific purpose. That purpose was to continue to train and wait for the fall of the Nationalist government of China and they could then re-instate the emperor. In the years that followed the alliance became worldwide and they continue to train and pass the training down through their families, still hoping for the return of the emperor. So, this story is dedicated to my Tai Chi students and martial artists everywhere.
I enjoyed the brevity of the story but because I love diving into Polish Dragon stories, I wanted there to be more. What inspired you to write a short story?
I like writing shorter stories so that people can read them in one sitting or one day. Some people have mentioned how they wish they could finish a story while riding the train or taking the bus to work. They don’t like to have to keep going back to the story and then they feel like they lose interest. If they could start a book and finish it in a short time they almost get the full sense of the story without, what some call, the mundane details. I want to give my readers the best parts of the story in a short amount of time. Plus, all of the Polish Dragon stories are linked together in some way.
I enjoyed the exotic location of the story. Do you have any personal experience in these places?
No, I have no personal experiences with these places as of yet. I do have them on my bucket list and hope to reach them soon. The Taiwan location came from my stepson and daughter-in-law’s blog, Nom_Life, and they gave me permission to use the descriptions and pictures for the book. When reading their post, I fell in love with the descriptions and the views that they shared. It was as if I was there and I could see and feel and hear all that was going on. I also did some research on the locations to add more to the storyline and there was quite a lot to learn about Jiufen. Mainland China was basically my idea of what the area might be like although the mountain range was real and I came to find out that Dreamworks used the famous mountain in their movie Kung Fu Panda.
What is the next Polish Dragon P. I. adventure that you are working on and when will it be available?
Our dim sum loving P. I. has been hired to investigate the death of two employees from a material handling company who have died from an overdose of heroin. The coroner rules them as death by misadventure but the president of the company feels that is something more sinister going on in his company. The Polish Dragon is referred to him by FBI agent Jalowiec and he must now go undercover as an employee to discover what might be happening there if anything at all. I am planning on having it finished mid to late summer, so stay tuned.
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A young man whose family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan disappears right after his father’s death. He was to inherit his father’s martial arts school as is the tradition and the lineage sword was to be passed on to him. It to has disappeared and the Polish Dragon P. I. is called in to help find them both. It will not be an easy task as his investigation takes him to Taiwan and into the realm of the Guard Corp who were the protectors of the Chinese Emperor. As of now known only as the Waiting Warriors.
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Cindy’s brother was missing, along with the intricately forged sword that had been handed down through their family for generations. Carved into the hilt of this sword is a dragon with eyes that seem alive. So when she read about Tom Sipowicz, a P.I. nicknamed the Polish Dragon, it seemed only natural to hire him for the case. Tom soon finds out that there’s more adventure to be had here than he usually finds in his line of work. He ends up chasing leads to Taiwan and back while unearthing a wealth of knowledge about the culture, history, traditions, and superstitions of Cindy’s family and people.
Polish Dragon P.I. (The Lineage Sword) by Steve Zimcosky is a fast paced mystery filled with exotic locales that all seem infused with a sense of the supernatural. Zimcosky wastes no time getting to the meat of the story, introducing Cindy, the lineage sword, Tom, and a hint at his own background within the first few pages. From there the action is consistent, and Tom uses all his tricks to try and find the missing man. Paul is a law student reluctant to continue in the family’s martial arts business after the death of his and Cindy’s father. Tom calls in some favors from old friends in high places. Eventually, a letter from Paul himself helps guide the way, but not before a trip to Taiwan and visits to many of Cindy and Paul’s family friends. This provides readers with ample opportunity to meet intriguing characters as we wind through this short but well crafted mystery.
The Lineage Sword has a fascinating story that is layered and full of potential. I would have really loved this story to be a full novel so that we had time to explore different plot points, and give more breadth to events and interactions that feel only briefly explored here.
Polish Dragon P.I.- The Lineage Sword combines a curious mystery with an imaginative supernatural element that holds promise and will surely capture the attention of amateur sleuths looking for a quick but engaging read.
Pages: 85 | ASIN: B08VF7ZZ99
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The Ark of Healers finds the Polish Dragon P.I. pulled into a missing women’s case from the holistic health field that he must solve while avoiding the police. What was the inspiration behind the mystery at the core of this book?
The inspiration came from watching some re-runs of Ancient Aliens on Netflix. There were some episodes that discussed how people felt they were abducted by aliens and studied and probed while being on this alien ship. I thought to myself what if there was an alien race that watched over us and felt that we needed to be better as humans. Abducting different people and giving them each a task of gathering a certain group of people to be taken to another planet similar to earth and starting all over again. People who were in certain professions like the medical field, agriculture and teachers.
This book touches on different kinds of holistic medicine. What inspired this aspect of the story?
I myself am involved in the holistic health field as a massage therapist, hypnotist and Reiki Master. More and more people are beginning to see that the field of holistic medicine can help them without all of the side affects you get from drugs and surgery. That is not to say that those are not necessary but I think that in many instances they complement each other. For example, if I was in a car accident I wouldn’t want to be taken to an acupuncturist right away, I would prefer the emergency room. Once I have been treated there then I could go to the acupuncturist to help with my recovery. There are so many forms of holistic therapy that can help people to become more whole.
What was one of hardest scenes for you to write in the book?
For me, one of the hardest scenes to write was where the women who disappeared would be held. I wanted to make it where it would have to be somewhere safe but also where it would be very difficult to find them. After some thought and a long walk in the park I came up with the idea of them being held nearly in plain sight but you had to dig for the clues as to their real location.
What is the next mystery you have planned for the Polish Dragon P.I.?
I am working on a book called “Polish Dragon P. I. The Lineage Sword”. It is about the disappearance of a young man who is to inherit from his father the leadership of a martial arts system. A sword that has been in the family for generations which signifies the leader of the school has also disappeared. Are the disappearances connected and what does that mean for the future of this particular martial arts system? The journey takes the Polish Dragon to the island of Taiwan as part of his investigation.
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Polish Dragon P. I. (The Ark of Healers) is a crime thriller novella written by an award-winning author Steve Zimcosky. This novella follows a private investigator, Tom Sipowicz, as he investigates the mysterious case involving multiple women in Northeast, Ohio that are disappearing. He is hired by one of the missing victims daughter, and he must work this case while not interfering with the police and FBI.
The mystery in this noir style novel was very intriguing as, at first, the disappearances seem to be random, but it soon grows exponentially, involving holistic healing and high-level authorities coming into view. This story fits well into the teen and young adult fiction genre perfectly with a strong focus on the puzzling mystery, campy dialogue and a lack of explicit violence and themes. Another great aspect was the relationship between Tom and his police detective friend, Gary. These two had an interesting conflict that sprinkled the entire book with funny dialogue.
While I certainly lost myself in the story, some parts of the investigation feels like the reader is simply told what happened, almost like reading a Wikipedia page when I felt that it could have been shown. The characters in the story were intriguing and well developed, but I would have liked to know more about the famous Polish Dragon P.I. and other characters, like the Assistant County Prosecutor Adriana Charveaux.
Overall, Polish Dragon P. I. (The Ark of Healers) is a fun read that people of all ages will certainly enjoy. Author Steve Zimcosky has a knack for planting the seeds to a mystery early on that grows more and more compelling as the novel progresses. Sleuth’s or crime fiction fans looking for a short and satisfying read will find plenty to enjoy with Steve Zimcosky’s latest entry in the Polish Dragon P.I. series.
Pages: 85 | ASIN: B08LQGK58T
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How did the idea for Death of a Bully start and change as you wrote?
It started from my previous book the “Disappearance of Marty McRory” which introduces the Polish Dragon P. I. into the story. I thought how it would be a great idea to perhaps do a series with a private investigator and to create different story lines. As I was coming up with the idea I thought how it might feel to investigate the death of an old schoolmate. Especially one who had issues in his younger years and was able to turn his life around. I had to do some research as to how private investigators work so I could make the story as believable as possible. The story line changed at the last minute when I thought how families have a hard time dealing with a member who has dementia.
What was the most interesting scene for you to write in the short story?
For me the most interesting thing was writing about the bullying that went on in the elementary school years of the characters. That I wrote from experience as I remember being bullied somewhat as a child. I could introduce martial arts training as a way to combat bullying and there are many martial arts schools that have such programs, like the Karate Institute of Cleveland. My martial arts training was later in life and I thought how that would have helped me in my younger days to defend myself.
Why did you go with the short story format instead of fleshing this out into a full novel?
It wasn’t intentional to do a short story but as I was writing it seemed like it all went together rather quickly and I enjoyed the way it turned out. There was plenty of information to keep the readers guessing and twist and turns to throw them off. My hope is that as I continue to write the stories get longer. They always seem to be shorter on Kindle then they do in a paperback version and I’m not sure why that is. But there have been some great novellas in the past such as: The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, The Man Who Would be King by Rudyard Kipling, and The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells. I hope that my readers enjoy the stories and I can continue to write for them and myself.
Do you plan to write more stories about the Polish Dragon P. I.?
Absolutely. I want to make it into a series if I can. I have already started a new story with the Polish Dragon investigating a case of certain women who have disappeared. A lot of my stories take place in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and this one will not be any different. I’m hoping to have it done in time for the holidays.
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