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Grant continues series with ‘The Bay of Lies Murder’

July 17, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Author Mitch Grant has released his fifth book of the St. James City mystery series, "The Bay of Lies Murder." Grant brings back several of the familiar characters in the first four books.

The two central characters, Jim and Jill Story, are retired bankers who have settled into the quiet life of "Old Florida" in St. James City. They spend their time bicycling, dining, drinking and fishing with their friends.

Like all of the previous books "The Bay of Lies Murder" takes place on Pine Island and includes many Pine Island and Matlacha businesses and locations.

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Author Mitch Grant has released his fifth book of the St. James City mystery series, “The Bay of Lies Murder.”


The book opens on April 19, 1961, in the jungles of Cuba. Ernesto "Lobo" Valdez and his friend Juan Diaz are hunkered down at Bahia de Cochinos with bullets flying all around them.

The English translation of Bahia de Cochinos is Bay of Pigs. For those of us old enough to remember, the Bay of Pigs was an invasion of Cuba by Cuban-American forces in a failed attempt to overthrow the newly formed Communist Castro regime.

"Lobo, why has this gone so wrong?" Juan asks. "The Americans put this together they recruited us, they trained us, they armed us, and they promised that they were going to support us with whatever we needed once we landed?"

"Juan, you're right," Ernesto said. "We have been abandoned. But, I don't think it was the guys that we've been working with that let us down. I still believe they are good men. It has to be that bastard Kennedy."

Then Juan was shot dead.

Jump ahead 56 years to Sept. 4, 2017, just a few days before Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida. Jim Story and his friend Kenny are aboard Doc's boat far out in the gulf fishing for grouper. Not catching anything, Doc suggests trying coordinates on an old fishing chart given to him by Doc's Cuban born friend Ernie.

Ernie's map proves successful and the guys head back to shore, deciding to bring Ernie some grouper fillets as a thank you.

Irma passes with very little damage but after the storm Doc learns that the old fishing chart given to him by his friend Ernie has been stolen. Nothing else, just the fishing chart in what seemed like a "targeted" theft. Is there something more to the chart than fishing coordinates?

Enter Lt. Mike Collins of the Lee County Sheriff's Depart-ment. Collins was the lead investigator on the murders in Grant's previous four books.

The loss of the fishing chart seems unimportant until Doc and Jim visit Ernie. Both men learn Ernie was part of the Bay of Pigs invasion and the now stolen chart contained more than good fishing locations. Ernie tells them the chart contains "something else, a little challenge..." Then Ernie is murdered.

In this book, Grant includes a detailed history of the part Useppa Island played in the Bay of Pigs invasion. He also explores the role the CIA and the Mafia played in the Kennedy Administration weaving the history of the era into the novel.

After the murder, Jim, Doc and Kenny try to unravel the mystery that Ernie left for them. Instead they learn Ernie and his band of Cuban exiles played a much bigger role in American history.

This is by far the best book in the series. The books just keep getting better. The characters are well developed and the plot has many twists and turns.

Grant is a seventh-generation Floridian, retired banker, field artilleryman, racing driver and aspiring buccaneer. He and his wife Sherry are now residents of Ormond Beach, Florida, but their hearts remain in St. James City where they lived full-time for many years.

Grant describes his books as a combination of "classic Florida mystery fiction with a passion for Florida life in a way that's sure to appeal to visitors to Southwest Florida, fisherman, boaters, retirees and mystery fans of all ages."

Grant said he has been inspired to write by fellow Florida writers John D. McDonald and Randy Wayne White.

"The Bay of Lies Murder," along with Grant's previous books, are available at and several Pine Island / Matlacha retail stores.



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