KIRKUS REVIEW of City Hall Secrets

It is official. The gold standard of book reviews, Kirkus Reviews, has determined that City Hall Secrets is “A well-crafted whodunit with an engaging cast and ambiance.” The complete review is attached.

A Coterie Crime Mystery
Dennis M. Adams


In this mystery sequel, a newly appointed police commissioner must deal with a protest, a riot, and a murder before he
even moves into his new office—and it’s all downhill from there.

Big Will Williams is the new police commissioner. He heads up a group called the Coterie that meets for breakfast twice a week. It consists of active and retired police officers with valuable skills. Think of the Justice League but with half of the
heroes on Medicare. The very night of Will’s appointment, a protest takes place in front of City Hall, one that does not look at all spontaneous. José Diaz is shot dead, and a police cadet may have killed him, but confusion reigns. A key man in the Coterie is Harry Doyle, a retired police detective who is now “doing that Magnum, P.I. thing.” Will enlists the private eye to investigate the killing, hoping to clear that worthy cadet, Elijah Washington, of any wrongdoing. Then there is a cold case at issue. Mayor Colin Carter’s wife, Jennifer, was murdered years ago. Harry looks into that case again during the course of the protest investigation. It turns out that Diaz was involved in a counterfeiting scheme with other criminals, namely Iggy Hernandez and Troy Gilbert. All three were on the city payroll in what were obviously sinecures. Through dogged and inspired police work, the heroes hope to bring a remaining malefactor to justice and solve the Jennifer Carter case. Adams does a good job here. He seems to be well acquainted with police procedures. The detectives’ breaking down of Hernandez is masterfully described, and the teacher-student dynamic of crusty Doyle and the young Washington is well handled. Dialogue is sometimes a bit stiff, with verbs that are sort of Tom Swift–ian, but somehow the author convinces readers that these guys really are straight shooters without making them into Boy Scouts. In these days, when the police are getting a lot of justifiable and invalid criticism, Adams’ tale is refreshing.
A well-crafted whodunit with an engaging cast and ambiance.

“A well-crafted whodunit with an engaging cast and ambiance.” – Kirkus Reviews


On Saturday, Nov. 26th from 9a – 12p I will be at the West Seneca Library to sell and sign copies of MOTIVE and CITY HALL SECRETS. There will also be a drawing to get a 2nd book free. My table will be situated in front of the Chamber of Commerce office.

On Tuesday, January 31st, at 6:30pm, I will be at the West Seneca Library for a Meet-N-Greet and to answer any questions regarding MOTIVE, CITY HALL SECRETS, or about writing in general. Please call the library at 716-674-2928 to reserve a seat.

I am looking to schedule 2023 appearances and events, so if you know of a group, book club, or organization who would like to get the first-hand info on my books or writing process, please contact me at 716-912-9855 or

Newstead Public Library

Evy and I were at the Newstead Library to talk about MOTIVE. The crowd was friendly and enthusiastic. We met some great people from the Akron area and I think they enjoyed it as much as we did. I also introduced the new novel, CITY HALL SECRETS, which I expect to be published in a couple weeks. I look forward to returning to the Newstead Library.

BOOK EVENT 10/05/22

On October 5th, at 6:30 p.m. I will be at the Newstead Library, 33 Main Street, Akron NY to speak about MOTIVE and answer all questions about the book and writing in general. I will also be introducing the second novel of the Coterie Series, CITY HALL SECRETS. You will find that there is a MOTIVE behind CITY HALL SECRETS, and either, or both, would make excellent Christmas gifts. Hope to see you there.



Book Two is on paper. The editing has begun, and hopefully we will be ready to publish CITY HALL SECRETS by the beginning of August.