Cover of Hard Water Blues
Hard Water Blues

Passion, greed, revenge, twisted love—and murder. They’re all on display in this riveting collection in venues that range from frozen Crystal Lake in northwest Michigan to the streets of Chicago. 

Pete Thorsen, the protagonist of
TARGET, takes center stage in many of the stories. His reunion with an old army buddy leads to a stunning confession, and a routine fishing outing on the Boardman River turns deadly. In other stories, a hapless soul disenchanted with his life finds more excitement than he bargained for on the final night of old Baker’s Bar.

Hard Water Blues will make you laugh, cry and double-check your windows and doors!

About the Author
Robert Wangard splits his time between Chicago, where he practiced law, and northern Michigan. His first novel, TARGET - a Pete Thorsen Mystery - was published in April 2010. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Short Mystery Fiction Society and other writers' organizations.

Paperback: 5 x 8"  226 pages 
Published: May 17, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1450706247 
Electronic Editions:  Kindle Edition (amazon.com); Nook Edition (bn.com)





Hard Water Blues is rated five stars out of five by ForeWord Clarion Review.

What does one do when a long lost army buddy begins telling stories that can't possibly be true; like how he played guitar with Roy Orbison, who would have been four years dead at the time? Or how he killed Fats Domino, who is, at the time of the telling, still alive. What should one do when he notes how the hole in the ice outside of your isolated cabin looks like a grave and speculates about how long it would take a body to rise to the surface? The menace in his remarks is so slyly interwoven, the reveal so clever, that the reader will gasp with surprise. Shirley Jackson move aside.

Wangard is the author of Target, a well-received debut mystery featuring Pete Thorsen, a retired attorney who "just got sick of calibrating his life into six-minute billable hour segments." Thorsen appears in a number of the stories in , Hard Water Blues, which ends with a teaser of the next Thorsen mystery, Malice. The short story has become a vehicle for artful angst and serious introspection. But Wangard's stories recall the tales of another era -- the kind a reader might expect to find in the pages of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines. The surprises in Hard Water Blues won't produce dread, but they will make you smile. The heroes are everyman characters, and the villains believe that Elvis still waits for take-out behind the Winn-Dixie and that, even though Fats was reaching for a voodoo doll, not a gun, "there's a lot more to voodoo than people want to believe...I was damn lucky to get my shot in first." --ForeWord Clarion Review

"[H]arrowing stories...that channel the haunting genre of crime fiction that is so popular in Scandinavia at the moment: authors like Jo Nesbo and the late Swedish Steig Larsson come to mind...HARD WATER BLUES is an exciting read, with each story introducing complicated and sometimes tragic new characters and ending in what is often a much unexpected twist." --Norwegian American Weekly

"Wangard has a talent for building a reservoir of suspense in the span of a few pages and then letting the dam break with a 'gotcha' ending." --Northern Express Weekly