Eight murders.

Seven days.

Two detectives.

One hacker.

Can MPD's finest crack the case?

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Jim Spoonhour has been a compulsive reader since age 12, consuming two or three books per week his entire life. Like many addicted readers, he long aspired to write novels and has finally ventured into the world of putting stories on paper.

During the interim, Jim got two degrees from the University of Nebraska in Political Science. Then he served as a Special Agent in the Office of Special Investigations while in the Air Force. While assigned to the Pentagon on a major leak case, Jim started attending law school at Georgetown University at night.

After graduating from Georgetown, Jim practiced civil litigation and appellate law with a large law firm in Orlando, Florida for many years. He also was a law professor at the Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans.

Jim is a member of the following writers’ organizations: International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Jericho Writers (Oxford, UK), Career Authors, and Debut Authors Program of the International Thriller Writers.

In addition to reading and writing, Jim’s other joy in life comes from playing tournament croquet over the past 30 years. He occasionally even wins a tournament here and there around the country. Jim is now dedicated to writing and has nearly completed the second in the Detective Mac Burke series.

Incentive for Death


DC homicide detective McDermott “Mac” Burke and his partner are assigned the murder of prominent lawyer. Within days, they suspect that their case may be related to two other homicides that occurred within twelve hours of the lawyer’s murder. Are the cases related?

Over the course of a week, Mac determines that the first three cases may also be related to five earlier homicides. Was there a common link?

When they hit dead ends, the detectives seek help from a friend, who is one of DC’s top hackers. They also get anonymous assistance from Mac’s ex-wife who still lives with him three years after an amicable divorce. Unknown to him, she works for the CIA.

They eventually tie all eight deaths to a man and woman whose identities are protected by the government. Mac and his partner eventually connect all eight cases and find the mastermind behind the scheme of murder for hire.

Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni and John Sandford.

You won’t be able to put this one down. And not just because it offers an intriguing plot. The narrative voice carries the reader all the way to the end…. the narrative brings the reader into the story as if they were part and party to the investigation…. This is a great read for those who like mystery or police procedurals.
—D.J. Adamson of Le Coeur de l’Artiste

An ominous tale about need and greed, the tension ratcheted up by a single question, ‘Are they really going to do that?’  Yes, they are. Enjoy this pulse-pounding treat.
NYT bestselling thriller author Steve Berry

Incentive for Death brings an exhilarating dose of uniqueness to fans of crime fiction. The choice of victims—the murder weapon—law enforcement interactions—interpersonal circumstances. The action is explosive and intense as it plays out on the complicated stage of Washington, D.C. A fascinating debut!
NYT bestselling author Patricia Gussin

With no apparent cause of death, it appears to be the perfect crime. Detectives McDermott ‘Mac’ Burke and Oliver Shaw aren’t buying it. As they meticulously investigate, other victims die. In Incentive for Death, it’s a race against time to unravel a sophisticated plot and stop the killings in this unique Washington, D.C. thriller.
—Author Shawn Wilson

I enjoyed Incentive for Death, which has an absorbing plot . . . a good read that I can recommend.
—Elaine Tomasso, Goodreads 4-star rating


October 3, 2023
Release date from Oceanview Publishing
Available in bookstores and online

October 11, 2023
Author event (Interview and Book Signing)
Writer’s Block Bookstore
Winter Park, FL

October 23, 2023
Author event (Book Signing)
The Country Bookshop
Southern Pines, NC

May 28 – June 1, 2024
International Thriller Writers sponsored ThrillerFest XIX
New York, NY


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Frisco is a key character in Incentive for Death.

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Newsletter Archive

Book Signings Are Fun! — December 18, 2023
The Launch of a Debut Novel — September 21, 2023
What Did You Do This Summer — July 11, 2023
The beginning of a writing career — January 20, 2023