Dale T. Phillips

 

Dale T. Phillips - Writer

Novels

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #5:
A Sharp Medicine

Zack Taylor’s life is once again in shambles. Having narrowly escaped death, guilty over the pain he’s caused a loved one, he’s hurting and angry. When looking into the disappearance of a reporter, Zack’s death wish may be his cure for his troubles as he uncovers corruption and evil in a world of politics, passion, and power.

“I’ll bet a sawbuck Dale Phillip’s PI Zack Taylor is related to Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder. It wouldn’t surprise me either if he were also a distant cousin of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer on one side and Robert Parker’s Spenser on the other. Except instead of Boston or New York, Taylor works the hardscrabble streets of Maine. Phillip’s style goes down as smoothly as a fine bourbon and his writing is as mean as any junkyard dog.”
–Dave Zeltserman, author of Small Crimes

“A Sharp Medicine, the fifth Taylor outing, churns forward with the dark inevitability of Classical Greek drama, revealing as it goes a penetrating awareness of the violent dimensions of present day America. Dale Phillips is hitting bull’s eyes with this one.”
–David Daniel, author of the award-winning Alex Rasmussen mystery series and Inflections & Innuendos

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #4:
A Certain Slant of Light 

Trapped by a final promise to a dying woman, a reluctant Zack Taylor seeks her missing grandson, a slippery con man of the art world. Zack discovers the corruption beneath the glossy exteriors, confronting murder, greed, fraud, and a host of crimes that belie the beauty of the art in which the people deal.

“A work of excellence. Each page turns with adventure and enthusiasm. The main character – although he is ‘larger than life’ in some ways is a completely believable character anyone can identify with. A great read.”
— Amazon review

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #3
A Shadow on the Wall

Ex-con Zack Taylor is desperately trying to build a better, saner life, but Fate has a different plan. His new business venture is threatened, his girlfriend has dumped him, and now a vengeful killer has been freed to stalk Zack once again.

Things get complicated when a mysterious recluse hires Zack to consult on a movie. Zack is adrift in a world of shadows, and must separate the real from the unreal. Someone doesn’t want the film to be made, and small acts of sabotage escalate.

Then people start dying, and Zack has another killer to deal with.

“A high-octane Mystery/Thriller that moves seamlessly from dilemma to dilemma as Zack Taylor navigates the deadly mysteries playing out around him. Zack sizzles as a man with a troubled past trying to turn over a new leaf, and as a pawn and an unwilling player in an agenda he must understand before it kills him.”
–Vlad Vaslyn, Amazon review

“A great summer read. If you haven’t read the previous two books in the Zack Taylor series (“A Memory of Grief” and “A Fall From Grace”), you’ll be looking them up.”
Amazon review

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #2:
A Fall From Grace

When a single mother is wrongly accused of murder, Zack Taylor must work to clear her name. Not an easy task, as everyone in town thinks she’s guilty. Zack finds plenty of people who wanted the victim dead. As the events around him spiral out of control, Zack begins to do the same.

Zack Taylor is back and ready to rumble. In A Fall From Grace, he digs in like a pit bull to exonerate a woman accused of murder and find the real killer. The answers lie buried within small town politics, dysfunctional family relations and crooked land deals, but finding the truth can exact a cost. Dale Phillips delivers a powerful and ultimately haunting sequel to his debut novel, A Memory of Grief.

Debbi Mack, NY Times best-selling mystery author of Identity Crisis and Least Wanted says:

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #1
A Memory of Grief

Ex-con Zack Taylor is a man drifting through life, haunted and guilt-ridden from a past gunshot tragedy. When his friend dies in Maine of an apparent suicide, Zack is driven to pursue the truth. With only his wits and physical skills, he takes on life-threatening opponents, including an aggressive karate instructor, drug-dealing bikers, and a sinister crime gang. Despite finding a new love, his rage and ghosts drive him closer to the edge as he takes ever-greater risks with the law and his life.

Zack Taylor is hot. With anger, grief, testosterone, muscle—and booze when he lets himself, though he tries not to. And he’s hot on a case of suicide that his gut tells him is murder. No pro, he acts out of some time-worn sense of honor—as Hammett might’ve said: When a man’s friend is killed, he ought to do something.
Wounded by life, Taylor is a loner who makes friends easily, and enemies even more easily. Beginning in the heat of Miami, he treks north to Portland, Maine, where things get way hotter.
Dale T. Phillips writes a clean, efficient prose and spins a yarn that’s as gritty as any I’ve read in recent years. There’s humor, violence, ghosts, and sex—all the good stuff that has driven stories forever.”

Mystery writer David Daniel, author of Coffin Dust and the prize-winning Alex Rasmussen series

 

The Zack Pack

This collection combines the first three Zack Taylor mysteries into one volume. Contains A Memory of Grief, A Fall From Grace, and A Shadow on the Wall.

“I once went along to the studio where a friend of mine practices Tai Chi. My friend is a Jungian therapist, a vegetarian. Granted, he watches football and likes action movies like Die Hard. Mindless violence is cathartic, he explained. I thought he meant that watching it was cathartic until I visited the studio. This wasn’t like watching a bunch of elderly Chinese people in the park. My friend and his sparring partners were really going at it!
Just so you know, Zack Taylor is into cathartic violence. There’s nothing zen-like about his martial arts practice. I’ve lost track of the number of times he got hurt (he asked for it), the number of guys he killed (they asked for it) over the course of the three books in this series. To say that Zack has anger management issues would be an understatement, as he’d be the first to admit.
But here’s the great thing about buying the boxed set: you get to watch Zack grow and mellow out a bit, as author Dale Phillips hits his stride in the third book. The characters get richer as Zack lets himself trust people. Foils like the bad cop Lagasse can surprise you, a cynical stuntwoman-turned-script girl leaves Zack’s ex-girlfriend in the shade. I hope she comes back to complicate Zack’s love life, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Theo again. Old Zack’s on a learning curve, and I want to see how he does in the next book. I’m in it for the long haul.”
–Lisa Lieberman

 

 

Shadow of the Wendigo

A Horror Thriller

In the snowy Canadian wilderness, a terrifying legend springs to life, sparking a series of gruesome crimes. Government agent Sean Laporte is sent to investigate, and must contend with an obsessive, resourceful foe, a hostile environment, and an elusive search for the truth. He is soon pulled between worlds of myth and madness, a present haunted by the past, and a primitive world of mystery and power.

In this book, the myths described by Joseph Campbell are crossed with a David Lynch-type world of dreams and visions. Gruesome crimes set off a chain of events, and a wilderness chase begins. We have the heroes journey, where he is the gateway between different worlds. In a hostile place where a mistake can mean death, Sean Laporte must overcome many obstacles, including his own disbelief.

In the exciting new genre of cryptofiction-meets-horror, the prolific writer Dale T. Phillips brings his talents to the fore. Join Dale on this exciting journey, written with a sound cryptozoological foundation, full of many surprises, at every twist and turn, along these shadowed, forested pathways. Highly recommended.

–Loren Coleman,
Cryptozoologist, Author, Documentary Consultant, and Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, Maine

Story Collections

The Big Book of Genre Stories

Here are five books combined into one big volume of stories, thirty tales in different genres. Strange new worlds and encounters with the unusual, in stories from light to dark. Some to make you laugh, some to make you think, and some to scare you. Dip into the Big Book for a taste of monsters, mayhem, myth, magic, and murder.

Crime and Mystery
Science Fiction
Horror
Fables and Fantasies
Magic Realism/Paranormal

“This book sat on my bedside table for two months–but not gathering dust! I treated myself to a tale a night: a guilty pleasure I looked forward to. Phillips’ has a protean imagination! My only regret was that it wasn’t an even BIGGER book of genre stories.”
–David Daniel

Jumble Sale

This blend of previously-published stories crosses many genres: science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror, humor, magic realism, and mainstream. There are fractured fairy tales, cautionary parables, peeks into disturbed minds, and amusing little romps. Everything from people with problems to giant lobsters, demonic creatures, small-time gangsters, and perverted dwarves. They are a mix of many types, with something for just about anyone. Stories of odd happenings, of criminals, of ordinary people with issues, of strange worlds. Something that gives you a shiver of frisson or a chuckle, or a chance to think about the world in a new way. Come take a sip from the dark myth pool of the human psyche, and taste a strange wine.

 

Halls of Horror

This collection of ten tales of horror involves monsters, mayhem, and murder: everything from war to everyday homicide, to otherworldly terrors from hell dimensions. The horror may be internal or external, in your heart or in your cellar. Here are people making bad choices, and people reacting to terrible situations. These are stories to make you think, tremble, and shiver with fright– and lock your doors at night– even though it may not do any good…

The author had Stephen King as a writing teacher, and the book is dedicated to him.

“I loved this collection of macabre short stories. Though I am not usually fond of horror, there was enough of a blend of the “normal” with twists of the macabre that it was very entertaining to read without scaring me to death! It was like reading episodes of “The Twilight Zone.” I highly recommend it.”
–Amazon customer

Apocalypse Tango

These five tales explore the concept of Apocalypse, world-ending disasters. Some methods are long, drawn-out affairs, others threaten us in the blink of an eye. Even if our take on Mayan calendars was all misinterpretation, there are plenty of other terrors that we could fall prey to. Here are stories to make you think, and some to make you laugh. Come do the Apocalypse Tango and dance while the world burns.

“If you’re in the mood to boogie with the apocalypse, then Apocalypse Tango by Dale T. Phillips might be just the thing to get you moving. Other story collections often concentrate on one theme – but Apocalypse Tango swells and dips like a roller coaster, and each tale elicits a different emotional response. I really liked this book, and it has the added advantage of being a quick and affordable read.”
–Vlad Vaslyn

Strange Tales

Here are five tales of people going off the beaten track of reality to experience something completely new and unworldly. Stories of individuals in pain who ride a rollercoaster of odd happenings that show life in a different perspective. People running to something or away from something. A young traveler who encounters a modern marvel in an ancient ruin. A group of youngsters in a Lewis Carroll-like tale, where language and logic are stretched and reshaped into a tongue-twisting, whimsical adventure.

“There are 5 short stories in this collection, and they all deal with topics related to a theme of returning to life, or recovery from grief. The stories are all very different, one is about a trip out west that ends up in a gas station in the middle of nowhere – it actually was so creepy it was a bit scary, but it ended up being inspirational too. There’s a story about a man who decides to be a hermit, but is pulled back to life and society. The last story is about an Egyptian cat-alien that discusses their disappointments, and hope, with humanity. If not for the inspirational theme line, if they were just pure entertainment, they’d remind me of folktales. They are short like that, have the creepy/weird creatures and people, and always wrap up nicely.”
–Amazon Review

More Fables and Fantasies

In these five tales you’ll read serious stories about dragons, swords, castles, people on quests, demons, witches, and also fairy-tale characters acting out in fun. So there’s a little something for everyone. These are lands where the people may be like us, but the landscape is of the fantasy realms, and anything can happen. You may change upon this journey, like the characters themselves.

 

Fables and Fantasies

This collection of five different tales gives some new takes on old stories. They are a mix of fear, fun, and fantastic elements. Some of these stories are humorous, some are scary, some end well, some badly, and some have mixed blessings for those involved. Kind of like life. Fable and fantasy blend to make a journey into other lands and times and magics. It’s like following a familiar road, only to discover a new, unusual side path that takes you to an alternate destination. Here are new worlds to explore, with magic, swords, vampires, princesses in peril, and choices to be made. Heroes and villains and something in between. Monsters, both internal and external. Encounters with the unusual to make you think, laugh, and shiver with fright.

“This collection by Dale T. Phillips abounds with haughty beauties, high adventure, and heart-warming deeds of kindness. From new takes on old classics, to original yarns spun from the author’s own fertile imagination, this book is sure to please any lover of fantasy and fairy tales.”
–E. Thorne

More Crooked Paths

More tales of crime and mystery, those who walk crooked paths and pay the price for it. People on the spot, when things have taken a bad turn. A young woman facing a deadly challenge. A man who walks into the wrong bar with the wrong attitude. A boxer who refuses to quit. An officer of the court with a grudge. A rich man who finds his motives questioned by the police. These are the stories of the darker side of life, when people decide to harm others.

 

Crooked Paths

Five stories of crime and mystery, people who walk crooked paths and pay the price for it. Stories of criminals and heroes, killers (accidental and deliberate), rumrunners, safecrackers, people framed for horrible deeds. This set of tales tends toward the noir school of crime and mystery, highlighting the dark spot on the human psyche that haunts people with the siren call of revenge, destruction, or ill-gotten gain. Here are featured a variety of characters and crimes, with different outcomes. Everything from cool, calculating killers to tortured souls caught in a net of circumstance beyond their control. Plotted heists, schemes, and cons, along with acts of passion committed in the heat of the moment.

“This is a book of five short stories. Each story is a stand alone tale, relaying the darker side of human nature. The stories are thought provoking with a touch of noir. It is a great book to bring on a trip or to read while sitting on the porch on a hot summer day. It is a quick read. I would be interested in reading more stories by Dale T Phillips.”
–Christopher Obert

Collections With Other Writers

Windward: Best New England Crime Stories 2016

Windward, the fourteenth Best New England Crime Stories anthology, continues the tradition of presenting the best mystery and crime fiction from both acclaimed, seasoned authors and exciting new voices. We’ve gathered thirty-two original tales ranging from historical, to contemporary, to noir, and everything in between.

Red Dawn: Best New England Crime Stories 2016

Red Sky at morning– Sailors take warning.

Red Dawn brings new meaning to the old sailors’ adage with thirty-three brand new stories from some of New England’s most acclaimed mystery writers, along with several exciting new voices.

Some spine-tingling, some rib tickling, from cons and capers to conundrums and classic whodunnits, Level Best Books thirteenth annual anthology presents a boatload of the best in original regional crime writing.

Batten down the hatches!

Rogue Wave: Best New England Crime Stories 2015

Cops, kooks, creeps and cons. Wily cats and wacky grandmas. Hoods, histories, and crafty whodunits. Nothing is spared by a Rogue Wave. Get swept up in this year’s tsunami of twenty-nine never before seen crime stories from a bevy of New England’s award-winning mystery writers joined by several of the region’s most compelling new voices. From classic mysteries to dead celebrities–some light, some dark, some flat-out scary. some downright funny–Level Best Books twelfth annual anthology presents a veritable rogues’ gallery of the best in original New England crime writing. Surf’s up!

“This superb collection of beautifully crafted mystery and suspence stories has something for everyone. The editors assembled some of the best of the best and included suspence, murder mystery, humor, terror and every other shade of crime story you can imagine. This collection is guaranteed to satisfy and tantalize and leave you almost criminally desperate for the next colection in 2016.”
–Rick from Plymouth

Insanity Tales Two

Reality slides into madness in these eleven tales from some of New England’s finest storytellers. Feel your heartbeat quicken as your senses drift to dark places: the howls of horror, terrifying visions, a hint of mystery in the air, and the bitter taste of death. You may never sleep with the lights off again. Six talented storytellers bring us a mix of chilling tales: obsession, premonition, dark psyche, madness, and murder, seasoned by spirits and demons.

“Insanity Tales II” offers the best short story collection I’ve read in a very long time. I enjoy trying a variety of genres, but had avoided anything dubbed “horror.” Since I’m not a “horror” fan, I felt tipping my toes into these waters via a curated collection of short stories would be a safe introduction. If the stories weren’t for me, twenty pages or so would let me experience the genre in bite-sized pieces. Well, one story led to my reading more and more. Each author approached his or her story in a unique way and each voice was distinct. I especially enjoyed Dale Phillips’ “Voices,” Stacey Longo’s “Nobody Ever Listens to Eddie,” and Ursula Wong’s “Spirit in the Stone.” The authors brought the creep factor into their stories without undo gore – a trait I feared would dominate any work dubbed “horror.” If you have a teen-aged person in your life, like a niece or a nephew, I highly recommend this collection as a gift. (NOTE: Make sure you “sneak read” it first as a gift to yourself!)”
— Connie J

Insanity Tales

Enter a world of insanity as you encounter nine tales of murder, mayhem, and madness from authors David Daniel, Stacey Longo, Dale T. Phillips, Vlad V., and Ursula Wong. Here you will find twisted psyches, peculiar people, and demons of the mind and spirit. If you like your stories dark and scary, come take a stroll through this asylum, hearing ominous whispers or the shrieks of the unhinged echoing in your ears. You’ll find yourself glancing nervously over your shoulder, or wondering about that odd-looking person at the bus stop . . . or even in the mirror. Come in, enjoy the trip, but step carefully, and watch the shadows, for you may never be the same again.

“The word “anthology” comes originally from the Greek for “bouquet” — and just as there’s an art to putting together a collection of flowers that complement each other and form a whole greater than the individual parts, a good fiction anthology is also an art. Insanity Tales is just such a greater-than-the sum collection, in the way that this group of writers put together a set of short stories that are astonishing in their breadth and approach to their chosen theme. The stories range from the sadly sweet (Wong’s “Never Alone”) to slow-building horror (Phillips’s “Chupacabra Moon”) to the disturbingly plausible (Daniel’s “Scalper”), with a great deal of inventiveness and imagination throughout. There are characters you’ll love to hate, characters you’ll hate to love, and characters you find yourself dearly hoping pull though (don’t expect these writers to pull their punches, though…). Taken as a whole, I think just about every reader will find something here to like, especially those folks with a fondness for the dark side.”
–John Murphy

Non Fiction

How To Improve Your Interviewing Skills

Hiring is a major concern for companies, who face tough times. The job market has changed, and things are even tougher for the job seeker, with such trends as: cutbacks, mass layoffs, downsizing, and offshoring. It is harder to find a good job and to stay employed. Being unemployed is stressful, with worries about self-worth, income, and the future. And with health insurance in this country tied to employment, if you don’t have a job, you probably cannot afford to see a doctor.
So you need a competitive edge when applying for jobs, in addition to the knowledge and skills required for the position. You need interviewing knowledge and skills. You need to stand out as the perfect candidate. This book will help you to improve your interviewing skills, to give you that competitive edge.

“This book really helps with confidence and communication. This book will be a great tool to use to get a job. Highly recommended.”
–Chris Greene