Dale Phillips mystery and horror writer


Dale T. Phillips – Writer

Dale T. Phillips mystery writer - Author of the Zack Taylor mystery series


The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #5: A Sharp Medicine by Dale T. Phillips

Desert Heat

A Mystery


Cole Hampton’s military service and tough upbringing come in handy when solving dangerous problems for the less fortunate. But against his will, he’s tasked with finding a missing woman. When the search leads down dark pathways, he must deal with an array of desperate crooks and killers.

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #5: A Sharp Medicine by Dale T. Phillips

Locust Time

A Novel of Suspense

(2022 Silver Falchion Award Finalist)


Welcome to Resurrection, a former mining company town with too many dark secrets, where science and religion form a shady alliance. Sixteen-year-old Judy Winstead is forced to move there with her recently widowed mother, but finds few allies among the tight-lipped townsfolk. People who stand out or speak out endanger themselves, while dreadful experiments and worse take place in the caverns and tunnels beneath the town.

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #5: A Sharp Medicine by Dale T. Phillips

Neptune City

A Mystery



When LA detective Jim Lloyd reluctantly returns to his NJ hometown for a final funeral, the ghosts of the past combine with the perils of the present, and he is pulled into a world of secrets, deceit, and danger.

Shadow of the Wendigo A Horror Thriller by Dale T. Phillips

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 hero’s 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

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #5: A Sharp Medicine by Dale T. Phillips

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #6:
A Darkened Room

While searching for a missing man, Zack Taylor stumbles across another body. Though it looks like a suicide, Zack doesn’t buy it, and he tampers with the crime scene to keep the police on the case. They do so, but are suspicious of Zack’s involvement. More than his freedom is at stake, though, because as pieces of the dead man’s activities become known, the danger mounts for Zack and the woman who hired him.

“I’ll bet a sawbuck Dale Phillips’ 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. Phillips’ 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

The Zack Taylor mystery series, book #5: A Sharp Medicine by Dale T. Phillips

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.

“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 by Dale T. Phillips

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 by Dale Phillips

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, author of Brachman’s Underworld

“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 by Dale Phillips

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

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

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.”

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

For Book Club Discussion Points for A Memory of Grief, go here.

The Zack Pack cover image

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, author of All the Wrong Places and Burning Cold

The Zack Pack cover image

The 2nd Zack Pack

This collection combines the second trio of Zack Taylor mysteries in one volume. Contains three novels: A Certain Slant of Light, A Sharp Medicine, and A Darkened Room.

Story Collections

Cover of The Return of Fear

Crime Time

Stories of Crime and Mystery

Here are eleven tales of crime and mystery. Tales of people of all ages making desperate choices, calculated choices, and survival choices. Everything from killers and junkies on the run to innocents caught in a web of danger. Darkness and fear rule, and surprises occur when some think they’re safe at last. It’s Crime Time, and it’s a black, cold street at night here…

Cover of The Return of Fear

Five Fingers of Fear

A 5 Story Collection

Here are five more scary stories, where people meet their fate in a number of ways.
Never-before tales of terror to keep you unsettled. You never know whether Death or salvation is just around the corner. Pleasant screams…

Cover of The Return of Fear

Deadly Encounters

Grieving over a past tragedy, troubled ex-con Zack Taylor has spent a lifetime in the shadows. He has finally found a measure of peace in Maine, helping others as a way of dealing with his grief, guilt, and rage. But he finds even simple problems have unintended consequences, and danger lurks in the most unlikely places.

In these three tales, Zack encounters murderous individuals who hide below a surface of normality. He uncovers more than he bargained for at every turn, and must deal with the fallout of taking on deadly people willing to kill.

Cover of The Return of Fear

The Return of Fear

Here are five scary stories about different types of terrors that haunt us. Some are deserved, some come from pits of evil for the innocent. These tales come together for the first time to keep you up at night. Enjoy the ride on the scary rollercoaster.

The Big Book of Genre Stories, short stories by Dale T. Phillips

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
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, author of Coffin Dust and the prize-winning Alex Rasmussen series

Jumble Sale - science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror, humor, magic realism, and mainstream by Dale Phillips

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, a collection of ten tales of horror by Dale Phillips

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 - five short stories of apocalypse by Dale T. Phillips

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, author of Brachman’s Underworld

Strange Tales - science fiction short stories by Dale T. Phillips

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 - a collection of fantasy short stories by Dale T. Phillips

The Last Fables and Fantasies

In this, the final volume of the Fables and Fantasies collections, we have a number of dark tales: a twisted version of an old fairy tale, a fantastic ride that does not end where the rider thought, horrible creatures from a legendary world of monstrosity, a terrifying clown in a macabre fantasy setting, and a hunt where the tables are turned, by a creature of myth. These fantasies remind us that evil things can lurk in the dark, and our choices should keep us on lighted paths.

More Fables and Fantasies - a collection of fantasy short stories by Dale T. Phillips

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 - a collection of Fantasy short stories from Dale Phillips

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.”
— Erin Thorne, author of Deals Diabolical

The Last Crooked Paths - tales of crime and mystery by Dale Phillips

The Last Crooked Paths

Here are five more tales of crime and mystery, telling of those who walk crooked paths and pay the price for it. Here are crooks and cops, killers and victims, and those who walk the line between good and evil. Take a few short trips down the darker side of life, where crime can be a casual or planned event. This set of stories shows people on the run, and police and ordinary citizens solving crimes. Sometimes the perpetrator gets away, but so often people pay for their deeds.


More Crooked Paths cover image

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 cover image

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

Non Fiction

How to Improve Your Interviewing Skills cover image

How to be a Successful Indie Writer

In the modern world of Independent (Indie) book publishing there is a lot to learn, and more competition every day. While some authors will tell you how to be successful based merely on their own experience, this book details the path of success used by a number of successful writers, both traditional and Indie. For those willing to study successful Indie writers and copy the effective techniques, good things await. Here’s a great starting point.

Covers much material on setting up the mindset for a long career, creating your business profile, setting goals and expectations, where and how to publish and sell, and how to stay productive and motivated. An extensive list of resources points you to further areas of study and help.

How to Improve Your Interviewing Skills cover image

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