When writing begin with desire not doubt.

                                                        Mark Twain

A Bit About Me

I grew up across the street from a house where a young girl was murdered. That mystery, still unsolved to this day, perhaps led me to work in the criminal justice system, first as a court investigator and later as a prison counselor.


​In between those jobs, I worked as a college speech instructor, a freelance writer, a newspaper reporter and a high school teacher.  I have taken time to travel throughout North America and Western Europe by thumb, rail and car, backpack the Grand Canyon rim to rim and spend weeks on-end in my ancestral home-Ireland.


​The young girl’s death decades ago also prompted me to become a “paperback writer” of mysteries.


As an investigator for 15 years, I heard first-hand stories from men who committed crimes. Later, as a mental health therapist at a prison, I developed a keen ear for hard and realistic dialogue.   


I am the author of the Pat Riordan Stories. Bricked is the first book, and while not a mystery like the other books, it introduces the protagonist Riordan and several other characters who play prominent roles throughout the series. In the other books, The Slip Swing, The Cues, and Franklin's Bennies, teacher Riordan, turns  sleuth.  


​I am interested in your experiences and sharing your thoughts with me about my books. You can contact me at jmichaelmcgee.author@gmail.com


A good story needs a bit of the wildness about it.


 J. Michael McGee


My Books

Bricked was born after my teaching experience in an at-risk school for troubled boys. Pat Riordan, the protagonist, in the series is introduced here.


While Bricked is fictional, the episodes and mannerisms of the characters personify life inside a school for disenfranchised youth. 


All follow-up novels, The Slip Swing, The Cues and Franklin's Bennies are mysteries.

The Slip Swing has a paranormal bent. The third book, The Cues, finds Riordan uncovering facts surrounding an unsolved murder and the whereabouts of local missing women. Franklin's Bennies, the fourth novel in the series, introduces Riordan's cousin, Peter Cleary, a mild mannered prison counselor. Cleary finds himself in fix when he comes to the aid of an inmate.  

Each book is driven by hard dialogue, reflecting my years working in the criminal justice system and my experiences as a teacher.

My intent is to provide a fresh twist for the reader of mysteries and for the detective in all of us.


A Pat Riordan Story - Book 1

Jobless and divorced, Pat Riordan takes a little-sought-after teaching job at the District's school for the hard-to-handle, Wolfcreek.

His sense of loss makes him a good fit for the boys of the school who call their banishment from the mainstream "bricked."

Doug Donovan, the school's principal, agrees with Riordan that gentle, but firm teaching strategies are the best way for their kids to learn. But ego-driven administrators, who want the school's location for more promising students, feel otherwise and start a campaign to discredit the Wolfcreek staff and curriculum.

As the school year unwinds, Riordan finds his way into the personal life of one of the students, Bobby, and gets thrust into the role of rescuer when Bobby's mother is abused by a live-in boyfriend.

Bricked follows Riordan, the students, and staff, in what might be the school's final year.

The Slip Swing

A Pat Riordan Story - Book 2

Pat Riordan has been named a person of interest in a missing woman case. Detective Sergeant Donald Cromwell says Riordan is also likely guilty in the disappearance of two other women. Fired from his teaching position, Riordan sets out to exonerate himself as Cromwell builds a case against him. Accompanied by a stray dog, Riordan prods onward through unexplained encounters. Pieces start to fall into place, but answers lead to more questions. This is the second book in the series of The Pat Riordan Stories, but the first in which the teacher turns sleuth.

The Cues

A Pat Riordan Story - Book 3

The Cues finds teacher Pat Riordan settling into a new post at the local university.
Having exonerated himself a year earlier as a suspect in a missing persons case, Riordan is asked by a
colleague’s widow to look into her husband’s death—and so, reluctantly, Riordan once again finds himself in the fold of a who-done-it case.
Teaming up with another colleague Phil Rister and former homicide detective Mike Finn,
who has returned to the Midwest to find answers to the three-decades-old murder of his cousin,
the trio follow leads connecting the old murder to the present-day death of Riordan’s colleague
and a series of unsolved cases of missing women. The connections they make, which they come
to call the cues, take them into the dark underbelly of the college town they thought they knew
and the powerful forces behind it.
  The Cues is my third novel in the Pat Riordan series, following Bricked and
The Slip Swing, 

Franklin's Bennies

A Pat Riordan Story - Book 4

Franklin's Bennies is the fourth book in the series. The protagonist, Peter Cleary, under an accusatory eye of prison officials and the Feds, helps an inmate even the score with drug pushers and a crooked lawyer. 



Here are some resources I hope you may find useful.

Get In Touch

One of the greatest perks of my job is getting feedback and interacting with readers. Contact me if you’ve got any comments or questions for me, I’d love to hear from you.

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I am an alumnus. Some of my books are set in an around the university. 
Established in 1839, the University of Missouri knows what it means to be first. We were the first public university west of the Mississippi River. We are home to the world’s first journalism school. We started the tradition of homecoming. As a flagship, land-grant institution and one of only 62 universities across the U.S. and Canada to be a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, we are a campus where empathy, innovation and hard work combine to solve the world’s grand challenges.

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A good resource for the writer and reader of mysteries.

Mystery Writers of America is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. MWA is dedicated to promoting higher regard for crime writing and recognition and respect for those who write within the genre. We provide scholarships for writers, sponsor MWA Literacy programs, sponsor symposia and conferences, present the Edgar® Awards, and conduct other activities to further a better appreciation and higher regard for crime writing.

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WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you reach your creative potential. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide.
Since its founding in 2009, WBN has helped over 1,000 writers achieve their literary goals. Our clients have published books with Simon & Schuster, Amazon, St. Martin’s Press, and Little, Brown & Co., among others.

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