Dante and Jazz: him and her … white and Black … gay and straight.
They make an unlikely team at best.

With a dear old friend in trouble, though, they need to solve not just one murder, but two.


by Michael Craft

As crime solvers, Dante O’Donnell and Jazz Friendly might seem like a pair of misfits. He’s white and gay, a concierge at a vacation-rental outfit; she’s Black and straight, an ex-cop turned private eye. With a dear old friend in trouble, though, they team up to set things right.

Zola Lorinsky, a long-retired Palm Springs decorator, has a chance to reignite her fabled career. But when she attends a family reunion hosted at one of Dante’s rentals, the celebration goes horribly awry. Bad enough that one of the guests is found dead that day. Even worse, the circumstances point to murder. And the evidence points to Zola.

Dante and Jazz step in to prove that someone else—anyone else—was responsible for the crime. When they finally zero in on a prime suspect, though, a second tragedy strikes, throwing the investigation back to square one. And now, to save their friend, they need to name not just one killer, but two.

Available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook.

291 pages, Questover Press. 

Copyright © 2024 by Michael Craft.

Notes from the author

This book, Desert Reunion, is my twentieth novel, a milestone in my journey as a writer, which began in 1980. Back then, becoming a novelist was merely an aspiration—by no means a done deal. More than twelve years of drafts, submissions, and rejections would pass before my first novel, a slim little literary paperback titled Rehearsing, was accepted for publication, appearing in early 1993. It’s been a long haul.

Without you, my readers, this venture would have ended long ago. Your ongoing enthusiasm has provided the validation that drove me forward with each successive book, and I sincerely thank you for always wanting more.

Michael Craft, 2024

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Critical acclaim for Desert Reunion 

“Dante and Jazz shine in this quick-witted Palm Springs mystery, defying stereotypes and capturing readers' hearts … Skillful storytelling and vivid characters make it hard to resist this series, where shadows lurk beneath the surface of paradise, reminding us that even in the brightest sunlight, darkness can still reign.” 

BookLife Reviews (Editor’s Pick)

    from the indie review service of Publishers Weekly

“Stellar characterization makes singling out a killer an exceedingly difficult task. Sunny California’s welcoming October weather bolsters the narrative with an appealing camaraderie.”  

Kirkus Reviews

“Perfectly capturing the glorious absurdity of gay Palm Springs, Desert Reunion sparkles with humor and the joys of found family.” 

— Michael Thomas Ford, Lambda Award-winning author

Desert Reunion swept me away. With lively characters, humor in just the right places, and all of it wrapped in a juicy whodunit, Craft’s novel is a delightfully satisfying mystery.” 

— Sidney Karger, author of Best Men and The Bump

“Michael Craft delivers deft plotting, intriguing characters, and snappy dialogue in this spirited and engaging whodunit.” 

— Rob Osler, author of the Hayden & Friends mysteries

“Readers will find Desert Reunion lively and thought-provoking. Its characters excel in three-dimensional depictions that reflect not only their perspectives, but their dilemmas and dreams.” 

Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan