Novels by Wm. Sharpe

Death by Lethal Affection, Justice Delayed, Uncle Joe Is Dead, and Not Forgotten are available from and from most other book sellers. They are all available in both print and Kindle versions.  Justice Delayed completes the MacCarty family story in Death by Lethal Affection and is the first book in the Nick Caldwell detective series. Death by Lethal Affection  is an exciting mystery story with a twist. Justice Delayed  introduces private investigator Nick Caldwell and his associates. Uncle Joe Is Dead  follows Nick Caldwell as he solves the murder of a beloved member of a well-known Chicago family. In Not Forgotten Nick and his team solve a 40-year old Saint Louis murder of a young couple and in the process uncover serial murders spread over several states. Information about his novels and other works will be shared here and on his web site.

After you have read each book it would be helpful if you would write a review. You could post them to the publishers’ sites, Goodreads, BookBub, and other sites you use. They wouldn’t have to be long, and you don’t have to sign them on the publishers’ sites, if you would prefer not to.


Short stories

By Bill Sharpe:  “Anton the Wizard”

By Bill Sharpe: “Why Is Nick Caldwell Smiling Tonight?”

By Bill Sharpe: “A BearhounD Thanksgiving”



By Lara Sodon: “Did I Do That?”

By Linda Stewart: “Excellon”

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV

The year my daughter graduated from high school, I had been laid off for eighteen months from my job as a human resources supervisor.  The company closed its California operation, so sadly, we all lost our jobs. I loved my job.

You lose much more than a salary when you’re laid-off; your financial plans go in limbo. The money you put away for vacation, a house, a car, retirement, etc. is in jeopardy and you can’t make another plan because you have no idea what your financial future will be.  So I freaked out for a day! Then I reminded myself that I am still a child of God. I can use my God-given talent and intellect to support myself. 

So I began an ongoing conversation for guidance to find the perfect place to work.  I was not expecting some cosmic move from heaven or a great miracle where a job dropped into my lap. Life was more than physical experiences we control. Life included indeterminate coincidence which we can’t fully describe. We have a positive or negative reaction, an intuition, a gut feeling, insight that propels us and helps us make decisions. I believe those feelings are simply God communicating with us.

I took a series of part-time and temporary jobs through employment agencies but nothing that replaced my career as a human resources manager. I worked at a travel agency and a department store. I was a receptionist at an accounting firm. I had more than one offer to become a full time employee. But, none of those jobs needed my education and experience or met my salary expectations. I don’t know how many HR jobs I applied for but I had only two interviews which didn’t result in a job!

I found an agency that specialized in placing human resource professionals in temporary positions. When they interviewed me, I was pretty adamant that I did not want a recruiting job; it was too monotonous. I figured eventually they would place me in an HR position leading to a full time job in my field. They called me twice with an offer for recruiting and I turned the opportunity down. I had another temp position and didn’t see the advantage of changing for something I had no interest in. The third time they called, with another recruiting placement, they made it clear it would be the last time they offered me a job. Money from my layoff package was almost gone, so I reluctantly agreed.

There was one problem. The job started the week of my daughter’s graduation. My parents were coming to town that week to spend two weeks with us. We planned to go sightseeing, visit friends and just enjoy our time together. Graduation was Sunday; my new temporary job started on Monday! I asked the agency to see if I could start on Wednesday but the answer was ‘No’. So, on Monday, I went to work at Excellon Automation as a recruiter because I didn’t want the HR agency to drop me as a client.

The Excellon assignment required me to recruit and hire engineers and other skilled workers. The assignment was to last about three months while the Employment Manager was on maternity leave. I reported to the Employment Supervisor. I liked the staff; they were friendly and so easy to work with. They didn’t have space for me in the Human Resources office so they ‘had to’ put me in the president’s old office. It was quite the setup, a huge suite including a conference table, sofa, chair, and a bathroom. In fact, a few employees made a point of introducing themselves because they thought I was somebody.

Excellon manufactured robotic machinery used to make computer circuit boards. It was 1988. Two UCLA professors founded Excellon after they pioneered the science of making tiny holes and threading wires into tiny green boards. They manufactured robotic technology that could drill a hole smaller than the size of a human hair!  Other robotics picked up and placed the wires on circuit boards. There was nothing routine about recruiting engineers and journeymen and the science involved in those jobs was fascinating.

I’d worked about a month when the employment manager resigned. She and her husband decided she should be a stay-at-home mom. I heard that the job would go to the supervisor I reported to. Except within the week, the supervisor’s husband accepted a job in San Francisco and they were moving as soon as possible. I couldn’t believe I was in a position to get a very good full time job. To my surprise, I loved this company. Even the dreaded recruiting job was interesting. I fit in. They let me know they were pleased with my work.  

A few days after the big news, the Director of HR called me into her office and encouraged me to apply for the manager job so I could be considered along with their other candidates. I assured her I wanted the job and handed her my application and resume the next day.

For the next few weeks, I watched other candidates come and go. Eventually, I was one of 3 finalists for the job and each of us would interview with the president before a decision was made. My interview with Excellon’s president went well. I asked the requisite question. When will you make a decision? He explained that I was his last interview (of the three) but he was leaving town in the morning. He would not be able to make a decision for a week. I thanked him and told him I was looking forward to working at Excellon.

His answer did not sit well with me.  Not only did I have the education and experience they wanted, Excellon had observed me in action for weeks. I was the best candidate; I was sure of it. “Lord, I pled, as I drove home, give me favor with these people and give me my job sooner—not in a week.” The next morning, Pat called me to her office as soon as she arrived and offered me the job as Human Resources Manager. The president decided I had waited long enough and made his decision before his trip.

I took the Excellon assignment to save my relationship with the placement agency. No one involved knew I was beginning my new job.