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New Novel in Henry Fox Series Earns Award from Publishing Company

Dog Ear Publishing has named the latest winner of its Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence: Shel Weinstein’s new book “In Murder’s Wake.” It’s the second book in his series featuring Henry Fox.

Oxnard, CA, August 01, 2016 --( Author Shel Weinstein didn’t have to look far for inspiration for the character who stars in his latest book, which has earned the Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence. Like Weinstein, Henry Fox hails from the Windy City.

“I was born and raised in Chicago and the character is a Chicagoan,” Weinstein said. “The plot is taken from real life – at least the bare bones – in that there was a scuba-diving accident where a body wasn’t found and a large insurance claim.” (Weinstein’s late wife worked as a paralegal at a law firm that defended claims against scuba-diving companies, and the case that inspired the novel was one the firm worked on.) “I have no idea if that one was fraud or not, but it got me thinking,” he said.

Sent in the 1960s, “In Murder’s Wake” stars insurance investigator Henry Fox, whose career has been going nowhere until he begins investigating the potential fraud case of a scuba diver who’s gone missing just weeks after taking out a large insurance policy on himself. The case takes one twist after another, involving mobsters from Chicago and elsewhere and a mounting body count before all is revealed.

Award of Literary Excellence winners are determined by Dog Ear’s editorial team. The managing editor, editorial services manager and the publisher review its recommendations. The editor for “In Murder’s Wake” had nothing but praise for the book: “This is by far the most well-written, well-executed novel I have ever edited. You masterfully developed the characters and the plot and have done an excellent job with pacing and dialog.”

Weinstein takes pride in the novel’s differences from other books. “Henry isn’t the genius detective that most people have come to expect. He’s not the sharpest blade in the drawer, and he’s the kind of guy if he can’t understand it, he wants to beat the crap out of it. He’s a tough guy,” he said. “His eventual wife, Julia, is very much the brains of the operation.”

And the novels don’t follow the usual formula for thrillers. “All the books (in the series) solve crime with street justice – they never rely on the legal system. Henry is kind of a thug, so he doesn’t trust the police. So the solution at the end of the book always ends with street justice.”

In addition, several of the characters provide diversity, including Henry, who is half Mohawk. “There aren’t too many of those (types of characters) around. If there’s anything I like about the series, it’s the interracial camaraderie between Henry and the others because they don’t make a point of it at all – it’s just there,” he said.

Weinstein said the characters of Jesse and Silas were based on people he knew and grew up with, and he enjoys being able to include them “without being preachy.”

Thus far, all the reaction to the novel has been positive. A couple of book clubs are reading it now and promise to provide additional feedback. He also plans to hold book signings and talk to other book clubs.

“The first book (in the series) everybody seemed to love, so they were kind of waiting for this book,” Weinstein said. “I was on Facebook with the information that it was coming, and people kept posting asking about when it was coming out... I think the difference between this one for the first book is that this book has perhaps a tad more humor than the first one, which was a little more on the dark side.”

The former advertising copywriter, who has been writing all of his life, said the challenge in writing the sequel was how to convey the back stories of the characters without being too redundant and, at the same time, making it able to stand alone for those who had not read the first novel. He said the main characters practically wrote their own story, so that was not a problem. “They were already written, so they took over and wrote themselves,” he said.

Weinstein, who was born and raised on Chicago’s Southside, now lives in Oxnard, Calif. He worked in advertising. This is the second book in Weinstein’s Henry Fox series. “Left Cross” was the first. The third book in the series will be set in the 1970s.

For additional information, please visit

In Murder’s Wake
Shel Weinstein
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-4666-2 264 pages $14.99 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

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