Fool’s Errand

A favor for a friend puts San Diego private investigator, Brig Ellis, in contact with a real knockout. But the first time they meet, the specter of larceny hangs in the air like the stale scent of a cheap cigar. Before Ellis can decide to make a pass or make tracks, thugs turn his office into a veritable junk yard. He should try to find out why, but when money calls he listens and puts payback on hold.

Hired by the black sheep of a dysfunctional dynasty, he agrees to retrieve the clan’s daughter from apparent involvement with Zapatista rebels in Mexico. A tale of two cities then ensues laden with hidden agendas, revelations, recriminations, mayhem, murder, and a violent conflict on the eight thousand foot cliffs of the Copper Canyon Railway. Before all the loose ends have been tied, Ellis is left to wonder if making friends, doing favors, unmasking foes, or extracting vulnerable heiresses are all, in one way or another, fools’ errands.

Read an excerpt


Short story collection featuring tales about dark places and tight spaces. Mayhem, murder, and more

Available at or Amazon, or wherever fine books are sold.

Dying Art

Paperback and E-book available at, Amazon and wherever fine books are sold.

Editorial Praise For Fool’s Errand and previous novels

Fool’s Errand, by Joe Kilgore, is an entertaining and engrossing read. Well-written and chock full with colorful language that paints a lucid picture from start to finish.” So says International Writers Inspiring Change.

Hollywood Book Reviews says: “A gripping, thought-provoking, and phenomenal read, author Joe Kilgore’s INSOMNIAC is a must-read collection of short stories. The vast variety of locations, time periods, and genres blend well with the themes of karma, choices, and consequences.”

The US Review of Books on Dying Art: From the onset, Kilgore wastes no time in separating his narrative from run-of-the-mill whodunits…The plot accelerates at a breakneck speed in a tale imbued with an electric energy that ultimately pits age old themes of morality, envy, and creativity against each other with deadly consequences.

International Writers Inspiring Change writes: The Horse Killer is a good western adventure told in classic western style, but with an unusual twist. This is a bizarre tale, one that challenges the reader to figure out who is behind the killings and why; and rest assured, it is not what you think.” See review at:

Midwest Book Review calls A Farmhouse In The Rain “a consistently compelling page-turner of a read and highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections.”

The US Review says “Kilgore has penned a well-written book with an almost Shakespearian feel to it. Filled with suspense, sacrifice, and subplots that interlock smoothly, the author’s dark chronicle of lives bound together by fate is a solid addition to the World War II thriller genre.” 

More about Joe’s short stories

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum And Library plan to include Joe’s short story, Incident On A Windswept Hill, in their 2019 Literary Journal.

Joe’s short story, An Unkind Winter, was selected by two organizations for publication but one of them had to defer. Read more about that in News & Reviews. Read the story itself at The Twisted Vine.

The Write Place At The Right Time featured Joe’s short story, The Painting. Read more about it in news and reviews.

Joe’s short story NOCTURNE, was published in The Story Shack. It details the shattering conclusion to a broken relationship beneath a full moon in the night sky over Arizona.

One of Joe’s short stories was included in the anthology, The Best Short Fiction of 2012. Which one? Find out here.

Online literary journal The Writing Disorder published Joe’s short story, “A Grim Dark Bar In A Cold Wet Town”. It’s a tense bit of noir that unfolds between the regulars and some mysterious newcomers to a watering hole where the occupants inside are as menacing as the weather outside.

Literary Magazine published Joe’s short story “The Voice”. It’s a political parable that’s neither Democrat or Republican. Rather, it’s a chilling tale of acquiescing to the things we think we want to hear. And in so doing, giving up far more than we get in return. The Write Place at the Write Time previously published Joe’s tightly constructed take on murder for hire,“The Auckland Assignment”, in their anniversary edition. Learn more.

Joe’s short story, Those Who Trespass Against Us, was featured in the 16th issue of Storychord, a literary website. Find out more.

“The Gesture” was the first place winner in the Western Romance category of Moonlight Mesa’s 2nd Annual Cowboy Up Short Story Contest. Learn more.