Death Before Coffee by Desmond P. Ryan / #Interview #BlogTour @RealDesmondRyan @ZooloosBT

By 2:27 on a Thursday afternoon, the one-legged man from Room 8 at 147 Loxitor Avenue had been beaten to death with a lead pipe. Twenty-eight minutes later, Detective Mike O’Shea is testifying in a stuffy courtroom, unaware that, within an hour, he will be standing in an alleyway littered with beer cans and condoms while his new partner uses a ballpoint pen to flick bugs off of a battered corpse.

When a rogue undercover copper leaves Mike balancing what is legal with what is right, an unlikely rapport develops between Mike and the lead homicide investigator, a cop’s cop in stilettos.

At the end of his seventy-two-hour shift, three men are dead, and Mike O’Shea is floating in and out of consciousness in an emergency room hallway, two women by his side.

In the second of the Mike O’Shea Series, Death Before Coffee weaves a homicide investigation through the life of an inner-city police detective intent on balancing his responsibilities as a son, brother, and newly single father with his sworn oath of duty and the promise he made himself to find the man who murdered a former partner.




When and where do you prefer to write?

I would prefer to write in a warm climate with a never-ending supply of cocktails at hand but I actually write either at my living room table with a large monitor in front of me or sitting in my wingback chair with my feet up by the fireplace on my laptop.

Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

Absolutely. When I write, I feel like I’m stepping into their world and I’m just the transcriber, so I need to be able to focus in.

What is your favourite and least favourite genre?

I love crime fiction, of course, but I would have to say I love autobiographies and memoirs the most. Science fiction and fantasy have always been a bit of a challenge for me, although I’ve got some friends who are gently introducing me to the genres as we speak.

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

Oh, the bad one, of course. Provided he wasn’t just some schmuck. If you’re going to be bad, do it with style, I say!

Where can I find you when you are reading?

I enjoy reading in bed. I think that’s a throw-back to my childhood when bedtime was the ‘designated reading time’. While my mother and grandmother were readers, somewhere along the line, the notion of just…reading for readings’ sake…got lost in my upbringing.

Where can I find you wen you are not writing/reading?

I’m currently involved in a project with the Toronto Police Service looking at how missing persons cases are investigated and how the processes currently in place can be improved upon. That keeps me quite busy. I have a large social set and enjoy going out for dinners or having people over. I also live in downtown Toronto, so there’s always something to see or do just outside my doorstep. And, of course, my two children keep me busy!

What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Honestly, it takes me a few days before it kind of hits me that I’ve written a book that someone wanted to publish and someone else might actually want to read (who’s not a family member). I don’t take it too seriously, though, because I’m usually knee-deep in the writing and/or editing of the next book. And I really enjoy writing books, so I’m supposing it’s the same feeling that someone who likes to bake gets when they pull a cake out of the oven: pleased that it turned out and hopeful that others will enjoy it.

How do you come up with a title for your book?

I’m not sure. Death Before Coffee was Three Days for the longest time, until it was brought to my attention that it could just be the dullest title possible. The fifth book in this series is still under the working title Book Five. I don’t think about it too much (clearly) until I’ve got the book sorted in my head, and then I look at what I’m actually trying to write about and try to come up with something catchy. I still think Three Days is catchy…!

How do you pick a cover for your book?

I don’t. My publisher sends me three mock-ups, and I pick one. When I self-published, I worked closely with Cathy Chow of Catch Graphics here in Toronto and we developed the themes for the covers together based upon some subtleties within the storyline. It was a lot of fun. Now, I get a sheet from the publisher asking a few defining questions, and their cover designers do their thing.

What is the title of the next book on your to read pile?

I’ve got Simon Parkin’s The Island of Extraordinary Captives sitting right here beside me and am itching to get into it.

Thank you


About the author

Born and raised in Toronto, Desmond P. Ryan graduated from UofT and joined what was then the Toronto Police Force. He has been a front-line officer, a beat cop, a patrol sergeant, an instructor at the Toronto Police College, and a detective over the almost thirty years of his career.

Whether as a beat cop or a plainclothes detective, Desmond dealt with good people who did bad things and bad people who followed their instincts. Now a retired detective, he writes crime fiction. Des is presently working on the Mike O’Shea Series and the Mary-Margaret Series, both published by Level Best Books.

Desmond lives in the Toronto neighbourhood known as Cabbagetown, where he can be seen wandering about, considering his next plot point or on his way to the pub.


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