Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
Check Out
The Bestselling Books of All Time
See the List
Toggle side nav

A Cecil Younger Investigation Series

John Straley
P.I. Cecil Younger works out of Sitka, Alaska, a land of perfect beauty and not-so-perfect lives, where there is nothing more dangerous than an unsolved crime—except maybe the man trying to solve it . . .
The Curious Eat Themselves by John Straley
The Angels Will Not Care by John Straley
Baby's First Felony by John Straley

A Cecil Younger Investigation Series : Titles in Order

Book 7
Shamus Award–winner John Straley returns to his critically acclaimed Cecil Younger detective series, set in Sitka, Alaska, a land of perfect beauty and not-so-perfect locals.

Criminal defense investigator Cecil Younger spends his days coaching would-be felons on how to avoid incriminating themselves. He even likes most of the rough characters who seek his services. So when Sherrie, a returning client, asks him to track down some evidence to clear her of a domestic violence charge, Cecil agrees. Maybe he’ll find something that will get her abusive boyfriend locked up for good.

Cecil treks out to the shady apartment complex only to discover the “evidence” is a large pile of cash—fifty thousand dollars, to be exact. That is how Cecil finds himself in violation of one of his own maxims: Nothing good comes of walking around with a lot of someone else’s money.

In this case, “nothing good” turns out to be a deep freeze full of drug-stuffed fish, a murder witnessed at close range, and a kidnapping—his teenage daughter, Blossom, is snatched as collateral for his cooperation. The reluctant, deeply unlucky investigator turns to an unlikely source for help: the misfit gang of clients he’s helped to defend over the years. Together, they devise a plan to free Blossom and restore order to Sitka. But when your only hope for justice lies in the hands of a group of criminals, things don’t always go according to plan.
Book 6
After years on the job as a private investigator in Sitka, Alaska, Cecil Younger doesn’t claim to have learned much about humanity as a whole, but he does know this: truth is a slippery thing. 

When the wife of a former client asks Cecil to find her husband, Cecil agrees. After all, helping to get Richard exonerated during a tragic murder trial three years ago was one of the biggest successes of Cecil’s career. But why, if Richard’s name was cleared, is he MIA now? Patricia, Richard’s steadfast wife, has one guess: someone is after him. It’s no secret that Richard has a long list of enemies, not least of which are the family members of the dead. But things soon get complicated when Patricia is killed, sending Cecil on a desperate trip to sea to chase down the twisted truth.
Book 5
Trapped on an Alaskan cruise line, PI Cecil Younger must expose a killer—and fast—or he may just find himself sleeping with the fishes.

Cecil Younger never thought it would come to this: running surveillance on a chicken coop that’s being raided by a fowl thief. But things have not exactly been breaking right lately for the Alaskan PI. The logical thing to do? Take a vacation, of course.

Well, it’s not exactly a vacation. Cecil has been paid to investigate a doctor aboard a cruise ship up the Alaskan coast following some complaints from his patients . . . that is, the patients who are still alive to complain. Worst of all, someone is leaving evidence pointing an accusing finger at Cecil. By the time the S.S. Westward makes landfall, Cecil will be wishing he was back guarding chickens.
Book 4
In the Alaskan town of Sitka, the living is tough and the crimes are aplenty . . . and plenty personal.

When 97-year-old William Flynn is accused of killing his neighbor, Angela Ramirez, he turns to private investigator Cecil Younger with an odd—and, frankly, rather incriminating—request. He wants Cecil to track down a man he believes witnessed Ramirez’s murder: her estranged husband, Simon Delaney. The only problem? Flynn doesn’t just want Cecil to find Delaney. He wants him to kill the man. Cecil knows that kind of thing would be bad for business, but he takes the job, hoping he can both convince Flynn to call off the manhunt and discover what really happened to his neighbor. But the old man isn’t making the job easy. He keeps confusing two different crimes: Angela Ramirez’s recent murder and an 80-year-old tragedy in which four American Legionnaires were killed during an Armistice Day Parade.

Cecil struggles to sort through the old man’s befuddled memories and dives into the search for Delaney, which takes him on a journey through Alaska history and all over the Pacific Northwest, from the Aleutian Islands to Centralia, Washington.
Book 3
In the third entry to the series, Alaska P.I. Cecil Younger is fresh out of rehab with a head wound, a child custody case from hell, and the clients to match.

Confrontational and obsessed, Priscilla DeAngelo is sure her ex is conspiring with a state senator to wrest her son from her, and thus, she hires Cecil Younger to investigate. This is the first time Younger has to deal with lawyers in flashy suits and overused paper shredders. When she storms off to Juneau for a showdown, Younger’s custody case swiftly turns into a murder. Younger is fired from the defense team, but he can’t stop thinking about the case, and keeps on with the investigation alone. He’s not sure what keeps him involved. Is it Priscilla’s sister (his lost love)? His regard for truth as a rare commodity? Or the head injury Priscilla’s ex gave him?

But there’s one thing he knows: he won’t let go until it’s solved, even if it kills him.
Book 2
The second book in the Cecil Younger P.I. series set in Sitka, Alaska

When Louise Root, a new client of Cecil Younger, is found murdered, the private investigator finds himself in the middle of a web of secrets and deadly repercussions—usually not found in the world of environmental politics. Not only that, it seems everyone suddenly wants Younger’s help: his old friend, Doggy, the DA; his autistic roommate, Todd, whose Labrador retriever has disappeared; an image-conscious environmental activist; and even the sleazy executives of Global Mining, whose interest in the case is a more than a little suspicious.

In the midst of all this, Younger is wrecked by guilt, and his personal life is fraying as he tries to keep his drinking under control. He’s got his hands full trying to juggle his lingering emotions over his ex-lover, the multiple investigations, and simply trying to stay alive.
Book 2
Welcome to Sitka, Alaska, a land of breathtaking vistas and beautiful fauna, where locals are trying their best to be good—and to survive—in what may be the last vestige of the Wild West.

When local woman Louise Root asks private detective Cecil Younger to investigate her rape at the Otter Creek gold mine, he agrees. After all, Louise is a close friend of his ex. Maybe helping her out could improve Hannah’s opinion of him. But before Cecil can make progress on the case, he witnesses Alaska state troopers fishing her body out of the ocean—not exactly the resolution he had in mind.

Despite the unfortunate end his last client met, Cecil finds himself inundated with requests from all sides: his old friend, Officer Doggy, wants help controlling the grieving Hannah; Cecil’s autistic roommate, Todd needs help finding his Labrador retriever; and the sleazy executives of Global Mining want dirt on a local environmental activist—a request even the bungling PI finds suspicious. But Cecil also feels a responsibility to discover the truth behind Louise’s death. If Louise knew a secret that got her killed, Cecil needs to discover and expose the truth before he, too, is permanently silenced.
Book 1
High drama meets local color as a private investigator works to uncover the motive and identity of a killer in this Shamus Award–winning first Cecil Young investigation set in Sitka, Alaska.

Cecil Younger, local Alaskan investigator, is neither good at his job nor at staying sober. When an old Tlingit woman hires him to discover why her son, a big game guide, was murdered, he takes the case without much conviction that he’ll discover anything the police missed. He really just needs the extra cash. But after someone tries to kill him, Younger finds himself traveling across Alaska to ferret out the truth in the midst of conspiracies, politics, and Tlingit mythology. High drama meets local color as Cecil Younger works to uncover the motive and identity of the killer.

Find other titles in

Back to Top