Live Events! and an eBook sale…

Dear Bruno Johnson Fans,

The ninth book in Dave’s popular Bruno Johnson series will be released in February! As we gear up for that release, we have a few bits of exciting news.

If you’re an eBook reader, you’ll be happy to know most of David’s Bruno books are on sale on Kindle for the month of September, so if you’ve missed any of his previous eight titles, now’s the perfect time to catch up!

If you’d like to know how he spins such thrilling tales, Dave will be conducting a virtual workshop as part of an amazing “Authors Academy” program hosted by our friends at Murder on the Beach bookstore in Florida. Dave’s “Heroes vs. Villains” workshop will cover how he makes characters and their conflicts more real for maximum thrills, to keep those pages turning.

Visit their website for details and registration for this event on September 25:

Finally, Dave will again be doing in-person signings! He’s got a couple of dates lined up already to finish out 2021. If you have a favorite bookstore near you that does author signings, please let us know. We’re planning a big tour in 2022 for the release of THE SINISTER, which Janet Evanovich called:

“Riveting, scary, but with plenty of wit and humanity… In Putnam’s capable hands, the characters jump off the page—even the dog.” 

We’re jumping for joy to be doing in-person events again, and hope to see you one in the near future… or via zoom, please let us know what kind of events you enjoy. And thanks for your support.


Mary (Mary (at)

& David (David (at)


If you can’t wait until February to get your hands on THE SINISTER, we do have a few extra “advance reader copies” free for the asking for reviewers. Let us know if you’d like one.  

Another reason for Bruno

This is an Author’s note I’m working on for Bruno #10, tentative title: The Scorned.

Growing up I had five brothers and sisters: six kids who needed school clothes and three hot meals a day. Our stepfather worked as a pipefitter, the jobs were sporadic and made the family money fluctuate. Until my mother figured out how to make it all work, we would periodically go on welfare. But this was back when the government gave out food instead of money or food stamps. She’d take me to stand in a long line outside a defunct movie theater with all the other unfortunates. 

When our turn came, Mom handled the paperwork then we shuttled the food boxes into the green Belvedere station wagon. Boxes loaded with inexpensive food: rice and pasta, large cans of mystery meat, powdered milk, powdered eggs, big blocks of American cheese, and butter. The labels on the food came with recipes that helped make the bland food half-palatable. 

Rice pudding was my favorite. Mom made big vats of it to keep in the refrigerator for her always-hungry kids to nosh when their stomachs growled. And that was all the time. She also made big vats of macaroni and cheese with chunks of mystery meat. We didn’t talk about it, so I naturally thought all of our friends’ families were doing the same thing. 

Mom worked at cake decorating, sewing, and selling toys to put clothes on our back and food on the table. Before there were any regulations, she also took in extra children she babysat while their parents worked. At one time, there were twelve plus our six; eighteen children in one house. 

I was tasked with making lunch. I’d take a loaf of day-old Wonder bread Mom got at the day-old bakery, lay out the entire loaf on the bread board and start an assembly line slathering each piece first with peanut butter then with jelly. Not the other way around, it didn’t work that way. 

I became accustomed to all the extra kids. Mom was too busy with her other money-making duties to supervise the children. That job fell to me. I became the sheep herder and the sheepdog. Maybe this is why I can relate so well with Bruno and his mob of children.

Book Sale… and other updates from Author David Putnam

Dear Friends & Fans,

Hope this update finds you well during these challenging times. Since you’re a mystery/thriller fan, we also hope you have plenty of fun books to read for distraction and entertainment. Since most of Dave’s in-person events to launch his latest Bruno Johnson novel, THE HEARTLESS, have been cancelled, we’re increasing our on-line efforts to connect with fans. Dave’s been chatting with fans near and far via Zoom (or similar), so if you’d like to participate in a video-conference get-together or have Dave visit your book group, please let us know.

We’re happy to announce most David Putnam eBooks are on sale, through your favorite eBook sellers, until the end of May for just $1.99.

If you prefer physical books, or like to do book reviews and love ARCs (advance reader copies) let us know as we will have some giveaways in advance of the release of Dave’s next Bruno book, THE RUTHLESS, which is now available for pre-order! That’s #8 in the series.

If you’re not sure which ones you already have, we’ve added a page to the website with a quick overview of the whole series so far (the four current-day books with Bruno and Marie saving children from toxic homes in LA: THE DISPOSABLES, THE REPLACEMENTS, THE SQUANDERED, and THE VANQUISHED; plus four “Early Years” books which show how Bruno got his start as a rookie and a father: THE INNOCENTS, THE RECKLESS, THE HEARTLESS, and THE RUTHLESS).

Also, Dave’s been reading and reviewing books like crazy on, even making the top 20 reviewers, so if you’re looking for more good books to read, check out his recommendations, and while you’re there we always appreciate a good rating, or even a short review.

Wishing you good health, and hope you’re staying safe and sane, with the help of lots of books.


David & Mary Putnam

Mary (at)


Often readers ask: “Which one should I read first?” Usually Dave’s favorite book is the one he’s written most recently. Some fans of series like to start at the beginning. This is not necessary with Dave’s books because they’re written to be read as a stand-alone. Also, the Bruno Johnson series has two beginnings. Here’s how it happened:

The first published book in the Bruno series, The Disposables (released in 2014), is NOT the first chronologically since Dave wrote four prequels–a little like how the Star Wars movies were released.

The four early-years novels begin with The Innocents (released in 2018)—Bruno is a young cop when he finds out he is the single father of baby girl, Olivia, who is placed in his care. That little girl grows up as Bruno battles a tough, brutal career throughout The Reckless, and The Heartless, and culminates in the The Ruthless–coming in Feb 2021!

That takes us to the first (in order of publication) Bruno novel, The Disposables. Current-day Bruno is an ex-cop, and now, an ex-con. Olivia is out of is life, but he has custody of a grandson, Alonso. He will do anything to protect this child—and other children.

The Replacements, The Squandered, The Vanquished follow as Bruno is called back to Los Angeles County, time and again, to extract justice—and to save children.

Author’s Note from The Reckless

One of the most emotional times in my career had nothing to do with the death and mayhem I witnessed while working the street. All the murder victims, the abused children, the carnage left in the wake of car accidents, all of these life-changing incidents that cre- ated unwanted memories and nightmares for everyone involved, their lives ruined for evermore. No, the most emotional incident in my career came in the form of a phone call late one night, a phone call from a good friend who told me “Ned” had been killed during the service of a search warrant. Shot by a fifteen-year-old kid, a rock coke dealer. “Ned” was struck in the vest by the first bullet which spun him around; he took the second bullet to the back of the head. I don’t mention “Ned’s” real name in this Author’s Note, because I in no way want to exploit his death.

Even though I was not present with “Ned” when he died, the phone call was devastating.

In writing this novel, I continually heard “Ned’s” voice, his words filling in the scene all on their own. Each morning when I sit down to write, I first go back twenty pages and edit forward before I start anew. Several times during the writing of this novel, I started back on those twenty pages and found “Ned’s” real name in the place of “Ned.” In writing the day before I’d been so engrossed in the character of Ned, I’d inadvertently replaced the name.

In the Bruno Johnson novels, Bruno never swears. He does one time in this book when he refers to how much he loved Ned.

In real life, I attended “Ned’s” funeral. Thousands of cops came from all over the nation to pay their respects. Many more times the number of people that filled the packed church stood outside in a group shoulder to shoulder, silent, their heads bowed.

“Ned’s” untimely and senseless death happened early in my ca- reer, and later on, even though other fellow cops—some I knew, most I didn’t—died in the line of duty, I never again attended an- other funeral.

By far the most difficult chapter I have ever written was the one where “Ned,” dies—the killing of Ned Keifer.

“Ned,” used to make me laugh like no one else. ***

During my tenure on an FBI-sponsored violent crimes team, we did go after a husband-wife team who corrupted young boys, fed them propaganda, and cajoled them into robbing banks. In one incident, my team witnessed one of these bank robberies committed by kids, teens. We took them down by pulling our cars in on three sides of their car boxing them in. Afterward, while we had them sitting handcuffed on the curb, I spoke with one of these newly minted delinquents. He had a full-ride scholarship to a big college for bas- ketball. He asked me when we would be letting him go because he had to get home for a game. The felony conviction ruined his chances of escaping his life in the ghetto.


My favorite brother Van followed me into law enforcement and followed a very similar career path. While working on a violent crimes team, his team tracked a murderer into an adjoining state, Arizona. The suspect spooked before my brother’s team could close the net around him. The armed and dangerous suspect fled. He would have escaped had Van not used bold and unflinching initiative. He rammed the suspect’s car broadside with his truck. The moment before Van’s truck slammed into the side of the suspect’s car, the suspect fired one shot, trying to kill my brother. This bul- let, fired out of hate, pierced the windshield, narrowly missing Van. For his valiant efforts, the Sheriff’s department awarded him the Medal of Valor.

An uncaring lieutenant refused to let me take time off of work to attend the awards ceremony when Van was given the medal. I count this as one of my true regrets in my career. I could only hope my brother would forgive me for my absence.

Dave’s Favorite Year in Books

I had an epiphany recently while reading one of the many periodicals on books that I receive every month: Bookmarks magazine. In the back of Bookmarks there is always a history page describing publishing for a previous year. 1975 was an amazing year in my world of reading –maybe the best ever. I was sixteen and already an avid reader, still feeling my way trying to decide on and start a career. I honestly believe the books published in 1975 in some way guided me in my decision. One of my favorite books in the crime genre is The Choirboys, by Joseph Wambaugh. I was mesmerized by the book and couldn’t believe a life in that world existed. I eventually picked up his other book, The New Centurions, and I think that clenched it for me–I wanted to be a part of that grand adventure.

Another book in that same year hit number one on the New York Times bestsellers list: Centennial. This is one of those books that I read deep into the night and was late for work several days in a row. This was another adventure story where James Michener set me down in a world I didn’t want to leave. Also, on that same list was Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy (one, of if not the best of, John Le Carre); Dogs of War by Forsyth; and Jaws. The last two were good but not quite as great as the others.

Under BooksmarksNotables in that same year was Shogun by Clevell: a book in my top five favorites of all time. I picked this book up at the store after work, went home, and started reading it and dropped deep into that highly sought after “Fictive Dream,” and didn’t come out of it until the next morning when I the alarm clock went off. I’d read right through the night. And even with young sixteen-year-old eyes, I’d strained them, and they ached all day. On that same Notable, list were: Ragtime, Salem’s Lot, and Terms of Endearment. What the heck was going on in 1975? All of them great books.

Then….Then under nonfiction bestsellers in 1975, topping the list, was All Things Bright and Beautiful. Another favorite series of mine. To this day I think back fondly on those great animal stories. On that same list: A Bridge Too Far, All The President’s Men, and Helter Skelter. Has there been any other year with such a consistent offering of great reads? Thank you for the memories Bookmarks magazine. 1975 seems to have been my favorite year in books, unless someone else can please enlighten me otherwise.

Best Review Yet — from a young reader

Our 2018 was a crazy year by many measures, but receiving this review stands out as a highlight. Dave’s Bruno Johnson series involves Bruno’s efforts to help at-risk children, so we especially love this review—written by a 10th grader, sent to us by her teacher, Lisa.

From Lisa’s email:

This review was written by a tenth grade student in my summer school class. She read The Disposables first and liked it so much, she continued with The Replacements. I am putting the books you donated to good use!


Recommendation: The Replacements is a very interesting read and I would recommend it to everyone. Regardless of what genre you enjoy reading this book will definitely have you hooked. It has a lot of suspenseful twist and turns and it is very action packed. It’s interesting to try and figure things out before they’re revealed in the book. However this book isn’t really predictable whatever you think is going to happen probably isn’t going to happen. More likely than not the opposite of what you think will happen will probably take place. I am not big on reading, but I can never seem to put this book down. It’s nothing like I have ever read before. Sometimes when I am reading I feel like I am there in the situation first hand. The author gets so into detail with what is going on and what the characters are saying. This book is a must read and definitely not leave you disappointed. The read is definitely worth your time !

Note: I added the bold/italics on my favorite part. Hoping we inspire more young people to read more! Thanks to Lisa’s efforts, Dave will be speaking to 500-1000 students next month in 6 back-to-back assembly periods. Hopefully his voice will hold out for the whole day, and he’ll inspire more young people to read!

While that event is NOT open to the public, we do have many that are, so please check out the “Upcoming Events” and be sure to submit your email for updates under “FOLLOW VIA EMAIL” to the right or below this post, and of course your favorite social media networks:

Also remember reviews (especially Amazon and are extremely helpful and most appreciated, even if it’s just few words (of course, lots of stars are also appreciated)!

Looking forward to seeing more reviews and hopefully many of you in person in the coming year.



p.s. – Remember to thank your favorite teachers. Thanks again, Lisa Pacheco!


Short Story Anthology – book launch

IT’S ALL IN THE STORY, a Short Story Anthology From the SCWA: Details and Events



A Short Story Anthology From the Southern California Writers Association (SCWA)
DP Lyle, Editor and Contributor
Release date: 10-21-17.

Grab your copy today from your local independent bookstore or online at:



Thursday 11-2-17 at 7 p.m.
Book Carnival
348 S. Tustin Street
Orange, CA
Book Carnival: