The Falk McCoy Mystery Series, Marshall Boyd

Literary Review for Marshall Boyd

Marshall Boyd
Marshall Boyd

“What is unusual in Miami…? Everything is unusual.” No one other than Marshall Boyd, author of the Falk McCoy mystery series, can mirror the Magic City’s crime, passion, and diversity.

Faker, Death of a Dead Man, Miami Lovers, Wanton Needs, and Rue are perfect novels for those who have a penchant of the Mystery genre.


Marshall Boyd is a prolific and meticulous story-teller in this murder mystery based in Miami. Falk McCoy, the tough as nails and tenacious detective takes the reader for an investigation of gruesome killings. Falk McCoy’s every move from Miami to the Everglades is captivating. As the story evolves you begin to appreciate the relationships of the characters. Boyd develops each of the individuals for the reader to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You feel the richness of Miami, from the people who Falk McCoy encounters, to the Cuban influence that makes Miami unique. You’ll find yourself thirsty for a café con leche and thirsty for the next Falk McCoy mystery. I strongly recommend Faker to those who love a great mystery.

This was the first book by Marshall Boyd in the trilogy of the Falk McCoy mystery series. Boyd’s second book, Death of a Dead Man, and his most recent installment, Miami Lovers are both excellent mysteries.

Death of a Dead Man

“What is unusual in Miami…? Everything is unusual,” Orlando Mano tells Falk McCoy on a corner street at his fruit stand near the Glades Hotel.
Death of a Dead Man is Marshall Boyd’s second book in the Falk   McCoy Mystery series. It is the prequel to Faker and it offers the reader an inside look at Boyd’s characters. “Faker” is a great mystery that stands on its own two feet. “Death of a Dead Man” compliments his first book. McCoy’s rough exterior and side winding sarcasm continues to thrive in this story.

We also see the relationship develop between McCoy and Detective Buckley with their association of being in the police academy. In this story Falk’s soon to be ex-wife becomes a pivotal tool. As the relationship wanes with Jessie, he realizes she not his love, but someone else’s lover. This dichotomy between his past with her and his need to keep her safe is now challenged by  the Mob’s female assistant.

Philadelphia to Miami, McCoy travels to search into the past of a Senate inquiry involving several Mafioso. Falk goes to the City of Brotherly Love to gather information about the mysterious death of Willy Brandt, who rented an office in the Glades Hotel. After some research he returns to Miami and finds himself caught in the middle of the Mafioso with two Mobsters.

“Death of a Dead Man” is a stupendous mystery story. Marshall Boyd’s method of prolific writing is very meticulous and descriptive. Boyd offers the reader an exclusive look into the scene of manipulating Mobsters in Miami. He tells the story so you can sense the talking, walking, and at times the beat down of Falk McCoy.
I recommend “Death of a Dead Man,“ in the Falk McCoy Mystery series to all those who want a refreshing investigative story. Everything is unusual in Miami and Marshall Boyd’s story is a pure reflection of the Magic City.

Miami Lovers

Falk McCoy sits in repose on a park bench in Bicentennial Park thinking about romance. Love all around in the park and love abound in the city. He takes the moment to reflect about his one love.

One love, however pure and passionate the moment exists – will not be his only focus. For Falk McCoy, the Glades Hotel detective, it will be the broad avenues of love that he will take to investigate another mystery.

Miami Lovers is the third book in the Falk McCoy mystery series written by Marshall Boyd. The story is an excellent read on the city and the people of Miami. The locality for the setting of the story allows you to interact through Falk with Miami’s Latin culture.

Falk is once again home sweet home in the Glades Hotel.  And Garcia, the manager of the Glades Hotel, ask his hotel detective and part-time investigator to meet with a wealthy Bolivian who has rented out the entire 12th floor. Vaso, the Bolivian businessman, is in need to inquire about a love interest in the name of Deborah Cushman, a fashion designer.

As Falk McCoy investigates Deborah Cushman, he learns there is more than love at stake for Vaso. The issues that Falk learns stretch from Miami to New York, and to Cuba. The engaging storyline keeps you in toe with McCoy as he reveals the truths about Vaso.

Marshall Boyd offers the reader a taste of Miami in two forms: One is the taste of Palomino steaks and El Presidente beer; sweet Latin pastries and café cubano. The other taste is that of the women chosen by Vaso’s security guard known as “Eye patch” and McCoy’s security employee for the Glades Hotel named, Cordoso. Both men choose a Brazilian named Christina who will disappoint and surprise them.

Even Falk McCoy receives a surprise from his one love – Mystel.  She returns in an important role in the book.  The two of them engage from a rendezvous to a risky situation.

The characters in Miami Lovers have very strong personalities. Boyd’s dialogue between these characters delivers a formidable sequence of events.

Falk McCoy tells Diego Vaso in their initial meeting that is an underlining theme in the story. “Love isn’t easily concealed, if this is your secret, I’m sure others are aware.”

Miami Lovers is the story about the love of relationships, greed, and power.

Wanton Needs

Coffee is like a bad woman, rough on the nerves, but good for the spirit—Falk McCoy

Wanton Needs, the fourth book by author Marshall Boyd of the Falk McCoy Mystery series, begins at the familiar Glades Hotel and then crisscrosses Miami by covering the cultures and countries that are the identity of the Magic City.

At Amantes, a supper club located on the second floor of the Glades Hotel, Garcia (owner of the hotel) and Mystel (Falk’s lover and proprietor of the supper club) are joined by Falk (the Glades hotel detective and private investigator) to speak with a hotel guest named, Juan Ortega. In a discussion over café con leche, Ortega, who is a diamond dealer, tells Falk that he has a surplus of cash from his business, specifically from his business partner. This cash flow raises a red flag in Ortega’s mind, but a suspicious sign to Falk. He tells Falk that his partner, Armando Arturo, may have surreptitious motives. Thus, the investigation begins in Miami’s cultural corners, leads to Cuba, Columbia, and finally back to Miami.

The storyline is about a diamond dealer doing wrong and Falk’s investigation to find the truth. The truth is subjected to Falk’s actions, and this detective shows no slowing down to uncover the mystery of the money. There are no lacunae in this story that entails, as Boyd wrote in his synopsis, ‘lies, lust and louts.’ Falk McCoy starts from the misinformation of whose stealing the money, the Haitian lady laying down her judgement, and the many criminals he encounters are just a few examples.

We are introduced to a new character named, ‘The Old Cuban’ who has a connection to Cuba and Falk’s lineage. Tom Buckley of the Miami Police Department and his ex-wife Jessie are familiar characters who return in Wanton Needs. Regardless if you’ve read Boyd’s first three novels, Death of a Dead Man, Faker, or Miami Lovers, although I encourage you to do so, he always provides the reader with a prolific character description.

These concise caffeinated chapters will fill your needs like strong shots of Café Cubano. Wanton Needs provides the play of power, the bloody side of crime, and the perils of being a private investigator. I compared Marshall Boyd’s novel, Death of a Dead Man to Wanton Needs. In that novel, Falk McCoy, who travelled to Philadelphia as part of his investigation, was reminiscent to a Mickey Spillane character while in the City of Brotherly Love. However, the Falk McCoy in Wanton Needs, who travelled to Cuba and Columbia, is all Marshall Boyd.

Marshall Boyd’s keen sense of the Miami culture and creative writing style combine for an intriguing story.


Rue is the fifth installment of the Falk McCoy Mystery Series. Since 2012’s breakout book, Faker, Marshall Boyd has delivered to his readers an anthology of prolific private investigator novels. If you’re not a Falk McCoy fan, then I recommend you check into the Glades Hotel in Miami. This is a place where patrons cajole the hard-boiled hotel detective with their investigations while conspiring behind his back. The chronological order of Boyd’s books is: Death of a Dead Man, Faker, Miami Lovers, Wanton Needs, and his current book, Rue. You will be enticed by the mean streets of the Magic City to follow McCoy in a vicarious manner as a consummate companion.

Boyd’s pathos and ethos of Rue are parlayed from a mystery to a whodunit. Aptly put, Rue is a dramatic novel because his characters from the first four novels are interlaced with the Freidmans, a large family, and their friends and foes. The characters in Rue are presented in a format for the reader as if you knew them. Rue is not a reproduction of the last book, nor the previous books. It is a progression in the lives of Falk and his associates. The conclusion will call you back to an earlier time in detective genres, yet Boyd’s modern methods balance the twist of a whodunit.

Marshall Boyd’s background beckoned Falk McCoy: Growing up in Dunlap, TN, after WWII with his large family that dealt with economic strife and personal hardships; He went from the fields of Vietnam to studying in the fields of photography and nursing in Miami in the early 1970’s. Eventually, he became an emergency room nurse during the 1980’s. Boyd’s vocation as a writer began in the early 1990’s as a witness to the previous decade: Miami evolved from a sleepy lawn chair laden beach town for retirees to a multi-cultural metropolis of new immigrants, mostly Cubans. Furthermore, he witnessed the peaceful-polis turn to a cocaine crawling, mass murder capital, with hedonistic howls.

Falk McCoy is every bit a bundle of Boyd’s convention: The crucible of war and crime; The crucible of photographs and fatalities; The crucible of recording, documenting, and writing a story about crimes in the Magic City, where murder is a dirge for only a day. And this is why you must read Marshall Boyd’s books—to experience an intriguing timeline beyond the banner.

Marshall Boyd’s books are available at Amazon.




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