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Blue Butterfly: A Detective John Bowers Mystery

Blue Butterfly is the first in a series featuring Detective John Bowers.

Tracking a call girl's killer through Portland's sleazy sex trade, John uncovers a police bureau prostitution ring and bags a political primetime player with an appetite for S&M. While the cops, ME and prosecutors touch all the bases in a job they sometimes love to hate, the Bureau's dirty little secrets begin to unravel.

To purchase your copy, please choose one of the links below:

Powell's Books- Hardcover
Amazon- Hardcover
Amazon- Paperback
Barnes & Noble- Hardcover
Barnes & Noble- Paperback

Alibris- Hardcover


Critics and readers welcome a promising new series with veteran Detective John Bowers of the Portland, Oregon, Central Precinct Robbery-Homicide Division:

"A good, gritty novel and a promising debut of a new Northwest series." -- Michael Breiter, Phoenix Magazine

"The window into the Portland dominatrix scene is original and gripping. Bates combines gritty realism with three-dimensional characters that make this a welcome addition to Northwest crime fiction. Bates can write!" -- Peter J. Wolverton, St. Martin's Press

"Bates brings an intriguing, intelligent voice to crime fiction. The first in a series of police procedurals anchored in Portland, Oregon, Blue Butterfly only whets our appetite for more." Sgt. R. Johanson, Ret., CHP


"Minnie squatted and slipped her hands in her pockets. Rule of thumb sizing up a homicide scene: mouth shut, eyes and ears open and hands holstered. The first thing that struck Minnie as she stared through her designer dark glasses was how pale the woman was. Black moles speckled her flesh like a toad’s belly. She wore bordello lingerie: a black satin corset with scarlet ribbons. One shoe was on, a bright red, needle pump with a gold bow. The knees on both black mesh stockings were shredded. The toenails were painted with orange flame enamel. Flecks of blood peppered the upper lip, and dried mucus plugged both nostrils. A half-open stare reflected a frantic fight for breath. What looked like a mild measles rash scattered in a bandit-mask pattern across the woman’s face was in fact a sign of asphyxiation. Death had not been a sudden escape – she had time to comprehend what was happening to her.

Minnie’s first impression was a trick gone bad. This victim had no obvious defensive wounds so whoever had betrayed her trust had been swift and purposeful. There were no signs of remarkable savagery on the corpse: no cigarette burns, stab wounds, bite marks or missing body parts – all private perversions Minnie had seen practiced on prostitutes before, the ones thrown out in the woods to rot like garden mulch. In the beginning, this must have been a compliant victim.

Sergeant Raye stood up and traversed the same path back across the parking lot to avoid unnecessary contamination of the scene. No closer examination of the victim was possible until the ME and his team arrived to process the body.
This was not going to be a quick collar, no easy pieces. Prostitutes kept careless company, dangerous liaisons which were furtive, ephemeral and anonymous thus becoming easy prey all too often. Dumpers were the hardest cases to crack. No murder scene, few clues, no witnesses. Not a good beginning for Minnie’s first case at Central – a real shitcan."



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