Death by Association (Fiction – Murder Mystery)

DEATH by ASSOCIATION, by Anthony Ellis, is a two volume: Vol. 1 Retaliation and Vol. 2 Deception murder mystery. This page turner begins with a double homicide in Memphis, Tennessee; the novel was published in August 2016. 288 pages

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DEATH by ASSOCIATION, by Anthony Ellis, is an excellent detective novel in two parts: Vol. 1 Retaliation and Vol. 2 Deception.

In writing DEATH by ASSOCIATION, Anthony Ellis has followed the first rule for authors, which is: choose a subject of which the writer has broad background and knowledge. 

Ellis has written a crime novel set in contemporary Memphis, Tennessee in a dozen gritty locales within the city, such as the famous Beale Street tourist scene, police headquarters, the city morgue, crack houses, rough nightclubs, homeless hangouts, and, memorably, a prison farm near the city. Nothing occurs at Graceland, but there is action along Elvis Presley Blvd. Ellis describes the local culture including the cuisine, the weather, the music, and the famous Peabody Hotel – with detail and love. 

Homicide Detective Jack Webster of the Memphis PD is an admirable character in almost all respects. He cares deeply for his family, friends, and co-workers. He is an excellent cop:  honest, ethical, respected by his peers, and motivated to find and bring vicious criminals to justice. As a former local football star, he is well known and well liked in the community. He has deep, genuine love for his daughter and he also finds new love.

Jack is an African American as are the majority of the characters in the book, however, race is not a significant issue. 

This is a murder mystery, a carefully crafted “whodunit,” replete with “red herrings” and “straw men.” Ellis displays vast knowledge of prison subculture, notably, descriptions of how contraband flows into the cell blocks. He has equally deep knowledge of the drug culture, displayed in descriptions of several of the characters’ daily lives.

The writing is taut and well-plotted. There are at least a dozen major characters and each is deftly introduced. Few words are wasted.

In my opinion, Anthony Ellis has created a believable cast of characters operating in a real and unique American city. There is potential here for a sequel. I would love to see Jack find a decaying body in Elvis’s bedroom at Graceland!  Maybe it’s the King himself. In this case, I’m along for the ride!

Death by Association product page…ISBN #

By John Spicer “Spike” Wilds, Retired Attorney

Mr. Wilds worked for the federal government, having served for 35 years in a variety of law enforcement assignments within the U. S. Customs Service.

Anthony Ellis, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a long time resident of Memphis, Tennessee is the author of He Got That Package which is an autobiographical account of prison life and rehabilitation. Ellis is a former band member of The Sonic Boom (Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi). A revised edition of his first book is coming soon.

Free book sample of Death by Association now available…click & read now!  Death by Association free book sample

Brenda Ellis discussed her son, Anthony Ellis’s, book on blog talk radio with Dr. Tosha Parker-Meredith and Derek Scales Shelton on Blog Talk Radio (Listen now!)

Advance Praise for Death by Association

“Anthony Ellis uses his observations as a previous prisoner to give authentic detail to this murder mystery he has created.  While in prison, he learned the craft of writing which helped turn his life around by strengthening a talent he could use to sustain himself upon release.”

Starry Krueger, NY Member, PEN Prison Writing Committee

“Anthony Ellis has an incredible gift of creating and developing characters. The reader becomes intimately involved in these personalities as Ellis brilliantly weaves the ‘sit on the edge of your seat’ plot.”

Judy Alsobrooks Meredith, Ph.D. Author, The Glass Ceiling

“Anthony Ellis’s Book, Death By Association, provides on going reading adventures. There are many sub-stories with well crafted, sensory details which moves the story forward to its end.”

Dorothy Mays James, Author, A Story About James H. Meredith: A Civil Rights Leader.

“Anthony Ellis composes a suspenseful novel that describes in graphic detail how gruesome and tragic crime is for the victims. This book will hold your curiosity and interest to the very end.”

William Trest Jr., Author, Reverse Guilty Plea

Letter of Anthony Ellis while in prison read to you by his mother Brenda Ellis

img_0436-2Brenda Ellis presenting James Meredith with a copy of her son’s book

16 thoughts on “Death by Association (Fiction – Murder Mystery)

  1. Death By Association is a great murder mystery. Every day I longed to crack this book open and continue where I left off the day before. I did not figure out who the murderer was until I read it. I was surprised over and over again. Anthony Ellis added a lot of twist and turns in this novel. This is a page turner. I plan to buy his first book now. He is a great writer. He breaks it down to size. I can see a TV series coming from this novel. My local news discussed a Green Dot scam earlier.



  2. The story as a whole was interesting and very well written. The author leads the reader through his imagination with each chapter. The details of the people and places made it possible to feel as if you were there with them. It seems as if this story told of real life events rather than imaginative ones. The story line was very real and kept me holding on to every word and ready for the next page. If you are a lover of mystery readings, I highly recommend Anthony Ellis’,Death By Association. I look forward to reading any future works of his.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Non-Fiction has always been the match that lights the flame of my love for reading. However, this suspenseful book literally had me on the edge of my seat. I read the entire book within 48 hours. I just couldn’t put it down. I was sad when I finished because I wanted the book to go on. Anthony Ellis is a remarkable writer, and Death by Association is a definite must read!


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