NC Literary Hall of Fame




Deadly Ransom: a Matt Davis Mystery by Joe Perrone, Jr.

Escarpment Press
$12.95, paperback / $4.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0692844809
March, 2017
Fiction: Mystery / Thriller
Available from your local bookstore or

"Matt Davis is back—and that’s bad news for the bad guys! Matt Davis, the former NYC homicide detective, nearly killed in the line of duty in Joe Perrone Jr.’s debut, As the Twig Is Bent, thought he’d found peace and quiet as chief of a small, Upstate police department. But trouble has an uncanny way of finding him. It’s kidnapping and arson this time around in Perrone’s fifth Matt Davis mystery, Deadly Ransom, 'a must-read for his many fans.'"
—Tom Connor, co-author of the New York Times bestselling Martha Stuart’s Better Than You at Entertaining

"Generally I do not read serial novels, and I admit to fighting to keep preconceived prejudices at bay . . . to my surprise, Deadly Ransom is a page-turner, or in this age of e-books, a page ‘swiper.’

"Author Joe Perrone, Jr. cleverly presents his latest thriller in a psychophrenic storyline. Matt Davis, a former NYPD detective, now Chief of Police in Upstate Roscoe, NY, is asked by an old friend to solve a kidnapping in Montana. Davis convinces his boss, the mayor, to allow him a long overdue vacation, and agrees to work on his own time. As the mystery in Montana plays out, back in Roscoe, an arsonist runs loose, keeping Matt’s temporary substitute quite busy. The entire novel has the reader rooting for his replacement to solve the arson mystery so that Matt doesn’t return to New York, having solved the Montana crime only to find an unresolved mess at home.

"Among the things I like are the short chapters. As you read along, there is a comfortable certainty in knowing the action will shift when you reach the end of a chapter. The scene either shifts from protagonist to antagonist, or re-opens the action, either in Montana or Upstate New York.

"Although part of a series, Deadly Ransom has a strong enough plot and character development to allow it to stand on its own. In fact, your curiosity might be piqued enough to return to the scene of the crime and work your way through the first four books in the series." 
—Greg Miller, Production Manager, Thomson Reuters; author of Springsteen—A Notion Deep Inside (

"Deadly Ransom is just that, another Matt Davis mystery well worth the cover price. However, this time you get two Matt Davis cases for the price of one. Matt and former partner, Chris Freitag, are off to Montana—not to fish, but to rescue a kidnapped ranch hand named Shorty. While Matt's away, Roscoe is burning, as an arsonist terrorizes the countryside.

"Author Joe Perrone, Jr. takes the reader on his typical twisted ride, this one from the Catskills to the big skies of Montana. The cast includes cowboys, Indians, an arsonist, and more three-dimensional characters.

"In the end, it’s Matt’s good old common sense and his lifetime of experience that saves the day. Deadly Ransom is a welcome addition to the Matt Davis Mystery Series and will hold your attention right up to the conclusion."
—Jim Krul, former director, Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and Center, Livingston Manor, NY

Ralph Gilly, the owner of a fishing resort in Montana where Chris and Matt vacationed together years ago has a neighbor in trouble, and reaches out to Matt and Chris for help.

Clint Davidson's prize bull has been slaughtered and his foreman, Shorty McMann, has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. The cattleman has been warned that any involvement by the FBI or other law enforcement agencies will result in the death of his ranch hand. Desperate, the ranch owner offers to pay all expenses if Matt and Chris can fly out together to help. Reluctantly, Roscoe mayor Harold Swenson agrees to let Matt go, with dire consequences promised if he isn’t back on time, and he and Chris head West.

Meanwhile, back home in Roscoe, Rick Dawley becomes acting chief, and he, Bobcat Walker, and Pete Richards have their hands full with an crazed arsonist who is setting local barns on fire.

Joe Perrone, Jr. worked as a sportswriter for the Passaic-Clifton, NJ, Herald News, as well as a freelance advertising copywriter. He was also a professional fly-fishing guide for ten years in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and has had several fly-fishing short stories published in the Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. The author is perhaps best known for his Matt Davis Mystery Series, which includes As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises, and Deadly Ransom (the most recent in the series). All but the first in the series are actually set in Roscoe, NY, the small Upstate New York fishing village where Joe was a guide.

Joe's first novel, Escaping Innocence (A Story of Awakening), was published in 2008, and is an evocative coming-of-age novel set in the turbulent 1960s. In addition to his six novels, Joe has authored two nonfiction works, A “Real” Man's Guide to Divorce (First, you bend over and…), published in 2009, and Gone Fishin' with Kids (How to Take Your Kid Fishing and Still be Friends), co-authored with Manny Luftglass, and published in 1997.

Opening Day and Broken Promises have each been awarded an Indie BRAG Medallion. As the Twig is Bent has been translated into Portuguese as Pau que nasce torto (translator: Rafa Lombardino of Word Awareness, Inc. of Santee, CA) and Spanish, with a German translation underway. Plans are in place to translate the other books in the Matt Davis series similarly in the very near future. All of Joe's novels are available in regular and large print paperbacks, in audiobook, and in e-book formats through various online retailers.

When he is not writing, Joe enjoys fly fishing, cooking, listening to music, watching movies, and, most of all, spending time with his one and only granddaughter. He makes at least one trip a year to the Catskills to fish his beloved Beaverkill, Willowemoc, and other trout streams, and uses that time to recharge his batteries and conceive new plots for his books.

Joe lives in Western North Carolina with his wife, Becky, and the couple's two cats, Callie and Cassie. He enjoys hearing from readers, and can be reached with comments and questions by visiting his website at

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