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Books Don’t Sell Themselves

The Writing Was the Fun Part

This is the first Perfidy Press newsletter to issue from Perfidy Press itself, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it arrives in your inbox. The From field may say “Test1”, a glitch I haven’t been able to rectify. Whatever it says, be sure to whitelist that address so future letters won’t be dismissed as spam.

But before I start tooting my horn, let me toot one for Jonathan Katz, a crackerjack investigative journalist whose work for the AP and the Times has exposed a lot of dirt. Katz decamped from Substack after outing it for hosting a bunch of neo-Nazies peddling hate, anti-antisemitism and disinformation. Read an interview with him about uncovering lies in Alabama Senator Katie Britt’s bizarre GOP response to Biden’s SOTU address. Do yourself and him a favor; subscribe to The Racket, his revelatory information-packed newsletter. Find him on TokTok too. He’s the real deal and deserves your support.

Dear Readers,

After sweating out a novel for four years, I still can’t rest. Now comes the hardest (and most expensive) part: marketing — a skill I’ve failed to master, though I’ve tried. (I’m open to tips, so long as they don’t involve interstate travel or TikTok.)

One of the many tasks marketing a book involves is creating a one-page “sell sheet” to send to distributors, bookstores, influencers, and such. Read on to see what I came up with. What you see here will be formatted more precisely as a PDF, hopefully with  blurbs from actual people. You are my guinea pigs for this flyer. Is the cover intriguing? Is the description evocative and make you want to read more? Same for the two excerpts that follow. If you aren’t hooked, why not?

Be kind and keep the faith,




A magical and metafictional crime novel of intersecting obsessions

Picture an immigrant girl in restless sleep on a street in Athens. What evil might befall such a child, one of the multitudes fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa? Greece is full of reactionary and even liberal self-styled patriots bent on expelling hapless refugees and, as always, organized crime happily cashes in on their animus.

Geoffrey Dutton‘s gripping novel tells the story of a single mother of a vulnerable child who decides to put child traffickers out of business—with a little help from her friends.

Welcome to Athens, where children get snatched off the street and the cops don’t seem to care. But Anna—whose son could be next—does, and becomes obsessed with bringing a pair of kidnappers and a bad cop to justice. Bucking her own insecurities, Anna hatches a risky plan to save an abducted child with digital devices and unreliable allies. One she hasn’t counted on is her son’s late father, Mahmoud. Though he’s dead, his spirit observes them from a misty limbo, wanting to absolve her nagging guilt for his passing. As a ghost, he clearly can’t—or can he? Follow them through the streets of Athens to find out.


“Intelligently and evocatively written … a book to savor and celebrate” —  ChatGPT


[Your blurb here … ]


300 pages
ISBN 9781771838986 (softcover)
ISBN 9781771838993 (EPUB)
Available September 2024 from Guernica World Editions
21.95 USD/25.95 CAD (print)
10.95 USD/14.95 CAD (eBook)
To discuss sales and rights, contact

“No Borders, No Limit

GEOFFREY DUTTON writes compelling fiction about contemporary issues. Her Own Devices movingly recapitulates and resolves his award-winning conspiracy thriller, Turkey Shoot. Geoff exited a tech career to write about people, problems, and events. He lives west of Boston, where, besides writing, he forages for edible mushrooms and serves them to his trusting family.



“Come ON!” Anna urged Andreas, latching onto his arm and tugging him like a hound on a leash. As they passed by Inspector Nicolaides inspecting the wagon’s hatch, he looked up to see, striking his occiput on the transom. Through a swarm of sparks, he shouted: “Hey! You can’t go in there!”

Anna shook her head, and scurried through the doorway, pulling Andreas after her.

They found themselves in a kitchen updated with granite countertops and coldly gleaming appliances. On a breakfast island, a box of corn flakes and a carton of milk sat next to a bowl of sodden cereal with a spoon sticking out.

“RAMADI! It’s Mutti. Are you in here?” Anna cried.

Hearing no response, Andreas suggested they head up front.

“RAMADI! Where are you?” she said, just as Nicolaides burst in.

“Get out of here now! This is a—”

“Shush! My son is in here! RAMADI!”

“—crime scene. And don’t touch anything on your way out.”

Ignoring the edict, she approached an open door with steps going down.


A muted “Mutti?” wafted up the stairs.

“I’M COMING!” Anna yelled.

“DON’T!” Nicolaides said, rushing over and pushing her aside. “Who knows who’s down there.”

Andreas came up behind them to shout: “RAMADI! It’s Onkle! Are you alone down there?”

“Mutti! Onkle! Come see what I found!”

“He sounds okay,” Andreas said. “I think it’s safe to go down.”

“Stay here,” Nicolaides growled. He hunched down the stairs, gripping his pistol in both hands, training it left and right before attaining the concrete floor without incident. Over his shoulder he instructed them to turn on the light. Andreas flipped a switch inside the doorway and a fluorescent fixture flickered on. Anna stood before him, gaping, fingers pressed to cheeks.

Facing the detective were three doorways. The middle door was recessed behind the other two and stood ajar with light shining out. Those on either side were hinged plywood panels with padlocks hanging from hasps. With flicks of his muzzle, he nudged open first door, then the other, revealing windowless closets with chicken wire ceilings and circus motif wallpaper. In each, a foam pad with a thin blanket lay on the floor next to a chamber pot. Hugging the wall, he edged toward the center door, gun poised. Atop the stairway, Anna bit her lip as she clutched Andreas’ arm.

Teleportation isn’t easy, I must say. It takes a lot out of what’s left of me to will myself anywhere, and then I can see dimly but hear nothing there. Perhaps with practice sound will come. But, each time I visit a place I see things a little more clearly and can hold on for a little longer. Until recently all I’ve been able do is visit extended family, and then only if they haven’t moved. As in learning to ride a unicycle, it takes concentration and practice to keep oriented. After many failed attempts I managed to visit Piraeus long enough to learn that Anna still occupies her little house and now has a boy who looks old enough to be our child. The last time we made love was the night before I passed. That was close to five years ago, if Aunt Sheba’s Calendar is up to date. I praise Allah for allowing me to visit with my son, even if he cannot know me. And I would love to know what Anna tells him of me. Please let it exclude how I died.

For more, listen to the late Mahmoud’s plaintive opening soliloquy, read by the author.

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