Awarded Pulp Detective's Best Newcomer of 2015, Matt Abraham spits hot PI palaver mixing Mickey Spillane with the classic superheroes from the golden age. In his series, Black Cape Case Files, we follow Dane Curse, a former villain turned PI, as he navigates the powered underbelly of Gold Coast City. While not writing, Matt's engaged in juggling his somewhat obedient dog Kona, amazing son Kal, and supportive wife Jenny, all in the People's Paradise of China.

The Coconut Swindle by Matt Abraham

For a guy like me, who can shrug off bullets and lift seven tons, there's no better profession than powered crime, and no greater burg to practice it in than Gold Coast City. But after ten years of tossing Buicks at heroes I wised up, took the black cape off my back, and hung out a shingle. Only instead of Dark Deeds Done Daily, this one reads Dane Curse, PI. Now I work cases for the dark denizens I was once counted among. The problems they got aren't the kind that cops care about, so I do what I can, because sometimes even the unjust deserve a little justice.

At least that's how it was before the world's greatest superhero was mysteriously murdered, an act so terrible it threatens to start a war that'll tear my home apart block-by-block, unless I find the killer in five days' time. But getting to the truth won't be so easy. I'll have to contend with black capes whose powers and pulse cannons can shred my hide. An army of technologically advanced armored lawmen led by a power-mad government schemer. And white caped heroes whose abilities and intentions are both less than pure.

No easy task for a small time PI, so I'll need every bit of my strength, guts, and powers if I'm going to find the killer, save my city, and maybe even get some justice for the greatest hero the world has ever known.



  • "If you like old school noir detectives, you'll like this book. If you like super heroes and their culture you'll love it."

    – Celtic Frog Reviews
  • "This was a lot of fun... like Harry Dresden meets Braineater Jones with a major sci-fi twist."

    – The Readers Hollow
  • "Five stars... Filled with lots of action and humour, and will keep you engaged and entertained."

    – Jael's Reviews



Chapter 1

Nobody sheds a tear when a black cape catches one in the back. In fact, discovering there's one less villain in the world is how the citizens of Gold Coast City prefer to start their morning. It doesn't matter if the body's found floating in Bittenbach Bay or dumped down Grime Alley, they'll eat those details up like butter and toast, then head out to face the day like they put some comfort, instead of cream, in their coffee.

It's not so rosy for the black cape though. Guy or gal, they're quick shuffled through an autopsy, and if the body isn't claimed, as almost none are, it's up to Ayers Hill with no one there to see them off save the man who dug their hole. I was headed for that fate myself, back when I ran with bad men and threw Buicks at heroes. I didn't carry business cards, but if I had they'd have read, Dane Curse-Super Powered Villain-Dark Deeds Done Daily. But that's not me, not anymore, and not for a long time now. I wised up, and took the cape off my back and the bull's eye off my chest, and while I'm not proud of my old life I'm not ashamed of it either. It gave me one hell of a skill set, and a unique point of view.

See, behind their masks and hoods and threatening names, behind the powers and pulse cannons, black capes are people like everyone else. And like everyone else, they have children and spouses and parents and friends who love them a whole lot, and miss them just as much when they meet the big goodbye. Don't get me wrong, they're not the best people in the world, but that doesn't mean each one deserves the death penalty. And for those that get it, well, not every one of them dies clean.

But when that fate befalls regular people there's the system to turn to. With just a phone call, the police leap into action practically falling over themselves trying to catch the killer. But for those other people, the ones unlucky enough to love a black cape, when they lose that someone special there's no one to get to the bottom of the who-did-what-happened. When they need a hand, there's no one to help.

So if you lose a black cape, and can't go to the cops, then you come to me because that's what I do. I've been in the game for years, I know all the curves and all the angles, and if it gets rough then so be it… I got plenty strength, I'm double tough, and I never quit. And if need be I'll pull my artillery to get you some answers, because I don't care about the mistakes you've made or how you chose to live your life, sometimes even the unjust deserve a little justice.

At least that's how it was before the call.

It caught me in bed around four in the morning.