Fiction written by Steve Schach

  1. Steve Schach, Old Bach Is Come, Wandering in the Words Press, Nashville, TN (March 2013). SWV 151.

    Empress Maria Theresa of Austria has sent secret agents Paul Müller and Franz Braun to Prussia to assassinate King Frederick the Great. Baron Manfred von Hochenheimer, the unscrupulous and cruel Prussian Minister of Police, thwarts their first attempt. Paul and Franz soon learn that Baron von Hochenheimer will go to any lengths to protect his King. They conclude that, in order to kill Frederick the Great, they will have to murder von Hochenheimer first. Their plans go awry and they are forced to flee Berlin on foot for Vienna, pursued by Prussian border guards. Paul and Franz now try to return to Prussia for a final attempt to kill Frederick the Great, but Prussian foresters, soldiers, and secret police block their way. The story reaches a violent climax during a concert conducted by Johan Sebastian Bach, “Old Bach” of the title.

    Web site of Old Bach Is Come

  2. Steve Schach and Sharon Stein, Coopers Island, Wandering in the Words Press, Nashville, TN (October 2013). SWV 152.

    In August 1942, an Egyptian antiquities dealer buys photographs from a South African traitor and passes them on to Field Marshal Rommel. The photos reveal the highly successful weapons trial of a new anti-tank shell, made from an alloy of promethium, that will critically affect the outcomes of the pending tank battles at El Alamein and Stalingrad. The Abwehr dispatches agent Gretchen Konrad to New Zealand to locate the promethium mine. A Nazi agent already in New Zealand manages to acquire a government document that contains the locations of four secret mines. But which is the promethium mine? Gretchen struggles to visit each in turn. Eventually she manages to penetrate the exclusion zone in the southern tip of New Zealand to reach Coopers Island. But have the Allies really found a source of the rare-earth element there? And what effect does the new shell have on the war in the Western Desert and on the Eastern Front in Russia?

    Web site of Coopers Island

  3. Steve Schach, Highly Satisfactory, Wandering in the Words Press, Nashville, TN (April 2014). SWV 153.

    Dr. Ulrich zu Westerheimer is a German-born nuclear physicist working on the American atomic bomb project in Los Alamos. In 1943 he flies to Novosibirsk in Siberia for a meeting with his younger brother, Dr. Carl Friedrich zu Westerheimer, a fanatical Nazi who is also a nuclear physicist. Carl Friedrich was captured at Stalingrad and is to be flown to Hitler’s headquarters in East Prussia with a Soviet peace proposal for Hitler. Hidden in the briefcase is a report by Nobel Prize winner Dr. James Chadwick regarding the infeasibility of a plutonium bomb. The report is genuine, but wrong. The Americans want Hitler to be deceived by the report. But the NKGB (the Soviet Secret Police) start to play deceptive tricks of their own.

    Web site of Highly Satisfactory

  4. Steve Schach, A Matter of Trust, Wandering in the Words Press, Nashville, TN (October 2014). SWV 154.

    Oliver Thompson is a highly successful CPA specializing in offshore trusts. In his hotel room in Kyoto, Japan, Oliver finds the dead body of Yoko Azuma, a bellhop, lying in his bed. She’s covered with blood and there’s blood all over the bed. Oliver rushes down to the lobby to fetch the manager. They hurry together to the elevator. The elevator doors open, and there stands Yoko. There’s no sign of any blood on her and no blood anywhere on the bed. Then, a gunman shoots at Oliver as he sits on the veranda of the Silver Pavilion Temple, but no one else hears the shot. Oliver sees two men fighting on the ledge of a cliff near the Kiyomizu Temple. One man throws the other off the cliff. Oliver’s guide rushes off to fetch the police. She disappears, and the police find no evidence that the fight ever took place and there’s no dead body at the foot of the cliff. Oliver consults a Kyoto private detective, who suggests that Oliver is the victim of a large-scale conspiracy. But what is the aim of the conspiracy? And why are the conspirators plaguing Oliver?

    Web site of A Matter of Trust

  5. Steve Schach and Sharon Stein, Bakerloo Line, Wandering in the Words Press, Nashville, TN (April 2015). SWV 155.

    A suicide bomber from the Palestinian Islamic Front for Jihad and Liberation (PIFJL) tries to blow up Waterloo Tube Station in London. Thanks to the efforts of the Mossad, the Semtex bomb fails to detonate, but it explodes later in a PIFJL safe house. Leaders of the PIFJL need a new place to set up base, and choose a remote Greek island. However, members of the anti-Moslem Greek Spartan League intercept the motor launch carrying the PIFJL explosives and weapons. When the League sees a letter describing the British Government's secret plans to recognize the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus, leaders plot retaliation using the stolen munitions. Despite the best efforts of MI5 and the Mossad, London's Tube commuters are once again in serious danger.

    Web site of Bakerloo Line

  6. Steve Schach and Sharon Stein, Double Two, Wandering in the Words Press, Nashville, TN (April 2016). SWV 156.

    On 10 May 1941, Rudolf Hess, Deputy Führer of Nazi Germany, flies to Scotland on a peace mission on his own initiative. Furious, Adolf Hitler orders his secret agents in Britain to locate Hess and kill him. MI5, the British secret service, employs two Hess doubles as bait to smoke out German sleeper agents sent to Britain before the war. German Military Intelligence sends an SS assassin, Major Helmut Kirchgässner, to Britain to kill Hess. A tense game of cat-and-mouse ensues, with multiple cats and multiple mice.

    Web site of Double Two

  7. Steve Schach and Sharon Stein, The Book Buyer, Wandering in the Words Press, Nashville, TN (July 2017). SWV 157.

    The Book Buyer is a hilarious satire that skewers the modern-day book publishing industry.

    Quentin Pakenham is a writer of historical romance fiction; unkind people refer to his books as "bodice rippers." Quentin's latest books have failed to sell, and he faces a dismal financial future. Brittany Mainwaring comes to Paris to buy a book from Quentin; she's willing to pay him a large sum of money if he'll allow her to put her name as the author of his next book. She explains that if she has a book published she'll inherit a vast sum of money in terms of her wealthy great-uncle's will. But things are not as they seem. And when a British industrial magnate is murdered, Quentin realizes that he's responsible for the death. He comes to London where he teams up with an eccentric newspaper publisher to discover whodunit -- and why.

    Web site of The Book Buyer

  8. Steve Schach and Sharon Stein, Crossword Traitor, Wandering in the Words Press, Nashville, TN (April 2018). SWV 158.

    Hector Longstreet should have retired years ago, but he still teaches Latin and Greek at a school in England because it's the middle of the Second World War, and the younger schoolmasters are serving in the military. However, Hector's real interest in life is composing cryptic crosswords. His puzzles, published in a British Sunday newspaper, end up in the hands of the Germans. Is he passing secrets to the enemy via the answers to his fiendishly difficult clues? Or is the crossword traitor Bridget Hawkesbury, another composer of cryptic puzzles, who was trapped in Germany when war broke out? Bridget is imprisoned in an internment camp in Upper Silesia. The camp commandant gives her Hector's puzzles to solve, after which he forwards her solutions to German Military Intelligence in Berlin. And what about the crossword set by MI5 officers to inform the Germans where the D-Day landings will take place? There are clues aplenty in this fast-paced thriller, but few answers until the exciting finish.

    Web site of Crossword Traitor

  9. Steve Schach and Sharon Stein, A Case of Wine, to be submitted for publication.

    A powerful bomb destroys a Sydney liquor store and kills its owner, Goran Pekič. Private investigators Damon Ogilvy and Janet Maitland try to find the killer. They discover that Pekič was a member of Drugavi, an organization that protects the perpetrators of the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian War. They also uncover a cocaine smuggling ring. Two of its leaders hold Damon and Janet responsible for the deaths of their brothers, and swear vengeance. Then the heads of the Drugavi organization realize that Damon and Janet’s investigation has resulted in the arrest of a number of their comrades, who now face trial for genocide. A murderous game of cat and mouse now ensues. Damon and Janet flee to Canada pursued by both Drugavi and the cocaine gang. They fly to France where a police trap is set with Damon and Janet as the bait. The chase ends with a Wild West-style shoot-out in a chocolate shop in Provence.

  10. Steve Schach and Sharon Stein, Countess Lucia, to be submitted for publication.

    Countess Lucia di San Gimignano is a powerful functionary in the Italian Fascist regime, and Mussolini's mistress. At the height of the Second World War, Hitler tries to blackmail Mussolini, using Lucia as a pawn. Torn between her love for Mussolini and her love for her country, Lucia flees Italy and ends up imprisoned in the Tower of London as an enemy alien. Colonel Albrecht of the Abwehr (German military intelligence) is trying to negotiate a peace treaty between the British and German forces. He contacts British military intelligence, asking them to send a courier to occupied France to fetch a document. Because of her multilingual skills, the British select Countess Lucia for the task. But her plane is shot down just off the coast of Normandy, and she struggles to make contact with Colonel Albrecht. Other players join in, including the French Resistance and the Gestapo, each with their own agendas regarding the peace treaty. But who is the mysterious Colonel Albrecht, and what is his real objective?