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Ransom Island

North Beach

Thin Slice of Life

LaSalle’s Ghost

Hidden Sea





The author of five funny, fast-paced novels of intrigue set on the Texas Gulf Coast, Miles Arceneaux is a one-of-a-kind writer. Or, more precisely, he is three-of-a-kind—an irreverent persona that is the product of three friends, lifelong Texans, and Gulf Coast aficionados sharing a typewriter and one nom de plume. 

Brent Douglass’ inspiration for Miles’ tales stems from his family’s deep Texas coastal roots, and the iconoclastic characters he crossed paths with growing up there. James R. Dennis’ intimate knowledge of both sides of the law (he’s one of the good guys, it should be mentioned) and his deep appreciation for Texas Rangers lore helps keep Miles’ protagonists on the side of the angels. As a longtime journalist covering Texas and Texans, John T. Davis has sometimes been accused of writing fiction, but this is the first time he has set out to do it on purpose. Together, Douglass, Dennis and Davis make “Miles Arceneaux” truly more than the sum of his parts. 

International businessman Brent Douglass writes in airports, hotel rooms and drinking establishments around the world. At present he is a principal owner of KBC Networks and peddles data transmission equipment in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is the cultured, cosmopolitan writer of the Miles Arceneaux trio. 

John T. Davis has been writing about the music, culture and personalities of Austin and the Southwest for more than 30 years for local, regional and national publications. He is the streetwise and roguishly irreverent co-author of the Miles Arceneaux canon, albeit its most discerning. 

James R. Dennis, a Dominican friar, practices law in San Antonio and across Texas. He writes and teaches on spiritual matters and lives with his two ill-behaved dogs. Of the three writers, he is the good-looking, funny one.







“A terrifically worthwhile read…definitely one to add to the library.” Read the review

    — Lisa Brown-Gilbert, for  


“Arceneaux sets a breathless pace from the beginning…Proficiently develops characters, relationships, and storylines in the midst of nonstop action.” Read the review

    — Kirkus Reviews 

Hidden Sea is viscerally atmospheric, like Jimmy Buffett but a little mournful, with razor edges. Is it an elegy? An ode? A lamentation? Maybe, but Arceneaux still makes you want to don your shades and a funky hat, shove your toes in the sand, and while away the afternoon with a drink accessorized by a tiny umbrella.” Read the article

    — Michelle Newby, Lone Star Book Reviews


“Arceneaux’s talent for crafting clever plots peopled by colorful characters is informed by a willingness to put a human face on both those who knowingly engage in the slave trade, which they depict as drawing its lifeblood from the flood of refugees from Central America, and those who enable them.”  Read the article

    — Ed Conroy, For the Express-News


“A riveting story from Texas that wanders down the cartel-infested Gulf Coast of Mexico and drifts across to lawless Cuba. The characters are as salty as the sea and the plot pulls you along as powerfully as the Loop Current.”

    — W.F. Strong, Stories from Texas, Texas Standard Radio Network


Hidden Sea is a total blast: smart, funny, and riveting, with unforgettably colorful characters and a world so alive that you’ll swear you’re really there.”

    — Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone




“Miles Arceneaux offers another gripping tale….If you haven’t read any of the Arceneaux books, this is a good one to start with.” 
 — Glenn DromgooleTexas Reads, January 23, 2016


“If you feel tugged buy the desire to breathe the coastal breezes of 1960s Corpus Christi, and learn how Charlie Sweetwater becomes a young man, you’ll find North Beach a satisfying trip in time.” 
— Ed ConroySan Antonio Express-News, January 2, 2016


“Arceneaux’s story is a smashing blend of a coming-of-age tale and a suspenseful thriller.” 
— Kirkus Reviews, December 2016 

“Arceneaux again proves masterful at evoking atmosphere and recreating a particular time and place. We are immersed in that year (1962): the Space Race, Cuban Embargo, fallout shelters, the Beach Boys, paranoia, and virulent racism. North Beach proves the truism that the more things change, the more they stay the same.” 
— Michelle NewbyLone Star Literary Life, October 2015



The book club series has partnered with Good Samaritan Community Services and will read Ransom Islandby Miles Arceneaux, whom will be on hand for the book club’s gathering to answer any questions. 
— San Antonio Book FestivalBook Club Series Launch, November 15, 2016 

“Ransom Island named among the most memorable books of 2014.” 
— San Antonio Express-NewsGreat reads from 2014, December 26, 2014 

“A seamless, atmospheric and sardonic comic thriller.” 
— The Dallas Morning NewsBook review: Four mysteries with Texas ties, December 26, 2014 

“Miles Arceneaux named among the top five Texas authors of 2014.” 
— Mystery PeopleTop Five Texas Authors of 2014, December 23, 2014 

Ft. Worth Star Telegram lists RANSOM ISLAND as one of its 2014 “notable books by Texas authors.” 
— Star TelegramNew & Notable: Books by Texas Authors, November 23, 2014


Austin Man Magazine calls Ransom Island a “must-read.” 
— Austin Man Magazine, Texas Book Festival Must-Reads, October, 2014


“A rollicking tale of crime, love and money.” 
— Austin American-Statesman, Austin Review of Books, October 19, 2014

“Reminiscent of James Lee Burke . . . wry humor . . . a fast and rollicking ride.” 
— Texas Book Lover, October 10, 2014

“Imaginative brilliance . . . full of intrigue and murder, love and music, signifying, if not everything, then quite a lot worth worth remembering.” 
— Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News, October 3, 2014

“Like Carl Hiaasen and John D. MacDonald, Miles Arceneaux sets his dark doings by blue water, and has a ball doing it. He makes me want to run away to the islands—Galveston, Mustang or Padre—and sip a tall, cold glass of gin-and-something while I read his latest tale. RANSOM ISLAND may be his best one yet.” 
— Sarah Bird, Best Selling Author of Above the East Sea China, September 2014


“‘LaSalle’s Ghost’ captures (the) gritty feel of coastal Texas…one Miles Arceneaux story leaves you wanting another one.” 
— Mark Larda, The Galveston County Daily News, February 2, 2014


“The author has captured the Texas Gulf Coast area color perfectly.” 
— Caryn St. Clair, Mysteries Galore Book Reviews, January 25, 2014

“Readers who enjoy historical fiction-especially archeological mysteries, books with regional flavor and those who just plainly love a well crafted mystery should find this book appealing.” 
— Caryn St. Clair,, January 25, 2014


“LaSalle’s Ghost a must-have Christmas gift.” 
— Abilene Reporter News, December 15, 2013


“Arceneaux creates a savory bouillabaisse of characters...and stews them brilliantly on a fire of excellent historical research and Gulf Coast social savvy.” 
— Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News, September 12, 2013


“Arceneaux keeps the story moving and the suspense building, working in plenty of humor along the way.” 
— Glenn Dromgoole, Texas Reads, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, September 7, 2013


“A seriously good story set in a fascinating location that’s on the edge of Texas—literally and figuratively.” 
— Sam Carrol, My Agent Sam, August 30, 2013


“A jaw-dropping page-turner.” 
— Courtney Bell, Austin Man Magazine Fall 2013: 5 Things We’re Loving Right Now


“Explorer Robert La Salle’s Exploits on Exhibit in Rockport.” 
— KIII TV, Channel 3, August 30, 2013


“Readers get a taste of mystery, humor and Texas salt water...” 
Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 2013


“An original, one-of-a-kind work of imagination...the contruction is seamless. Call it Gulf Coast Noir” 
The Girlfriends Book Club, 2013


“A new novel from the writer that is being called ‘The Dashiell Hammett of the Texas Gulf Coast.’” 
—Stephen Harrigan, Author of the NYTIMES Bestseller The Gates of the Alamo, 2013


“An engaging crime caper. This book hits the mark.” 
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2012


“The story is involving, exciting. It would make a good film...seamlessly plotted and beautifully told.” 
—Lubbock Avalanch Journal, 2013


“Texas coastal fishermen who read fiction, especially the Carl Hiaasen genre, may well be entertained by a new book published by Texas A&M consortium. The action is strictly coastal from Matagorda Island down to the Land Cut, below Baffin Bay. It’s centered around Rockport/Fulton's shrimpboat fleet, but the chase scenes, shootouts, bar fights, general ass-whuppings, a major hurricane, fishing, shrimping, cussing and drinking happen in locations very familiar to Texas saltwater anglers.” 
—Captain Joe Richard, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, January 2013


“The big difference between this and other thrillers is the telling. Rather than a slick commercial page-turner, this book is an original, one-of-a-kind, locally grown, artisanal, take-your-time work of imagination.” 
Girlfriends Book Club, December 15, 2012


“Three Texas writers have pooled their talents and produced a very readable and entertaining first novel.” 
San Angelo Standard Times, October 25, 2012


“In the Rockport-set novel, readers get a taste of mystery, humor, and Texas salt water as they follow a variety of characters on both sides of the law.” 
Corpus Christi Caller Times, October 17, 2012


“KUT NPR’s Emily Donahue recently interviewed Brent Douglass and John T. Davis about how their storytelling alter ego Miles Arceneaux came to be.” 
KUT Interview, October 1, 2012KAZI Book Review contributor Tim Chamberlain recently interviewed John T. Davis and Brent Douglass, two of the three Texas based writers that make up their alter ego Miles Arceneaux. 

KAZI Interview, September 30, 2012


“I have read Thin Slice of Life, with growing pleasure. If the Texas Institute of Letters had a Melodrama Award these guys would win. We have the average guy, Charlie, who rises to revenge and just keeps rising; the young orphan; the sidekick; the Texas Ranger; and the sinister Asian villain.
    What animates this story is what we used to call verisimilitude: These people know all about boats and engines and tides and gears and such, just as Louis L'Amour knows every weapon his character carries. It is an interesting story and full of life along the Coast.” 

—Marshall Terry, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English (SMU); 2012 Literati Award Recipient


The book’s title is a line from Guy Clark’s song “South Coast of Texas:” “The south coast of Texas, that’s a hard slice of life. It’s salty and hard. It’s as stern as a knife.” 
My San Antonio, September 21, 2012“


The best stories are ones you do not want to stop reading. When the time comes to go to sleep, or meet a friend, or leave for work, the reader counters with, “Just one more chapter.”
    “Thin Slice of Life,” a novel by Miles Arceneaux, is that sort of story, a salt water-flavored mystery set on the Texas coast.”

 —Lubbock Avalanche Journal, September 16, 2012


“[One of the] new books with local ties to warm you up as autumn approaches.”
Austin Monthly, September 2012


“Smart, funny and tough...brims with insight...The best suspense novel I’ve read since Cormac What’s-His-Name.”
—Kinky Friedman, Governor of the Heart of Texas


One of the hallmarks of an excellent mystery novel—which A Thin Slice of Life most definitely is—is a memorable sense of place. If Dashiell Hammett had grown up on the Texas Gulf Coast, in a fishing shack on some nameless spoil island along the Laguna Madre—well, I’m not sure what would have happened. 
    But back to Miles Arceneaux: he has written his own classic, a surf and turf romp steeped in a salt-air atmosphere that just can’t be faked.

—Stephen Harrigan


“A great romp with a bunch of true-to-life coastal characters. The plot is almost as outrageous as reality down there. You can smell the Gulf of Mexico when you open the book.”
—Marcia Ball“A sizzler hotter than a Texas July!”


Guest Post: Miles Arceneaux on Writing the Gulf Coast 

 —MysteryPeople, May 5, 2016

Writing a Book with Friends 
Rachel Pauerstein, Sam Says, April 4, 2014


Interview with Miles Arceneaux 
Writers’ League of Texas, 2013


Q&A with Miles Arceneaux 
 —Scott Montgomery, MysteryPeople, October 2, 2013



Miles is hard to reach. But drop him a note and he, or one of his representatives, will get back with you.

The truth is, no one has ever really been able to follow Miles for long. But if you’d like to keep up on books and events, he will let you know where and when from time to time. 

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