The Flower Lover

a Richard Garcia mystery

I'm pleased to announce that my first novel, THE FLOWER LOVER, was been published in 2001 by Authorhouse.

THE FLOWER LOVER follows journalist Richard Garcia as he investigates the disappearance of a rare cultivated orchid. Garcia’s queries lead him to uncover a clandestine group that is illegally selling munitions and stolen Soviet nukes on the black market. THE FLOWER LOVER has a complex, convoluted plot and is fast-paced and cinematic. It features a bicycle chase through the streets of Seattle and a sea kayak get-away through Rosario Strait in the San Juan Islands. THE FLOWER LOVER keeps you on the edge of your seat to the end!



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 FAQ about The Flower Lover

1. Tell me about the book.

What does a stolen rare orchid, owned by a "crazy" millionaire industrialist, have in common with the death of a Seattle Assistant Superintendent of Schools and the "Yes on No" ballot initiative to fund the "Just Say No to Drugs" campaign? That's what investigative journalist, Richard Garcia of the Seattle Reporter, is trying to discover in Peter Stekel's latest mystery novel, THE FLOWER LOVER.

Richard Garcia lives with his wife, Sarah Good, who administers a Seattle homeless mission, The Good Shepard. They have a baby daughter, Sally. Garcia is a former California university professor of American literature who lost his position after having an affair with a student. He has found redemption in his love for Sarah and his commitment to investigating political and moral corruption.

Garcia is summoned by millionaire Charles Llewellyn Colt II to recover his stolen orchid, which turns out to be a potent medicinal plant with significant side effects. Before pursuing the case and its entanglements, Garcia is distracted into following up on another seemingly unrelated story involving drug sales to high school students. A murder connected to that case takes the investigator into yet another milieu - that of a call-girl service for Seattle's power brokers operated by the enigmatic X-lady. Garcia's work is complicated by the loss of various sources and other key players who meet most untimely ends. Nonetheless, he attracts enough attention and collects enough evidence to end up on the front end of exciting chases by bicycle and sea kayak. Figuring out the connection between the millionaire Colt, the "Orchid Club," high school drug deals, the X-lady, Seattle's elite and the missing orchid lead Garcia to solve the mystery of the flower lover.

2. Where do I order a copy of THE FLOWER LOVER?

Click here for information on how to order a book from Authorhouse.

Click here for information on how to order a book from

3. Why isn't THE FLOWER LOVER available at more bookstores?

The reality of book publishing today is that best sellers - in fact any sellers - aren't written: they are created by marketing and publicity. A few writers can be assured of selling millions simply on the basis of their name or the rumor of a new book. The rest of us must gain momentum the hard way - by cajoling relatives, friends,  and friends of friends to buy our books and spread the word. We must contact the bookstores and reviewers on radio, television and newspapers to promote our books.

Publishing houses are more apt to give a large cash advance, and hence publish the books, of people with recognizable names. That's why you see heavy promotion for any books written by [or "as told to"] entertainers, politicians or people who are this year's celebrities. Although these books rarely sell enough to justify their up-front costs, publishers continue to spend their money on them in the questionable belief that such "properties" bring them "prestige."

With so much capital tied up in these prestige projects, publishers have less and less money to spend on untested new authors or writers. Those who do get published often find their books languishing without any support or promotion because editors are too focused on acquiring properties, not in seeing that those properties accrue interest and value.

The popularity of the Internet has enabled a new kind of book publishing. "Print on Demand" [POD] and "Electronic" [E-books] or downloadable books ensure that authors are no longer overlooked by the older, established publishing houses. POD book publishers have the same quality as "traditional" publishing houses but without any of the overhead. Hence, the books are usually less expensive but slightly more difficult to obtain. Readers must order on-line directly from the publisher, just like ordering from a book club, then wait several days for the hard copy to arrive. On the other hand, readers who don't mind paying less to read the book in Adobe Acrobat format can download an E-book onto their hard drive and either read it on-screen or print out a copy.

After THE FLOWER LOVER was written, several literary agents told me they were interested in representing me and the book to publishers. Despite of their initial enthusiasm they decided that my lack of name recognition or literary establishment meant that I was not promotable "in the current book market."  That's when I turned to the new technology to get THE FLOWER LOVER into circulation.

4. Have you written any other novels?

I have written one other novel about Richard Garcia, COLLATERAL DAMAGE. I have also written HEART OF STONE, a novel which explores the impact of the decline of logging on Washington's Olympic Peninsula on the people living there and on their environment. I have also written THE ISLE OF ALASKA MYSTERY, a young adult environmental "why-do-it" mystery as well as INLAND, a young adult novella all about dweebs, onions and a cat named Bougainvillea. My latest novel is GROWING UP WHITE IN THE SIXTIES, a fictional coming-of-age memoir.

5. Where can I find out more about you or your work?

Check out the rest of my website to find links to my other writing projects as well as my biography.

In addition, check out the following sites for more information about Peter Stekel and THE FLOWER LOVER...

STOP, YOU'RE KILLING ME; a web site devoted to mystery readers and mystery books:

SISTERS IN CRIME; a national organization for mystery writers, readers and fans:

6. Where can I hear you read from THE FLOWER LOVER?

Contact bookstores and let them know you've read this wonderful new mystery book by a local author and that you think it would be a great idea to arrange a reading. Contacting radio stations by phone or email and tell them the same thing. This kind of help will be invaluable in getting the word out about THE FLOWER LOVER. 

7. How do I contact you?

Send email to author[at]



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This page was last updated on 04/07/2009



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