top of page

The Song of Jackass Creek

A Mystery Novel, by Darby Patterson

I have always loved reading a good mystery, one with strong characters I grew to care about and a plot that drove me forward to the end with urgency. Then, somewhere over the last decade, many mystery adventures took a turn. They started focusing on graphic descriptions of deaths and gratuitous violence. Blood was dripping from the pages, body parts scattered, new and grotesque ways of killing were devised. I had a hard time finding mysteries that didn’t force me to skip over many descriptive passages. 

The Song of Jackass Creek is a return to that more gentle style of mystery writing. Yes, someone dies. After all, it is a murder mystery. But the spotlight is on the characters surrounding the event and the process of uncovering the guilty. If you’d like to be a voyeur in Redbud, population 386, and get to know the characters who have made this hamlet their home; meet a big city transplant with a storied past and a young boy with big city dreams and follow the story as they tackle a crime that’s anything but simple and straightforward, I think you’ll enjoy The Song of Jackass Creek.

More Titles for you, from me!


Plus $2 shipping

Gypsy Wedding Cover HH03 HR.jpg

Sometimes women do their level best do the right thing, even when that 'best' turns out to be a little evil. Can they get away with getting even? Should they?


"The Cat-Napping Caper" is my fast-paced mystery book for young readers that touches on respecting others and delivers a healthy anti-bullying message.


A collection of short stories, from the romp of a Texas wedding to  the quiet of a seashore, and the halls of a sheltered home and more. 


"Clan MacLaren, Ancient origins to modern times," is an easy to read account of Scottish history and the legends and lore of the Clan. It's written for American readers who have only basic knowledge of the long history of Scottish struggles.

front cover12_18.jpg

A memoir of one family's experience as Dust Bowl refugees from Arkansas to California. Co-written with Lawrence Daniel, a member of the migrant family. 


book collection.jpg

Read More Jackass Creek

Reviews HERE! 

Comfortable and Captivating

Having lived in a little town much like Redbud, I attest to how genuine the characters in this book are. I'm anxious for another mystery that tells me more about them in such a respectful way.

Jess Richardson, Portland, OR


A pleasant surprise

This book was an easy read which was a pleasure. What a pleasant surprise to read a good mystery book without all the bad language and too descriptive violent murders.  It held my attention until the very end.  Thank you for providing me with a book that had a plot well worth reading. 

Jackie Gee-Lawver, Granite Bay, CA


Please say you'll write a sequel!

I recently read “The Song of Jackass Creek” by Darby Patterson and enjoyed it tremendously! I love mysteries and this book is definitely a mystery. But it is so much more. The characters seemed so real and I really got involved in the story. I learned so much about the area in northern California where the story is set and Darby’s “word pictures” made the Redbud area come alive for me. I know I will read it again and learn more each time.

Sue Gordon , Sacramento

This is an excellent writer!

Darby Patterson is truly a talented writer. She describes this little town sweetly without boring the reader with unimportant detail, and her descriptions are vivid. She also develops her characters fully through conversation and action so the reader becomes acquainted with the main players and can form pictures of them early in the book. Her characters' thoughts, interactions, and past activities combine to portray the culture of Redbud throughout the story, and the story itself is creative and holds surprises along the way. I too hope Ms Patterson continues to share her talents with us!

Sondra Jensen, Berkeley, CA

​Wanting another installment!

An invitation to linger in this vanishing part of California which has so much history is writ on every page of this book. I've visited places like Redbud with a creek burbling in the background as gentle breezes sough through the pines and cedars. I've found them quaint and rich with fascinating local lore and history. Jesse, as publisher of the local weekly is very nicely sketched, the authors background as a journalist comes through clean and clear in developing him. This small California mining and logging town scrabbling to hang on, I liked very much as a setting. I wouldn't mind sitting down with Jesse and having a beer and help him solve his next mystery. The test of a good book is whether you'd be willing to read it again, later. This book passes that test and I can't wait for the next installment.

Jack Howard, Sacramento

Real Characters, Real Dialogue, Real Mystery!

Can't knock this book for creating real-life characters you'll come to care about, snappy dialogue without profanity, and a surprise finish that I really enjoyed. A great book where helping out your neighbor (even tho you can't stand him/her) remains the code of the mountain, where true heroics is needed to save others while solving a brutal murder and if you make a face such as to question whether the coffee is fresh the waitress is more than likely to reply "You'll get fresh if you don't watch it!" Superb!

Don KIdwell, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer


The Song of Jackass Creek Sings!

This author's debut novel was surprisingly ... awesome! Marketed as a "gentle mystery," I was skeptical that I would enjoy it, that not being my genre of choice....This was one of those mysteries that's gets labeled "cozy" because there's not a ton of cursing and bloodshed and it's character driven. But don't let that fool you. This story is flesh and blood. It's a real dusty town in the high hills of CA filled with very real and dusty people that the reader really grows to care about by the end of of the book.

Dain Alee Dart, Trempeauleau, WI


Please Let this be the first of a series

Wonderful book; adult without being ‘R’ rated, complex story and well developed characters. The people of ‘Redbud’ ring true and, as a native Californian, the lumber, real estate and politics are spot on. I hope this is the beginning of a series because the author has created characters you want to know better.

Donna Holmes, Fair Oaks, CA


I Loved this book
Loved this book, well written, with some lovely turn of phrases, a good storyline without blood and gore. The author made the people in the logging town of Redbud come alive, I really felt I knew them well.
Brenda Fletcher, Stafford, UK

bottom of page