English Lessons (2009)

The sixth in the Mad Dog & Englishman series

On a bleak Christmas morning, as she patrols a desolate canyon on the Arizona reservation, Sewa Tribal Police Officer Heather English stumbles upon the body of the newly-elected governor. A note explains his death is part of a drug war. His killer promises Heather will be among the victims.

That same morning, her Uncle Mad Dog, a Cheyenne wanna-be shaman, receives a grisly last-minute gift from someone who thinks Mad Dog is a drug lord: a severed human hand.

Meanwhile, Heather's father, Sheriff English of Benteen County, Kansas, is lonely. With his wife dead and his daughters grown and on their own, he decides to go to work at his office. On the way, he calms a wild incident in a church parking lot. Then he receives a death threat. The crèche at the center of the town's largest holiday yard display has been desecrated. Its owner plans to kill the neighbors he suspects are responsible. At the family's urging, the sheriff takes the man's guns and promises not to let him make trouble. Soon the county fills with rumors that the sheriff is systematically violating Second Amendment rights and seizing every weapon. A local militia turns out, locked and loaded, and ready to do what it takes to stop him.

Mad Dog, Sheriff English, and Heather all need some careful police work, a little Cheyenne magic, and maybe even a Christmas miracle...


"A wild, and fun, read. I truly enjoy the Mad Dog & Englishman series and hope author J. M. Hayes is at this moment hard at work on the next one."

Mary Ann Smyth, Bookloons

"It is a bleak Christmas in Arizona as Tribal Police Officer Heather English patrols a desolate canyon. She discovers the body of the newly elected governor along with a note saying that Heather will be among the next victims. On the same day, her uncle, Mad Dog, a Cheyenne amateur shaman, receives a package containing a severed human hand. Meanwhile, back in Kansas, Heather's father, Sheriff English of Benteen County, receives a death threat of his own. Someone has desecrated an elaborate crËche, and its owner threatens to kill those he feels are responsible. Sheriff English confiscates the crËche owner's guns and quickly learns he's provoked the local militia, who don't like anyone parted from their weapons. Hayes jumps from Arizona to Kansas, as the various English family members solve crimes and extricate themselves from harm's way. In this always entertaining series, Hayes never fails to mix action and humor in an engaging manner."


"Hayes . . . writes with an ironic comic sense, . . . tells a high-speed story, and pops away at some of the absurd cultural, political and social excesses of our state and place in history."

Christine Wald Hopkins, Tucson Weekly

"SATIRICAL GENIUS DEPT.: The Mad Dog & Englishman mystery series by J.M. Hayes has been one of my favorites for years. Hayes creates appealing and completely believable even when eccentric characters, writes with great wit and has something to say about American society."

John Orr, San Jose Mercury News

"The book's wry tone doesn't hide the author's contempt for irresponsible leaders and the yahoos who mindlessly follow them. Hayes cares about the English family with their enduring sanity and resilience, and so will readers."

Publishers Weekly, 05/16/2011

"I highly recommend this action-packed, fast-moving, fascinating thriller that kept me turning the pages."

MysteriesEtc Blog

"Biting satire inside a strong suspense thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Hardcover (1st edition)

July 2011, Poisoned Pen Press


November 2011, Poisoned Pen Press


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