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Just Released!


by Bill Hopkins

First Place Winner
Show Me Best Book Award
at the Missouri Writers' Guild Annual Conference
in Saint Louis, Missouri,
on April 12, 2014.

Praise from Authors
Bill Hopkins blends high stakes with hi-jinks in this harrowing adventure set above the mighty Mississippi, as quirky Judge Rosswell Carew tracks a criminal with a deadly, and personal, agenda....
~ Leslie Budewitz, Agatha-winning author of Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure
Bill Hopkins has transplanted Judge Rosswell Carew and his "research assistant" Ollie to river country .... A fun read filled with intrigue, hidden passages, and people who seem to live forever. ~ Allan E. Ansorge, author of Bay Harbour and Victor Verie mysteries. 

Bill Hopkins retired as a judge and now writes crime novels out of his home in Marble Hill, MO, about 25 miles west of Cape Girardeau. Last year, in Courting Murder, Hopkins introduced readers to Rosswell Carew of Marble Hill, a judge who dabbles in detective work. Now, Carew gets the starring role in River Mourn. [RIVER MOURN] opens in Ste. Genevieve, where Carew is looking for his young and attractive fiancé. She’s pregnant — and is apparently a kidnapping victim.
Early on a Sunday morning, from a boarding house along the Mississippi River, Carew sees a young and attractive pregnant woman dumped from a ferry boat as it pushes off for the Illinois shore. Soon, Carew finds himself awash in something wicked. But he works with his sidekick from the first novel, a ne’er-do-well savant named Ollie Groton, to wipe out the wickedness — and to rescue his fiancé.
Hopkins has a nice way with characters and locale. A sample: “Rosswell walked over to the pickup and assumed the rural conversation stance — hanging his arms over the bed of the truck, leaning forward at a slight angle. It was a pose familiar to him since childhood. Men who talked outside gravitated to pickup trucks.”

Praise from Readers

Mary: Judge Rosswell Carew (and it's NOT Ross) just keeps getting better. The combination of history, geography, current events, and a unique set of characters makes this mystery a fascinating read. It was difficult to stop reading it for any period of time. Usually, when reading the second book of a series, it's impossible to understand what's going on without having read the first book. I don't think that would be the case with River Mourn, as Bill Hopkins includes enough information to let a reader understand what's happening without slowing the pace. I can't wait to see what he's going to do next, so I hope it won't be long before the next book comes out!

Janine: “Superlatives obfuscate the direct and total absorption I found in River Mourn. With the return of Judge Carew and Ollie, Ste. Genevieve is no longer a history-bound anachronistic community, but a vibrant collection of characters who guide, confuse, and eventually goad Judge Carew into solving his emotionally charged quest. The dialogue is pure Missourian, harking back to the works of Clemens.

Linda: RIVER MOURN finds Judge Roswell Carew looking for his fiancée, who mysteriously disappeared, and in the search gets into scrapes and predicaments that enrich the mind and kept me on the edge of my chair. This is a hard book to put down and an easy read — a really good way to spend a weekend. It leaves the reader wanting more, and I can barely wait for the next book.

Kindle Customer: I love the Judge Rosswell Carew mysteries so much I have a hard time putting them down once I start reading. There is so much humor, suspense, and excitement. The way the judge comes up with the most delightful whimsical ways of changing the words in old expressions is very humorous. The description of the area is described so well, you feel as if you are there looking over the Judge's shoulder.


Praise from Readers

"You think you know "who done it," the plot twists and you're back to wondering how the book will end. Courting Murder has lots of interesting characters, a fast pace, and plenty of humor. All you need is a comfortable chair, an afternoon to kill, and you'll be courting a great read."

 "Bill Hopkins creates a marvelous cast of whacky characters in Courting Murder, a book I couldn't put down. I fell in love with Rosswell, the Judge, and can hardly wait to read his further adventures."

"Hopkins brings all his characters to life as the mystery deepens. The clues lead the reader from one possibility to the next, from one crime scene to yet another, culminating in a convoluted tale of small-town Missouri relationships."

"I finally got to read Bill Hopkins' book, Courting Murder. I took it on vacation with me and literally could not put it down. Started and finished today and couldn't even put it down long enough to fish, and I'm on the coast! Bill, you are really a terrific writer. I was hoping I'd like it but it was phenomenal! You blew my mind. Can't wait for the next one. You have some really quotable stuff in there. I especially liked the part about not even liking antonyms. Loved the people, especially that the Mensan is a rat."

“This book is engaging from the first page.  It's populated by a variety of colorful characters that would be fun to meet! There are plot twists that keep you guessing until the very end, and the story keeps moving. Intelligent and a lot of fun, it's hard to put down as you keep guessing ‘whodunit.’ Can't wait till the next one, so I can see all my zany new ‘friends’ again.” 


When Judge Rosswell Carew makes the gruesome discovery of two corpses on a river bank in the Missouri Ozarks, he's plunged into a storm of deadly secrets that threaten both him and his fiancee, Tina Parkmore. Unsatisfied with the way the authorities are conducting the investigation, Rosswell, who's always nurtured a secret desire to be a detective, teams up with an ex-con, Ollie Groton, to solve the case before the killer can murder again. Rosswell uncovers a maze of crimes so tangled that he must fight his way to a solution or die trying.

Author Reviews

 Bill Hopkins' debut mystery Courting Murder introduces characters who are truly characters--in the most entertaining sense of the word. Even the judge turns every stereotype you may have about judges on its head.” ~ Chris Roerden, author of Agatha winner Don’t Murder Your Mystery

“Here comes the Judge—he’s stubborn, cranky, a bit sarcastic and completely charming. Bill Hopkins nails the voice! This is a big-time mystery in a small town—and you’ll fall in love with the place. Courting Murder  is guilty—of being terrific.  ~ Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity winner, author of  The Other Woman

“Bill Hopkins' insider knowledge of life behind the bench shines through in this debut mystery. His unexpected hero takes readers on a twisting ride full of snappy dialogue, murder, and mayhem.” ~ Jess Lourey, author of the Lefty-nominated "Murder-by-Month Mysteries"

Courting Murder is a promising series debut by judge-turned-novelist Bill Hopkins. Lively characters, a crafty plot, and an off-the-beaten track setting in Missouri make for a good read.” ~ Deborah Sharp, author of the ''Mace Bauer Mysteries.”

“The Verdict is in: Courting Murder is a winner! In his entertaining debut mystery, Bill Hopkins transports us to Bollinger County, Missouri, where Judge Rosswell Carew and a cast of colorful characters track down missing bodies, drug dealers, and murderers using their wits and a few extra-large dollops of homespun charm. A fun read!” ~ Alan Orloff, Agatha Award-nominated author of Diamonds for the Dead and the Last Laff Mystery Series

“The author is a retired lawyer and associate circuit judge from Marble Hill, Bollinger County, Missouri. In this book, he successfully presents the flavor of Southeast Missouri in a humorous murder mystery where the main character is a judge turned detective who happened upon two murder victims in a state park, where he went to hunt for mushrooms.  How is that for a beginning?  Although suffering from a serious disease, he overcomes his health problems in pursuit of the killer.  The local sheriff admonishes him to stay out of the investigation, but of course he does not. Rosswell Carew, the judge, enlists the aid of an informant he sometimes jailed on minor charges, but whom he uses to keep abreast of the goings on in town, as he is bright and possessed of a fount of knowledge. We become involved in the judge's love life and enveloped with the local flavor of a small town where people congregate in the local café where kaefee-klotchers avidly discuss the hot topic murders.  Hopkins uses lots of humor in his character development with down-home dialogue making a charming chronicle.  He brings into the tale of all things, an annual infestation of hundreds of bikers to further confound and confuse the murder investigation." ~ Judge Arthur Litz, "Books in Brief" - Saint Louis Bar Journal/Spring 2013

“When a ruthless killer is on the loose, one can't idle and wait for someone else to find the answers. Courting Murder is a mystery from Bill Hopkins, a judge who uses his vast legal experience to tell the story of Judge Rosswell Carew, who finds two bodies disposed of on a river bank. Turning to unusual sources for answers, the Judge seeks to help the case along lest more lives be unjustly taken. "Courting Murder" is a riveting read that will prove hard to put down, recommended.”~ The Mystery/Suspense Shelf:

“Novelist Bill Hopkins has retired as a lawyer and judge in Marble Hill, a town of 1,500 about 25 miles west of Cape Girardeau, in southeastern Missouri. But Hopkins keeps busy at the keyboard — and in Courting Murder, the starring role goes to Rosswell Carew, who just happens to be a judge who hears cases in Marble Hill. 
The judge comes across two murder victims in a state park outside of town. The judge can’t resist the temptation to play detective. He teams up with a clever ne’er-do-well named Ollie Groton to sidestep the Bollinger County sheriff.
Hopkins spins a complicated plot that may leave some readers scratching their heads. But he also brightens his pages with splashes of local color. Take this colorful bit of dialogue, spoken in the local diner:
"I never been outside the state of Missouri, except for the time I went to Piggott, Arkansas, back in ’95.’"
Ollie said, "Why’d you go to Piggott?"
"I wanted to find out why they named their town Piggott."
"Why did they?"
Rosswell said, "Never did find out. I got into a poker game with the sheriff, the moonshiner, the chief of police, the judge, the Baptist preacher, and the undertaker, who was also the biggest pimp in town. Did a lot of business in the back of his hearse. Anyway, lost my car and all my money. They drove me to the state line and kicked me from the Natural State into the Show-Me State. I was drunk. Hitched a ride to Poplar Bluff and rode the Greyhound back home. I figured I done good. Went down there in a two thousand dollar car and came back in a two hundred thousand dollar bus." 

The publisher, Southeast Missouri State University Press, deserves a salute for putting out a story that on many pages portrays southeastern Missouri in a less than flattering light.” ~ Harry Levins of Manchester retired in 2007 as senior writer of the Post-Dispatch. In the 1950s, in grade school and high school in Rutland, Vt., he survived the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Visit Courting Murder at


to Ashley of
Oromocto, New Brunswick, Canada

for winning a copy of 

Courting Murder 

during the May 2013
Goodreads Book Giveaway

Courting Murder  
by Bill Hopkins

Previous Goodreads Book
Giveaway Winner of 

Courting Murder  

Michael of Tuscaloosa, AL
(April 2013)

   Poems from a Lifetime

Drawing on his love for the written word, retired judge Bill Hopkins shares his collection of poetry in Moving Into Forever. Hopkins takes a wry and humorous look at love, people, and the world in general, offering an incredible mixture of new and old, real and surreal. This collection of more than 130 poems is suffused with the rich imagery of nature, the rawness of emotion, and the intricacies of life. From such topics as "Love and Other Curlicues" to "People and Other Odd Things", Hopkins digs deep into the fabric of our existence. His dry, keen wit serves as the perfect foil for some of the more serious aspects we all experience in our daily lives. Bursting with human emotion, Moving Into Forever is a delightful, perceptive journey into our world, certain to captivate you for years to come.


I highly recommend Moving Into Forever to anyone who admires language, poetry, and people who use it well. Our trips to Marble Hill, Missouri, Bill Hopkin's hometown--are always fun and rich with people, but now they hold memories written down for us all, by a poet who is definitely our own. ~ Mitch Jayne, author, musician, and one of the "Darling Boys" from Andy Griffith's Mayberry.

I've never liked poetry, except for Kipling's 'If'. Man, was I surprised. I found myself reading some of the poem's to my wife and then we'd laugh together. Some of the poems are humorous - some are poignant - all are good reads and telling. Writing is hard work. Letting others read your work is very personal. Thanks for letting us into your world, Bill. ~ Stan Crader, author of The Bridge


Sharon Woods Hopkins 
takes 1st Place for 
Best Novel of the Year from the Missiouri Writer's Guild 
at their annual conference.

Click here for all winners

Missouri Writer's Guild website
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