Jake Sands

Created by Ron Ely

When his wife and daughter are murdered, JAKE SANDS retires from his high-flying life in Los Angeles as a well-paid “recoverer of missing objects and people”  to go hang out with the beach folks in Santa Barbara, California. Not that he’s exactly roughing it, though–he  lives in Coco Palms, an exclusive beach compound overlooking the Pacific, and has little to do with his time except grumble.

But somehow, trouble still seems to come a-creepin’.

Kirkus Reviews describes Sands as a “Travis McGee wannabe” and a “Santa Barbara Spenser.” Another reviewer called him “Travis McGee meets Baywatch.” You get the idea.

Ron Ely, of course, is most known for playing Tarzan on television in the 1960s. I haven’t tried this series yet, but many reviewers praised it as well-written and fast-paced. There were two books in the series, apparently written after Ely himself retired from acting and moved to Santa Barbara with his family.


  • “(Jake is) a dangerous guy. He’s that guy that said ‘Oh my gosh, they’re messing with the wrong guy’… My characters are based on someone I know really well. Practically every character in my books has a real person connected to them. Some of them don’t like it.”
    — Ron Ely to Fanboy Planet


  • “Solid mid-grade entertainment for John D. MacDonald fans. First of a series, though Ely plots as recklessly as if he had to fit the whole series between these covers.”
    — Kirkus Reviews on Night Shadows


Respectfully submitted by Gerald So, with additional spelunking by Kevin Burton Smith.

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