Dan Reno

Created by Dave Stanton

“As we came off the mountain and glided onto the desert floor outside of Carson City, a jackrabbit darted in front of the car so quickly that Edward didn’t have time to react. We ran straight over it… I wondered if it was an omen.”

Hard-luck DAN RENO (pronounced “Renault”), who calls South Lake Tahoe in northern California home (at least for now), always seems to be short on cash–which might be why his private eye business is frequently supplemented by occasional gigs as a bounty hunter… or a bartender.

And why he often takes on jobs that any right-thinking dude might try to duck.

Thing is, Dan’s been through a lot. He’s been a drunk, a brawler, a husband and the son of a murdered man. Theoretically, that’s all in the rearview.

Now he makes his living doing what he can, as a hands-on kinda problem solver. Only problem? He’s got a little problem with judgement and impulse control, like when he serves a warrant on a rocker in Speed Metal Blues (2014)–in the middle of a mosh pit in front of a live band–and, surprise, surprise, it goes down poorly. Once the dust settle, Dan’s had the snot beaten out of him, and he’s shot the rocker in the ankle, plus he’s shot up one of the band’s amps, and their sound board. Not cool, dude.

Still, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, and so Dan and his old Army buddy, the hellraising  ex-cop Cody Gibbons (who later becomes his partner, and insists on calling Dan “Dirt”) often find themselves tangling with bikers, drug dealers, cartel thugs, violent crazies, Russian mobsters and the like with alarming frequency.

For those who like a little ass-kicking in their mysteries, there’s plenty to be had in this action-packed series by Dave Stanton, and he gets bonus points for making good and varied use of local colour and his South Lake Tahoe setting (I’m a sucker for snow).


He was born in Detroit, but Dave Stanton grew up Northern California, attending San Jose State University and receiving a BA in journalism in 1983. Over the years, he has worked as a bartender, a newspaper advertising salesman, a furniture mover, a debt collector, and a technology salesman. He and his wife have two children, and they currently live  in San Jose, California.


  • The promos suggest Reno is pronounced as in “no problemo,” which doesn’t make much sense, but one reader has suggested it should be pronounced as in “Renault,” which actually seems more plausible.



  • “Wrong Turn at Carson”
    Available for free, for signing up for his newsletter, on his web site.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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