Tom Sipowicz (The Polish Dragon)

Created by Steve Zimcosky

TOM SIPOWICZ grew up in Cleveland, attending St. Stanislaus Elementary, Albert Bushnell Hart Junior High and South High School before being drafted into the Army, where he served as an MP. After being discharged, he joined the Cleveland cops, retired after thirty years to set up his own Polish Dragon Investigations, in a series of novellas by enthusiastic, prolific self-publisher Steve Zimcosk.

Polish-American to the core, Tom has a weakness for dim sum, is studying tai-chi with Cindy Lee over in Asiatown (in lieu of payment for a case he worked on for her), and lives in a small house with a back deck that overlooks the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Tom made his debut in The Disappearance of Marty McRory (2020), where he eventually shows up to help an old friend, a retired engineer who spends his days writing for fun, but the series officially began a few months later with the publication of Polish Dragon P.I. (Death of a Bully) (2020).

I’m still not quite sure where Tom earned the unlikely sobriquet of the “Polish Dragon P.I.,” however. I mean, obviously he’s Polish, and apparently he studied martial arts as a kid, but it still seems clunky. Is that an official title, or an affectation, or a nickname? And if it’s a nickname, who calls him that? Besides his author? Or does Tom just eat too much Chinese food?

He seems to work some interesting cases, though. In one book, he journeys to Taiwan to on the trail of a valuable heirloom: a supposedly magical sword, another deals with the disappearance of several New Age healers, and yet another follows Tom’s investigation into a missing bible which may (or may not) hold a secret potentially embarrassing to the Russian Orthodox Church. Occasionally helping out on his cases are FBI Agent Janowicz and Police Detective Suzie Mandrake, who thinks joining Tom’s agency might be a good idea.

Unfortunately, the unwieldy, cart-before-the-horse naming convention of most of the series, which insists on beginning each book’s title with the article-free “Polish Dragon P.I.,” followed by the actual title in parentheses, comes off as amateurish, as does the clunky artwork and the numerous dubious “award” logos (The Literary Titan Award? The Five Stars Readers Favorite?) slapped on the covers, while the inside text and layout is a typographical mess.

The writing itself?

Enthusiastic, for sure, but it suffers from an apparent absence of editorial oversight. Not that that would matter to the many five-star reviewers on its Amazon page.



Born in the Slavic Village area of Cleveland, Steve Zimcosky is a multi-award winning and international selling author. Inspired in childhood by reading books like White Fang and Call of the Wild by Jack London, he now spend his retirement time writing short stories on a variety of subjects he hopes his readers will enjoy.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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