Moroni Traveler, Jr.

Created by Robert R. Irvine
Pseudonyms include Peter H. Fine, Peter Heath, Val Davis

(1936 –)

Although he’s renounced the Mormon church, Salt Lake City private eye MORONI TRAVELER, Jr. (named after both his father and an angel) often finds himself working, quite literally, in its shadow–his office is just a Bible’s toss across the street from the Temple.

Lapsed or not, though, he somehow always seems to be mixed up in some sort of shady shenanigans involving the church–to the point where some critics actually labelled Irvine’s books as anti-Mormon.

I guess that depends on which pew you sit in, but from here the books are pretty good reads; thoughtful, solid thrillers with an uncommon but intriguing background.

A former Army sharp shooter, Moroni collects vintage WWII rifles, and he has, on occasion, proved to be none too shy about using them. Moroni’s also half of one of the few genuine father/son detective teams and one of the best to emerge out of the eighties gumshoe renaissance.

By the way, was this a trend? Around the same time that Moroni popped up, Salt Lake City sprouted several other P.I.s, including Jason Coulter and Gabe Utley.


Before he wrote Baptism for the Dead (1988). the first of the Moroni series, the author also wrote a one-off P.I. novel featuring Harry Lake, under the pseudonym of Peter H. Fine and several mysteries featuring Bob Christopher, a television reporter in Los Angeles, California. Post-Moroni he co-wrote with his wife Angie Irvine, under the pen name of Val Davis, a series featuring crime-solving archeologist Nicolette Scott. Angie also wrote several short stories featuring Moroni, keeping it all in the family.


  • “You can take a Mormon out of the Church, but can you take the Church out of the Mormon? Moroni Traveler, Jr., lapsed in faith but saddled with a hoplessly Latter-day Saint name, apparently hasn’t forgotten Mormon emphasis on family. Nothing says “family values” like teaming up with your dad to solve murders.”
    “Mormon Mysteries” on
  • “a true rebel hero in the classic private-eye tradition…”
    — The New York Times Book Review 



  • “Feel the Power” (January 1992, EQMM; by Angie Irvine)
  • “Fathers” (December 1992, EQMM; by Angie Irvine, concluded in…)
  • “…and Sons” (December 1992, EQMM; by Robert Irvine)
  • “Concrete Crosses” (September/October 1996, EQMM; by Angie Irvine)
  • “Return to Sender (September/October 2009, EQMM; with Angie Irvine)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, with a special thanks to Mario Saravanja for helping me fill in the blanks.

One thought on “Moroni Traveler, Jr.

  1. More Moroni Traveler, Jr. short stories
    Angie Irvine:
    Feel the Power, (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine January 1992
    Concrete Crosses, (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine September/October 1996

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