Friday, December 18, 2015

Is Cancer Avoidable?

A recent study reported in Nature Magazine and in Scientific American suggests that up to 90% of  all types of cancers are due to personal choices and environmental factors. These include diet, exercise, smoking and exposure to radiation and other carcinogens rather than just "bad luck" as some other studies have suggested. If interested in this study, just click on the above link.

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Book: A Reservation for Murder

     A Reservation for Murder

                                   A Lieutenant Morales Mystery

                      “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

                                                Sun-Tzu, Chinese general and military strategist, (400 BC)

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

                                                Hotel California


Chapter 1

Nothing much ever happens on Pine Island. So it was all the more surprising when a man who was fishing from the Matlacha drawbridge saw a body floating in the water in Pine Island Sound just a few feet away from the bridge. It was even more surprising when that body turned out to belong to Mike Sullivan.

The body of Mike Sullivan was the first body discovered in Pine Island Sound that January. But it was not the last.

Mike Sullivan was anything but an ordinary kind of guy. He was a part- time fisherman and a full-time jerk.  Although he had been on the island only a few months, he had managed to alienate half the island. Night after night, as he sat drinking Coors Light after Coors Light at the bar of the Sunset Bar and Grill, he boasted about his many conquests to his few friends and anyone else who would listen.  He claimed that there wasn’t a woman on the island that he couldn’t bed if he really wanted to.  And with his wavy dark hair and brooding brown eyes, many a woman on the island had already fallen to his charms.

Recently, Sullivan seemed to have come into some money, no one knew for sure from where or how much. But he was clearly spending it freely.  He had bought himself a brand new, candy apple red, Ford F-150 pickup truck with a trailer hitch. The trailer hitch was for a new 32 foot fishing boat which he now kept moored near the Bonita Lodge.  A couple of people from the island had been surprised to see him in downtown Fort Myers on several occasions recently wearing a blue pin-striped  suit and fancy black loafers, rather than the scruffy jeans and rubber waders he usually wore. That new suit would come in handy now that he was dead and the undertaker laid him out for his funeral, The island’s undertaker, Jeffrey Bonnett, always prided himself on how well the deceased looked in his funeral parlor after he had worked on them. “Hell,”  Bonnett often bragged, “some of these poor bastards look better dead than they ever did when they were alive.”

 He was particularly proud of the work he did on Sullivan. “He looks like a movie star.” he said,  “A goddam movie star.”

When word got around the island that Sullivan had been found dead in the waters of Pine Island Sound, there were not a few men on the island who were relieved. And quite a number of women who were moved to tears.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Free Book

If you haven't already read my legal mystery, Dead in the Water, you are in luck.  For the next three days, from September 18 through September 20, it will be available for free for Kindle on Amazon.  Now, you have no excuse for not reading this book, which has been called by one reviewer,
"An exciting thriller with plenty of surprises" and "A good entertaining read." If you do decide to read Dead in the Water, I would be extremely grateful if you would post a review on Amazon.  Reviews are the lifeblood of indie authors like me. So, thanks, and please enjoy.
P.S. Today the book is on sale at its regular price of $1.99 if you just can't wait to read it.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A View of Life

Some people say you should live every day like it is your last. I say live life every day like it is your first.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Praise for "Dead in the Water"

My mystery novel, Dead in the Water, has received some excellent reviews and for those,  I could not be more grateful. One of those very recent reviews was particularly kind. In the review,  the reviewer described as an avid  reader opined "Mr Basinski may now join the ranks of Gresham, Donnelley, and Turow." 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dead in the Water hits the Amazon Best Seller Lists!

Mystery Financial

As of today, my book, Dead in the Water is ranked No. 5 in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Financial category for Kindle books.  Please see the above link. Many thanks to all of you who have purchased the book.  I would be extremely grateful if you would please write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews are the independent writer's best friend.  Thanks to all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Whirl Magazine

I just wanted to let everyone know that an article about my book, Dead in the Water, appears in the August 2015 issue of Whirl Magazine. Take a look at page 29 which features and article entitled "Write On" that discusses my book and my career.
Thanks to all at Whirl for the great job, especially, Rachel, Matthew and, of course, Christine.
Please take a look at the article and I hope you will also buy the book, which is available on and

Monday, July 27, 2015

Beach Essential: Dead in the Water

Please see the attached photograph courtesy of my friend, Dave Wentley, the son of my mentor, Dick Wentley. What a great idea!

News Release: Lieutenant Morales is a Success



Reviewers Demand More of Lieutenant Morales, the new Hero of the  Mystery Thriller, Dead in the Water


PITTSBURGH, PA (July 27, 2015)---Readers of  A.J. Basinski’s debut mystery thriller, Dead in the Water, find the hero of the novel. Lieutenant Mario Morales, to be almost irresistible.

 Since its release last February, Dead in the Water, has garnered extremely positive reviews from casual readers as well as editorial reviewers.  Most of those reviewers have focused on the appeal of Lieutenant Morales. One recent Amazon reviewer has called Lieutenant Morales, the “next James Bond.” 

The esteemed Kirkus Reviews has referred to Lieutenant Morales as a “steely man who won’t stop until he finds a solution.” 

Reviewers on the website have compared Morales to Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famed detective.

One thing all of the reviewers have consistently requested is more of Lieutenant Morales. Author Basinski has commented that “I am extremely pleased with the way readers have embraced Morales. I am truly humbled by the comparisons with James Bond and Hercule Poirot.  Of course, I will not disappoint the readers who have asked for more books featuring Lieutenant Morales. I am currently writing a second Morales novel, tentatively titled, A Reservation for Murder. Readers should look for the new book this fall. In the meanwhile, I hope they will enjoy Dead in the Water.


Dead in the Water is available for download as an e-book at,, and Barnes and,  It is also available in paperback on both of those websites.



For more information, contact the author, A.J. Basinski, at or by phone at 412-780-6659.



Friday, June 19, 2015

Free book: Dead in the Water

My mystery thriller, Dead in the Water, will be free on Amazon for the next three days. If you decide to download the book, I would be extremely grateful if you would please write a review.
I am sure you will enjoy the many twists and turns that you will find in my book. It is the perfect beach book.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway Ends Today

Today is the last day to enter to win a free copy of my mystery thriller, Dead in the Water, on Goodreads. Only 5 copies are available.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lieutenant Morales Series

A number of you have inquired about the next Lieutenant Morales novel in the series following "Dead in the Water.".  I just wanted to alert everyone that I am working on it right now and hope to have it available for sale in the Fall. Before then, I will publish an excerpt as soon as I feel it is ready. Thanks for your patience.

The Chinese and the drug called "spice"

Here is an interesting article from today's New York Times that discusses the connection between the Chinese and a very powerful and dangerous new drug that is available in the United States and which has caused hundreds of deaths.

The reason I am referencing the article is because the new story has many parallels in my new mystery/thriller, "Dead in the Water." Take a look at my book (available on Amazon for Kindle for only $2.99) and you will see why my book looks like it was taken directly from today's headlines

Monday, May 11, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dead in the Water by AJ Basinski

Dead in the Water

by AJ Basinski

Giveaway ends June 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dead in the Water and Cuba

My new mystery novel, Dead in the Water, is set in part in Miami's Little Havana, particularly in Domino Park. The news today on television featured Domino Park in connection with the announcement of Senator Marco Rubio for president.
Also, President Obama's decision to begin normalizing relations with Cuba was something that my book also foreshadowed.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dead in the Water-Still Free

Thanks to all who have downloaded my suspense thriller, Dead in the Water, from Amazon. It will  be available for free only through tomorrow, March 15. If you like it, please take a moment to submit a review on Amazon.  It's easy: just go to the page on Amazon where it is up for sale or just click below, click on the Customer Review box and enter your review and submit. Thanks for your consideration!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dead In The Water--Free on Amazon

For a limited time, beginning tomorrow, March 13, 2015,  my suspense/thriller, Dead in the Water, will be free on Amazon. I hope you will enjoy it and review it on Amazon. Thanks.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dead in the Water

My new suspense thriller, Dead in the Water, is now available on Amazon. I hope you will enjoy reading it. I would appreciate any comments you may have on the the story.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dragon 13

I hate to write anything negative on this blog but I encountered the worst experience trying to install and use Nuance's Dragon 13 Naturally Speaking software. It simply does not work and everyone who bought the software should be refunded the purchase price. I saw on Amazon many other buyers had the same experience. If you are one of those let me know. There is power in numbers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Free New Mystery/Thriller Excerpt: "Dead in the Water"

In my most recent post of December 20, 2014, I wrote about my soon-to-be published mystery/thriller, "Dead in the Water." Dead in the Water is about the disappearance of a new bride on her honeymoon while on a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Who was responsible for her disappearance?  Was it her new husband or her boss, a wealthy automobile dealer? And what roles do the Chinese government and a prominent Miami attorney have to play in her disappearance? Lieutenant Mario Morales, the head of security aboard the ship, investigates and discovers that her disappearance is not exactly what it seems.  You will be as surprised as he was when you learn the shocking truth about her disappearance..

While the novel is still being finalized for publication, I thought that I would share with you an excerpt from the book.  I hope you will enjoy reading it.

                                                        DEAD IN THE WATER

Lieutenant Morales, Lieutenant Morales, please wake up, sir. Hurry. We need your help right away. Lieutenant Morales, please sir".

I rolled over in bed and pulled the alarm clock closer to my face so that I could read it better.  The clock's dial glowed 5:00 in a sickening green color. Was that a.m. or p.m.?  I really had no idea. It seemed like I had a hard time remembering things lately. In fact, I wasn’t even too sure how I had ended up back in my own cabin.  Or at least I thought it was my own cabin.

“Lieutenant Morales, please answer me if you are in there.  We need your help right away.  We think there may have been a murder on board the ship.” The voice sounded to me like a roar, even through the thick cabin door.

After a few seconds, I got my bearings and was finally able to recognize the voice as belonging to one of the new security guards I had recently hired to replace two guards who had been fired for drug smuggling shortly before I was hired as head of security on board the Mardi Gras.

 “Roman, Roman, something or other,” I mumbled as I rolled over onto my back, as I finally remembered the name of the man whose voice I heard outside my stateroom door. “What the hell does he want at this time of the morning,” I wondered. “Goddamn him, just when I was starting to fall asleep after being awake all night.”

The pounding on my door continued but all I wanted was to be left alone.  I had a throbbing, migraine headache, and I felt like I might throw up.  I did recall that the Captain’s welcoming party the night before had gone on for a lot longer than usual and I had drunk way too much tequila. I did not particularly like tequila, but there was a certain young woman at the party, who I was drinking with and she loved tequila. Lots of it.  I could barely keep up with her as we downed tequila sunrises together at dinner and later at the bar in the ship’s lounge. Truth be told, I hadn’t had a drink in over a year since I left LA. Little wonder I felt so lousy now.

“What was her name? I’m not sure that she even told me.”  I thought that she was Asian----Chinese, or Vietnamese or maybe, Korean, but I wasn’t even sure about that.  But I was certain that she was quite beautiful. She wore her long black hair down to her waist and her eyelashes seemed almost as long. She had on a black, silk, split leg dress that was slit to her hip and showed off her surprisingly long brown legs. I thought she looked incredibly sexy. “I must look her up this morning.”

“Get me some coffee. Black, no sugar,” I yelled as I started to climb out of the narrow single bed. “I’ll be right out.” I climbed slowly out of bed and stood up and immediately I realized that the ship was not moving. Usually, when the ship is moving, I feel a little unsteady when I first get out of bed or stand up from a chair. When I was being interviewed for the job as head of security aboard the Mardi Gras, I had told the interviewer that I had lived my whole life in California and had never been on a ship before. He assured me, “Don’t worry; you’ll get your sea legs in no time.” He was wrong. It had been six months and I still seemed to feel woozy half the time.

Once out of bed, I walked over to the far side of the cabin and looked out the small porthole. The ship was enveloped in a thick, black fog. I couldn’t tell where the water ended and the sky began, it was so thick. We must be stopped in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.  I hoped it was only the fog and not some mechanical problem that had caused the ship to be dead in the water.

There had been a rash of mechanical problems recently on all of the Mariner cruise ships. A few months before I came on board, there had been a suspicious fire in the engine room of the Mardi Gras, which had required the evacuation of the ship. Passengers aboard all four of the Mariner ships also had gotten violently ill from the norovirus. The cruise line’s public relations department had issued press releases claiming that all of these intestinal problems were caused by the passengers themselves. But, because of these problems, the cruise line had become fodder for the late night, television talk show hosts almost every night. Bookings were definitely down as a result and Mariner had recently filed for bankruptcy.

I had been chief of security on the Mardi Gras for almost six months. I had found life aboard the Mardi Gras to be quite pleasant.  Since I had come on board, I and my deputy, and our crew of eight security guards had investigated several robberies and assaults on board the ship. Most of these were of a petty nature.  I made sure that security aboard the ship was quite tight because it is well known that some passengers on cruise ships are affluent and travel with a considerable amount of cash and jewelry. For that reason, a variety of petty criminals and a few well-trained thieves stalk the cruise ships to prey on those passengers. But murder? I quickly dismissed the thought that there had been a murder on board my ship. Not that I wasn’t familiar with murder.  I had seen plenty of murders while working homicide out of the Ramparts Division west of downtown Los Angeles, where there were frequent homicides in that most-densely populated part of the city.

But, undoubtedly, I said to myself, this supposed murder on board the ship, will turn out to be nothing but a false alarm. It was early March and there were hundreds of college kids aboard the ship for spring break, many of whom got quite drunk on the mai tais and other drinks that freely flowed aboard the ship. I thought that this “murder” may just be one of those college pranks that those kids loved to play on the crew just for the hell of it.

 I convinced myself that Roman had failed to examine all of the facts. The facts do not lie, I said to myself. For me, Roman was just a little too excitable and I may have to reconsider his hiring, Little did I know how wrong I would turn out to be.

“I hear you, you idiot. I hear you. Now just keep quiet.  You’ll wake up the whole damn ship.”  The last thing that I wanted to happen was to have Roman create a panic among the passengers on the ship with these cries of “murder.”  Some of the passengers who were awake were probably already wondering why the ship was stopped in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Now, if they heard about a murder on the ship---well, who knows what might happen.

         Every week, the Mardi Gras sailed between Miami and Cozumel, Mexico, with a short day stop in Key West, Florida. The four and five day cruises ran between early January and early May. At one time, the Mardi Gras had been a state of the art cruise ship, but now it had seen better days. Several times during the last year or so, it had stopped dead in the water due to mechanical problems.

The Mardi Gras generally had almost 2000 passengers on board as well as a crew of at least 1000. The logistics of providing food for those 3000 people were astounding. The logistics of interviewing those same 3000 people about a potential murder or disappearance were even more frightening to me.

Yet each of those 3000 people was a potential witness who might add something to the puzzle if indeed there was a murder. On the other hand, we were still a day’s sail away from Miami.  The last thing we needed was to stir up mass hysteria among the passengers and crew if they thought a murderer was loose among them.

 “I’ll be right out, goddamn it. And quiet down, for God’s sake,” I yelled through the door.

 The last thing I did after getting dressed and before leaving my cabin was to put on my St. Michael medal which I wore on a silver chain around my neck.  I never went anywhere without it. St. Michael was the patron saint of police officers and I believed he had saved my life more than once. I had been an altar boy when I was a kid and even thought about becoming a priest.  My mother would have loved it if I had been ordained a priest, but I knew that I was not cut out for the religious life. But I still believed and tried to get to Mass as often as I could. When I was still on the LAPD, some of the other cops would call me “St. Mario” because I went to Mass so often. I sort of liked the nickname.

“So, where is this so-called murder?,” I said as I stepped out of my stateroom into the narrow hall.  I was surprised to see not only Roman, but also Sergeant Virginia Boudreaux, my deputy and, most surprisingly, Captain Antonio Vivaldi, the captain of the Mardi Gras.  The Captain was wearing his immaculate dress white uniform, which always looked as though it had just come back from the dry cleaners. I had been told that some crew members sometimes joked about Vivaldi because his name was the same as the famed Italian composer and they had heard the Captain playing Vivaldi’s music in his cabin long into the night. I myself preferred Herbie Hancock’s jazz albums.

“This must be serious to get you out of bed this early, Tony” I joked to the Captain. But Vivaldi did not laugh and said nothing in response.

“Lieutenant, I think you should take this matter seriously,” said Sergeant Boudreaux. “We believe a woman may have been murdered on her honeymoon.”

“So, you believe a woman has been murdered,” I said. “And on her honeymoon, no less. Well, tell me, where is the body?”

“Well, sir, there is no body,” piped up Roman.

“No body, but a murder has been committed.  Very interesting.   This is an impossibility. Why are you wasting my time? Are you sure this is not just one of those spring break pranks?”  I was still irritated at being awakened so early in the morning and I was almost ready to turn back and return to my cabin to sleep off this powerful hangover that was gripping me.

“It is very complex” said Captain Vivaldi.

 “Murder is always complex, Tony. But you must have a body.” I continued, “And who is this woman who has been murdered.”

Captain Vivaldi again responded, “Her name is Linda Weigand. She is on the cruise ship with her new husband, Robert. It was her husband who called to report that she was missing and that he suspected she may have been murdered.”      

 Suddenly, this disappearance took on a totally new flavor. Maybe this was something more than just a sophomoric, fraternity brothers’ prank.