Editorial Reviews for The Gene Police!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“The Gene Police by Elliott Light is an original and simply riveting mystery novel by a master of the genre–one that is especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.”

–Midwest Book Review


Rating: 5 out of 5.

“A strong mystery supported by its powerful treatment of racial injustice.”

–Booklist


Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Light’s thought-provoking third mystery features attorney Shep Harrington . . . who learns that Sweetwater Hospital was run at the time by a prominent eugenicist, who shared Nazi beliefs about race. Light’s timely look at an almost forgotten dark chapter of recent American history, when doctors experimented on those considered racially inferior, more than compensates for the routine mystery.”

–Publishers Weekly


Rating: 5 out of 5.

“The Gene Police is the third novel in the Shep Harrington SmallTown mystery series and my introduction to both Shep and Elliott Light.  Being shrouded in mystery meant that I wanted to continuously read (well intothe night too.) Shep is an interesting character and brilliantly complicated.The book contains intense plot elements; some are really quite harrowing. Iwasn’t crying, there was something in my eye.The twists and turns of the plot had me guessing up to the last page andI found the writing style easy to like. If you love mystery, then really do give this book series a go.”

–NovelKicks – bit.ly/Novelkickreview

Reviews for Chain Thinking!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Chimps are smarter than you think! July 10, 2014
I loved this story. I learned so much about chimpanzees, and the laws that at this point, sadly do not protect them, all while reading a romping page turning murder mystery. Set in the DC area, with careful attention to area details it was a delight to read. Bravo Elliott Light!


Rating: 4 out of 5.

No monkey business States on June 30, 2018
A very interesting book advocating for animal rights. Interesting but also fun to read!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Entertaining and Enlightening October 4, 2013
His writing is engaging, and the subject matter, use of animals in medical research labs, is enlightening and thought provoking.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Hero for Our Times September 18, 2003
One reason that society’s ethics advance so slowly is that the reasons for advance are hidden behind the facts and figures of dry scientific papers and textbooks that remain unread by anyone but scientists and a few geeks like me. The facts and figures generated by the African slave trade were ample cause to end such an abomination, but it was not until Uncle Tom’s Cabin came along that people actually sat up and took notice.

Elliott Light’s new mystery novel, Chain Thinking, has the potential to awaken the public to the plight of chimpanzees being used in biomedical research in a way that scholarly publications simply have not done. In this story, the newest addition to his Shep Harrington Smalltown Mystery series, Light introduces his readers to a world of corporate greed that has little concern for the suffering it leaves in its wake.

Like all good mysteries, Chain Thinking compels the reader to turn yet another page and follow the story through its unexpected twists and turns. Whether you are a mystery aficionado, a Shep Harrington fan, or someone interested in the animal research industry’s darker secrets and devious behavior, you will surely find Chain Thinking an eye-opening and surprising story. Shep Harrington is a hero for our times.

For the animal rights crowd, Chain Thinking will make a great gift for friends and family members who refuse to read a graphic expose. Before they know it, they will be cheering for the animals. Go Shep!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Read Them All! March 29, 2019
Elliott Light makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you angry, makes you think. What more can you ask of a writer? Oh, how about, great research into subjects many know little or nothing about. Now add a murder to be solved , along with a cast of characters who draw you in, makes for a great story wherein you learn something. I’ve read his books and I’m definitely a fan of Elliott Leight who is looking forward to what’s next.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Perfect Tapestry September 19, 2003
Elliott Light’s CHAIN THINKING was the perfect tapestry of mystery, drama, animal rights, and the law. The story begins with a ‘big bang’ and doesn’t stop running from there. I was drawn to his protagonist Shep Harrington, the reluctant hero/detective/lawyer, through whose eyes and voice we are reminded of the injustices our society imposes upon chimpanzees and other animals for our own selfish purposes. Mr. Light is able to convey a strong message without being preachy. I also enjoyed Shep’s dry sense of humor. I promise you’ll pick up the book and finish it in one read.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thought Provoking January 2, 2004
Elliott Light’s second book in the SmallTown Mystery Series, CHAIN THINKING, is a quick and easy read that leaves you with plenty to chew on long after you put the book down.

Editorial Reviews for Chain Thinking!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“When a writer attempts to introduce a social issue into his fiction, he can almost be sure that he will be accused of some kind of proselytizing.  In Chain Thinking the issue is animal rights and the fiction is the story of Kikora, a chimpanzee, and Shep Harrington, a lawyer and detective manqué, and his battle not only to solve a murder, but to save the chimp from experimentation.  Elliott Light has managed to weave these two parts together, and do it seamlessly.”

–MARTHA GRIMES, BEST-SELLING WRITER OF MORE THAN 20 MYSTERIES,  NOTED ANIMAL RIGHTS ADVOCATE, AND WINNER OF THE NERO WOLFE AWARD (BEST MYSTERY) 


Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Those who think that stories about legal rights for nonhuman animals have to be boring, tedious, complicated, or abstract are in for a treat. In Chain Thinking, the plain truths about our inhumanity to other beings with whom we share our world are told in a way both exciting and funny.  What animal rights lawyer wouldn’t want to be like Shep Harrington (except for the part about going to jail)? And I guessed wrong about whodunnit!”

— STEVEN M. WISE, LECTURER, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, AND AUTHOR OF THE BOOKS RATTLING THE CAGE: TOWARD LEGAL RIGHTS FOR ANIMALS AND DRAWING THE LINE: THE CASE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Small-town lawyer Shep Harrington should have known nothing good could come of a sudden visit from a stranger. When former soap-opera star Sydney Vail lands on his doorstep all keyed up, Shep figures he should help the damsel in distress, going so far as to agree to baby-sit her companion, a very intelligent chimp named Kikora. Problem is, Sydney doesn’t return, and soon Shep learns that she stole Kikora from a drug-testing laboratory and is being sought in connection with the murder of the lab’s head scientist. With the help of close friends, a very persistent investigative reporter, and one crotchety old attorney, Shep decides to help defend Sydney, all the while becoming enlightened about the plight of laboratory animals. This second installment in Light’s Shep Harrington series presents a respectable balance between the mystery and the cause, never turning preachy yet always making clear Light’s stance on the issue. Entertaining and enlightening.

Mary Frances WilkensCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Reviews for Lonesome Song!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As if you were sitting in a rocker on a porch with a good friend swapping stories February 16, 2017
Elliott LIght writes in a conversational style that enables the story to flow naturally, as if you were sitting in a rocker on a porch with a good friend swapping stories. His characters develop as much through dialogue as narrative description to create a sense of reality about them. The dialogue is easy and realistic. While Shep Harrington is an intriguing character in his own right, Light also writes women well. One of my favorite passages in Lonesome Song is Cali’s response to Shep’s asking her to kiss his pain away (p. 143): “I’m tired and you smell like barf and disinfectant. Not to mention I don’t know you as well as I know my mailman, and I’m not putting out for him either.” I laughed out loud at that one. It’s the kind of thing every woman wishes she could say in a moment and only a few have the presence of mind to do so. Good work! I look forward to the next installment in the Shep Harrington series.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Lonesome Song November 18, 2018
Really enjoyed reading this book.liked the characters.A very good mystery well written and a good ending. I would recommend this book very highly if you like a good mystery


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Lonesome Song September 24, 2018
Really enjoyed this book. Interesting people, good mystery that kept me guessing. Our hero Shep was a good guy with a lot to deal with.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

A GREAT STORY!!! June 24, 2004
Elliott Light is a great storyteller. He keeps your nose in this book from beginning to end and leaves you with a heartfelt concern for the main character, Shep and the members of the poor farm. Through this book, I feel as though Shep and I are now friends. I have genuine feelings for this fella. I want to know how he’s feeling and if he’s eating well! This Shep is one heck of a character and I hope he continues to do great things in small ways. He may be a small town guy, but he has a city boy’s wit and intuition. Shep also has a bit of a heart, always trouble there. Read this book!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

 Fine regional amateur sleuth
January 6, 2003The most famous person from the Lyle, Virginia area was Reilly Heartwood who sang under the moniker of C.C. Hollinger, a legendary country music great. Recently Reilly committed suicide though disbarred attorney Shep Harrington finds discrepancies on what he has learned about the death of his mentor. He cannot understand why there was no autopsy, a relatively tiny medical report, and no police investigation. He also struggles with the question “why now” when Reilly finally promised to reveal a secret to him about Shep’s father.

Though burned by the justice system when people perjured and accused him of criminal activity that led to three years of prison before he was exonerated, Shep seeks the truth about Reilly for his own peace of mind and that of the sister of the music superstar. Shockingly, Shep learns he is the prime heir to the multi-million dollar estate. Even stranger is how several locals loathe Reilly to the point of denying him a Christian burial. As Shep digs deeper he perilously places himself in the middle of a town divided and on the verge of exploding.

Fans of regional amateur sleuths will take pleasure from Elliot Light’s affable who-done-it. The story line combines sub-genre elements with recent historical tidbits such as Poor Farms that make for a powerful background, which in turn enhances the key cast members, especially the hero. The investigation is fun to follow because the evidence Shep finds conflicts between cover-up and suicide making a culprit difficult to identify if one even exists. LONESOME SONG is a delightful tale that will lead the audience to pursue Shep’s next mystery, CHAIN THINKING.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Great read September 13, 2020
Really great, fun characters and a wonderful mystery… I read it in one weekend, I was so hooked and couldn’t put it down.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Move over Spenser, Shep Harrington’s in town! April 6, 2003
Elliott Light has developed a terrific new detective and a great cast of characters in Lonesome Song. A quick, yet satisfying, read, Lonesome Song is the wonderful introduction to Shep Harrington, a disbarred lawyer who returns to his hometown for the funeral of his dear friend. Along the way, we meet the quirky inhabitants of the poor farm, a string of townsfolk who can’t forget the past, and of course, the beautiful reporter who forms a symbiotic relationship with Shep. In just over 200 pages, Mr. Light brings these characters to life, masterfully interweaving the elements of character, plot and lots of local color. I think Elliott Light and Shep Harrington are here to stay.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Well written, readable mystery. April 2, 2003
Excellent mystery, well worth reading. He treats his characters like real people, some likable, some not. He plays fair with the reader. I enjoyed it.

Editorial Reviews for Lonesome Song!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Unjustly-disbarred-lawyer-turned-amateur-sleuth Shep Harrington faces the demons of his past while investigating the mysterious death of a famous country singer in Elliot Light’s debut, the first volume in the planned Shep Harrington Smalltown Mystery series called Lonesome Song (the sequel, Chain Thinking, is due out this fall). It’s a solid mystery with a nostalgic heart; its standout feature, however, may be the blurb section in the back – “offers more food for thought and literacy than the average,” raves one reader.

MIDWEST BOOK Review


Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Elliott Light’s Lonesome Song: A Shep Harrington Smalltown Mystery is a darkly compelling, splendidly written tale about a country-western singer whose death is abruptly ruled a suicide without investigation. Shep Harrington, a perturbed 32-year-old disbarred lawyer, is determined to find out the truth of what happened. The more Harrington learns of the last minutes of the victim’s life, the more disturbing parallels appear between Harrington’s own past and the tragedy he seeks to solve. A fascinating, convoluted novel, Lonesome Song is very highly recommended reading for mystery buffs.”

MIDWEST BOOK Review


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“A darkly compelling, splendidly written tale … A fascinating, convoluted novel, Lonesome Song is very highly recommended reading for mystery buffs.” — Midwest Book Review


Rating: 5 out of 5.

“A rollicking and unpredictable read.” — Pindeldyboz.com


Rating: 5 out of 5.

“You will like this unlikely hero and this intriguing small town mystery.” — Bookviews