Stephen Winn


Welcome to my world of crime, suspense and murder.

A little history: This is a great opportunity to thank some truly great mystery writers who led to the creation of my novels. Paramount among them is American crime writer Robert B. Parker. On January 18, 2010, he passed away and more of his great works were never to be.

There are others I must thank as well. I read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes adventures while growing up. As a teenager I visited 221B Baker Street in London, England, and named one of my early rock and roll bands 'Baker Street.' I included a reference to Mr. Holmes in my first novel titled 'Imperfect' as a tribute. My youth also embraced many stories by Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming, and Mickey Spillane. I can recall having a frayed copy of a paperback in the back pocket of my tattered jeans many times. Over the years I've read hundreds of murder mysteries and thrillers.

I've always been a creative person and explored many outlets for expression including over two and a half decades as a guitarist and music teacher. Randy Bachman of The Guess Who & BTO/Bachman Turner Overdrive fame taught me for a while in Winnipeg, Manitoba. So I married and was blessed with three kids (including twins), but due to poor services for our disabled son, Colin, I ended up in Mississauga, Ontario, practicing my craft as a private sector City Planner/Urban Design Director. After several subsequent challenging diversions into the unknown including a three-year stint in Buffalo NY, I own and manage a small Niagara investment firm in St. Catharines, Ontario (about fifteen minutes from Niagara Falls). My life began the first chapter in a new book, however, when I began writing murder mystery novels in 2015.

My novels: Mack Sampson, the protagonist in my first five-novel series is the multi-talented head of an agency called 'Mackenzie Investigations' in Boston, Massachusetts, a great city I personally love. He and his team are retained on a wide variety of fascinating and incredibly demanding cases. A sketch of the first four action-packed novels in my planned box set omnibus of five are:

Stephen and Harley

Stephen and Harley

"If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it."

--- Toni Morrison



'DON'T LOOK BACK' finds a distraught Mack Sampson struggling to deal with his alcohol and Xanax habit after the tragic death of his fiancée, and his shameful dismissal from Boston Homicide. Driven by his need to prove his self-worth and encouraged by those close to him, he starts a private investigation firm only to face a constant struggle for contracts and money. Desperate to keep his fledgling business afloat, he accepts a lucrative case against his better judgment. It involves the mysterious death of a wealthy businessman behind a Scottish tavern in downtown Boston on a Friday night...and almost gets Mack killed. The twists in this strange tale will have you guessing who-done-it until the very end. ***92,000 words***

'NEVER LAUGH AT THE DEVIL' (previously titled 'SOMEONE DOESN'T KNOW') centers on Jonathan Burke, a mid-thirties financial wizard who is fed up with a life he's convinced is destined for tragedy. He's a bachelor who wants to settle down, but lacks any hope of a decent future while running a Ponzi scheme for an evil Mafia boss and his son. He decides to change his life for the better. The tragic and incredibly challenging consequences of his actions and the intervention of Mack Sampson and his team, are beyond anything he could have predicted in his wildest dreams. ***76,000 words***

'INTO THE VALLEY OF DEATH' (previously titled, 'COME INTO THE LIGHT') starts with a terrorist plot involving enormous potential harm to the citizens of the City of Boston and surrounding areas. The dark hostile plan is partially revealed at a crowded late night house party. A man standing out back in the shadows while having a cigarette, overhears three others arguing heatedly about the details of a sinister scheme. When a fight breaks out, the man flees the party only to find out later he has been identified and implicated in a brutal stabbing death that ensued after his departure. That's when he calls Mack Sampson. You won't be able to put this book down. ***70,000 words***

‘AT THE END OF THE LANE presents a strange and at times surreal tale. It warps the line between murder mystery and horrorific thriller while combining two story lines into a baffling detective crime novel. Aaron Striker, a contract hitman, (think Philip Carlo's THE ICE MAN) was found decomposing in his living room where he had been savagely beaten and murdered. Elsewhere, private eye, Mack Sampson, finds a blood-spattered portfolio held by his first true love, Jamie Lee, at the very instant of her tragic death. Both events ignite a media assault focused on harassing and bringing down the Mafia. The FBI, Boston Homicide, and Mackenzie Investigations, join forces against a corrupt law firm used as a front for the Mob and its deadly illegal activities (think John Grisham's THE FIRM). This riveting novel includes an explosive ending with a double plot twist you’ll never guess. Movie potential? ***67,000 words***

As noted at the top of the page, there is a fifth novel completed for this series titled, 'Squaring the Circle' (***70,000 words***). The conclusion will have you convinced that even through the darkest times the impossible really is possible, and good can and will triumph over evil. You betcha. I hope you enjoy reading my novels as much as I have had the pleasure of planning and writing them for you. Hopefully, they will be available in a bookstore near you soon!

Thank you so much for spending a few moments here. Please come back and visit again for updates!

I hope you'll read a few comments made by my readers below. Also, visit my blog for insights into some of my experiences and thoughts. 


--Stephen Winn



Mail to my office - Stephen Winn, Cramped Hand Inc., 177 James Street, St. Catharines ON L2R 5C4

Call to my office (answers as Garden City Financial) - Toll free (North America): 1.866.573.5232 - Local to Niagara, Ontario: 905.684.6254

Cellular: 1.905.941.2500 - Fax: 1.905.684.6695 

A portion of the profit from every Stephen Winn book sold will be donated
to a registered charity for the disabled.


Leave a Comment - Your email address will not be displayed publicly and is for the author's reference only

Pamela McLauchlanMay 26, 2021, 11:09 AMReply

Book: Squaring the Circle

I just finished your 5th Mack & M adventure (Squaring the Circle)! Another great story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It gave me a good insight into the inner workings of The Mob. Also, I'm glad to see that Nancy Irish has more of a role to play in the stories.

MickeyBoxMay 16, 2021, 11:00 AMReply

Book: Squaring the Circle

Your answer is matchless... :)

Sue LampmanOctober 15, 2019, 3:43 PMReply

Book: Imperfect

Stephen, thank you for the opportunity to read your advanced copy of ‘IMPERFECT’. I was gripped very quickly and thoroughly enjoyed the way the plot unfolded. Your character development was done so well that I felt as if I really ‘knew’ each of the characters. The spice (which appeals to female readers) and humour added depth to the development of the characters, giving them life. I personally enjoyed the spunky nature of the third member of Mack’s P.I. company. Each time I thought I had it solved, a new development unfolded. which kept me guessing throughout. I was reluctant to put it down because I just had to find out what happened next, and I must say, the outcome was a surprise. I look forward to Mack and M’s next adventure. ‘IMPERFECT’ is a book that has something for all to enjoy and I look forward to seeing it published. Well done!

Stephen WinnOctober 16, 2019, 11:57 AM

Book: Imperfect

Your words, "IMPERFECT' is a book with something for all to enjoy..." means a lot to me. I don't mean this to sound arrogant, Sue, but I dream of seeing one of my novels come to life on the big screen in theaters someday. Thanks for your insightful comments, and I look forward to more when you finish reading the second in my series, 'Never Laugh at the Devil.'

B EJuly 23, 2018, 8:59 PMReply

Book: Come Into The Light

"Come into the Light" had a great hook and an unexpected finish! Can't wait to see what Mack and the gang get up to next.

Stephen WinnJuly 24, 2018, 5:19 PM

Book: At The End Of The Lane

Thanks Brittany. Your work to improve the book by editing it was much appreciated. You are truly a treasure. I'm excited to send you "At the End of the Lane," because I know it will even be better with your kind attention.

Gary HogarthApril 5, 2018, 2:30 PMReply

Book: At The End Of The Lane

Good morning Stephen. Just finished reading "At the end of the lane". This was the hardest book to put down. It grabbed me immediately, well done. The many twists and turns is what did it for me. Great story, very well done. Thanks once again for the opportunity. Sorry I took so long. I've been a little under the weather.

WilbertMarch 22, 2018, 2:07 AMReply

Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and detailed information you offer. It's great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same unwanted rehashed information. Wonderful read! I've saved your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Gary HogarthMarch 11, 2018, 4:40 PMReply

It's a pleasure when you get an opportunity to pick up a book that grabs you quickly. Come Into The Light does just that. I was pleased to see M thrust into the spotlight with an interesting twist to the storyline. Character development was well done Stephan, made everyone more interesting. I really enjoyed the read.. Thanks again for the opportunity. Gary Hogarth

Mary hFebruary 26, 2018, 8:01 PMReply

I have just finished reading the latest from Stephen, At The End Of The Lane. What an amazing book. Usually life gets in the way of my reading, but not this time! I couldn't put it down. Wow, from start to finish, it kept me engrossed all the way through. I was anticipating what was to come next as I turned the pages. I was so sure I knew how this book would end; boy I was wrong. Stephen, thank you for the privilege of being one of the first to read At The End Of The Lane.

stephen winnFebruary 27, 2018, 10:14 AM

Mary, men apparently read most of the mob novels. I wanted to write one that would be enjoyed equally as much by women, so I intertwined two story lines and gave it a double slam-bang ending no one would ever guess. Like Pamela below, you've confirmed it worked out. Thank you!

Mary hFebruary 21, 2018, 8:53 PMReply

I had the pleasure of reading Come Into The Light. What a terrific read. I know when a book really has my interest, for I see it in my mind's eye as a movie. It is well written and very intriguing. As I was on the last page, I felt a sense of disappointment it was over. I would recommend this book to all I know. Thank you so much for the entertainment Stephen Winn.

stephen winnFebruary 22, 2018, 7:05 AM

I really appreciated your comments in the draft you returned, Mary. You caught some things I missed, so the book is better thanks to you. I recall you telling me that you watched a lot of mobster shows with your dear departed dad when you were younger, so now I'm the beneficiary of those experiences!

Pamela mclauchlanFebruary 18, 2018, 10:51 AMReply

Hi Stephen, I am honoured to be once again one of the first readers of draft one of your fourth novel in the Mack & M mystery series: "At the End of the Lane". What a great story. I couldn't put it down - stayed up late to finish it! (I kept saying 'one more chapter then I'll stop' ... but I couldn't.) You did a wonderful job in your first attempt at weaving two plot lines together: lots of twists and turns. Your story made me think and ask questions and guess (several times) at 'who dunnit'. The story kept me in suspense all the way through. I think that this novel is the best one in the series so far. Can't wait to see what you come up with in number five!

stephen winnFebruary 18, 2018, 4:40 PM

Pam, I couldn't buy my way to a better comment than yours if I tried! I was proud of this fourth novel as a rough first draft right from the get-go. You've confirmed my thoughts and hopes about it, and I thank you for that. I'm certainly excited to see what other reviewers say as well, but I already know it has a lot of potential. Thanks again.

Lauren AlexanderFebruary 11, 2018, 2:49 PMReply

Lauren Alexander January 30, 2018 I have had the very special privilege of reading all three of Stephen Winn's unpublished novels: IMPERFECT, SOMEONE DOESNT KNOW and COME INTO THE LIGHT. What can I say about them? They absolutely need to be published! I think it would be a crime, "literally" for countless readers who love the "whodunit" genre, to not be able to immerse themselves in these novels and future stories. Stephen, you are a wonderful storyteller. Your third novel, COME INTO THE LIGHT was superb and I can hardly wait to read your fourth completed novel. Honestly, I will be the first to my feet to applaud you and the publishing company who signs you on. Thanks so much for sharing your passion for writing marvelous stories with all of us. You have a great future ahead! I consider myself a delighted and enduring fan already. My very best to you!

stephen winnFebruary 12, 2018, 12:38 PM

Lauren, thank you for your glowing comment. Your appreciation makes all my hard work worthwhile. I just finished the first draft of my novel #4, 'At the End of the Lane.' It's in the same series, and I can't wait to ship it to you!

pamela mclauchlanNovember 23, 2017, 11:29 AMReply

I just finished reading the FINAL draft of your first thriller: "Imperfect." I have to say that I had thoroughly enjoyed the first draft; but I must admit I enjoyed the final draft even more: just as much suspense, humour and a great story - but I found it was more "compact" and faster paced along with a KILLER surprise ending! Kudos, Stephen!

stephen winnNovember 23, 2017, 4:27 PM

Pam, I know you regularly read a lot of murder mysteries by the best authors, so I thought it made sense to see what you thought of my final draft of IMPERFECT. Now I know the time has come to find a literary agent to represent me. Good thing you didn't give away the ending in your comment!

BrittanyNovember 18, 2017, 1:59 PMReply

"Someone Doesn't Know" is a thrilling roller coaster ride of emotions and action, and a fantastic continuation of the M&M Mysteries saga. You can really see that Stephen has grown as a writer and a story teller from his first novel to his second. He's on an upward trajectory and I can't wait to see just how high he'll go with these fantastic stories!

stephen winnNovember 18, 2017, 4:13 PM

Brittany, as one of my main copy editors you have done a fantastic job. My stories are easier to read given your advanced skills with the English language. Thanks for the kind comment! I'm so glad you are enjoying your time spent reading my work.

Pamela McLauchlanNovember 17, 2017, 12:23 AMReply

I am honoured to be the first reader of the first draft of "Come into the Light" - book 3 in the Mack & M series. Like the two previous novels, it has everything you could want in a mystery/thriller: a fast-paced story line; suspense; thrills; humour; heroes & villains. It kept me guessing right up to the end. Once I started, I couldn't put it down. Can't wait for #4!

Mary HughesAugust 21, 2017, 12:47 AMReply

I just finished your lastest book, Someone Doesn't Know. I believe it is better than your first book. There is more Intrigue and more description about the people and places, which pulled me in, felt like I was watching the movie or as I was there. When I decided to sit and read the book it didn't take long. I found myself engrossed in the book, now I can't wait for the third book to come out.

stephen winnAugust 24, 2017, 2:04 PM

I'm pleased you enjoyed Someone Doesn't Know. "Like I was watching a movie..." you say? I'm biased, but think it would make a great movie! As for comparing my first and second novels, you read a first draft of Imperfect, and a final draft of Someone Doesn't Know. Stephen King wrote that a final draft = first draft - 10%. I omitted about 12,000 words from Imperfect. It's now lean and mean too.

ted bergenJuly 3, 2017, 2:31 PMReply

"SOMEONE DOESN'T KNOW" has one of the most developed and gripping plots I've come across in a long time. Every novel seems to be getting better and better! I can't wait to read "COME INTO THE LIGHT"

Chris HanlonJune 12, 2017, 3:41 PMReply

IMPERFECT: The first novel from writer Stephen Winn, IMPERFECT has a compelling plotline that introduces the characters and setting while building a solid storyline. The murder case detailed in the novel is unique and well planned out. I'm pretty good at figuring out mysteries, actually thought I had it solved, and I actually never saw the resolution coming. That impressed me.

Scott AllisonJune 10, 2017, 8:31 PMReply

SOMEONE DOESN'T KNOW. WOW. I couldn't put the story down. Highly suspenseful and a must read. Enjoyed the connection with your first book, IMPERFECT. Can't wait to read your next book to see what Mac and M are up to. Well done

Chris TOLLINSMay 20, 2017, 4:45 PMReply

Stephen provided me with an advance copy of 'Someone Doesn't Know'. I greatly enjoyed the further exploration of the characters, and seeing the journeys they take. In this novel, we learn more about the dark underbelly of Boston's organized crime syndicate, and what would happen should you try to leave. Stephen employs a classic writing style, that is refreshing when coupled with modern elements.

Ted BergenFebruary 3, 2017, 7:31 PMReply

IMPERFECT: I've read the novel 3 times. The characters of Mack and M follow a truly interesting case, and Stephen shows his prowess in developing mystery in chilling suspense. The development of the story page after page, has purpose and poise and still gives the reader some comedic breaks, but never loses the gripping plot from the introduction. Can't wait to read the next one!

stephen winnFebruary 4, 2017, 1:47 PM

Ted, I'm very pleased that you were referred to me as a reader/editor of my first novel, and certainly appreciate your diligence. Now I'm anxious to see your comments on 'Someone Doesn't Know'. I suspect that the plot twist at the end will shake you up, despite the fact that you're ex-military! Let's see...

Gary hogarthDecember 22, 2016, 2:08 AMReply

With regards to Someone Doesn't Know, I must say you've hit it out of the park once more. It was a great read. Very easy to get into the story and not let go until the end. Lots of twists to peak my interest. That was enjoyable. Thanks for the opportunity to enjoy another good read.

stephen winnDecember 22, 2016, 2:53 PM

Gary, commenting at 2:08 am? Did my book keep you up? I know you to be a straight shooter, so your comment means a lot to me. Thank you so much!

PamelaDecember 17, 2016, 2:44 PMReply

SOMEONE DOESN'T KNOW ... Stephen, I stayed up all night to finish your story: I couldn't put it down. Lots of suspense and surprises! Fast-paced action. Can't wait for the next Mack & M adventure. Thanks for a great read!

stephen winnDecember 22, 2016, 2:41 PM

Pam, on the one hand I feel bad that you lost so much sleep over my second novel, but on the other, I feel great! You were the first one to complete reading my first draft and I'm so glad that you enjoyed it!

ShelleySeptember 16, 2016, 4:47 PMReply

Great story with loads of detail! It's easy to picture the ideas in my mind, and there were so many twists and turns it was hard to put down!

Lauren AJuly 6, 2016, 1:47 PMReply

LAUREN A. JULY 6, 2016 I have had the distinct pleasure of reading Mr. Stephen Winns first novel IMPERFECT. Mr. Winn has a great future as a novelist and I am looking forward, with much anticipation, to more great books to come. Imperfect is a marvelous story, with great characters, and a very nicely crafted story line. You will want to finish this book in one sitting. Very enjoyable!

StephenJuly 6, 2016, 8:10 PM

Lauren, what a fine comment from a fellow writer! Though you write non-fiction, I'm sure glad you enjoy reading my genre of crime/detective murder mysteries. I want you to know that your feedback helped to refine my first novel even further, so I thank you for that.

Mary hJanuary 31, 2016, 2:28 AMReply

Stephen, I read your book it was a good read, the more I read the more I got involved with the characters. It was very well written. I thought I knew who the murderer was but your story twist had me fooled. I would recommend this book to others. I can't wait for your new novel to appear on book shelves.

Tricia TOctober 26, 2015, 7:53 PMReply

I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Imperfect. It's written in a style that hearkens back to the classic detective stories. I'm looking forward to reading the whole series!

stephenOctober 26, 2015, 9:14 PM

Tricia, I am still astounded by the generous effort that you put in to help me make IMPERFECT a better novel. Thank you, thank you ... and oh yes, thank you!

jOANNEOctober 21, 2015, 1:31 PMReply

Finished the book in a weekend. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down, I had to find out who did it. The plot twists made it a great read. Now I can hardly wait for the next one! Keep on writing!

Chris T.October 17, 2015, 9:36 PMReply

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of the first book Imperfect. This is a real page-turner set in modern day Boston. It's an excellent mystery with a great potential for a series. I can't wait to read the next book!

stephenOctober 18, 2015, 11:02 AM

This means a lot to me Chris, especially since you are an author and exceptionally creative as your work on this website attests. Thanks so much for your assistance in commenting on IMPERFECT. Your generosity with time and help hath no bounds. Anytime you need my assistance, just say the word!

Gary hogarthOctober 15, 2015, 4:32 PMReply

Hi Stephen, job well done. As you know I read a different genre so it took me some time to get into the story line. Once it grabbed me I could not put it down. I thought I had the plot figured out, I was wrong. Great job Gary Hogarth .

stephenOctober 18, 2015, 12:02 PM

Gary, aka 'Happy the Clown': It's not often that an author can get a professional clown to comment on a book, umm...without clowning around, that is, so thank you!

BrittanySeptember 29, 2015, 2:05 AMReply

The level of detail in Winn's work immerses your senses in the sights and sounds surrounding the characters, while also making your time spent reading an educational one regarding history and detective work. Overall a very enjoyable read.

stephenSeptember 29, 2015, 3:08 PM

Boston is one of the world's greatest cities, and I'm always fascinated by the people, places and rich history there. Boston was the right choice as the center for much of my writing. Glad you enjoyed the draft of my first book, Brittany.

Victor b.September 14, 2015, 2:57 PMReply

A lot of murder mysteries come in good binding and collect a lot of dust. Stephen Winn's recent work won't be needing a Swiffer any time soon...if ever.

stephenSeptember 15, 2015, 4:14 PM

So with the money saved on Swiffers, Victor, you can buy my next novel. Good thinking!

SandraSeptember 14, 2015, 11:40 AMReply

My favorite character is Pauline. Hope you keep her in the next one. Love the nature scenes. Great job.

stephenSeptember 15, 2015, 4:10 PM

There really is a Pauline that I modelled the character after, Sandra. Many years ago I was a partner in a business in Williamsville, New York, and Pauline was our receptionist. She was a super person and so is remembered in my first novel.

VivianSeptember 10, 2015, 1:49 PMReply

Very well done.......Great read, strong interesting characters and a good plot with lots of twists and turns......Cannot wait for number 2.....!!!

ScottSeptember 2, 2015, 7:33 PMReply

Stephen, Fantastic read. Could not put the book down. Had to find out who did it. Well done

PamelaAugust 31, 2015, 8:20 PMReply

Stephen, I never knew you had it in you! I thoroughly enjoyed your novel ... a real page-turner full of crime, suspense and murder - and even some comedy. can't wait for your second novel.