Books & Bio

Welcome. This site is for my books, stories, music and movies.

Here is an introduction to the novels in the Desert Vendettas series, now available on Amazon.

Madam Ricketts

A Story of Murder, Deceit and Dark Humor

by C.D. Hancock

Madam Ricketts tells the story of John Wesley, a second-generation newspaper reporter who is writing a book based on his late father’s writings and research.

He interviews Maudie Ricketts, the elderly madam of a whorehouse on the Mexican border. She tells of her adventures in New England on the riverboat Lady Minerva and her travels to Arizona in Brother Tucker’s Redemption Caravan that led to her becoming the ‘white’ wife of a rich and cruel man who already had a family. She reveals the dark side of families that loved, deceived, and murdered each other for generations between 1875 and 1953.

As he listens to the stories, Wesley begins to wonder. Is Madam Ricketts who she claims to be? A witness or victim, or something more?


The Demise of Madam Ricketts

And Other Short Stories

by C.D. Hancock

Twenty short stories reveal the deaths, frustrated loves, torments, vanities, and insanities of various souls from 1878 – 1953. Discover Dr. Deetry’s fatal assumptions regarding virginity and Captain Vann’s tragic attempt at theatrical grandeur. Learn the secrets of the Sanitary Funeral Parlor and what Ammoniah the prophet required of his wives. Witness the end of Madam Ricketts and Charles, her black manservant.


Logo image


Born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas. I’ve been a musician and songwriter for most of my life. The concise nature of songwriting has helped me to write concise stories. My first novel, Madam Ricketts, started after meeting some interesting characters in Arizona and experiencing border life.

A traveler at heart, I haven’t lived in a house since the 70’s. I’ve traveled from coast to coast, Canada to Mexico, as well as to Europe. My first published article was for a travel magazine in the ’80’s. I currently live in a bus with my wife in Arizona during the winter and a cabin in Washington during the summer. I love the richness of life, spending time with friends,  making movies and travelogs for fun, and writing, though my first love has always been my music.


for Madam Ricketts

“Madam Ricketts promises a riveting, multi-faceted plot that consistently holds the reader’s attention. While the mature themes of murder, prostitution, and violence make it more suitable for adult readers, those searching for gripping suspense will find this novel gratifying.” — Literary Titan, 5-star review

“C.D. Hancock brings us a colorful murder mystery in Madam Ricketts. Sensory stimulation is evident with intoxicating descriptions teasing the reader throughout. The pace is steady, and the plot keeps pushing the reader toward the end. With a vibrant array of characters, the author has guaranteed the weaving of an interesting story that readers will not forget. I wouldn’t recommend this book to younger readers because of the violent content and the explicit language. Madam Ricketts: A Story of Murder, Deceit and Dark Humor will have readers reeling from the revelations!” — Ronél Steyn, Readers’ Favorite

“Hancock’s colorful characters come to life through descriptive actions, revealing details and fabulous dialog. His writing creates visual images of places and characters. I feel like I’m watching the story as much as I am reading the story. As in real life, the “good guys” are not all good, and the “bad guys” aren’t all bad. The story is carried along by complex, mysterious, and surprising plot lines. He deftly creates suspense and intrigue which always makes me want to read one more chapter before putting the book down for the evening.  At the end of book, I wanted the sequel.” — Brian Allen

“Tis a tale full of intrigue twisting your arm to rush to the next page.” Elguezabal 

“This is one of the most enjoyable reads of recent memory. If you like quirky characters and imaginative settings, this book will rank up there with Elmore Leonard.  It is always entertaining and hard to put down: we want to know what happens! I can’t wait for the next book from the author and applaud this as a first novel.” Paul Sherman

“A dive down the (rather dark) rabbit hole, untying knotted tales and spinning through enough twists and turns and slow burns to keep me wondering and wandering – and to keep the trail hot to the very end. Thoroughly entertaining. But what impressed me the most is the economy of style in rendering such vivid images of characters and events, a pithiness that rivals that of some of my favorite authors. Thanks for the ride!” Rand Miller

“I am so impressed with the book. The story is wide-ranging and exotic, creative, hilarious, scary, contemporary, timeless. Your voice comes out loud and clear. I admire your bravery in expressing the sordid, sexy parts and creating such a character as Maudie.” — Neil Von Hoff


for The Demise of Madam Ricketts and Other Short Stories

“Short story lovers are in for a treat with The Demise of Madam Ricketts and Other Short Stories. Using an eclectic blend of dark humor, absurdism, and satire, C.D. Hancock has written a collection that entertains while showing readers the unpredictable nature of human behavior, offering a glimpse into various facets of humanity through a cast of quirky and eccentric characters and chaotic events. The narrative tone makes you feel like you’re watching a Coen Brothers movie. I honestly found myself laughing out loud at the misfortunes of some of these characters and the situations they find themselves in. This is one of the best, if not the best, short story collections I’ve read all year thus far. If you enjoy dark humor or tragi-comedy, do not miss out on this one!” — Readers’ Favorite, 5-star review

“C.D. Hancock’s second novel is a brilliant follow-up to his award-winning first book. The images and characters he draws are hilariously compelling and madly memorable. His minimalist style reminds me of Ernest Hemingway, except more imaginative and much funnier. Every turn of phrase invites you to escape into archetypal characters in a twisted world portrayed with wonderfully dark humor. Do yourself a favor and escape into the crazy, funny, and refreshingly original mind of a great new author.” — Stephen DeTray, Ph.D.

Madam Ricketts Readers