The Agora Letters: Historical Mystery Novel Series
The Agora Letters: Historical Mystery Novel Series

This project has already launched.

PLEASE NOTE: Your pledge is a one-time transaction.


IT IS LATE OCTOBER 1889. Carl Brooke, a scholar of ancient Near Eastern languages, spends his twilight years chronicling his past adventures as a leading member of the Agora Society, a group dedicated to the betterment of man.

Fans of Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot will LOVE Carl Brooke and his Agora Society in these ten unique and very different cases.

Murder, theft, abductions, mistaken identities—it's all there. 

Ready for the game to be afoot? If so, choose your pledge level in the area to the right.

Need a sample of my style? Sure! Read the first story absolutely free here.

The opening lines of Two Tocks before Midnight


   My name is Clay Boutwell. I live in Florida and enjoy writing historical mysteries (The Agora Mysteries), thrillers (Tanaka), and I even have a sort-of superhero series (The Temporal). 

My wife and I also write books on the Japanese language and run several websites for students of Japanese.

   But one of my greatest joys in recent years has been writing The Agora Mysteries

   Do you love a mystery? Does murder, mayhem, and the gentleman detective light your fire? The Agora Letters are smart and savvy mysteries to keep you guessing all the way to the story's conclusion.

   I'm asking for help to complete, edit, and record the first ten of these stories. I'm about 70% complete already and just need that final push to create a professionally finished product. I am grateful to you for your interest.

At the $17 level, you get all the eBooks + the audiobook of the first five stories--a $26.97 retail value. Investigate the pledge levels to the right, would you?


   I have written seven of these stories that vary in length from a long short story to a novella —similar to many of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. The next story is nearing the final edit stage and I have the final two sketched out. 

    The first five are compiled as The Agora Letters Volume 1. When I complete story ten, I will publish The Agora Letters Volume 2 which will contain stories 6-10. 

     In addition, with your help, I will produce audiobooks for each of the stories. To bring a unique experience, I will narrate the audiobooks in-house while maintaining the highest professional standards for the production and editing.


 Every pledge level $6 and above receives an eBook (MOBI, ePub, or PDF) of both The Agora Letters volumes (stories 1-10). You'll also receive the second volume BEFORE it is published anywhere else.  

Might I suggest the pledge level of $17? The eBooks come perfectly paired with the audiobook.

Or for pledges over $65, get Clay's exclusive Mysterious Mystery Themed T-Shirt.


 In addition, every backer above $10 will receive a free ebook copy of my superhero full-length thriller, The Temporal. 


 I hope to raise enough capital to fund the following: 

  • Completing the first ten Agora mysteries (I am almost done with #8). 
  • Full professional edits of the whole series. 
  • Audiobooks of all ten stories read by the author and professionally produced and edited. 
  • Illustrations in a 19th century detective style. [stretch goal]

My expected completion date is October 1st. If all goes as planned, you will receive your rewards on or before that date.


Clay published his first book (non-fiction on Japanese) in 2001. "That was a lot of work," he thought, but for some reason, he kept writing. In 2010, he started writing fiction. "This is really a lot of work," he thought again and yet he kept writing. It's a stubbornness only a mule could admire. Today, he has written over two dozen books ranging from educational Japanese lessons to cozy mysteries.

Clay first met Kerry J. Donovan through his wife who contacted him after reading Two Tocks before Midnight (the first Agora mystery). It's a good thing she did since Mr. Donovan removes the most embarrassing parts before Clay hits publish. Mr. Donovan is the author of the Ryan Kaine action thrillers and the DCI Jones Casebooks. Check out his Amazon author page.

For the past few years, Benjie has done everything from managing our websites to being Mr. Fix-it when a digital gremlin rears its ugly virtual head. He also edits most of the audio for the audiobooks.

 Pam organizes all the little tasks needed to make this campaign roll smoothly toward success. It ain't easy, but she makes it happen.


Here's the breakdown of the costs for this campaign:


   Just as you pledge your hard-earned money, I pledge to be diligent in following this schedule.



   Even if you can't spare a dollar, could you spare a tweet? If you like Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, and good, clean fun without gratuitous sex, foul language, or gore, here are a few pre-written tweets and posts you can just copy and post:

Love Sherlock? Support the Agora Letters Kickstarter campaign here @kickstarter @clayboutwell

Support a mystery writer in his @kickstarter campaign. Click here here @clayboutwell


My promises  

I promise:  

  • to create for you a really good book—the very best I can create. 
  • to keep you in the loop every step of the way. 
  • to stay as close to schedule as possible


Think of it as a preorder—but a preorder with DEEP discounts. Take a look at the pledge levels to the above right and you'll notice one thing right off: the official retail price (which won't be discounted for at least a year) is much more than each pledge level.

Kickstarter is a great way for people to help other people create wonderful works while still receiving an amazing deal.

The only difference between a Kickstarter campaign and ordering from a bookstore is the time lag. You are helping me finish a project that still requires several months of development. I hope to have it all wrapped up well before October, in which case you will receive your rewards early, but October 2018 is my deadline for completing all writing, editing, and audiobook mastering. You will receive your rewards as soon as they are available. 

But I won't rush! I want you to have the absolute best product I can produce.




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