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On the Road with Del & Louise

On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories

Agatha Award Winner, Best First Novel

Anthony Award Finalist, Best First Novel

Macavity Award Finalist, Best First Novel

“Rearview Mirror” selected for inclusion in 2016 Best American Mystery Stories anthology, edited by Elizabeth George and Otto Penzler

Del’s a small time crook with a moral conscience—robbing convenience stores only for tuition and academic expenses. Brash and sassy Louise goes from being a holdup victim to Del’s lover and accomplice. All they want is a fresh start, an honest life, and a chance to build a family together, but fate conspires to put ever-steeper challenges in their path—and escalating temptations, too.

A real estate scam in recession-blighted Southern California. A wine heist in Napa Valley. A Vegas wedding chapel holdup. A kidnapping in an oil-rich North Dakota boomtown. Can Del and Louise stay on the right side of the law? On one another’s good side? And when they head back to Louise’s hometown in North Carolina, what new trouble will prove the biggest: Louise’s nagging mama or a hidden adversary seemingly intent on tearing the couple apart? Or could those be one and the same?

From screwball comedy to domestic drama, and from caper tale to traditional whodunit, these six stories offer suspense with a side of romance—and a little something for all tastes.


“A would-be Bonnie and Clyde with a sock monkey keyring dangling from the rearview mirror for a talisman? Why not? These linked short stories are by turns funny, sweet and, at times, touchingly poignant as Del and Louise try to turn from a life of crime to one of solid respectability. Half of me hopes they succeed, the other half is ready for another road trip. Highly recommended.” — Margaret Maron, Edgar Award-winning author of the Deborah Knott Mysteries

“Warm yet unsentimental, down-to-earth and pragmatic without being cynical—Art Taylor’s characters, like his voice, are a breath of fresh air. Don’t miss the chance to go on the road with Del and Louise.” — Donna Andrews, Agatha Award-winning author of the Meg Langslow Mysteries

“Art Taylor is expert at capturing small details that bring to life settings and scenes. He has a natural talent for storytelling, hooking readers from page one with his characters’ potential to do the unexpected.  The compelling voice in which his stories about Del and Louise are told artfully creates reader sympathy for a couple who recurrently flirt with crime; it’s a voice that will remain in readers’ minds long after the book is closed.” — Janet Hutchings, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

“If there’s a Raymond Carver of short crime fiction, Art Taylor would be him—but, you know, without the chain smoking and boozing.” — Keith Rawson, LitReactor


“In his new novel, On the Road With Del and Louise, short-story writer Art Taylor sets his narrative cruise control at ‘breezy’ and keeps it there over miles of blacktop and dirt roads from New Mexico to North Dakota, California to North Carolina, with many pit stops in between. Taylor’s jokey title—with its nod to Jack Kerouac’s 1957 classic and its wink at the movie Thelma & Louise— promises as much. Nothing too heavy ahead, it seems to say. No really bad guys, no real violence. Just lovable rogues, inept crooks and harmless eccentrics.” — Anna Mundow, The Washington Post

“Sweet, endearing, charming, quirky, a delightful romp: all these words come to mind while reading this novel.” — Tara Campbell, Washington Independent Review of Books

“Traveling from Albuquerque to North Carolina with many stops in-between, Del and Louise change and grow as life challenges their preconceived notions. Each of the stories has a element of crime to it, but the whole plays out more as a deep character study rather than traditional crime fiction. The heart and soul of the book is about family and our desire to find our own place in this world, surrounded by those we love and who love us in return.” — Kristopher Zgorski, BOLO Books

On the Road with Del & Louise offers lots of philosophical questions to debate. Louisa’s mother, Cora, has a deep distrust of men, given her own situation and her voice stays in Louisa’s head even when her mother is nowhere close. She often makes a lot of sense. ‘Sometimes people are just too far apart in their wants – that’s what Mama told me. Sometimes things just don’t work out.’ Del has his own philosophy of life and crime. Along the way we are treated to other philosophies with people they encounter.” — Lynn Farris, The Examiner

“Taylor has created an enjoyable tale and some nerve-wracking adventures without the need for a gruesome body count or far-fetched end of the world scenarios. Because the story is so grounded in imperfect humanity and told so convincingly, we share Del and Louise’s bumpy ride, rooting for them every mile of the way.” — Victoria Weisfeld, Crime Fiction Lover

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Book categories: Novels