Amen Corner
    The body of the Masters rules committee chairman is found in a pond near the 12th green on the morning that Publinx champ Sam Skarda, a Minneapolis police detective on medical leave, arrives to play in the Masters. Evidence left at the crime scene suggests the murder might have been tied to protests demanding that Augusta admit women members. When a crusading newspaper columnist is murdered on the grounds, the club chairman asks Skarda for help finding the killer before the police thoroughly violate Augusta National’s legendary privacy. Skarda looks for answers from members, veteran journalists, longtime caddies and ex-employees who may know why a killer seems to be methodically preparing for a deadly Sunday climax. Poisoned Pen Press, 2007
  2. Green Monster
    After a second World Championship in four years, the Boston Red Sox have finally buried the Curse of the Bambino—or have they? Sox owner Louis Kenwood receives an extortion note signed "Babe Ruth," claiming that the 2004 World Series was fixed—and demanding $50 million to keep the information from getting to the press and the Commissioner's office. The Red Sox turn to private detective Sam Skarda to find out who's behind the extortion plot. Can he assemble all of the pieces to this puzzle before lives are lost and scandal blasts the Red Sox Nation? Green Monster is the second novel in the Sam Skarda series, following Amen Corner. Poisoned Pen Press, 2008
  3. Frozen Tundra
    Ex-Minneapolis police detective Sam Skarda is hired by the president of the Green Bay Packers to investigate an insider plot designed to sell the publicly-owned Packers to a private buyer. When a Packers executive board member drowns while ice fishing, the board is just two votes short of a sale. The board president is in poor health, and the other "no" votes suddenly look like targets. Sam has to protect them―and himself―while finding out who’s behind the plot. He also has to protect his former girlfriend, the Packers team physician, whose violent ex-husband is ignoring a police restraining order. "Frozen Tundra" is the third novel in the Sam Skarda series. North Star Press, 2010
  4. Rather See You Dead
    Jessie Bridges, a beautiful, smoky-voiced singer with a troubled past, is preparing to compete on a network TV talent show when someone begins mailing her a series of cryptic song lyric mash-ups by Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Former newspaper reporter Phil Cropper is hired by the show’s producer to investigate Jessie’s past, but the only people who can help him learn the truth begin dying suspiciously. Cropper risks his own life to dig into the dark corners of the entertainment industry and discovers a secret so shocking that it could alter rock 'n' roll history forever. E-book, 2011
  5. From Fields to Fairways
    Minnesota’s golf courses have hosted some of the sport's most dramatic tournaments and legendary players—including Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods—and have been designed by some of the game's greatest architects, including Donald Ross, A. W. Tillinghast, William Watson, Seth Raynor and Willie Park, Jr. "From Fields to Fairways" also traces the evolution of the state’s public courses, and features more than two hundred photos from newspapers, museums, and private collections—many of which have never before been seen by the public. "From Fields to Fairways" will be the book of record on Minnesota’s illustrious golf history for fans and players of all handicaps. University of Minnesota Press, 2012
    Everybody's Heard About the Bird
    This behind-the-scenes account describes how a handful of Minnesota rock bands erupted out of a small Midwest market and made it big. Interviews with many of the key musicians, combined with extensive research and a phenomenal cache of rare photographs, reveal how this monumental era of Minnesota rock music evolved. From Augie Garcia, Bobby Vee, the Fendermen, and Mike Waggoner and the Bops to the Trashmen, the Underbeats, the Castaways and the Gestures, "Everybody's Heard About the Bird" looks at how a local recording studio and record label, along with Minnesota's pioneering rock radio stations and deejays, helped make their achievements possible and prepared the way for later bands to break out nationally. University of Minnesota Press, 2015.


Praise for "Amen Corner"​

Praise for "Greeen Monster"

Praise for "Everybody's Heard About the Bird"

 “ ‘Amen Corner’ has the insider detail (what’s’ known in the literary world as verisimilitude) to make the story work. Veteran golf scribe Rick Shefchik has absorbed the ambiance and look of Augusta National. He gets little things right, whether the string of tawdry retail shops and food outlets adjoining the club’s grounds, the flow and feeling of the clubhouse, or the layout of the working media area. It all adds up to a much better read than is the norm in contemporary golf murder mysteries. “Golf noir” is a tough genre to pull off but Shefchik has managed to entertain along the way. It’s the perfect airplane read for a golf trip.” -- Bradley S. Klein, Golfweek

“‘Amen Corner’ is more in line with a traditional murder mystery. I liked this book and urge readers to check it out. Shefchik…does a great job of character development in a fast-moving story. I especially liked the way he integrated old pop songs into the tale.” – Phil Tatman, Orlando Sentinel

"'Amen Corner' is an entertaining novel, full of inside details on America's closely guarded cathedral of golf." -- Marx Swanholm, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Shefchik…takes his share of shots at the green-jacketed elite who run the Masters, but he makes a game attempt at realism, both in his portrayal of the tournament itself and in his premise: a Minneapolis cop, on medical leave, wins the U.S. Publinx Championship and qualifies for the Masters… Shefchik combines a surprisingly grisly plot and a convincing villain with plenty of more or less realistic golf action…this one makes the cut. Entertaining…” – Bill Ott, Booklist

"This is the author's first published novel, and reflects a more experienced writing hand. It is well-written, tightly plotted and well worth reading." -- Theodore Feit, The Midwest Book Review.

“...successfully maintain(s) a high level of suspense throughout. The contrast between Doggett and Sam is striking and they provide a formidable adversarial relationship that works well in the context of the book."  -- Hidden Staircase Mystery Books:

“…tightly written with believable characters… The plot moves at a good pace, keeping the reader turning pages…Interesting behind the scenes events will please anyone who has ever watched the Masters or who is a golf buff…The chase ends with a dramatic touch – almost too soon. I wanted more.”  -- Mary Ann Smyth,

“I found myself thoroughly enjoying every moment of this book. The sharp character of Sam, the smarts of Caroline and the cool determination of the killer, all make for an extremely entertaining read… I would highly recommend ‘Amen Corner’ for anyone with a love of golf as it is not only a mystery but a look behind the scenes of the Masters.…from start to finish…a winner in every sense of the word…a great read and an engaging story all wrapped up in one.” -- Susan Pettrone,
"A baseball pitcher's job boils down to a simple quest: Keep the batter guessing. What's coming next? Curveball? Changeup? High heat? So it's only fitting that Stillwater author Rick Shefchik's second sports mystery, 'Green Monster,' succeeds by keeping the reader as off-balance as a slugger out front on an off-speed pitch...Shefchik throw[s] an array of pitches to readers, who don't need to love baseball to get hooked by the narrative...Shefchik [is] a big-league spinner of mysteries." -- Curt Brown, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"...a genuinely clever mystery, with the blackmailer not revealed until the last few pages...Skarda is a likable rogue mined from the same vein as Bill Tapply's Brady Coyne or Ed Gorman's Sam McCain." -- Booklist

"Baseball fans will welcome Shefchik’s second mystery to feature sports sleuth Sam Skarda (after 2007’s 'Amen Corner')... Fenway Park’s iconic “Green Monster” provides the setting for two climactic scenes. Like a pitcher changing speeds, Shefchik takes enough off his characterizations to avoid straight-out stereotypes, and he spins a fair simile..." -- Publisher's Weekly

"...a fun sports whodunit." -- Harriet Klausner,

"A good mystery novel must have two essential elements: characters that attract our attention and plots that compel our interest from beginning to end. "Green Monster" by Rick Shefchik is highly recommended reading on both those conditions. Also highly recommended reading for mystery buffs is Rick Shefchik's early Sam Skarda detective novel published by Poisoned Pen Press, 'Amen Corner'". -- Midwest Book Review

"If you're a died-in-the-wool baseball fan, this is definitely the book for you. If the Boston Red Sox raise your blood pressure, even better. If not (it's okay, I'm not either) but you love mysteries, this is also the book for you. Author Rick Shefchik has woven his obvious love of the game into a well plotted mystery. I thought I had it figured out by the third chapter. Boy, was I wrong...Shefchik never loses his mission in a convoluted plot that nevertheless proves easy to follow. His characters shine.. I have never been to Fenway Park, but I feel as though I have now, so strong are the descriptions. Shefchik writes a good mystery." -- Mary Ann Smyth,

"A sports fanatic's dream, 'Green Monster' is saturated with baseball trivia, lore, and mystery. This sequel to the golf mystery, 'Amen Corner,' is sure to attract baseball fans as well as fans of the likable ex-cop Sam Skarda." --

"The pursuit continues all the way to Venezuela where the results bring the readers to the edge of their seats. This was an easy book for me to review because I loved it from beginning to end. And I’m not even a baseball fan. Sure, it’s full of ballpark scenes and players who will be familiar to all of those who love the game but the story is much bigger than that. It has to do with life and death, good versus evil, and virtue over depravity. There are triumphs and tragedies and it’s very well written. You might say that this story hits a home run."  --

"Being an avid Red Sox fan sure made this book alluring to me, but, I do believe any lover of a mystery or of baseball would truly enjoy this book!!! All the talk of Boston and the Red Sox was surely a high point in this book for me, but the mystery that ran along side it was great as well. Great character development, an intriguing plot and a bit of a twist at the end kept me turning the pages of this book." 4.5/5 -- Melsy626's Love To Read blog

"Baseball enthusiasts and mystery lovers will be enthralled by this book. It contains many action-packed scenes as well as a few surprises along the way. It was intriguing trying to figure out which characters were trustworthy in addition to finding out whether the games were fixed and, if so, why. It leaves the reader wondering what really could happen in the sports world if enough greedy people conspire to interfere with the outcome of sporting events...'Green Monster' is a good story with a thrilling ending. I could not wait to see what would happen next...Rick Shefchik created a wide variety of characters from bookies to mafia members to corrupt policemen, with each serving an important role in furthering the story. Anyone looking for an exciting and fast-paced book should read 'Green Monster.' It will hold the reader’s interest as he tries to figure out what is really happening as the facts are revealed. The plot twists and interesting storyline will provide great entertainment. -- Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views

"Rick Shefchik offers a brisk, light, and lively overview of the arrival of rock in the Upper Midwest and the local bands that brought it to life. Incredibly researched. Totally cool! Awesome!" - Bill Diehl, Rajah of the Records, WDGY

"Engrossing and exhaustive, Everybody's Heard About the Bird is an invaluable pop history that chronicles the nascent Minneapolis recording and music industry and early rock-and-roll stew. All in all, a labor of love that feels both fresh and long overdue." - Jim Walsh, journalist, songwriter and author of The Replacements: All over But the Shouting: An Oral History

"FUN book! - Rick Shefchik's "Everybody's Heard About The Bird" manages to succeed on pretty much every level, simultaneously refreshing my memories and connections to the past, while teaching me things I never knew about the major and minor players in this fantastic Rock 'n' Roll scene that was the Twin Cities in the 60s. I'm pleased to have found my name on a few pages, as I was only a very minor player, barely squeaking in at the tail-end of this epic period. But I remember all the songs, most of the bands, and I've been lucky enough to have enjoyed professional and personal relationships in later years with many of the folks in this story. So, this was a very meaningful and exciting read for me. Bravo, Mr. Shefchik! My recommendation: If you remember the 'teenage' music of the 60s in Minnesota, and want to have the nostalgic time of your life, then get this book!" - Arne Fogel, singer and radio personality

"Just like 'Surfin’ Bird' and the other songs of that era, the best word that could be used to describe Shefchik’s book is simply “fun.” It captures the youthfulness and overriding naiveté of rock’s infancy." - Chris Riemenschneider, Star-Tribune 

"Great read and brought back a lot of good memories and great friends. I appreciate the style ... we have given hundreds of interviews both here and abroad.  Most are wordsmithed and turn out to be garbage. Hats off to you ...  You tell it like it is." - Dal Winslow, The Trashmen
"'Everbody's Heard About The Bird' is a masterpiece! Kudos to Rick for writing it. Brought back a lot of good memories of the many gigs we played back then." – Jim Donna, keyboard player for The Castaways.
“Man, if you’re our age, this is a must accompaniment to any library. A labor intensive book, really research-oriented.” - Joe Soucheray, Pioneer Press columnist and "Garage Logic" radio host 
"Rick Shefchik's new book covers more than just a decade's worth of homegrown music. In its own way, it also tells the story of the '60s itself, and the revolutionary changes in pop culture, media and life in general ... It's a meticulously researched and thoughtfully told celebration of the successes Minnesota musicians achieved in the '60s." - Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press

"Shefchik has a reporter’s eye for detail but never lets a litany of facts overwhelm what is a great interconnected story: young (predominantly white) musicians running on pure adrenaline, the business people who saw rock ’n’ roll as a get-rich-quick scheme, the DJs who promoted it (WDGY’s Bill Diehl), and the bands—both those that had national chart success (the Trashmen and the Castaways) and other far less well-known groups (the Underbeats, the Gestures, the Diablos, Stillroven), who never even achieved one-hit wonder status ... you’ll be caught up in this fascinating story wherein, even for the briefest moment, rock ’n’ roll dreams come true." - John Dougan, Minnesota History

Praise for "Frozen Tundra"

“If you are a football fan, regardless of whether or not you root for the Vikings or the Packers, you are really going to enjoy ‘Frozen Tundra.’  Shefchik’s passion and knowledge of the game is beautifully woven throughout the pages, making it a must-read for anybody who cares about the NFL’s greatest rivalry.  A fantastic, intelligent and suspenseful read – I highly recommend it.”  — Ross Bernstein, author of “I Love Brett Favre/I Hate Brett Favre.”
" ‘Frozen Tundra’ is a wintery blast...but forget the frigid weather. Minneapolis P.I. Sam Skarda's mission to save the Green Bay Packers, not to mention his own hide, is another of Rick Shefchik's wild, white-hot rides into the creepy underbelly of professional sports. Fasten your seatbelts, Skarda fans. This one has more high-speed twists and turns than a turf-churning run to daylight." --William Souder, author of "Under a Wild Sky," Pulitzer

Praise for "From Fields to Fairways"

"A great addition to the written history of golf in Minnesota and one that every true golfer will want in the library." —Reed K. Mackenzie, former president of the United States Golf Association

"Rick Shefchik brings to life the visionaries, architects, and personalities that built our classic courses and forever shaped the game we love. Minnesota is known nationally for the quality of our golf courses and this is a must for anyone who loves the history and traditions of Minnesota golf." —Tom Ryan, Executive Director & COO, Minnesota Golf Association

Praise for "Rather See You Dead"

"I have been an avid fan of Shefchik's Sam Skarda series and was very curious to see how his first work outside that series would turn out. Well I was not disappointed! This story like all of the others was a page turner and something I could not put down. There are many intricate weaves of the characters throughout this story and it all ties together at the end. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a fast-paced novel with suspense, intrigue, and a taste of rock music history." - Jeffrey S. Jacob