Larry Rochelle loves a mystery. More so than most.

The former Indian Hill High and Sycamore High English teacher is the author of the murder mystery Dance With the Pony (Zumaya Publications, Kansas City) and a half-dozen other titles featuring Rochelle's tennis-playing and beer-drinking protagonist, Palmer Morel.
In Pony, the recently divorced Palmer is accused of murdering an employee at the Stage Door strip club, an accusation that launches Palmer on an investigation into the seamier side of Cincinnati. As the club pro at a ritzy east-side tennis club, the amateur detective bounds from Mt. Lookout "” Rochelle's longtime neighborhood "” to Eden Park in search of evidence to convict a corrupt judge he believes is behind the plot. "Palm," as he's known to friends, is aided by off-duty Price Hill police officer Patrice Sheldon in his investigation.

"Palmer Morel is a 39-year-old, 6-foot-three inch tennis pro with a big heart who somehow stumbles into an insidious conspiracy of blackmail and murder," observes Rochelle of his literary creation. "Pony uses a common theme, a bitter divorce followed by a search for love in all the wrong places. Palmer is a divorced guy dating a topless dancer. Not a new idea, but the blackmail scheme he discovers wrecks his life and almost kills him "” not a healthy transition to a new life.

"I think guys in their 40s will identify with Palmer," adds the author. "And maybe calm down a bit."

Rochelle, who played college tennis himself at the University of Toledo and the University of Dayton while earning his English degrees, continues to play in singles tournaments to this day. He says he came up with the name of Palmer Morel by combining his dad's first name (Palmer) with a creative twist on the last name Rochelle. And Morel is definitely no James Bond superhero: "He's not Maxwell Smart, but he's almost that bad because he's not interested in all of this detective stuff," says Rochelle. "Things happen and he gets involved because he knows somebody that's involved.  They don't come to Palmer Morel to solve the crime. It's all kind of accidental."

Which brings Rochelle to another vital point: "What I always forget to mention in my interviews (a forgetfulness that annoys my publisher no doubt) is that my books are available at Borders, Barnes & Noble and can also be purchased at"

Enough said. Let the bodies fall where they may.