Thursday, July 9, 2020

Parallels between author Bob Liter and his main character in the Nick Bancroft mystery series

Authors often put a lot of themselves into characters in their books. Bob Liter's daughter sees a lot of her father in Nick Bancroft, the starring character in his mystery series. Today she's telling us about it, plus there's an excerpt to enjoy. Check out the whole series and be sure to follow the tour! Plus enter the great giveaway at the end.


There are many parallels between the author Bob Liter and Nick Bancroft. I should know, I am Bob Liter’s daughter, Martie Liter Ogborn. While preparing Dad’s books for publication discovered how much of himself he put into the character Nick Bancroft. For comparison, here are a few examples of hard-boiled and soft-boiled Bob Liter.

Years ago, when I was old enough to date, my Dad, Bob Liter saw me kissing a boyfriend in the foyer of the local bowling alley. When I got home that night I was met at the door, sat down
, and given a long lecture on the inappropriateness of kissing in public and how important it was not to give the impression of being a slut. At 17, I didn’t even know what a slut was, probably because of a sheltered Midwestern upbringing. On the soft-boiled side of this same picture, just a few months later, my Dad went out of his way to tell a woman I babysat for “Thank you” for helping me get birth control pills.

Dad applied the English proverb “children should be seen and not heard” to my sister, brother, and me when it came to engaging in childish conversations in the living room during a television show he was watching. Sometime that meant a paddle was applied to the perps back side. On a sentimental note my sister, Jeannie, said the only time she remembered our Dad, Bob Liter, crying was when the family dog, Whiskey, died.

Back to the Point of Murder, you decide if Nick Bancroft is favoring the soft-boiled side of things or the hard-boiled side as he nails the killer of his friend and exposes Centrel City’s hidden secrets.



When a sexy nudist hires him to protect her from whoever is threatening her life, Nick Bancroft becomes the target. Someone tries to burn him alive, beats the hell out of him and, since that didn't run him off, uses him for target practice. Meanwhile, two people are murdered, Nick's true love, Maggie Atley, is more than somewhat perturbed by his relationship with his client, and a mysterious club seems to hold the answer. Nick survives an exciting but still losing season by his beloved Chicago Cubs, a vicious attack by a couple of huge dogs and eventually puts the finger on the bad guys.

Nick Bancroft Mysteries, written by Bob Liter

I'm an ex-newspaper reporter who inherited a run-down, one-man detective agency. My name is Nick Bancroft. I used to do investigation work occasionally for a friend Jimmy Jackson, who left me the business and stuck me with an office on the top floor of an old building in the wrong end of town.

I would have refused the inheritance, but I was sick of working where news had been converted to entertainment. And, besides, Jimmy had paid six months’ rent in advance for the office with a small apartment attached. Since I inherited the business I have helped solve a murder and got some press as a result.

In a small town like Centrel City, you can find bribery, graft, kickbacks, political influence peddling, criminal cover-ups, and sometimes murder. Now when I get involved in a case, there usually is a story I can sell to the upstate Chicago Times. I didn't expect to make a living as a private investigator and freelance reporter, but I was wrong ... sort of. It beats making money for someone else and it leaves time for my almost favorite sport of bowling and my passion for the Chicago Cubs.

It’s all in a day’s work; I can be tough enough when I have to be. On the other hand, I can be soft for the ladies, especially for an on-again off-again lover, Maggie Atley. Nothing is ever as it seems and I don’t quit until I find the answers. My name is Nick Bancroft.

Murder by the Book, written by Bob Liter

Nick Bancroft inherits a rundown detective agency and embarks on a new career as a hard-boiled detective. When date rape drugs show up in Centrel City, so does reporter Nick Bancroft. The drugs are discovered at two different murders with sex etiquette books left at the scenes. Nick is hired by the first victim’s father, Ramsey Sinclair, to find the killer. A Chicago detective, Miss Faustine, is also hired by Mr. Sinclair to work “closely” with Bancroft. His focus is interrupted when he begins a love affair with receptionist, Maggie Atley, from a neighboring office.

Bancroft is banking on solving the murders and selling the story to the Chicago Times. As the case unfolds there is enough danger, drama, and deception to fill a book. Nick finds few things are as they seem and in his enthusiasm he becomes the target of a shooter and also the target of charming Maggie Atley’s affections.

August is Murder, written by Bob Liter

A sexy nudist hires Nick Bancroft to defend her from threats on her life; Nick volunteers to provide 24-hour protection. Now, he is the target and August becomes even hotter when someone tries to burn him alive. Nick is not one to turn tail and run, especially now with two murders and Lady Godiva to protect. Nick's true love, second only to the Cubs and bowling, Maggie Atley, is more than somewhat perturbed by the arrangement with his beautiful client.

After weeks of investigation there are still unanswered questions. Who are the bad guys? What does a mysterious club have to do with the murders? Can Nick survive another losing season by his beloved Chicago Cubs? Is this the last inning for Nick and Maggie?

Death Sting, written by Bob Liter

After an intimate breakfast together, while reading the paper to Maggie, Nick is baffled by a headline: Female Body Found Covered with Stings: The Sheriff Calls the Death an Accident. Free-lance reporter and private detective, Nick Bancroft, doesn’t believe it and is drawn to the case like a bee to honey. He learns the victim lived in a home for young unwed mothers who work as waitresses and hookers at a nightclub.

Murder suspects include an alcoholic handy man, the man and wife who operate the home, a nightclub operator and his henchman, and a sheriff's deputy. Everyone is trying to stop Nick’s investigation, including federal agents.

Even when he and his earthy lover Maggie survive being dumped in a deep lake with weights tied to their ankles, Bancroft is unwavering in his pursuit of the truth. Will Maggie and Nick’s romance sink or swim before the case is solved?

Point of Murder, written by Bob Liter

Nick Bancroft, a former investigative reporter, enjoys a mundane existence in Centrel City operating a one-man detective agency. He supplements his pauper’s wages selling news stories to the Chicago Times. In a small apartment, Nick and his roommate Maggie, share frivolous romantic lovemaking and the responsibility of feeding a stray cat that adopted them. On the surface it seems picture-perfect.

The bed of roses ends abruptly when Nick’s destitute young friend, Bobby Scalf, is found murdered with a blunt six inch spike in his head. Nick becomes a suspect when the second murder victim is discovered in the abandoned building where the boy lived.

While Nick tries to find out who killed the boy, he uncovers a web of corruption involving the town council, the school board, the police chief and the local newspaper publisher. Nick survives several attempts on his life, and that of his stormy lover, before nailing the killer and exposing the town's secrets. Solving the town’s problems may not be enough to solve the problems festering between Maggie and Nick. Is it really over?

And the Band Played On, written by Bob Liter

Freelance reporter and sometime private detective, Nick Bancroft, is tough enough when he has to be. On the other hand, he can be soft for the ladies. That's how he ends up at an outdoor band concert, with Maggie, a librarian, divorcee, and his very talented lover. Nick is front row center to witness the murder of a well-connected private secretary of an important political figure.

It doesn't earn him any points with the cops that he is on the scene before them, and it doesn't earn him any points with certain influential politicians that he won't get off the case. Not only is Nick drawn into the dirty details of the crime, someone is trying to kill him. During the investigation, Maggie and Nick come face to face with the events surrounding 9-11. Will the final case break their spirits and crumble their love, or will they emerge stronger and committed to life together?

Read an excerpt:
And the Band Played On, A Nick Bancroft Mystery - Book 5

A whip-crack sound bit into the air. A scream followed. The director's baton remained frozen in space. An instant of silence was shattered by, "Somebody help. She's bleeding. I think she's been shot."

The screamer stood in the third row to our left on the far side of the amphitheater. I dodged benches and people and raced to the scene. I put my hands on the screamer's shoulders and assured her it would be all right to rest her lungs. She collapsed and edged away from the body of a young woman sprawled on the bench. Blood dripped from the young woman's forehead.

I pressed a finger into her neck. No pulse. She was dead.

"Who is she? Is she really dead? Did anyone call the police?"

I stood on the bench beside the body, ignored the questions, and announced in my best imitation of authority, "Stay back. Don't disturb the scene."

Big Ed, breathing deeply, the cigar clamped at the edge of his mouth, said, "Who put you in charge, Bancroft?"

"Nobody's in charge until the police get here. I'm just trying to preserve the integrity of the scene."

A police siren grew louder and groaned to silence while the patrol car skidded to a stop on the edge of the parking lot. Two cops trotted down into the crowd and muscled their way to the death scene. One of them, Thomas something, a young guy with a square jaw, a big nose and brown eyes, said, "What's going on Mister Bancroft? The caller said someone was shot. We were just a block away."

Get the whole series on Amazon by clicking below:

Robert T “Bob” Liter (1923-2008) was born in Hartley, IA to Charles and Hazel Liter and grew up in Des Moines, IA. His sisters June and JoAnn, joined the family before the decade was over. Bob was a U.S. Navy veteran, and was honorably discharged after two tours of duty, one tour in World War II and the other tour in the Korean War. A Graduate from Drake University in Des Moines, IA, he earned his degree in journalism, and married Lillian in 1950.

What Happened Next

I came along 9 months later; my name is Martie. I was soon followed by my sister Jeannie and two brothers, Jeff and Ron.

Later in Dad's journalism career he worked as a copy editor for the Peoria Journal Star, Peoria, IL until his retirement. Through the years he was also a writer. Early in his sideline career he was published in various True Confession magazines. When Dad retired to take care of Mom he continued to pursue his passion for writing. Much of his work has been available since 2002 in EBook format.

First Five Novels Available On Amazon NOW

It is my honor to introduce new readers to the Bancroft Mysteries where the character Nick Bancroft has an uncanny resemblance to my Dad, Bob Liter with his wit and bodacious gutsy approach to life. Then there is Nick’s on-again off-again lady, Maggie Atley, who is just like Mom, Lillian Liter, in the way she deals with a self-proclaimed “male chauvinist piggy.”

While Nick solves mysteries in the fictitious, but very real, community of Central City, IL he still finds time for his love-hate relationship with bowling, and his avid undying passion for the Chicago Cubs and Bears.






One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Follow the tour for more chances to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Did you have to do any research when preparing to write your book?

    1. Yes, I have done a some research, I want the details of the time line to be logical and accurate to time line, 2001, 2002, 2003. This is the time period where my protagonist, J.B. Bancroft, will enter the picture.

    2. Hi, yes I did quite a bit of research preparing to write the sequel. Thanks for checking in Bernie. Good luck in the drawing

  2. It's been great getting to discover your book and share with the readers in my family. Thank you and thanks for the giveaway. 

    1. Thanks James, Good Luck in the drawing.

    2. Thank you, glad you are enjoying the series. Good luck in the drawing

  3. In the title of your blog, my dad's name is spelled wrong. LITER please and thank you.🙂

    1. Hi, sorry about that. For some reason, since Blogger did their redesign, comments are not showing up in my queue until a few hours later, so I just saw this!

  4. Hi, thanks for posting, can you correct the spelling of my Dad's last name?

    1. So I've got it fixed now! Mental note - do not set up posts when battling a migraine. I clearly was not seeing properly!

    2. Thank you :) I hope you feel better :)

    3. Thanks. I feel terrible about that! A bit better today. We've been having some excessive heat and yo-yoing weather, so I've had a couple of these in the past couple of weeks and computer text was definitely blurry that day.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, I hope you like it. Good luck in the drawing

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I hadn't heard of this series before. A bit fitting since the author's daughter tells us about her father and I think this is a series my dad and both would both enjoy and be able to talk about.


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