The Question Is Murder

Washington D.C. newspaper columnist Sam Turner, known to his readers as Mr. Ethics, faces his toughest moral dilemma yet: Can murder ever be justified?

That’s the question posed to him by a mysterious young woman who says she is being stalked and threatened by an ex-lover too powerful to be stopped any other way. Sam knows that journalists should never get personally involved in a story, but he finds he is being drawn deeper and deeper into this one whether he wants it or not.

So when Senator Wade Morgan turns up murdered, Sam fears the worst. Worried about his own involvement, the man who normally has all the answers is now the one making questionable decisions.

As his investigation into the Senator’s death begins to spin out of control, Sam finds he can’t let go-even as the case grows more complicated and the threats against his life become more immediate.

With the fate of a young woman at stake and his own life in jeopardy, Sam can’t back down until the killer-whoever that may be-is brought to justice. But this is D.C., and justice can be in short supply.


click here to download a complimentary first chapter.



“Mark Willen has crafted a mystery that’s more than the expected puzzle with an investigation and resolution. Yes, the death does become the focus of inquiry and, in Mr. Willen’s capable hands, it successfully follows the usual procedures and is an engaging story. Beyond that, though, we’re treated to temporarily living inside Sam’s mind as he struggles with what he should do and that is a fascinating journey….I recommend The Question Is Murder for anyone who looks for crime fiction with a point to make.”

—Lelia Taylor, Buried Under Books

“I’m grateful for this smart and fast-paced mystery. I love the combination of ethical questions with a mystery’s puzzle. Although much more serious in tone, Willen’s book satisfies me the way Alexander McCall Smith’s series about Isabel Dalhousie does…Sam Turner—perceptive, principled, flawed—is a character I’m happy to spend time with. I hope there are more books featuring Mr. Ethics to come.”

—Barbara Morrison, Monday Morning Books

“What an interesting premise for a book and what’s even more delightful is the book is as good as the premise. I think this is the perfect book for a book club.”

—Sherry Rehbok, The Book Review Crew

“The author deftly handles all points of view, reliable or unreliable without giving away who is guilty….I can recommend this well written, paced and plotted amateur sleuth mystery.”

—Review on Avonna Loves Genres

“Mark Willen weaves a riveting mystery thriller that will captivate the reader’s attention, and keep them sitting on the edge of their seats….The Question Is Murder transports the reader to Washington D.C. with a fast-paced and masterfully interwoven tale of politics, journalistic ethics, intrigue, secrets, deception and hidden agendas, danger, murder, and enough surprising twists and turns that easily keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages….Told in an intriguing alternating third person perspective by Sam, and first-person perspectives by three persons of interests, the reader follows along as Sam gets caught up in the middle of a dangerous murder investigation that will keep the reader guessing who is the murderer, until all the puzzle pieces are put together, and the explosive truth is unveiled in this dangerous cat and mouse game….The Question Is Murder is a book that you won’t be able to put down!”

—Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“An exciting, thought-provoking mystery from journalist, Mark Willen, author of the acclaimed Jonas Hawke series.”

—Hank Parker, author of Containment

“Mark Willen delivers more than an intriguing plot and engaging characters in his latest novel. His deep interest in journalism ethics adds intellectual stimulation to a fast-paced mystery. Deftly written and thoroughly enjoyable.”

—Eileen Haavik McIntire, author of the 90s Club Mystery Series.

“This suspense-filled book is an inventive tale of intrigue, jealousy and reventge that kept me turning pages to uncover the solution.”

—Millie Mack, author of the Faraday Murder Series

“I was definitely entertained. I could easily imagine the characters. I could almost hear their voices. 5 stars from me!”

—Review on CurlyGrannyLovesToRead

Mark Willen