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Southern Bound (Max Porter Mysteries #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  486 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
It was supposed to be a new beginning - good job, good pay, and a lovely home in North Carolina.

But when Max Porter discovers his office is haunted by the ghost of a 1940s detective, he is thrust neck-deep into a world of old mysteries and dangerous enemies.

One in which ghosts, witches, curses, and spells exist. One in which a simple research job can turn deadly.
ebook, 246 pages
Published June 11th 2012 by Stuart Jaffe (first published June 10th 2012)
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ᴥ Irena ᴥ

I loved the main idea for the story. It has so much potential.
After losing his teaching post, Max Porter, who couldn't be more ordinary if he tried, had to leave Michigan with his wife and accept a well-paid, albeit weird job offer in North Carolina. Everything would be great if his office weren't haunted by a private investigator from 1940s. The ghost offers so much to the story.
I like reading about witches whether they are good or bad. The witches here are definitely not good. Helps to spic
Apr 15, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
I received the Audible version of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars

Southern Bound was an interesting read. I enjoyed the story, felt excitement and nervousness when the situation warranted. While there were no real surprise twists, there were enough turns in the story to keep things pretty interesting. There was just enough uniqueness to the world to make it unique and worth spending time in.

While the book wasn't bad at all, it was far too short, and felt rushe
William P.
Dec 21, 2012 William P. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook
I'm a big fan of the paranormal/occult/Cthulhu Mythos detective stories out there. This, this is good stuff. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Mr. Jaffe does with the next book. Things to love here: the P.I. is dead, the main character is a teacher, he and his wife are happy within the bounds of reason, and the book managed to follow the rules of both the hardboiled detective and of fantasy. Specifically, the detective can't really change anything on a big scale, so his victories are mos ...more
Charles Glass
Jan 30, 2014 Charles Glass rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A great read. Mr. Jaffe has a warm style that is reminiscent of the great pulp detective novels, but updated for today's readers. Definitely a must read for fans of a good mystery and fantasy alike! solid plot, good characterization, and a devilish twist that ensures I will be eagerly awaiting a sequel.
Oct 12, 2016 Robin rated it liked it
I liked the premise of the story... a private eye ghost from the 40's is original. However, I felt the story was disjointed. Some of the clues were hard to follow and by the end I had a lot of questions that weren't answered. (Such as... Who is the ghost in the graveyard? Is there a ghost of a German POW that is bound somewhere? Why? Where had the Germans been seen before and why is that important? etc.)
Beth Lee
Jan 26, 2017 Beth Lee rated it liked it
The characters seem a little one sided...still a fun book. I know first books in a series are hard and the characters are still developing. I'm looking forward to getting to know the gang in future books. This is a series with real potential!
Becky Hoffman
Jun 15, 2012 Becky Hoffman rated it liked it
This was a book given to me by the Author in exchange for an honest review, so here is what I have to say about Southern Bound.

This story definitely had a lot of potential when it began, but I was already struggling by the first chapter. Everything was very rushed and there really wasn't much in the way of background history or information that helped place me inside the story world that Mr. Jaffe had created. One of the things I constantly struggle with in books is that if someone (namely the a
Jun 17, 2015 Chelsea marked it as dnf
DNF at 41%

There were things I liked about this. Or, really, one thing, which was Max and Sandra's relationship. This is the fictional couple of my dreams - they argue, they go on dates, they worry and care. Basically, they love each other, and I know it. It's nice. It's sweet. I liked reading about them together.

Otherwise, I found this too boring to finish.

I thought I'd love this! I mean: ghosts? detectives? ghost detectives??? Sign me the HELL up. But it's actually really boring. And not very w
Mar 26, 2015 Sheri rated it it was amazing
Southern Bound by Stuart Jaffee

Max Porter moves to North Carolina for the perfect job, good pay and a nice home. His job is to do research for his unknown boss. What max doesn't know is that a ghost is haunting his new office. This ghost was a detective in the 1940's and this was his office. Soon what seemed to be a simple job, turns dangerous, with ghosts, evil people and even a witch.

A well written fast paced story. I loved the originality of a detective ghost and a researcher. Max is likable.
Feb 14, 2013 Carrie rated it really liked it
This was a great read!! A researcher that turns detective, that now see's ghosts, has to deal with thugs, witches and a sketchy past for a client, that he has to try to put together without getting killed!! LOVED IT!!
I would suggest this book if you are into mystery and a good ghost story!
Wonderful JOB Stuart Jaffe, thank you so much for the opportunity to review your book. Will be passing this one on as a "You need to read" to my friends!
Amber Garabrandt
Jan 08, 2013 Amber Garabrandt rated it really liked it
This was a good, though short novel. The plot had just the right amount of real mystery and quirk to be a new favorite of mine. I can't wait until i get home so I can buy book two
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
A Teacher from Michigan, Max Porter and his wife, Sandra moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to start their lives anew after a false scandal ruined Max's career.

However, Max accepted a very strange of research consultant for ...well that is the strangeness...he doesn't know who. An advertisement in the newspaper, telephone calls, and written instructions is all Max received prior to acceptance of the job.

As he arrives at his new work place, he is greeted by the 'voice' that had hire
Feb 10, 2017 Nini rated it it was amazing
I throughly enjoyed this book in fact I almost read the whole thing in one go, and was only stopped by needing to charge my kobo. I enjoyed the mix of historical conspiracy theory and paranormal. I particularly liked the fact that the story was fast paced with engaging and likable characters. The writterror has createdone a suspenseful thriller with engaging ough comic moments so that it doesn't become simply a ghost story. I will most certainly be continuing with this series !!
Carlene Cayenne
Mar 12, 2017 Carlene Cayenne rated it liked it
I got this as a free book off kobo. While I like those stories and particular ones that have ghost from the 1940s period, I really didn't find this one to be exciting. It was an OK read but It just didn't grab me.

There was nothing wrong with the writing or the story I guess I just feel like there was a lot of pizzazz to it
Mar 11, 2017 Linda rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun read. Do you believe in ghost, witches and things that go bump in the night? Well by the time you finish this book you will and be ready for your next helping of "Southern Charm". Good Luck
Jan 10, 2017 M rated it really liked it
I have read the entire 4 book series. Loved them all,great reads for my gym workouts. Hope to read much more Max in the years to come.
Dec 29, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was ok
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

One of these days, I'll learn not to trade reviews for free copies. It's hard for me to be fully honest when the author is a person in my very own inbox who I know will read the review, as opposed to someone who is famous (or dead; I review a lot of old books) and therefore won't condescend to read my criticisms.

Anyway. Southern Bound is a paranormal mystery; the main character moves south to North Carolina (iirc) for a m
Ruth Ferguson
This was an entertaining tale. at times a little scary but never terribly frightening, because there was always a little hints of humor around the corner.

Max Porter and his wife are the newest residents of Winston Salem. They have landed here because he could not find a job during the Great Recession. they've run through their money back home in Detroit after Porter was mysteriously fired. And then as a gift from heaven, Porter is offered a job. one he never even applied for. By boss he's never
Sep 22, 2016 Pat rated it it was ok
I read this primarily because it takes place in the Winston-Salem, NC area. A mystery resurrected from WWII and involves a ghost. A light read with a far-fetched premise but entertaining for the most part.
Christopher Hernandez

A present day mystery genre that includes a wise cracking ghost detective from the 1940's? Author Stuart Jaffe had me at hello... Let me start off by saying this book would have been rated at 3.5 stars if allowed. This was a light, but fun read that could potentially be a television sitcom in the making. The main character, Max Porter, is a normal everyday "got to make a living" individual who is thrust into a world of dark secrets, magic, and the paranormal. He is a plain vanilla yet flawed ch
Chad Sutton
Jul 08, 2012 Chad Sutton rated it really liked it
Southern Bound was an interesting read. I enjoyed the story, and I felt excitement at all the right times, nervousness when the situation warranted, and happiness when the characters felt the same. While there were no huge, explosive surprise twists, there were enough bends and turns in the story to keep things interesting. There was also just enough uniqueness and flavor to the world to make it unique and worth spending time in.

However, while the book wasn't bad at all, I felt as though it was
Scott Vout
Jul 04, 2012 Scott Vout rated it liked it
Shelves: books-of-2012
The author of this book contacted me and asked me to read and honestly review it for him. I was quite happy to do so.

I found this book to be very rushed. Almost like the author was told you can only have 200 pages and it all has to fit in there. It seems to make leaps to the next scene without explaining how it got there. This appears to be the first book in a potential series. As such, i would expect to see some background building. This is how and why we got here. To me it felt like this infor
Steve Caldwell
Sep 13, 2015 Steve Caldwell rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Urban Fantasy books, and this one looked intriguing, so I decided to give it a shot. I am so glad i did. The main characters, Max and Sandra Porter, are moving on from some a events at his old job that lead to them needing a fresh start. Max, a college professor, is hired to do historical research in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a mysterious Employer. Max, glad to be able to leave Michigan and his troubles behind, starts the research, but he meets Marshall Drummond, who h ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Stephanie rated it liked it
What do you get when take a down-on-his luck researcher and teacher, a mysterious employer, and a ex-cop ghost set in WInston-Salem, NC? A quirky mystery titled Southern Bound.

The story revolves around Max Porter who, along with his wife, move to Winston-Salem from Michigan so Max can take a good paying research job. He did not meet his employer and when he gets started his only contact is a mysterious intermediary who sets him up in a strange office with unusual requests. Max starts on his res
Apr 19, 2016 Kris rated it it was ok
This was an interesting little book. It isn't long and it will be a snack for quick readers and those who enjoy a lightweight mystery. I was mildly disappointed because I expected something different. The descriptor was that a noirish detective/ghost from the 1940's era, inhabits his old office and assists a modern detective in solving mysteries that are occult in nature. Great premise right?

Well, in theory, yes. The occult mystery part of the story was o.k. There was enough mystery to keep you
A. Sines
Apr 16, 2015 A. Sines rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Free audio copy for honest review **
Yup, I judged the book by its cover. I thought, meh, crappy noir. But I do like listening and writing reviews. And since the author traded a free copy for the review, what could it hurt?

Nothing, as it turns out. Southern Bound was interesting from the beginning. Even though I’m used to characters who either completely flip out when faced with a ghost or are a bit complacent, I thought Max was just a pansy. He at first chose to ignore what was obvious right bef
Erin Penn
Sep 21, 2013 Erin Penn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: North Carolina
Ok - After finishing the story, I re-looked at the title and it took on a dozen new meanings. Rarely have does a title fit a story this well.

The story is a research-mystery genre, with a little paranormal thrown in. I liked the character doing research in actual books, as well as Internet, foot work, and face-to-face interviews. Slow in parts, because research is slow. Fast when a breakthrough happens. You feel like you are going step-by-step through the process with the researcher. No magic Goo
Dec 17, 2012 Star rated it really liked it
Max and Sandra Porter are trying to start over in North Carolina. Max has gotten a job as a researcher for a mysterious employer who works through a middleman. There are a lot of rules about his new job, but for the pay, he’s willing to go along…for the most part. A startling discovery will have his priorities shifting and things may hit just a little too close to home for the Porter’s comfort.

‘Southern Bound’ is a fast-paced and charming part gothic/part hard-boiled mystery. There is murder, m
Nov 18, 2012 Jimmy rated it liked it
Shelves: deployment-12-13, 29
Max Porter is a regular guy. He struggles to find work in a tough economy so he and his wife move from Michigan to Winston-Salem, NC. He takes a job as a researcher for a mysterious client and trouble ensues.

I like Southern Bound. I found Max Porter to be a very believable character with real flaws which I found refreshing. The only down side to that is that I don't really like Max Porter. He is a bit of a whiner and I don't really care for the way he talks to people. I find Max to be Harry Dres
Sep 12, 2016 SUSAN CREWS rated it it was amazing
Really cool

This is an intriguing story with interesting characters and plot. I think you will enjoy it, too. Can't wait to read the next book.
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Stuart Jaffe is the madman behind the Nathan K thrillers, Max Porter paranormal-mystery series, The Malja Chronicles, The Bluesman series, and much more. He has written numerous short stories in Fantasy, SF, and Horror. He was also the co-host of The Eclectic Review ( -- a podcast about science, art, and well, everything.

Stuart lives in rural North Carolina, and for thos
More about Stuart Jaffe...

Other Books in the Series

Max Porter Mysteries (6 books)
  • Southern Charm (Max Porter, #2)
  • Southern Belle (Max Porter, #3)
  • Southern Gothic (Max Porter, #4)
  • Southern Haunts (Max Porter, #5)
  • Southern Curses (Max Porter, #6)

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