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Southern Bound

(Max Porter Mysteries #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  930 ratings  ·  156 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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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  930 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good I've joined the author's newsletter and downloaded the next book in this very different and riveting series.
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
Apr 15, 2015 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
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book and am looking forward to reading more in this series. Max and his wife Sandra have moved for work. Max gets a well-paying job full of secrets, a ghost, a witch and lots of history from North Carolina. Some true, some fiction.
This story reminds me of the P.I detective stories from the middle of the last century with a modern and paranormal view. The mystery is well-written if a bit convoluted in places and the characters are all wonderful. My only criticism is the missing
Charles Glass
Jan 30, 2014 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.
Una Tiers
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Before the middle of the book, the dialogue became increasingly inconsistent.
William P.
Dec 21, 2012 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 ...more
Cynthia Dawson
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really quick, often humorous, ghosty story. Id love to continue the series. I also like how this book ends with the real start to the series. Its a pretty cool idea. I would reccomend to people who like ghost stories and mysteries on the lighter side.

I have only one complaint. In the Bowman journal entries the author doesnt write as a North Carolinian in the 40's. Its written as a modern, educated indivudual which Bowman is not. Some southern sounding words were thrown in but they were not
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just what I enjoy....ghosts and mysteries.
Becky Hoffman
Jun 15, 2012 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
Mar 26, 2015 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.
Oct 12, 2016 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.)
Montzalee Wittmann
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Southern Bound (Max Porter Mysteries #1) by Stuart Jaffe is a fun ghost-involved detective mystery book. Max moves to the south and gets an office with strange instructions on how to keep the office. He finds it is really haunted and the ghost is hexed to stay in the office. Max and his wife set out to help the ghost get the curse released but almost end up ghosts themselves. It is a fun, suspense-filled, action packed, and humorous read. I enjoyed it from page one!
Feb 14, 2013 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!
Theresa Fleming
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took a bit to get moving along, but as this first in series book got going I found myself enjoying the quirky characters and the pace of the novel. This is not a fast action, wild ride thriller, but rather a stroll through a tale, all the while being teased along from one clue to the next by a collection of delightful friends. Definitely looking forward to the next in series.
Beth Lee
Jan 26, 2017 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!
Amber Garabrandt
Jan 08, 2013 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
Kenya Starflight
Sep 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
I normally don't read a lot of mysteries, and they have to have an interesting "hook" or unique plot element to catch my interest. "Southern Bound" had one such hook -- the protagonist solving a mystery with the help of a ghost of a private detective. This could have been a fun read... so it was disappointing to pick it up and find a rather bland and badly written story instead.

Max Porter is a former teacher who's taken a new job as a research assistant in North Carolina, hoping to start over...
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Southern Bound at Illogicon in Raleigh where Mr. Jaffe was one of the vendors. When he described the premise of the book, I was definitely intrigued and thought it would be something interesting and different to read. I immediately purchased the first three books and started reading it at the convention itself. It's been way too long since I read a good supernatural novel.

Max has just moved to Winston Salem and taken a job that was too good to be true - something everyone should be
Kat Lebo
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Southern Bound, Max Porter, Book #1
by Stuart Jaffe

I've had this first in the series novel on my Kindle for some time, but just hadn't gotten around to reading it. The series is being heavily hawked on Facebook (at least on my timeline), so I decided it was time!

There was nothing wrong with this novel. The characters were reasonably relatable, there was plenty of action, there was a great mystery, there was a nice bit of paranormal about it, the plot was interesting, the pacing was done well,
Dec 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
I just can't. I really liked the idea of this book, its such an original idea and I
love detective stories but the book is so poorly written I couldn't even finish the thing. Jaffe seems to be of the mind that he should tell, not show instead of the more interesting method of story telling. This results in characters who act counter to their stated interests and have a general sense of being unlikeable. The main character's wife is described as the love of his life but seems like she's mainly
Karen Voitik
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
>Book Review – Southern Bound
>This book is the first in the Max Porter Mystery series and ends with this particular mystery solved. Due to this book starting the mystery series, there is a lot of backstory regarding Max and his wife, Sandra. They move south to start new jobs and get a fresh start. Max’s new job involves a mystery that uncovers an unscrupulous boss and a lot of threats and danger. I had a hard time liking Max. He wasn’t a good guy in a bad situation. He actually caused this
Wendy S. Delmater
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You just know it’s going to be a paranormal mystery by the fedora-wearing gumshoe/detective with the glowing eyes on the cover.

Max Porter and his wife Sandra have left a dismal economy and unemployment in Michigan for a mysterious job doing research for a rich, secretive man in Winston-Salem North Carolina. The old-fashioned but spotless office he’s given to work in has many rules. The rule about no computers irks him. But Rule #1 is to never move the furniture.

So he tries moving the furniture,
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent modern day noire with a paranormal twist

Remember classic detective stories from the early twentieth century? Those hard men in tiny, dingy, smoke filled offices, always one paycheck away from missing the rent, who referred to women as dames or broads? Well, for those of you who wax nostalgic for the great gum shoes of the past, this story should be right up your dark, grimy alley. Except, let's face it, those guys plied their trade a long time ago and they are all dead and gone by now,
Phillip Murrell
Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I'm not usually a mystery (especially paranormal mystery) reader, but I picked up the first three books on Kindle for a dollar a piece; I finally got around to reading them. The first book was alright. Nothing truly unique stood out, but everything was well executed. The author definitely has a gift with pairing words. Unfortunately, I had some issues with the main two characters. Max and Sandra are married, their problems came up a lot. Not exactly my cup of tea. Also, Sandra conveniently has a ...more
Frank Watson
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
The premise of SOUTHERN BOUND by Stuart Jaffe has potential: Max Porter, a library researcher calling himself a “private detective,” becomes embroiled in a supernatural investigation with the help of his wife, who can see and talk with ghosts, and the ghost of a 1930s “noir” detective who befriends him.

The story starts out in a relatively realistic vein, with a hint of malice and mystery, though the introduction of the ghost detective seems to be played for laughs. At this point it has the
Georgen Charnes
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Well. The basic idea is pretty good - a man takes a job in a office and there's a ghost, and he has to solve a mystery.

However, the plot didn't really hold together - the book took some sharp turns a couple of times in the plot and characters. A few chapters in, the wife suddenly reveals she sees spirits and always had. There was some running about searching for a book that didn't quite make sense. And it was tied together with the main character suddenly knowing things he'd never heard before.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Max Porter and his wife move from Michigan to North Carolina so Max can begin his new job. He was hired under usual circumstances and asked to do research for a man he'll never meet or speak to. In the office where he is working, there's a ghost that only he can see and the ghost asks him for is help to get out of the office that he has been bound to for many years. He just needs to find out how to break the binding spell. Little does he know that the man he is working for is the one who ordered ...more
Pamela Davis
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ghosts,witches, and an unbeatable trio solve paranormal mysteries.

Max Porter is an investigator who gets caught up in a job with a mysterious employer who sends off to investigate an ancient small church which is intended to bring him up to speed on the background of what he really wants in a round about way. Meanwhile he discovers that he shares his office assigned to him with a ghost who was a private investigator in the 40's and murdered while solving a case. The ghost has been cursed by a
Doc McCandless
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun read. The writing is warm and humorous as if the author had a great time creating this story. The dialog is a bit disjointed in places, especially where Max's wife is concerned. On one line she's being an equal partner in the scene, the next she's berating Max or making his life miserable. Mr. Jaffe doesn't seem to quite know what to do with her at times. But overall, the story works and we're nicely set for the sequel. Yes, I'd recommend it. For a first effort, it's quite well done.
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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

Other books in the series

Max Porter Mysteries (10 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)
  • Southern Rites (Max Porter Mysteries Book 7)
  • Southern Craft (Max Porter Mysteries Book 8)
  • Southern Spirit (Max Porter Mysteries Book 9)
  • Southern Flames (Max Porter Mysteries Book 10)
“My, aren't we bold with well-aged whiskey?” 2 likes
“Better to be honest and direct, even if it does piss off a few people.

Jaffe, Stuart. Southern Bound - A Paranormal-Mystery (Max Porter Mysteries Book 1) (p. 48). Stuart Jaffe. Kindle Edition.”
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