Cameron Dean

P.I. to the Deceased

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
158 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Steve Zimcosky is a multi-award-winning and international selling author. He is the creator of the Polish Dragon P. I. series and was born in the Slavic Village area of Cleveland, Ohio where many of his stories take place. He is a member of the Private Eye Writers of America. He has wanted to be an author since elementary school while reading books like White Fang and Call of the Wild by Jack London. He spends his retirement time writing short stories on a variety of subjects he hopes his readers will enjoy. Some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, James Clavell, Thomas B. Dewey, Ed McBain, and Vivien Chien

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Cameron Dean: P.I. to the Deceased is a paranormal crime/mystery novella by Steve Zimcosky. After being hit by a truck while investigating a drug lord smuggling fentanyl into Cleveland, CPD's Detective Cameron Dean wakes up from a six-month coma and starts seeing the specter of the man he was investigating. When the ghost, Sammy Gillfoil, seeks help to find his killer, Cameron realizes the same people must have been behind the hit on him. Meanwhile, his friend, P.I. Tom Sipowicz, who is searching for a missing gambler, discovers both cases are linked together. With Sammy's help, Cameron follows the clues, only to find himself coming across the Chinese mob. Can Cameron use his newfound skills to capture Sammy's killer without ruffling the feathers of the FBI and the DEA?

Part paranormal mystery and part sleuth whodunit, Cameron Dean: P.I. to the Deceased draws you in from the first page and keeps you hooked until the last. This is the fourth book I've read by Steve Zimcosky, and, as always, I'm impressed by his ability to tell fascinating detective stories in such a smooth and concise manner. Due to its length and the fast-paced plot, you can finish the book in one sitting as I did. Some of the characters from Zimcosky's other novels have key roles in this story, especially Tom Sipowicz, whose adventures are always a joy to read. I very much enjoyed Tom's interactions with Cameron, as well as Cameron's dynamic with Sammy. In conclusion, paranormal sleuth mystery readers will find a lot to love about this book!

Vernita Naylor

As Detective Dean was getting closer to discovering who was the leader behind a drug ring, he found out that someone wanted him dead. This attempt caused him to be hospitalized and in a coma. While readers follow Detective Dean as he tries to put the pieces back together, they discover that he has a problem; he’s lost his memory. As the story evolves, there is a lot of fun and humor as he tries to get his memory back but there’s a twist. The leader of the drug operation that he was investigating was Sammy Gillfoil. Sammy was suddenly murdered around the same time a hit was placed on Detective Dean. Now they must work together to solve the case. Readers will have a lot of fun watching Detective Dean work with and talk to Sammy, who is now a ghost. Will this partnership ever work?

In Cameron Dean: P.I. to the Deceased by Steve Zimcosky, the reader is taken on a journey with Detective Cameron Dean as he embarks upon investigating who tried to kill him. Every reader will enjoy this crime and mystery supernatural novella by Steve Zimcosky just as I did. The author threaded the plot points together to keep me guessing throughout the story about what was coming next. Readers will see how Detective Dean and Sammy work together but will begin wondering if Sammy would be an asset to the case or if he would lead Detective Dean down a dark path. If you’re looking for an engaging short story, this is the one for you. Get your copy of this book today, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy.

Delene Vrey

Detective Cameron Dean wakes up in hospital after being in a coma for six months. He was hit by a truck and is informed that to protect him and find his killer, everyone thinks he is dead. With a new name, he goes through rehabilitation and discovers he has picked up a new skill. Thanks to his near-death experience, he now can see spirits, and not just any spirit, but that of Sammy Gillfoil, the mobster he was investigating at the time of his accident. Sammy needs Cameron to find out who killed him as he was shot in the back and thrown into the river. Disguised and with a new name, Julius Espers, Cameron sets out with Sammy to find his killer. As they put their sleuthing and paranormal skills together, Sammy and Cameron discover clues that point to Sammy’s killer, as well as help the Feds and CPD apprehend the persons who moved in to take control of Sammy’s business. Cameron and Sammy visit Sammy’s mother and take a trip to New York, where they uncover information that blows the case wide open. Will Sammy cross over and find peace, and will Cameron find fulfillment in his new type of clientele? Cameron Dean: P.I. to the Deceased by Steve Zimcosky is an action and suspense-packed novella.

Cameron Dean: P.I. to the Deceased by Steve Zimcosky falls into the paranormal genre and is a crime novella written from a third-person point of view. The author offers an intriguing plot that has many surprising twists and turns. Being a novella, much of what happens is described by the third-person narrator to cover information in a condensed and informative fashion. The characters come across as genuine and show growth and development from beginning to end. Some interesting themes are touched upon in this story, including betrayal, revenge, fighting for justice, and the fact that there is something good in everyone, even criminals. The dedication with which Cameron Dean strives to find closure for himself and Sammy gives a peek at what his future adventures might be like. A good start to what could be a great paranormal crime series.

Literary Titan

Zimcosky's narrative style is exceptionally immersive, drawing the reader into each scene with richly detailed descriptions. The story's uniqueness lies in its blend of genres, offering a fresh take on the murder mystery by incorporating elements of the supernatural. The dynamic between the living Detective Dean and the spectral Sammy adds a layer of depth to the storyline, exploring themes of redemption, closure, and the unresolved threads of a life abruptly ended. The portrayal of Sammy's emotional journey, as he revisits significant locations from his life, is handled with sensitivity and depth. Zimcosky skillfully evokes empathy for Sammy, allowing readers to viscerally experience his turmoil and longing for resolution.

This novel deserves high praise for its inventive plot and Zimcosky's keen attention to detail. His ability to create vivid, engaging scenes makes the book a compelling read. I recommend Cameron Dean P. I. to the Deceased to anyone seeking a mystery that ventures beyond the conventional, offering a unique and thought-provoking experience. Zimcosky's talent for weaving intricate narratives is evident, making this book a standout in its genre.


This was a fun and engaging story. Certainly held my attention throughout. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.


I enjoyed this story as it made me laugh at times. Basically Detective Cameron Dean ends up in the hospital and once he begins to get better he tries to figure out what caused his accident. But instead of the usual police work, he has a ghost helping to figure things out along side him. Funny scenes, interesting characters and a mystery to solve. Just a fun easy read I enjoyed. Easy to root for Dean and his ghost.


Loved the story line!!! Like the new guy and his dead friend. Held my attention!


I love it! Crazy but I don’t find the thought of spirits, ghosts, or souls strange at all. You certainly kept my attention. Moved along nicely. Great character development. I liked how you linked your old characters with the new ones.