When Lee, a high school shop teacher in Evergreen, Colorado, buys a gold mine off the internet, he’s not looking for gold, but for an adventure to quell his oncoming midlife crisis. With the frequently unwanted help of locals and his volatile ex-con brother, he attempts to work the mine until he runs into a couple of Pakistani-by-the-way-of-Jackson-Hole prospectors willing to kill for its contents.

Owned by a Liar is part mystery and part gold-infused tall tale with a cast of refreshingly quirky characters and one highly unexpected payout.


“Daniel Pyne’s A Hole in the Ground Owned By a Liar will put to rest any idle fantasies the reader may have of setting out prospecting for gold. A harrowingly funny story of brotherly strife, amorous misconduct, and small dreams blown disastrously out of proportion. I loved it.” ––Scott Phillips, author of The Adjustment and national bestseller The Ice Harvest

“Smart, sexy, funny, and a brilliant storyteller. And that’s just me. Wait till you read Dan.” ––Eric Idle




Cracking in the desert heat, the sleepy town of Twentynine Palms sits outside the bright blankness that is the sprawl of Los Angeles. For someone on the run like Jack Baylor, who needs a quick exit out of L.A. after a steamy affair with his best friend’s wife, Twentynine Palms is the perfect refuge. But then Jack gets implicated in a murder and his best friend, Tory, is following his trail, out for revenge.  With the unexpected help of a 14-year-old girl, Jack desperately works to evade the police and Tory before his world comes entirely unhinged.


“Character is key in this deliciously edgy thriller, screenwriter Pyne’s first novel . . . With dialogue that sings and action that sizzles, this is a prime candidate for the big screen.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Pyne sure-footedly blazes a fresh trail through Chandler country in this taut, expertly wrought desert noir. Twentynine Palms will leave you buzzing like a heat-dazed cricket.” —Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here and All About Lulu

“Character is everything in this debut . . . Twentynine Palms is great fun.” —Booklist

“A classic Californian noir.” —Kem Nunn, author of Tapping the Source and Tijuana Straits



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