SWAN DIVE - reflections

"Move over, Dashiell Hammett. Make room, Cornell Woolrich. With his first novel, Swan Dive, Michael Burke joins the pantheon of private eye muses. This fast-paced who-done-it is a masterful achievement of unpredictable narrative cast with diverse and engaging characters. Michael Burke spices his tale with an artist's eye and philosopher's wit as he enlightens and entertains."

Sidney Offit, author of Memoir of the Bookie's Son and Writers and Other Countrymen, et al

"Where has Michael Burke been hiding?  His first book, a detective thriller called SWAN DIVE--has the speed and sex of Spillane, the plotting of Chandler and the wit and charm of Hammett.  There's money, murder and mayhem and, to keep things bubbling, a bevy of gorgeous women---the most tempting and intriguing of whom may just be Leda and the Swan!  I couldn't put it down.”

John Gruen,  author of Keith Haring, The Authorized Biography, et al

“A chance, though, to tell you how very very much I'm enjoying and appreciating Swan Dive -- the rather intricate plotting, the laugh out loud wit, the experiential wisdom behind the wit....  I also liked so very very much the work of yours I saw in your studio and in your home.  Thanks for all of it!”


Morty Schiff ,  Emeritus Professor, College of Staten Island, CUNY 

“Best of all, I read Swan Dive on the train ride home, and it is delightful. So funny. Even smart. And of course I kept recognizing traces of someone I know in Blue.”

Michelle Press,  editor of Scientific American (ret.)

“I’ve read Michael’s charming Swan Dive!  …  I found it utterly delightful, clever, well written, and loads of fun!  Congratulations to him – it’s done with great intelligence and grace.”

Susan Cohen-Nicole,  translator of Light of My Eye

“I have been meaning to write to you for ages, ever since I finished your teriffic page-turner of a book. I was highly entertained. It is very clever and enormous fun to read. I think you have a second career in the offing!”

Moira Hodgson,  author of It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

“Amazon has finally sent me your book. The writing is wonderful! There is such originality -- and wit --  in the descriptions. And you weave your tale with great skill, and many surprises. Congratulations! I look forward to the next volume!”

         Lin Emery,  sculptor

“…I found it an enjoyable, engaging read.”

Manjula Padmanabhan,  author of Escape, Harvest, et al


Philip Pearlstein,   artist

“I love it!  You have created such wonderful characters. I hope you're writing feverishly

on the sequel.”  

Kate Badman Ballentine

“I read your book last night and loved it!   I was pleased to read that you are already working on another one. Your private detective is a very engaging fellow.”

Sandy Stelts,  Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, The Pennsylvania State Libraries

“Just a note to tell you that I had so much fun reading Swan Dive.  You certainly have a knack for the details of a pot-boiler, - especially the drinking and skirt chasing.  Loved the “hobo-hoba problem” and your perfect metaphors: “heels high enough to strengthen pelvic muscles”; “hair trimmed in the last half hour”; “loose summer dress that tried to keep up with her.”  Not to mention comparing Helen’s bottom to the bowl for holy water!

Great joy!”

Nancy Shapiro,  Director of Teacher’s and Writer’s Collaborative (ret.), Co-chair of Board of Directors

"Swan Dive was great!  Read it on the metro and kept reading it while walking home and didn't put it down 'til it was done.”

Kati Kovacs

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your delightful book!  I wanted to wait until I'd actually read it through, and being an English professor of course that took me weeks.  But I brought it with me on an overnight meeting last week, and I can truly say that not only did I stay up reading it, but I woke up the next morning early and immediately thought, "Oh good, I can finish the book!"  It was a very fun read, especially since--in a genre mystery no less--I found myself reading not just for who does what next, but for what Blue Heron think or say or (especially) observe next.  That is, a nice tight plot, yes, but a good aesthetic ride as well.”

Elizabeth Weiser, Ph.D.,   Associate Professor, Department of English,Ohio State University

“But, as for Swan Dive, I just finished it last night, and so wanted to drop you a line. It was really great stuff—hardboiled, yes, but in a gourmet kitchen. I’m not sure I recall ever reading those sorts of artistic allusions in a detective story (and I read a lot of mysteries...my guilty pleasure). But it was well done, well-plotted, and quite enjoyable. I’m now passing it around my friends here. I look forward to reading the next one!”

Bryan Crable,  Ph.D.,  Chairperson,Communications Department, Villanova University