Max Byrd


The Paris Deadline: A Novel
Jefferson: A Novel
Jackson: A Novel
Grant: A Novel


Max Byrd was born in Atlanta, Georgia and now lives in northern California. 

He was educated at Harvard and at King's College, Cambridge, England. He has taught English at Yale and the University of California, Davis, though he left academia some time ago to become a full-time writer. During his teaching years he published a number of scholarly books and articles about 18th-century literature, which now rest in moldy obscurity in a few stately libraries. 

In 1980 he began to write detective novels. The first was called California Thriller (Bantam Books, 1981) and won the Shamus Award for best paperback original of the year. This was followed by Finders, Weepers and Fly Away, Jill, all featuring the same hardboiled private eye, Mike Haller. Later came Target of Opportunity, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and Fuse Time, the research for which led him to take a brief course in the California Highway Patrol Bomb Squad School (a somewhat different world from Harvard). 

Finding that crime really did not pay, he turned to historical fiction.

Praise for The Paris Deadline

* Named one of 2012's Ten Best Crime Novels by Kirkus Reviews

Anyone fascinated by automates will enjoy Max Byrd’s new thriller . . . it reminds us of a time when complex and delicate automates spoke vividly of the human power of invention
— Alan Riding, New York Times Book Review
Wow! This is storytelling at its very best. Max Byrd uses the whole deck of cards—character, place, history, humor, and intrigue—to weave his magical story. You want a good ride? THE PARIS DEADLINE is your ticket!
— Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of THE BRASS VERDICT and THE SCARECROW
The Paris Deadline is the best ‘code and cipher’ novel I’ve ever read, a wonderful historical thriller, combining terrific characters with wit, erudition, more cool facts than your average encyclopedia, and a blistering narrative drive that makes the pages fly. Do not deny yourself the pleasure of reading this book!
— John Lescroart, author of THE THIRTEENTH JUROR and BETRAYAL
Some of the things I love most about the book—the wit and erudition, the scholarship, the interesting things about the underground war and automates—are not the things other people will like. They’ll be caught up in the mystery of the duck and the love story between the appealing Toby and Elsie, and the fact that it’s set in Paris. Of course, I love that too!
— Diane Johnson, author of LE DIVORCE and THE SHADOW KNOWS

Praise for Jackson

Adultery, murder, conspiracy and land fraud are the scandals laid at the feet of Andrew Jackson in 1828 as he runs for president against John Quincy Adams... Deftly balancing fact and fiction, Byrd invests his tale with color, emotion and grand historical drama.
— Publishers Weekly
This book is for everyone, whether student of history or not, for its wonderful insights into the people and times of our infant republic.
— Library Journal
Steeped in anecdotal historical detail, Byrd’s fictional biography of Andrew Jackson artfully captures the controversial personality and career of the seventh president of the U.S... A robust portrait of a coarse, shrewd, and phenomenally successful master politician.
— Booklist
A truly, and substantially, entertaining tale.
— Kirkus Reviews
Max Byrd’s historical novels about the third and seventh presidents bring both men alive in ways that only a literary imagination can.
— The Washington Post
With JACKSON, [Max] Byrd has vaulted... into the front rank of American historical novelists.
— The Wall Street Journal
Full of action, emotion, and insight, Max Byrd’s Jackson deserves to stand with the finest works of historical fiction.
— San Francisco Chronicle
Grounded in excellent, detailed historical research, Byrd paints a rich, multilayered portrait.
— Chicago Tribune