Imagine a secret so deep that someone would be willing to die to hide it. That's the premise behind a local author's latest novel, Blood Covenant of the Sergeants Club by Thomas S. Mulvaugh. The novel is the fourth in the Ozark Blood: Rick Ryder mystery series.

Like Mulvaugh’s other books Blood Covenant of the Sergeants Club is a mix of both fiction and real places giving the reader the sense of being there.  He covers places like Barry County, Roaring River State Park, Neosho, and Crowder College and among other places as Ryder and his team try to solve the murders as the story twist and turns to a surprise ending. The Neosho Daily News recently sat down with Mulvaugh for an interview.

NDN: Tell us about your latest novel.

Mulvaugh: After two years of solving murder’s the ‘dollar a day’ detective wants nothing more than to spend the summer with his family. However, those dreams are quickly up ended when his neighbor and Crowder College professor stumbles into his teenage sister’s birthday party covered in blood and begging him to save the others. What is happening? Someone is murdering the members of the Sergeants Club, a club Ryder’s mother created when she was a student at Crowder College.  

NDN: Why choose Crowder College as a setting?

Mulvaugh: It is my old stomping grounds. I went to college there, way back in the 1980’s. I guess I am the only alumni that came back to his old school looking for a place to put a body.”  Mulvaugh laughed. “ I love Crowder , its history the way it is laid out. It just seemed the perfect place to set the story.

NDN: Was writing Blood Covenant of the Sergeants Club hard?

Mulvaugh: Yes, but not for the reason you may think. During the time I was writing this book I was diagnosed with stomach cancer

NDN: So you were writing this while undergoing treatment? How did you do that?

Mulvaugh: Yes, by sheer will power. Sometimes I would only get a couple of pages done, but I just kept forcing myself to do it and get it done.  I put out a little about the story on my Facebook page and got good feedback with those wanting the book and that gave me the incentive to get it done. Plus getting lost in the story was a way to forget about my troubles for just a little while.

NDN: The way you end Blood Covenant of the Sergeants Club leaves readers wondering what is going to happen next.  Is there another Rick Ryder story?”

Mulvaugh: I don’t have the story outlined at this time but I am sure there is another tale to be told.

Thomas S. Mulvaugh (pronounced Mulvee) is the pen name of local author Paul Adam Herd. Herd  grew up in Cassville, Missouri. He is an alumnus of Crowder College. He currently makes his home in Monett, with his wife Karla and their two cats.                   

Blood Covenant of the Sergeants Club.  is now available from Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. Autographed copies are also available from  

Contact the author by email: or or by phone at