Don’t Tell Presley!

How the real James Quelvin lost his nose:


Before snapping Tony DiPalma’s neck, Callie Carpenter said, “This is for you, Presley!” and I had to wonder how many hits it would’ve gotten on YouTube, had it been filmed and posted. After DiPalma was declared dead by Creed’s physician, Creed’s people cremated him in-house and scattered his ashes in one of their “unmarked cemeteries.”

As Creed drove us back to the chopper, with hoods on our heads, I said, “Shit!”

“What’s wrong?” Presley asked.

“You should have asked DiPalma if he knew how the real Quelvin lost his nose. Do you know, Donovan?”

“Sorry,” he said. “I don’t.”

Well, hell. If Creed didn’t know, how would I ever find out?

I gave up on it, and rode the chopper back to Sophie’s in silence. As we were escorted to the front door, amid reporters shouting “Who took you!” and “Where did you go?” I was pleased to see none of my clothes and personal items on the sidewalk, like Sophie threatened.

Since I couldn’t tell her where we went or what we did, Sophie fumed for two days, till Presley and I offered to take lie detector tests to prove we didn’t have sex. I didn’t think Sophie would call our bluff, but she did, and we passed with—ahem—flying colors.

She forgave us, and finally stopped obsessing over my perceived infidelity. Which gave her time to devote to my obsession over how Quelvin lost his nose.

Have I told you I’m OCD when it comes to secrets?

Imagine my surprise one afternoon when Sophie called me at work and said, “Omigod! I know how Quelvin lost his nose!”

“Don’t fuck with me,” I said. “I’m having a bad day.”

“They’re all bad for you, lately. But I can tell you, if you want to know.”

“You can’t know. You’d only be guessing.”

“I know for a fact.”

“How’s that possible?”

“Uncle Sal told me.”

“Whoa! For real? Tell me! Tell me! Tell me! Tell me! Tell—”

“Shut up!” she says. “You’re making me—”

“Tell me! Tell me! Tell me! Tell me! Tell—”

“What’s it worth to you?”

“My kingdom.”

“You have no kingdom.”

“How about: anything your heart desires.”

“I want us to go out to dinner.”


“Tonight. My favorite restaurant.”


“Then dancing.”

“No problem. I love dancing. Tell me!”

“You have to promise to keep this in the strictest of confidence.”

“What, you think I’m gonna write a book or something?”

“Please don’t. Anyway, according to Uncle Sal, James Quelvin had underworld ties.”

“Like DiPalma?”

“Same area, same ties.”

“So what happened?”

“A certain mob enforcer sliced his nose off with a filet knife, like the kind they use to filet fish.”

“No shit? Why?”

“According to Uncle Sal, it’s an old Mafia punishment.”

If you’ve never heard Sophie do her Uncle Sal impersonation, you’re missing out, because it’s spot on. She graced me with it: “We got a—whatcha call—saying: ‘Don’t stick your nose where it don’t belong.’ If you do, we’ll cut it off and sew it in your ass.”

“Omigod!” I said. “That’s terrible! How did Quelvin open his cheeks by himself?”

“He had to cut the sutures with scissors and pull the remaining threads out with tweezers.”

“Ouch. No wonder he doesn’t like to talk about it.”

“He can’t,” she said, and resumed the Sal impression to explain: “When you lose your nose, you can’t tell nobody what happened. Not even your doctor. If you do, you get whacked. Then your doctor gets whacked.”


…So now you know!



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  1. Gara Toohey says:

    John, another great book! I still miss more Creed books!

  2. Gayle Ernsting says:

    ‘Geez Trapeze’……Another great, Dani book. It passed with ‘flying colors’. And I’ll never look or think of jelly beans in the same light again!!!! Can hardly wait for more Creed and Dani books. This was surely one that you can’t put down!!!!

  3. You can’t make this up – Well played! Always a pleasure reading your work. It’s a good thing they’re able to be read in a few hours because it’s tough to walk away from them. Thank You!

  4. Robert A Parham says:

    Another great read! I devour your books like a greedy toddler with a cup cake. Then unhappily I am required to await your next offering.

  5. Keith Cole says:

    Dangit…for some reason I can’t seem to stop reading once I start…finished another pretty amazballs (my daughter hates that word) bookkei and awesome story line…can’t wait for the next one…guess I’ll start from the beginning and read them all again…thanks

  6. You can’t make this shit up is my life mantra as it just so happens that every week of my life is filled with such moments! Love every book you have written and don’t tell pressley did not disappoint!

  7. Elaine Skelton says:

    Another great read with the added bonus of Donovan Creed.

  8. Absolutely great book in the best Locke style!!! loved it!!

  9. Richard Downs says:

    Such fun reads. All John Locke books deserve to be read twice (or more). The humor just gets better and better…

  10. Bill H Baker says:

    I love Cally and Dani. There is room left in my heart for Press. I hope to see her again!

  11. Sandra Gonzales says:

    I’ve read all of Locke’s books, some twice, and this is the best Dani Ripper novel I’ve read so far. Hysterical tongue in cheek humor kept me laughing past midnight. Thanks John, this is for you, my friend.

  12. Martin Rudisill says:

    John you did it again. I bought this as soon as it was released. The one liners are off the chain and if you didn’t know what a diesel fitter it had to go over the average readers head. Still love me some Sheriff Love expecially Rag Soup

  13. I read all dani books in 2 days. Love them

  14. Love Dani Ripper and friends. Keep them coming John Locke, your books are hard to put down. I read this in one day.

  15. John, I have enjoyed each and ever one of your books. The Donovan Creed series, Emment Love series, Doctor Box, and Dani. You have a way of writing that is very entertaining and hard to put down until the end. You are a gift! Yours characters give me the ability to lose myself for a while in the fantasy of your stories. Some would think that simple puschasing your books is thank you enough but I feel you could charge much more and still sell your books. So, I say thank you for the gifts! I look forward to more.

  16. Irreverent, goofy and surely padded. Thanks again John Locke.

  17. Fasted pace..quick wit..excellent just excellent. Love how your books run together! Can’t wait to read more. Keep them coming!

  18. Can’t put your books down. Keep them coming.

  19. Just finished but yet another of your great books, keep writing and I promise I will keep reading!

  20. More, more!!!

  21. This book was excellent! I absolutely love every book you have written. As someone else said, you could sell your books for so much more, so I also thank you for your gifts of entertainment. Please keep writing and I will keep reading!

  22. Another fantastic book. Keep them coming!

  23. Jim Ashby says:

    I AS everyone else thoroughly enjoyed this and all of your other hilarious books, I can’t stop laughing,smiling or reading until I sadly come to the end, at that time I smile wistfully and then sadly begin waiting, for the next. The good news, we haven’t had to wait too long! Thank you sir for the wonderful Entertainment! Read you again later!

  24. BjmnAdrift says:

    John, our fine dreamweaver.. Your body of literary genius continues to amaze and to stoke with abandon the windmills of our minds!

    As Cookie used to opine on 77 Sunset Strip… “It’s the ginchiest!!!”

    For now, this kindred septagenarian is hungry for more Ruth, as she teleports across centuries, tying all of your disparate protagonists together in a malstrom of adventures and misadventures.

    Your radiant panolpy of quirky, outrageous yet loveable malcontents curiously express many of the exact same wacky thoughts ever transiting my own warped view of life’s unpredictable gifts to be found in God’s waiting room. Who knew!

    With your ever flowing fount of imaginations, John, my own mind has fuel it hasn’t even used yet! For that, I’m forever greatful. Thank you.

  25. BjmnAdrift says:

    Since retiring 2 1/2 years ago, I have voraciously read over 200 books using my Kindle Keyboard. Only YOUR highly anticipated email notifications can compel me to put the “book de jour” on pause, while I immediately plunge into yet another emerging John Locke bestseller!

    Tic tic…. 😄

  26. BjmnAdrift says:

    My profound apologies to all for renaming our endearing Witch Rose… 🌹

    Of late, I periodically have the memory of an ice cube.

    I’m guessing Ruth was a slight history from my misspent youth come back to haunt me.


  27. Kathy McWhirt says:

    Awesome book! Ready for the next one!

  28. Great read as usual from the NASA guy

  29. Great book! Jon from Minnesota here. My daughter leaves in four months for NYC. Hope all is well with you and family.

  30. Larry Olson says:

    Got it. Read it. Loved it!x

  31. Jon Lyons says:

    Jon says: Love all your books, Dani Ripper, Emmet Love, Donovan Creed, so many unique characters!

  32. Have read all your books,can’t put them down. Your sense of humor is terrific! Wish I was a villian character. . in your next book.One that stayed a baby step away from being caught by Donovan Creed. At the end of the trilogy I had gained so much respect from Donovan that we partnered up.

  33. Jodi Drader says:

    just finished your latest Dani Ripper book loved it just like the others now I’m waiting for number 5 bring it on thank you xoxoxo

  34. Karen Simpkins0 says:

    Have read all and loved them all. I just love being notified as soon as a new one comes out. Do you have them on audio CD’s? Would love to be able to buy for my sister. She doesn’t see well enough to read anymore.

  35. a new creative look at the expression “Flying Colours” Rainbow, Prism, Perfection! What’s not to like… :))

  36. Carol Brucker says:

    John, I have loved every book of yours that I have found and read! If I had a complaint it would be that you need to right faster! Can’t wait for the next one!!!!! Thanks for hours and hours of entertainment!

  37. Carol Brucker says:

    I really did type write not right…..grrrr autocorrect

  38. Gah, I went through that too quickly. I couldn’t put it down. Now I have to sit and wait. I need more Dani, Creed, Dr. Box and Callie in my life. Please and thank you.

    Yes, I’ve already read them all.

  39. What’s the scoop Braddah? Love the books. All of the. But I’m really digging on your woman’s perspective thing you have with your Dani character. My wife has asked all those insecurity questions at one time or another. Pretty sure they all happened within the first year of our relationship and continue 11 years later. Hilarious! Love her. Love you man. Aloha and Mahalo for the laughs. Keeps me sane.

  40. Brillianttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!

  41. Dud's Mom says:

    I can’t say enough good things about your books! I waited as long as I could to read the latest. They are all so great I read them in 1 sitting and it leaves me wanting more, please!

  42. Loved loved the new book can’t wait for the next one

  43. David Omlor says:

    So, I try, really hard, to read each word slowly because I just know the end is coming too soon…but I can’t! It’s like trying to sip water from a fire hose!! I am addicted. I need my next fix already 🙂

  44. Silverfox says:

    Loved this book, please more and more of Callie and now you must include Press (sorry Dani) keep them coming!! 🇬🇧👀

  45. i hope the dani books continue forever

  46. carrie says:

    Such a blast to always!

  47. Felix Vicino says:

    Great book -love the references to the other books. Its like an inside joke
    Keep them coming…

  48. James Drymiller says:

    Another great job! Very much enjoy your subtle references to ongoing social or political events. And cudo’s on the Author’s Note…and for commenting on such an important topic.

  49. JL Fan says:

    Agree with all the comments, and would desperately like another Creed, Box, Dani, etc. book VERY soon!!!! John’s books are fun and quick to read! Keep them coming!!!!

  50. Scott Hedegard says:

    Nobody is more innovative than John Locke when it comes to new ways to make novels exciting again. While Creed rightfully remains his most popular central figure, he has created a plethora of very interesting characters to keep us drooling for more. The surprise ending on this page for example shows how demented and hooked we are to his work.
    I wonder if Victor and Hugo will ever make appearances again, and whether or not John decides to visit Rose in greater detail, who is the link between Emmett Love and Creed. We’ll just have to wait and drool.

  51. BigDog says:

    As my favorite author, you are a ‘Locke’. Your stories are more fulfilling than weekend with Callie (well, probably not), but as fun as one with Mr. Creed. Thanks for the ride and until next time always show your teeth when you smile but never forget what your teeth are for.
    – BigDog

  52. I want more. Don’t leave me hanging John Locke summer’s almost here. My thirst for reading yours books can never be quenched. Keep them coming.

  53. Coldest day in Kansas…

  54. Bonita Reynaga says:

    Can’t think of any praise that hasn’t been repeated many times, and I await another Donovan Creed and Emmett Love. I am so glad I read that first book of yours that got me hooked. Because of you I read more authors than I ever have, and I have been reading for the love of reading for 66 years.

  55. Steve W says:

    Came across one of your books entirely by chance when looking through the Amazon bookstore. I’m SOOOOO glad I did! Have now read about half a dozen of your books and LOVE THEM!! Your writing style; the humour and, most of all, the fabulous quirky odd-ball characters. Aaww heck I think I’m in love with Dani…..and Callie (if she’s based on a real-life character can I have her phone number PLEASE!?!?!? 😀 ) and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let’s have more of Presley! HUGE HUGE thanks John – keep them coming!

  56. Michelle Shiring says:

    Another great book! Thank you.

  57. Lynne P. says:

    I want more, I love these books! Seriously, I can’t wait for the next installment of Donovan, Emmett and Dani… write them soon plz 🙂

  58. barbara costa nadeau says:

    JOHN thanks for another funny, querky, thoroughly enjoyable book. Love them all!! Bring it on I’m ready for a new one soon please???

  59. Sonja Dee says:

    I have read every single John Locke book he has written & I tell everyone that I think he’s the best, most entertaining author out there, ever! They are all fast reads & always a special treat.
    Sonja Dee

  60. Hi, just had to say that I loved this book!!! Love the Dani Ripper series franchise. And of course I want more lol
    Thank you

  61. Louise Anderson says:

    Fantastic – bravo – well done – 5/5

    Loved ‘Don’t Tell Presley’

    Brilliantly written, loved Presley French as a character!

    Just wish we could see these characters Dani, Sophie, Donovan and Presley! How beautiful can they really be?

    Great page turner!

    Can’t wait for the next one in the Dani Ripper series.

    Congrats John Locke

  62. We are still waiting for the release of “The Girl That Got Away”. That will enable us to get inside the mind of Dani Ripper, and understand how she see’s different situations that are brought into her life in these books. We are all loyal fans, and watch our emails throughout the year, waiting for the good news that you have written a new book, and are on the precipice of releasing it.

  63. Can’t even find the words to describe how much I love reading your books. My husband just asked what I was reading and I proceeded to give him a 30minute synopsis of the lives of Donovan Creed, Dr. Box, Callie Carpenter and Dani Ripper. He laughed and said sorry he asked. But I secretly think he wants to read them now. Keep them coming!!!!

  64. Tulsa Walters says:

    I love your books. I need them to be longer please. I took less than two days to finish this one and while i love it to pieces, you take way too long to write another. Just being honest John. Love you, Tulsa.

  65. Strong work, sir! Keep ’em coming!

  66. Great read. Love these books.j

  67. Irene Irvine says:

    Absolutely loved this book. Loved all his books. You just gotta love John Locke. Has he been declared legally sane?????

  68. I’m always so excited when I get the notice that another John Locke is out. I’ve read everyone of them with the greatest of pleasure, and this one was no exception. You’re the best John Locke!

  69. JohnnyB says:

    I’m whatya call a big fan of your work!

  70. Keith Jorgenson says:


  71. Reading any one your books is like “being in the middle of a John Locke novel.” Super!!

  72. Michael says:

    Like all your books, I didn’t want to put it down and I didn’t want it to end!

  73. Jill owens says:

    I’ve been reading novels since I was 11 ,am now 53. I read approximately 3 books a week( no TV). I’ve never read a better author in my life. I’ve read every single Donavan Creed, Dani Ripper, and Emmet Love. Cannot think of enough words to say how magnificent your writing is. I sunk into a depression and had a hard time reading other books after I finished all of yours

  74. Rob Eggleston says:

    Mr. Locke, reading one of your novels always puts a smile on my face!

  75. judy haley says:

    Finished Emmet Love yesterday and Dani Ripper today. Best weekend ever.

  76. Please publish dani’s book the little girl who got away! Love your sense of humor!

  77. Write more books.

  78. I just finished “Don’t tell Presley”! It is 2:35am, and yes I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. Your books are thoroughly enjoyable to read!!!

  79. Michelle says:

    Love your books! You are one of my favorite authors now! So glad I found you!

  80. Right on. We need more we need more we need more!!!!!!!!!!

  81. Tom Flynn says:

    You are one sick puppy but by far my favorite author. Every time I read one of your books I think it can’t be as good as the previous ones. You prove me wrong each time. Think I’ll pass on the jelly beans the next time they’re offered.t

  82. I love reading your books, as soon as I’ve finished reading them all, I start again until a new one comes out 🙂
    Every book you gave written captures me so I can’t out it down, I even read them walking home or from work so I don’t miss out!!!
    Thank you for your fantastic imagination, please keep writing or you’ll have a few million disappointed fans B-)

  83. Cheyenne says:

    Downloaded promise you won’t tell for free and couldn’t put it down! I went back and had to buy all the books! I will eventually own all John Locke books! He is easily my new favorite author! Absolutely love Dani Ripper!!!

  84. I re-read ALL the books, too. Over and over again! I love the intertwined stories. I love Donovan and Box. I’m scared of Callie. I’m fascinated by Hawley. I want to read more ROSE! And, since I’m making a wish list (reference intended) I’d like an OOU book that crosses with Box and Creed with all the special girls – Kenyon, Libby Vail, Trudy, et al.

    I can’t wait to read what’s next!

  85. I really love and enjoy the Dani Ripper series and hope there are more to come.
    But also looking forward to reading all the other series as well. Thank you so much for writing so many great books, you have become my favorite author.
    Thank you so very much and please keep up the great work.

    Thank you very much,
    Samantha Weir-Jackson

  86. Paul Bogner says:

    Please keep writing

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