Thursday, March 11, 2021




In St. Killian’s Choice, private investigator Michael St. Killian has returned to the Ramstein Air Base area in Germany where he served in the Air Force as an investigator with the Office of Special Investigations. 

Now retired from the Air Force, why would he return to a military base to start his civilian life as a private investigator with such a limited client pool? In St. Killian’s words, he’s drawn to the international intrigue. 

And that client pool isn’t so limited after all. You may have seen the drawdowns of the American military presence in Germany on the news. Generally, the news clips show troops in BDUs with an array of military vehicles, or airmen unloading pallets from airplanes. What you don’t see are the support personnel behind them, and the family members with them all. 

No entity takes care of its basic needs like the US military, and so Ramstein AB, quite apart from the military mission of supporting NATO and pushing back against Russia and other entities, provides all the necessities of home. Basically a small city unto itself, the commissary is the grocery store, the Base Exchange is a combination of department store and Walmart with a variety of price points. 

There are Department of Defense schools, which I can personally vouch for as an Army brat as well as a parent, and movie theaters, American university satellite campuses, medical and dental facilities. There are Recreation Centers with pool and ping-pong tables, gyms for basketball and weightlifting, swimming pools, golf courses, Officers’ clubs, NCO clubs, snack bars, the Stars and Stripes bookstore, and libraries. 

Little America, with the allure of a European setting, a day’s drive away from Paris, Rome, Vienna, Italy, Brussels. Truly a place to broaden your horizons. In an American community overseas, the stakes are higher. Every job St. Killian takes has the potential to be an international incident. 

According to a recent report in Stars and Stripes, the Department of Defense authorized news outlet for the American military, 24,000 Americans live in the Kaiserslautern area, where Ramstein Air Base is located. They are active duty Air Force and Army, DoD civilians, contractors, veterans, and their husbands, wives and children. Lots of scope for mischief. 

24,000 people who all shop at the same commissary, visit the same library, drink at the same Officer’s Club or NCO Club, work out at the same base gym. Day after day. Seeing the same faces. Smelling the same perfume. Coveting their neighbor’s wife. Knowing when spouses have deployed. Theft. Blackmail. Terrorist threats. Spies. 

What could possibly go wrong?


Check out St. Killian’s Choice in Black Cat Mystery Magazine #8 

Connect with M. A. Monnin at, Facebook, and Twitter


HonoluLou said...

This is so awesome! I lived on Ramstein AB for 16 years and served as both a Postmaster and Postal Inspector (my daughter actually went to preschool and graduated from Ramstein High!) I often worked with the Office of Special Investigations on mail related military crimes including theft, drugs, suicides and a murder. I can not wait to read this mystery!

KrisM said...

Nice hook! Little America sounds like the intersection of a lot of potential trouble. ;)

M. A. Monnin said...

Thanks KrisM, and I know that you know how to make the most out of potential trouble!

how wonderful to have lived there for so long, and to serve as Postmaster! We lived there for 4 years, and our youngest was born at Landstuhl. I still remember my APO number from our time there. Very cool that you helped the OSI. I was NavAids. I learned to drive a manual transmission on the Ramstein flightline taxiway.