top of page

Alan Kirby

Official Website of Best Selling Author, Including the Award-Winning Book

In The Shadow Of The Watertower

Alan Kirby

 Author Updates and Books including:

In The Shadow Of The Watertower


In The Shadow Of The Ivory Tower


In The Shadow Of The Watertower

Ivory Tower,BK90023165.jpg

In The Shadow Of The Ivory Tower 


Book Summaries & Reviews

In The Shadow of The Water Tower


With An Unexpected Phone Call From A Distant Attorney, The Lives Of Two Brothers Forever Change

The Kelly brothers are in their early sixties and live on opposite sides of the country—Joe in Maryland and Darren in California—when they receive a call from a demanding attorney in their small hometown of Glenville, Indiana. The request: to travel to Indiana to hear the final wishes of a recently deceased former neighbor from their childhood, “Uncle” Shorty.


Travel across country to hear the final wishes of a man who appeared to own little more than an old Plymouth car and a fine looking checkerboard? The brothers see all this as a major waste of time—even though Shorty had been a kind and encouraging friend of the family. But Attorney Borland is dead serious: “I promise you, by attending this meeting and hearing Mr. Hazelton’s wishes, both of your lives could be changed forever. I suggest you arrange to get here as soon as possible.”


Returning “home” after forty years will pull Joe and Darren away from their relatively quiet family lives and thrust them into a world of boyhood memories, legendary characters, old grievances, early loves, and a precarious status that elicits power, greed, false adulation, and even crime. Their journey will be full of humor and satisfaction, but also considerable pain—will it all be worth it?

“A portrait of a loving, brotherly relationship served in an inventive narrative device that explores the bonds of family, responsibility and the changing nature of time.” – Kirkus Reviews.

“Alan Kirby is a gifted storyteller”…


“An inspirational story with full doses of humor and drama”…


“Kirby writes the history of small town America with grace and charm.”  - Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)

--Featured in Kirkus Reviews 12/15 Issue for Independent Authors

--Featured in 11/14 Issue

In The Shadow of The Ivory Tower

A Prestigious West Coast University Is Under Attack. The Serenity Of The Seaside Campus And The Lives Of The University Community Have Been Threatened.  Is It The Work Of A Determined Group Of Students Or A Sociopath With His Own Agenda?


A shooting attack on a Middle Eastern Religions class throws California Pacific University into a state of fear and suspicion.  Violent protests erupt at campus events that feature controversial speakers.   Threats and attacks on the community occur every few days as an unknown assailant challenges the campus leadership.


Those who live in the California Pacific University community are caught up in a power struggle that threatens the university with more violence. Principles of diversity, inclusion, and free speech are challenged as the university struggles to maintain control. 

Darren Kelly, a professor of Counseling Psychology, and Detective Jake Cooper are part of a Threat Assessment Team that attempts to identify the attacker and release his chaotic grip on their community. But matching wits with a sociopath could pop the collegiate bubble in which they live, and the quiet seaside community will forever be changed if the assailant achieves his goal.

In The Shadow of the Ivory Tower--Reviews


A thrilling mystery unfolds on an idyllic college campus. 

Author Alan Kirby has created an intriguing and thought-provoking novel.  There are many twists and turns in the story, and the ending is unforeseen and simply clever.


One has to hope that Coop and Kelly will team up again; this would be a wonderful series! Reader's Favorite (5 Stars)


Alan Kirby has created a first-class mystery that also puts on display his intrinsic knowledge of university life. Woven within the plot he explores the issues of free speech, tolerance for opposing opinions and the governance of higher educational facilities.


He cleverly interlaces real life events to bring story line issues into focus. There is also some welcome humor.  In The Shadow of the Ivory Tower is well-written and well thought out, peopled with solid, believable characters.Reader's Favorite (5 Stars)


Kirby writes in a steady, polished prose that deftly captures the staid scholasticism of academia...The author clearly has an insider's knowledge of how a university operates, and he offers some valid critiques of the increasingly corporate model. —Kirkus Reviews


Plot: The plot has a good blend of real life-inspired events, social issues, and a mystery that not only keeps readers on their toes but also has a very surprising ending. There's even a good amount of humor infused into the plot.

Prose: Kirby does a wonderful job of keeping the prose smooth and interesting, and the subjects seamlessly tied together. 

Originality: This story has a refreshingly different point of view regarding college life and the mystery occurring on campus. Readers will find this a fresh read.

Character Development: The characters presented in this book are all well-written, each exhibiting subtle quirks, from humorous to scary and unstable. Every character stood out as an individual and their arcs are clear and well rendered.—Critic’s Report for The BookLife Prize by Publishers Weekly.

In The Press


Alan Kirby enjoyed a career of over thirty years at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He has multiple advanced degrees including a PhD in Counseling.  Kirby was the editor of two nonfiction books on university management and created a private video production company (Fried Egg Productions) focused on producing training modules for university employees.


He has now turned his attention to writing fiction. His first novel, In The Shadow of the Water Towerrevisited his own experiences as a young Hoosier from a small town and explored the strong bond between brothers.

His second novel in the series, In The Shadow of the Ivory Tower, provides an insider's look at a threatening crisis at a premier university.  Hear the author talk about his recent novel on an interview with The Author Show.

The author welcomes comments and questions at  He would also greatly appreciate it if you could leave a review of his books on Amazon.  Reviews are of invaluable assistance to an independent author.  Thank you!

Unknown Track - Unknown Artist
00:00 / 00:00
bottom of page