Throughout Indianapolis, the month of May means one thing — auto racing.

The excitement, celebrity and activity of the Indianapolis 500 brings hundreds of thousands of people to central Indiana. And in a new book by local author Brett Wiscons, it also brings with it murder.

Wiscons, a Zionsville-based musician and author, released his third novel, “Turn Three,” this month. The book is part of his Bear Whitman series, following the grizzled detective as he investigates the death of a young racecar driver.

“Turn Three” is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon websites, as well as on Wiscons’ own site,

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What influenced you to write these books?

In the past couple years, I had started reading the detectives stories of the ’70s and ’80s. I liked the genre and everything about it. I wanted to keep that inspiration going but also make up my own character.

What motivated you to try writing this type of story yourself?

In 2011, my dad passed away, and that was the catalyst to come up with the idea to write these books. I never thought of writing books before. It wasn’t his dying wish that I write or anything, but it was the kind of thing where I wanted to keep his legacy alive, to be able to talk to him.

How did you implement your father into these books?

I based the character of Bear Whitman on him. He tries to be more brainy than brawny, more clever than physical. My dad wasn’t a detective or anything like that, but he was a clever guy.

After writing two novels in the Bear Whitman series, what was your focus for this third one?

I wanted to bring the story to Indianapolis. The character had been based mostly in Chicago, and with each book I had gone up there for a while and researched the city. But instead of making that drive up to Chicago again, I thought I’d figure out a way to get the character down here.

What challenges did you find sitting down and putting these books together?

The ideas to write books or songs are easy for me. It’s easy for me to come up with ideas, but it’s a matter of putting those together into a finished product. With these books, I’d get started and then wonder what I was doing.

What have you found as far the differences between writing a song and writing a story?

I can write a song in 10 minutes sometimes, so I really just look at a book or story as a long song. It’s a process that I’m not really used to yet, though I’m getting better at it. But there’s not that much of a difference. A lot of my songs are story-based anyway; there’s dialogue and characters.

Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.