In the never-ending search for good, new mystery writers, I found Pete Larson, a former resident of a suburb of Chicago.
In this debut novel, Stuart Carlson is an ex-minister who lost his faith after finding his wife and his best friend in bed together. He moves to a Texas town and gets a job as a bartender. One night a mysterious, but beautiful, one-eyed lady slinks up to one of his bar stools and they meet nice.
Stu is pleasantly surprised when he closes the bar and finds this lady awaiting him on his doorstep. A romantic night is had by all. In the morning Stu wakes with a smile; however, the lady is gone.
It's not a mystery unless there's a body and the body belongs to Andrew Washburn, a cocky, condescending college Professor of Art, with questionable morals and ethics. At a social gathering, Stu serves up a single-malt Scotch to Washburn and minutes later is performing mouth-to-mouth to no avail. Stu doesn't realize that the mysterious lady is Washburn's current wife, Gwen, and the former wife of Daniel, an artist who is a regular at the bar. The professional cocktail mixer decides to personally investigate the murder out of 2-parts guilt and 2-parts friendship.
This is not great fiction, but it is the type of mystery that has little or no blood, sex, and/or raw language. I don't think that it is the first in a series of books because there really isn't a lot of demand for a bartender conducting independent sleuths.