Duo Ex Machina series

The Duo Ex Machina series tells the story of Frank and Milo – musicians who perform as Duo Ex Machina. It tells how their brushes with crime (and their brushes with fame) affect them as they navigate love, life and their careers.

The first novellas, Fly By Night and Sacrifice, were originally published as a single volume called Fly By Night by Homosapien Books in 2004. The next three novellas were all serialised on my Patreon before being released as ebooks by Clan Destine Press, with these wonderful covers by Willison Rowe.

Buy the Duo Ex Machina novellas from Clan Destine Press and other online booksellers:

  1. Fly By Night 
  2. Sacrifice 
  3. Number One Fan 
  4. Kiss and Cry 
  5. Little Star


Fly By Night was nominated in the Ned Kelly Awards for the “Best First Crime Novel” in 2004. Fly By Night was also translated into Croatian under the name Zrtva. You may find a copy if you hunt around on the net!

Duo Ex Machina Book 1: Fly By Night

It’s 1999. Indie musician Frank Capriano returns home to Perth for his mentor’s funeral. His Duo Ex Machina bandmate and boyfriend, Milo, is with him. Together they must contend with a friend in financial crisis, unwelcoming family, old jealousies and a smuggling ring. A missing persons case soon turns to murder, and Frank and Milo are caught in the middle.

‘These nicely paced stories combine appealing characters, mystery, social commentary and a touch of humour in a readable mixture that maintains the right balance between entertainment and reflection. Fresh and enjoyable, the book also makes an interesting change from the familiar, and usually predictable, mainstream crime-fiction offerings.’

~ Jeff Popple, The Canberra Times, 4th April 2004 (on the original Homosapien release)

Duo Ex Machina Book 2: Sacrifice

Duo Ex Machina has a new album on the verge of storming the 2004 charts. Frank and Milo’s promotion tour in Melbourne is hijacked by a serial killer stalking gay men – one of them an old friend from Milo’s past. Juggling their heavy PR schedule with Milo’s hometown return and this sudden loss is bad enough. Finding out who the killer is – and his chosen final victim – will be so much worse.

Sacrifice threw me a couple curves I didn’t see coming! As in Fly by Night, it is impossible not to love Frank & Milo. Such terrifically crafted characters.

~ Suzanne, Goodreads

Duo Ex Machina Book 3: Number One Fan

Five years after a serial killer nearly put an end to Duo Ex Machina, Frank and  Milo are still dealing with the aftermath, which includes a breakdown and the derailing of their career. But they’re still together, still in love, and still making music. A new album is out, and Frank is producing too, helping former pop princess Gabriella Valli relaunch her career.

Maybe this will be the comeback they’ve been looking for. Or it could be, if the mysterious letter-writing Number One Fan doesn’t turn out to be dangerous as well as obsessed.

This is my favourite book in the series… so far. And do you know what I liked more here? consequences! … I love how the suspense builds, how the events escalate, but I also adore Milo and Frank’s relationship, how lovely and difficult and real it is. I love how they are not perfect, how they make mistakes but that doesn’t stop them from keep trying.

~ Claudia, Goodreads

Duo Ex Machina Book 4: Kiss and Cry

Set in 2014, Kiss and Cry sees musicians and life partners Frank Capriano and Milo Bertolone facing new challenges. Milo is taking part in a celebrity ice dancing show for charity; Frank is a busy music producer. They’re both working too hard and losing touch with the love that has kept them strong for so long. At the same time, some odd things are going on with other participants in Icing It! What new and unlooked-for danger threatens them now, and is it worse than the miserable estrangement they’re going through?

Duo Ex Machina Book 5: Little Star

Families can be thorny, especially when the closet’s full of skeletons.

It’s 2019, and Frank and Milo are realising a dream they only recently realised they had – fatherhood. But they’re not only gaining a daughter – they’re inheriting a some serious issues from little Lyra’s extended family. Milo is also discovering his own family history isn’t quite what he’s been told. Parenthood. Always full of surprises…

With all this going on, they’d very much like to not be involved in any more violent crime, thanks. However, crime is not quite done with them in the fifth and final book of the Duo Ex Machina series.

DeM side projects

Duo Ex Machina hand made jewellery: If you love these stories, you might enjoy having a set of earrings inspired by Frank, Milo and Melbourne and made by me! Check out the Dangerous Charm store’s Duo Ex Machina range!

All jewellery sales go towards the Duo Ex Machina Song Project.

The Duo Ex Machina song project: I am working with Melbourne music producer Joshua King to turn lyrics from the Duo Ex Machina books into songs.

Songs which have been released so far:

  • Hymn/Him (from Kiss and Cry) featuring vocals by Loic Mamet of The Sea Birds
  • High (from Number One Fan) featuring Jenni Powell of Riff Raiders on vocals
  • Shotgun Breakup, featuring both Jenni and Loic.
  • Copper Beaches (inspired by John Watson!)
  • Coming in 2022: Illuminated (Inspired by Watson and Holmes)

Find songs by Duo Ex Machina on Amazon Music as well as:

Visit The Song Project to learn more.


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