Marks was born in Georgetown, Ohio, the childhood home of Ulysses Grant. For his second novel, Marks moved the action to Bethel, Ohio, where Jesse Root Grant, Ulysses’ father, once served as mayor. The action begins with the funeral of one of Grant’s friends from his time in Bethel. The death seems somehow tied to the large amount of gold that Grant sees around the small town. When another friend is murdered, Grant must find out who is killing these men and the source of the town’s sudden wealth.

Marks, who has published three mystery short story anthologies, a guide to marketing genre fiction, and a biography of mystery writer Craig Rice, has  received multiple honors for his work, among them: The Barnes and Noble award, the Malice Domestic Grant, and nominations for the Anthony, Edgar, Agatha, Macavity and the Maxwell award. He currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.