Ready to dive into a new book by weight loss guru, Dr. Ian K. Smith? He serves up another helping of sleuthing in The Overnights: An Ashe Cayne Novel, Book 3, a juicy mystery read that will leave you satiated—without the guilty calories. EBONY sat down with Dr. Smith to dish on his new detective thriller.

EBONY: What inspired your Ashe Cayne novel series?

Dr. Ian K. Smith: I've always been a big lover of fiction. People didn't know that. And I really wanted to write a book with a character that I'd never seen before: a strong African American male who was smart and savvy; handsome, athletic and determined, who could quote Biggie as well as Shakespeare. Because I live in Chicago, this is the character I wish I could be if I came back in another life. He goes around the city solving cases and being fearless and irreverent.

The Overnights- An Ashe Cayne Novell_IamSmith_Amazon
The Overnights
Ian K. Smith (Amistad, May 2023)

Price: $28

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He's gotten himself in a crazy situation about an anchorwoman that he's trying to protect.

This book is called The Overnights because it's set in the TV industry, where the overnights are the daily ratings reports that you get during the sweeps period. This glamorous diva, a Chicago anchorwoman who is at the top of her ratings, will do anything necessary to stay there. She hires our guy Cayne to protect her because she's being harassed and threatened as she seeks to maintain her number one spot in the media landscape.

She’s got some secrets.

In the world of mystery, nothing is as it typically seems. There are many aspects to her and to other characters in the book. Readers will have to keep thinking and paying attention and discerning the clues that are dropped along the way. I think that is what good mysteries do.

Did you see Black male archetypes like this as a kid?

I’ve always loved private investigator and detective series and I didn't see myself represented as a kid. I also didn't see it as an adult, really. I wanted to create a character that everyone would enjoy, but I wanted him to be an African American man who was very strong, cool and awesome.

People know you as the weight loss doc! How did you learn about law enforcement?

Several years ago, I had the honor of working with the Chicago Police Department to help them lose weight. I befriended several people on the force who were detectives. I started to learn what they did and how they did it, and they were nice enough to take me behind the fourth wall. They took me into the offices and showed me how they worked cases. I was just so taken by how different it is from what people are led to believe from TV. I decided to write a character that was a former detective who leaves the CPD under a cloud because he would not participate in a cover up. But now he gets a chance to take on only the cases he wants to take. He knows how the police department works. He knows how the streets work. He knows the wealthy, affluent areas and how they work.