William E. Dempsey, Author

The Mike Stafford Novel Series


   In creating the Mike Stafford series of novels, William draws on his years of military service, especially events relating to the tumultuous US-Cuban relationship, and the plight of the Cuban people under communism and Fidel Castro,

   Chief Gunner’s Mate Mike Stafford is a naval veteran of WW II and Korea. He becomes the series hero in Betrayal at Bahia de los Cochinos, when he volunteers for a mission ashore during the Bay of Pigs invasion. An instinctive leader, his calm, cool confidence enables a daring escape from behind enemy lines. The feat puts his name in lights within the navy, but Mike marries and retires to a sales job.

   Sixteen months later, America is in crisis. The Soviets have installed ballistic missiles in Cuba, and President Kennedy calls for a quarantine of the island as the nation prepares for nuclear war. Mike reports for duty in Blockade: The Quarantine of Cuba. Once again, his performance aboard a destroyer draws the admiration of senior navy leaders, but again, Mike takes off his uniform and returns to civilian life.

   Five months pass. Mike is growing dissatisfied with his job just as trouble with Cuba flares. America needs help, but this time it isn’t the navy calling. It’s the CIA, and they make an offer he can’t refuse. In Deception at San Cristóbal, a one-time, contract mission with the agency turns into a new career. He teams with a younger agent, Cuban-American Félix Molina, and together they make a startling discovery. After completing their mission, they help some of Mike’s friends from book one escape Cuba and continue the fight against communism and Castro.

   When the tragic assassination of President Kennedy occurs, on November 22, 1963, the agency immediately sends Mike and Félix to Dallas to investigate the possibility of a connection to Cuba. With the help of their Miami based anti-Castro allies, they run all leads to ground in Revenge at Dealey Plaza, scheduled for release in November 2016.

Betrayal at Bahia de los Cochinos

A Novel of the Bay of Pigs Invasion


The Navy selects veteran destroyer skipper, Fred Schmidt, for a top-secret mission during the invasion of Cuba by an army of expats at the Bay of Pigs.


The invasion begins. Schmidt calls on Chief Gunner’s Mate Mike Stafford, an old shipmate, along with two others, to go ashore to direct naval gunfire. Disaster strikes immediately when the President orders the withdrawal of American forces.


Abandoned, Stafford and the exile army must fend for themselves. Schmidt attacks a Soviet submarine to draw attention to the situation, while the Stafford trio attempt to evade Cuban forces and escape across the island to the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay.


A board of inquiry awaits Schmidt, while Stafford and his two men face a firing squad if captured.


A Novel of the Cuban Missile Crisis


Chief Gunner’s Mate Mike Stafford is back in action as President Kennedy faces Premier Nikita Khrushchev over the installation of Soviet nuclear ballistic missiles in Cuba.


Stafford teams up with Chief Boatswain’s Mate Paul Jones in a series of exploits aboard the destroyer Boyington. The ship’s mission is to find Soviet submarines, enforce the U.S. quarantine of Cuba, and after the Soviets agree to remove the missiles, monitor their departure from the island.


Mike rescues a downed aircraft copilot; becomes a hostage with his inspection team aboard a Soviet transport ship in danger of sinking; and, with Jones’s help, investigates an act of sabotage. Jones searches the dark alleys of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico for a missing crewman.

Deception at San Cristobal

A Novel of the Cuban Missile Crisis


The CIA recruits retired Navy Chief Mike Stafford to determine if Castro has concealed nuclear missiles after Khrushchev agreed to remove all of them from Cuba.


Mike and Agent Félix Molina infiltrate Cuba, and begin the search with the help of friends, María Lopez and Juan Mendoza. After several weeks and many narrow escapes, they complete the mission, including the rescue of María’s cousin, Pedro Lopez, imprisoned by Castro for the past four years. But Mike, Félix, and Pedro’s attempt to escape through Czechoslovakia proves harrowing.


They make it home, but the CIA sends Mike and Félix back to aid the anti-Castro underground by setting up a communications system. They do so, and then attempt to help María and Juan in a risky escape from Cuba.

Revenge at Dealey Plaza

A Novel of the Kennedy Assassination

(Available November 2016)


CIA agents Mike Stafford and Félix Molina, working in the new Domestic Operations Division, spring into action with the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas.


Their charge is to determine if any link exists between Castro and Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby. They frequently call on Miami-based CIA operatives, Juan and Maria Mendoza, for assistance.


In pursuit of truth, they run afoul of several mob organizations determined to halt the investigation by any means, including murder. Their search takes them into the seedy, dark alleys and mob hangouts where everyone’s life has a price tag. From Dallas, to New Orleans, to Tampa, and to Miami, big money, beautiful women, and corruption combine to thwart their efforts.