Alan Orloff Books In Order

Publication Order of Last Laff Mystery Books

Killer Routine (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Deadly Campaign (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Books

Diamonds for the Dead (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Running From The Past (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Alan Orloff was born in Washington, DC and raised in Maryland. He had a rather eclectic and disjointed path to writing, jumping from different careers before settling into writing fiction books. He graduated Mechanical Engineering in University of Maryland. He practiced for a little while, also moving into different states like New York, Massachusetts, Kentucky and different towns in Virginia. After a few years of changing jobs he was also ready to change his career. He then attended MIT/Sloan to earn his MBA in business. He worked at various jobs, from his different careers. He worked in supervising assembly workers, on nuclear submarines, heap washing machines on top of one another with a forklift, another job that involves supervision of a transfer of a famous movie’s program as an engineer.

Alan also worked at a newspaper company, at a marketing research firm, and at a hardware and software systems developer. He also started his own business, a newsletter business that aims to educate the public of the benefits of waste reduction and recycling.After a few years, he decided to change careers again, and with the support of his wife, he started fiction writing. He enjoyed it and is still writing books.He claimed he started writing when he was in sixth grade and his friend and him tried to make a novel, they didn’t finish it. His ideas for books and storyline naturally came to him, on the most random moments, and it’s just a matter of nurturing the ideas and making them into great books. His writing habits includes writing vague outlines, making short character profiles before beginning the story, researching as much as he can, and writing in a quota goal of 1500-2000 word per day for the first draft, and spending the same time or even more, revising and editing the draft. Most, if not all, of his books are set in a certain town in Virginia, where he lives. When asked about it, he said he was fascinated by the quietness and stillness of the town on the outside while messy and full of issues on the inside. The town has strict guidelines and very intriguing, because of this.

The dichotomy between the perfect exterior and the inner chaos is interesting, he said. His debut novel was nominated Best First Novel at the Agatha Award. The plot circles around the protagonist Josh Hamdleman and his treasure hunt. When he came back to his hometown to burry his father, he discovered that his father isn’t just strange, he was also filthy rich. His father donated millions to charity, invested in his friends, and have a collection of diamonds. But the diamonds were gone, and it’s disappearance may have a connection with his father’s death. He set out to find the gems, not knowing that while getting closer to his inheritance, he was also getting close to his dad’s murderer. His first series came shortly after that. Killer Routine, the first book in his first series Last Laff Mystery was published in April 2011. Killer Routine was about a man named Channing Hayes, who barely survived an accident that killed his fiancée, Lauren. He co-owned a stand up comedy club and taught Lauren’s sister, Heather about the art of stand-up comedy. But on Heather’s performance night, she disappeared with no marks left and no evidences of where she went. Channing realized Heather’s disappearance is more than just a simple one, she’s hiding from something. He realized this when ex-lovers of Heather started turning up dead. He was tracking Heather all the while having conflicts with Heather’s father and a lot of comic wannabees. He later then found horrible truths about her disappearance, and went to save Heather from herself and from a man who wants both of them dead. The second one in his series is Deadly Campaign. It was published in January 2012. The second book is about Channing’s involvement into the world of politics.

When he attended his friend’s congressional campaign event, masked thugs made a commotion and because his friend didn’t want the police to be involved, he asked Channing instead to investigate and look first the underlying reason of the attack of the masked men. On his search for the truth, he found himself in the middle of the corrupt world of politics. A world of blackmail, illicit affairs, gangs, and murders. He thought comedy business was tough, he realized it’s nothing compared to the dirty world of politics.His series has a strange setting, a thriller novel set on a stand-up comedy club with a comedian as a protagonist, who has a tragic past and myriad of negative emotions. Alan Orloff, when asked about this, said he was fascinated by the irony of comedy and tragedy and how it affects comic’s routines.

He also writes under a different pseudonym Zak Allen. He published three thriller and suspense ebooks under Zak Allen, First Time Killer, a thriller, The Taste, also a thriller, and a suspense novel Ride-Along.His advice for aspiring writers is to read and write a lot. Use the internet to your advantage, you can learn a lot from the internet but also be careful on what you take in. There’s a lot of information kn the internet but a fair amount of them is garbage. He found going to talks, book festivals and writing conferences are the best way to grow as a writer. You’ll meet a lot of people who have the same aspirations as you and will help you grow.Alan Orloff is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers, and The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. He also has completed the Henson (VA) Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy.He currently lives in Reston, Virginia. Where he has lived ever since finishing his MBA. He is married and has two sons, who performs in drama and active in sports. His father is an English teacher, who he’s making proud by writing fiction. Aside from reading and writing a lot, he is also very fond of poker.

Alan Orloff is an American author best known for his work in the mystery genre; before pursuing writing, Alan was a mechanical engineer, his career allowing him to utilize his skills in various settings before he finally discovered his passion for writing.


Alan Orlof was born in Washington D.C, growing up in the suburbs of Maryland. He pursued sciences in school, eventually receiving his degree in mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Alan began working for General Electric soon afterwards, his job allowing him to travel across the country, visiting places like Louisville, Richmond and Syracuse. Eventually he, for lack of a better term, lost interest in engineering.

Determining that he would be better served pursuing a different career Alan Orloff then poured his efforts into acquiring a business degree from MIT/Sloan; yet even that would eventually fail to provide him the fulfillment he was seeking.

It wasn’t until his wife encouraged him to pursue writing fiction that everything seemed to finally click into place; Alan has admitted that while everything else he ever did almost always failed to truly enthrall him, writing provided a never ending thrill that has allowed him to achieve success as an author today, a feat that he believes his father (a former English teacher) would commend him for.

Alan’s sojourn as an engineering and MBA graduate allowed him to enjoy a number of memorable experiences, this including his time working on nuclear submarines, the factory workers he had to supervise, hours spend stacking washing machines. One period of his life even found him working at a newspaper, this not taking into account the work he did for a marketing research firm.

It wouldn’t be an over exaggeration to say that Alan Orloff is a man of many talents, especially when you take into account the course he completed at the Herndon Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy.

His first novel, Diamonds for the Dead, was a Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist; and he has since gone on to write many more novels, tackling mystery even while straying into horror, thriller and suspense every once in a while.

In discussing his writing process, Alan has admitted to juggling the plots of numerous projects at one go, taking the time to plan out stories for some novels even as he proceeds to write others.

Alan Orloff’s family consists of his wife and two children.

First Time Killer

Rick Jennings has been a D.C radio talk show host for 26 years; and during the past two decades, he has taken all possible steps to steer clear of outrageous radio. As such it is with reluctance that he chooses to accept an offer from the executives of WTLK to host a show called Afternoon Circus. And even then, Rick is determined to maintain some respectable standards.

However Rick’s concerns take an unexpected turn when a chilling call brings him to the understanding that there might be more at stake than maintaining his dignity. He has a new fan, one that claims to be a first time killer. And after an intern’s arm is found in the trashcan, Rick’s decision to spar with the first time killer over the airwaves initiates a series of dangerous events. And as the ratings begin to skyrocket, the bodies begin to mount.

First Time Killer works in a way that so many other novels rarely do; it is likely to appeal to fans of talk radio with the way it provides a sneak peek into the world behind this particular curtain.

Rick Jennings is a great protagonist; accepting to play the role of host for a program called afternoon circus, it becomes his goal to defeat his opponent ( known as Tin man) for the chance to host the show solo and earn all the perks on offer.

However with talk radio, it is all about ratings, and Rick has to discover just how far he is willing to go to overcome his foe while still maintaining the standards he once stood for. The injection of an insane killer only adds to Rick’s mounting plate, especially when ratings begin to rise.

The novel shapes the entire plot around Rick’s struggle with his own conscious, especially when his new fan is offering him the chance to defeat Tin man. The story maintains a surprising amount of tension throughout its run, Alan Orloff peppering the chapters with twists and turns that will actually surprise.

There is humor as well, especially with Alan’s rather brilliant cast of characters, all of them well conceived, properly shaped and unleashed by Alan Orloff to delight as effectively as possible.

Admittedly there have been complaints about Alan’s decision to have his characters swear incessantly while attempting to avoid swearing; he would have been best served by either choosing to have his characters swear in their dialogue or avoiding it completely as opposed to swearing while censoring his own work. The results simply do not work.

Diamonds for the Dead

Josh Handleman returns to his home town of Reston, Virginia with the express aim of burying his father. What he discovers is a side of his Dad he never knew existed. Not only was Josh Handleman’s father rich, he made a point to donate his wealth to charity in the millions of dollars and even took the time to further the dreams of Josh’s friends. The vodka smelling Russian that Josh learns was living with his father is only the icing on the cake.

When Josh learns of his father’s diamond collection, and the fact that the gems are missing, he begins to question the accident that killed Abe Handleman. What he doesn’t realize immediately is the fact that his hunt for his inheritance will bring him closer to his father’s killer.

Diamonds for the Dead is a pretty easy read; Alan writes the story with the aim of allowing his readers to seamlessly engage with his world and characters. It is easy to sympathize with the protagonist and the conflicts he has to deal with, both internally and externally, especially regarding his father.

True to form, Alan Orloff’s mysteries are perfectly integrated into the plot, making every revelation a worthwhile experience.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Alan Orloff