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John Ceepak Books In Order

Publication Order of John Ceepak Books

Tilt-a-Whirl (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mad Mouse (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Whack A Mole (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hell Hole (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mind Scrambler (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rolling Thunder (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ring Toss (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fun House (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Free Fall (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Written by the American author Chris Grabenstein, who’s a native to the city of New York, this set of mystery novels set within the area of Jersey Shore have been warmly received over the course of the series run. Totalling over eight books so far and counting, they show an in-depth knowledge of the area, as well as the genre that they’ve been set within. The franchise has been widely praised for its strong sense of character and its skill in handling the many situations with both pathos and humor, whilst not overlooking the gravity of situation at any one time.

With the series itself it focuses on the character of John Ceepak, a police-officer now operating in the area of Jersey Shore after a period spent in the military police where he was stationed in Baghdad. Following a bad tour there he just wants to get his head down and get on with his work as an officer doing what he does best; helping people in need. Living in a fictional seaside town called Sea Haven, he is regularly presented with mysteries, which he must work to get to the bottom of providing justice to all who reside there.

Tilt-a-Whirl

The first book in the series to be published, this was initially brought out in 2005 on the 20th of September, as it introduced its readers to the character of John Ceepak. Giving him his first mystery, it managed to convey who he was and what he is about, whilst allowing the style and the tone of the series to shine through. It also brought his partner into the limelight allowing the working relationship between them both to flourish for the many novels that were to follow.

Having served in the military police in Iraq, John Ceepak has seen a bit more than he’d like to have seen, something which he must make ammends with over the course of the series. Haunted by his own demons, he is a resourceful and intelligent individual who works as an upright individual with his own key set of strengths. In anyone else’s hands his character would possibly come off as somewhat prudish and self-righteous, but under the helm of Chris Grabenstein he’s an intricate and ultimately decent character who readers have warmed to over the course of the series. The character of Danny Boyle is also a key figure during the proceedings as well, as he works to offset Ceepak throughout as his slightly bumbling, but ultimately good-natured partner. Working side-by-side with Ceepak, he starts as a summer cop only operating part-time, as he initially hopes to simply make enough money to have fun with his beach friends in the evening. A growing bond and sense of respect then builds between them as the twenty-four year old comes to learn more about the practice and nature of investigation through John Ceepak, as they both solve more and more cases together.

Beginning with a murdered real-estate billionaire tycoon, his body is found left on the tilt-a-whirl in a rundown and seedy amusement park in the tourist town of Sea Haven. Heading up the murder investigation instead of taking time-out to convalesce after witnessing the horrors of war, which was what he was initially supposed to be doing, he fast begins to get on with the case in hand. With the help of Danny Boyle, a young part-time cop looking for some extra money to fund his fun beach party lifestyle, he aims to bring the killer to justice and quickly. Will they be able to find the killer before it’s too late? Why was the tycoon killed? Who could be behind the murder at the tilt-a-whirl?

Mad Mouse

Originally published on the 14th of May, 2006, this book continued the story of police-officer John Ceepak as he carries on with his next investigation to solve. Partnered once more with Danny Boyle, they both work together to solve the latest mystery presented to them both, as it manages to futher establish their working relationship together. Creating a new perspective to work within, it manages to build upon the style and the tone of what came previously, setting up an almost alternative outlook overall, as the surrounding characters and backstory of Ceepak are even further elaborated upon giving a greater insight into who they are.

With John Ceepak and his partner, the summer cop Danny Boyle, solving mysteries once again they’re this time presented with a new case to solve. Further establishing their characters, it manages to work with what was most effective last time, whilst bringing some newer elements into the mix as well. With a villain as well, it manages to build upon themes that Grabenstein has visited before, bringing them to the surface conveying them in an extremely effective manner, thus presenting them to the audience in a clear and effective style whilst simultaneously not preaching to his readers either.

As Labor Day slowly comes to an end, it also means that the summer is beginning to draw to a close as well and someone’s life could be in danger. Looking for revenge, the beach partying friends of Danny Boyle are targeted by somebody hoping to wreak havoc upon them and their lives. With John Ceepak to help out though, he’ll stay beside Boyle to see that none of them come to any harm in this suspense filled sequel to the first. Will they be able to find their tormentor? Why are they being targeted? What will become of the tormentors targets as they seek a most twisted revenge upon the mad mouse?

The John Ceepak Series

Largely known for his literature for children and young adult’s, author Chris Grabenstein is also well regarded for his contemporary mystery novels as well. With his work within the media too, having written scripts for television in the past, he has a keen visual style, along with his keen sense of both formula and genre. This is reflected within the narrative arc of his many colorful characters that populate his novels, with John Ceepak being no exception to this. Building upon this, there is still an enormous amount of room and potential to expand the series and the character of John Ceepak from now on into the many years to come.

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