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Patience McKenna Books In Order

Publication Order of Patience McKenna Books

Sweet, Savage Death (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wicked, Loving Murder (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death's Savage Passion (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rich, Radiant Slaughter (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Once and Always Murder (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

An author of mystery novels, the American writer Orania Papazoglou has been writing under the pseudonym of Jane Haddam for some time now. Also going under the name of Ann Paris, she is well known for her vast and extensive backlog of highly successful mystery novels. With a number of franchises, she has also managed to create a collection of long-running series as well, many with recurring and iconic characters. Living in New York City the former romance novelist Patience McKenna has now turned her hand to writing crime fiction. Whilst it follows many of the tropes of the typical murder mystery over the course of the series it is also fairly post-modern in its approach. Giving a unique inside look into the publishing industry it takes the murder there, as Patience McKenna finds herself solving a string of murders over the course of the franchise.

Running for over five books in total, this particular series ran from 1984 right up until 1990, creating a self-contained franchise. As inventive as it was witty, the series was just as much a creative look at the world of publishing as it was a murder mystery franchise. With more and more fans discovering this work everyday, it looks like its legacy is set to continue on into the foreseeable future with its timeless approach to the genre.

Sweet, Savage Death

Initially published in 1984 on the 1st of January, this was to be the first in the Patience McKenna series of novels. Setting up the premise and establishing the characters, it also manages to provide a mystery for the novelist to solve as well. Brought out through the ‘International Polygonics’ publishing label, this worked at building the style and the tone of the series to follow.

As works of post-modern fiction commenting on the codes and conventions of the thriller mystery genre, these work really well. Setting up the main character, it convey a lot of the ideas that were to come from Haddam, this being early on in her writing career. It also provides fans of the genre a unique insight into the industry itself, showing the inner workings of a life they wouldn’t usually see. The setting of a writing convention is perfect for this, as it’s an inspired idea that really gets the core premise of the narrative flowing. Giving the reader a unique perspective and chance to see this alternate world, it really understands how everything operates given the authors own background. This gives it all an authenticity, something which lends itself well to not only the story, but the characters as well. In regards to the characters themselves it is also highly successful, as it manages to capture the essence of who everyone really is and how they operate in this world. As a writer Haddam is extremely astute, giving some very well observed insights that play extremely well into the grounded sense of reality the novel is providing. With the character of Patience McKenna herself, she is a highly iconic and well realized leading protagonist for the novel.

Taking place at the Third Annual Conference of the American Writers of Romance, it sees Patience McKenna finding herself caught in a mystery. Offering a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry, she gets herself lost amidst a complete whirlwind of mayhem and murder. Getting involved she must find out the truth of what’s really going on, whilst also deal with the conference itself. Will she be able to solve the case? Can she cope with the conference? What will become of a sweet, savage death?

Wicked, Loving Murder

Brought out through the ‘International Polygonics’ publishing house once again, this was set to be the follow up to the first. Providing another mystery for the eponymous romance writer and amateur sleuth to solve, this carried on in much the same vein as before. Released in January in 1985, this would also develop the story to a greater degree, along with building the characters further as well.

Taking the world of the publishing industry and giving a different insight into it really helps the ideas in this series to expand overall. Whereas the first title was about a romance novelists conference, this is about a writing magazine, and the two juxtapose with each other nicely. It also allows Haddam to further develop her ideas as well, taking them onto a different landscape, whilst keeping them intact in order to elaborate on them more. Not just limited to a conference either, this time it sees the action taken to a wider plain, as it allows the central character to further explore herself and who she really is. Still as resourceful as ever, Patience McKenna is an extremely astute and sharp witted individual who will do whatever it takes to see the job through to the end.

Faced with the prospect of a lot of would-be writers, Patience McKenna is having to deal with a slew of aspiring novelists. Joining up with a new magazine for writing, she has a work cut out for her, but that’s not all she has to deal with working there. It appears that there’s a lot of skeletons coming out of the closet and even a dead body, as she finds she now must get to the bottom if this next case. Will she be able to deal with it all? Can she cope with the pressure? Just who is behind the wicked, loving murder?

The Patience McKenna Series

Witty and inventive, this post-modern meta-approach to the genre not only takes on a lot of the cliches, but also analyses the publishing industry as a whole. Through the character of Patience McKenna, Orania aka Jane Haddam gets to cast her eye over the industry herself. It’s also the other characters and the smaller moments that also grab the attention of the reader, as it’s a very well observed set of novels too. A definite must for anyone who is a fan of the genre and is looking for a somewhat different take on it that’s both new and interesting, thus ensuring its appeal for many years to come.

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