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A.J. Hartley Books In Order

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Publication Order of Will Hawthorne Books

Act of Will (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Will Power (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cerulean Stone (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Slave Trader's Wedding (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Darwen Arkwright Books

Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Darwen Arkwright and the Insidious Bleck (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Darwen Arkwright and the School of Shadows (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Steeplejack Books

Publication Order of Sekret Machines Books

with Tom DeLonge
Chasing Shadows (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Fire Within (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Planet of Blood and Ice Books

Cathedrals of Glass (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Cold Bath Street Books

Cold Bath Street (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Written Stone Lane (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Beyond the Mirror Books

Monsters in the Mirror (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mirrocilist Mission (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Impervious (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mask of Atreus (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
On the Fifth Day (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
What Time Devours (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Macbeth (With: David Hewson) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tears of the Jaguar (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (With: David Hewson) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Burning Shakespeare (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trinity (With: Tom DeLonge) (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories / Novellas

Publication Order of Anthologies

Legends of the Dragon Vol. 1(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crime Plus Music(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Instinct: An Animal Rescuers Anthology(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

A.J. Hartley is an American author with British roots that writes mystery thrillers and fantasy. The author has gained quick success since he first appeared on the scene in the mid 2000s.


A.J. Hartley was born in Preston in Lancashire. The author has lived a more interesting life than most. And that isn’t merely because of the two years he spent teaching English in Japan or all the countries he eventually visited as he traversed Asia.

Born in 1964, Hartley is a bit of a late bloomer, at least with regards to publishing. Writing fiction is one dream the author did not immediately pursue. Though that might be because he was too busy getting his Masters and Doctoral Degrees in English Literature in the United States.

It wasn’t always so obvious that A.J. Hartley would take to English and Literature. Certainly, the author showed his leanings towards the subjects back at Manchester University where he had English as a major.

But Hartley was also wildly fascinated by the extra Egyptology classes he was taking. In fact, the author’s interest in history was such that he eventually found a job at a Bronze Age site near Jerusalem.

Hartley will tell you that his interest in history has never abated; the days he spent touring Greece and Rome with his family when he was young probably had something to do with it.

But the author’s passion for Literature eventually won out, which is why he eventually found his way to Boston University and then the University of West Georgia. Hartley’s interest in literature tends to resolve around Shakespeare.

There is a reason the author is a Shakespeare professor, and a distinguished one, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The fact that he has published so much content on Shakespeare’s work speaks volumes about his passion for the figure.

As a writer, A.J. Hartley is able to blend his love for literature together with his interest in history. It isn’t enough for Hartley to know about ancient civilizations. Rather, the author enjoys the prospect of digging into cultures that have since come and gone, and this shows in the way he approaches his fictional novels and plots out his ideas.

For his efforts as a writer, A.J. Hartley has been rewarded with accolades like the SIBA Book Award. He has also been recognized by resources like Kirkus for the impact his books have had on young readers.

This isn’t even taking into account the interest his academic books have elicited.

There are few players in the publishing field that are quite like A.J. Hartley, authors that have written for everyone from scholars to enthusiasts of literature to adult readers and even middle grade audiences.

Hartley, it should be noted, isn’t as stuffy as his reputation suggests. Certainly, the author has more degrees than most. He is definitely very learned. However, Hartley finds time to enjoy his hobbies, this including sports, food and alcohol.

+The Mask of Atreus

Deborah Miller is a museum curator with a terrible secret. When a dead body was found at an obscure museum, the wonder of the Greek antiques in the vicinity allowed the absence of a priceless Mycenaean death mask to go unnoticed, with many unaware of its power and potential to bring about unparalleled devastation in the wrong hands.

Now Deborah knows the truth, but it might be too late to tell the world.

This is one of those books that, according to readers, have a lot of potential that they never quite fulfill. Deborah Miller finds her boss dead in the museum at which she works.

Deborah finds him in a secret room she didn’t know about, one filled with priceless artifacts. When circumstances cause her to question the motives of the police, Deborah decides to look into the matter herself, flying to Greece.

However, the decision only propels her into more trouble as she draws the attention of some nefarious individuals. This A.J. Hartley story has a sprawling feel to it as it rapidly progresses through the plot, introducing various characters and trying to juggle a number of storylines.

The idea of compounding the myths surrounding Greece artifacts with some sort of Nazi cult sounds promising. However, Hartley throws too many coincidences into the mix, which makes some of the occurrences in the book difficult to believe.

Deborah, the protagonist, is believable. She spends a lot of the story struggling with her own anxiety and confusion. However, she also shows a lot of creativity and courage as she takes on all the bad guys.

She could have been more interesting if A.J. Hartley hadn’t made things so predictable. One doesn’t need to finish the book in order to figure out who the villain is or what they might be up to.

+On the Fifth Day

When a priest dies, his brother Thomas grows suspicious about the circumstances, particularly because Thomas knows that his sibling was deeply engaged in research into some Christian symbols.

With the help of a museum curator known as Deborah Miller, Thomas attempts to understand what his brother was exploring before his death. The pair soon discovers a group determined to hide whatever the priest learned during his research.

This book isn’t for everyone. Some readers, especially religious leaders, will definitely find things in here to offend them.

The A.J. Hartley story finds Thomas Knight struggling with the loss of his teaching job. If that wasn’t enough, news of his brother’s death eventually finds him. Thomas decides to look into the circumstances surrounding the death.

However, that only attracts the attention of Homeland Security. But Thomas refuses to be thrown off course and pushes harder, with his search eventually throwing him into the path of danger.

Hartley fails to make this story progress organically, choosing to rely on ridiculous coincidences to engineer the lucky escapes of his characters. But that doesn’t completely ruin this book which can still be enjoyed as a fun adventure.

Hartley shows the evolution of his writing abilities by keeping his fans entertained despite a weak story. It is worth noting that Deborah Miller doesn’t play as big a role in the goings on of this book as the summary suggests. In fact, she only makes a few random appearances.

Book Series In Order » Authors » A.J. Hartley

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