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Archie Sheridan/ Gretchen Lowell Books In Order

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Publication Order of Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Books

Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series

Known for her many columns and novels, the American author Chelsea Snow Cain is a bestselling writer of mystery thrillers, along with biographies and memoirs too. Creating iconic characters and long-running series, she has become a mainstay within the literary industry and throughout her field over the many years of her writing career. This has also included writing for major companies such as ‘Marvel’, whereby she has handled some of the biggest properties, including ‘Mockingbird’. Cited by her many peers and contemporaries as one of the best of her genre, including praise from Stephen King, she really is a force to be reckoned with. Over the years it is her own series and franchises though, that have really stood out head and shoulders above the all the other similar titles. One series that really stands out is that of the ‘Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell’ series of novels, as they really manage to create an air of tension and suspense. Focusing on Archie Sheridan the Portland detective, it takes a look at his strange and eccentric relationship with the jailed serial killer Gretchen Lowell, previously known of as the ‘Beauty Killer’. With her having caught him, tortured him, and then turned herself in, he visits her whilst she’s in prison, looking for help on various cases. She has a creepy personality and scary manner about her, but still Gretchen Lowell remains charismatic throughout, something that keeps Archie Sheridan awake at night thinking about. This series has managed to gain a huge amount of acclaim, especially from writers like Stephen King who cited the novel ‘Sweetheart’ as one of his top ten books released that year.

Running for a total of six books so far, with more promised to follow in the near future, as she doesn’t plan on finishing it soon. With the first coming out all the way back in 2007, and the latest being published in 2013, it is a series that really has come a long way. There are two omnibus editions too, one collecting the first three books together, and the other the following three, which would both come out in 2015. A complete collection of them would also be released that year titled ‘The Complete Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell’ series of novels. This would bring them altogether for the first time, thus cementing its status as one of the biggest franchises within the field of mystery thriller to date.


Originally brought out in 2007, this was first released through Minotaur Books. Setting up the ‘Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell’ series, this would be the first in the franchise. It would also provide the first case as well.

A huge and monumental opening to an equally huge and monumental series, this really sets both the pace and the tone of the franchise overall. Establishing both of the central protagonists from the very outset, it manages to capture everything about the dynamic of their relationship and what it really means. Taking a look into the dark past of Archie Sheridan, it allows his personality to be explored at the pace of the story itself. This is then run in conjunction with Gretchen Lowell who’s a dark and mysterious presence overshadowing the entirety of the novel. Set in Portland, it really gets a feel for the area as well, using it as the backdrop for the series as a whole, providing it with its general atmosphere and tone.

Tracking the beautiful, but deadly serial killer Gretchen Lowell for over ten years, Archie Sheridan finally meets his target after she catches and tortures him. Following this she abruptly turns herself in, getting herself incarcerated for life, leaving Sheridan haunted by the experience and why she did what she did. Continuing to visit her in prison he tells himself that it’s about finding her past victims, but really it’s about his addiction to her, as he constantly takes pain pills, whilst keeping his estranged wife at arm’s length. That’s when a new serial killer turns up on the scene, one that is abducting teenage girls from the streets of Portland, all the while the newspaper reporter Susan Ward wants to find out more about Archie and the investigation. Will Archie be able to overcome the events of his tortuous past? Can he enlist Lowell’s help in the case, whilst also keeping Ward at bay? What will happen when he finds himself heartsick?


Continuing on from the previous novel, this would be the second in the ‘Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell’ series. Initially released in 2008, it would also be brought out through Minotaur Books. Further establishing the characters and who they are, it manages carry the action forwards, taking it all to an entirely new level.

Still trying to put the past behind him, Archie Sheridan is haunted by what Gretchen Lowell did to him all those years ago. Slowly starting to put his life back together though, Lowell suddenly escapes from prison and not only that, but just prior to her escape a body of a young woman has been found in Forest Park. This is the first place where Sheridan discovered a body when he was hunting Lowell all those years ago, and now the whole of Portland is put on high-alert. Somewhat relieved by her escape though, Sheridan has the ultimate plan to capture Lowell and finally settle his demons once and for all. Will he be able to catch up with her? Can he finally hope to put the past to rest? Who will be the one perfect sweetheart?

The Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series

With a momentum that carries along at a heart-stopping pace, this series really doesn’t hold back when it comes down to providing a solid thriller narrative. Deeply dark and disturbing in equal measure, it’s a compelling set of stories that really keeps the reader constantly guessing throughout. Knowing exactly where to take the narrative, Cain is a master of suspense, constantly ensuring that her audience remains held on the edge. Extremely addictive, Cain also shows a lot of wit as well, allowing the reader to really immerse themselves in the rich and inventive story-lines. With more to come still, this definitely isn’t a series that’s going any time soon either, as it continues to grow from strength-to-strength for years to come.

This series brings some of the most popular books in USA, and every new book in the series is highlighted in the New York Times, since it is a hot piece of news for many. The series feature two major characters, Archie Sheridan, the protagonist and Gretchen Lowell, the villain. The character of the two is professionally intertwined by the author, creating an alluring series that has become a must-read to many who come across it.

Archie Sheridan

Archie Sheridan, the series protagonist, is a homicide detective in Portland. In the series, he first deals with murders committed by Gretchen Lowell. He finds it difficult to track down the serial killer, who leaves her victims in a gruesome and pathetic condition.

Sheridan, having a passion for his profession, puts apart other important personal activities such as his birthday and holidays to ensure that he gets hold of Gretchen. Though selfless, getting Gretchen still proves difficult.

The detective is attracted to Gretchen and finally finds it difficult to deal with her crimes, due to the charms and beauty of the serial killer, which leaves the poor detective daydreaming. This weakness of the detective gives Gretchen an opportunity to be the first to attack Sheridan, leading him into a series of inhuman tortures in addition to humiliation.

When Gretchen finally releases the detective alive and hands herself over to the security forces in Portland, this leaves the detective in questions. His investigative and anxious character leads him to questioning himself, and finally visiting Gretchen to seek for the answer of why she never killed him yet handing herself in.

The detective regains his motivation to work as a police officer in order to curb crime, successfully overcoming the charm that he always finds in the serial killer. He gets back his real self, which ensures that he is committed and fully dedicated to protecting the nation from murders, while finding justice for already committed homicides.

The hero soon stumbles on more serial murders, where the killer leaves the victim gagged, skinned and hanging on his wrists on a tree in public places, yet he escapes unnoticed. Sheridan tries his best and uses his expertise and natural investigative talent to get the serial killer, before more murders are witnessed in the country. The detective is even smart enough not to dismiss Gretchen’s claims of having deeper knowledge about the murders. He gets great leads to the murder and is about to get the big secret behind the murders.

However, unluckily for the determined detective, he is caught unawares and held captive for the second time by a serial killer. Though this time his chances of survival seem to be slim, the character built by the author on the detective leaves high hopes that he will either be rescued or get a way of escaping from the killer’s prison.

Gretchen Lowell

Commonly known as the Beauty Killer, Gretchen Lowell, initially worked in the police force with Sheridan. She later turns to serial killing as a hobby, and she takes pleasure in her actions. She even has a serial killer trademark of a heart.

She is cunning enough to dodge the police, especially the detective who is on her, Archie Sheridan. This she does using various techniques, such as wearing face masks common with robbers and murderers when she is working on her victims. She also changes this and puts on a blond wig, which changes her appearance completely. Being a lady, she is able to wear make-up that completely disguises her. Anyway, with her outstanding beauty, no one would be daring enough to brand her as a killer.

Having worked in a police department, the serial killer is a professional and experienced at the techniques used by the police and the FBI to curb criminal cases, using this knowledge to her advantage. This is the same skill that she later used to get Sheridan to be one of her captives.

She is a creative thinker, with the skill great enough to get her out of a jail with maximum security several times and still continue with her hideous activities. She is also a charming woman, with the natural beauty that most men find a problem resisting attraction from. She uses her adorable features to blind the people, both the public and the police and does her gruesome activities comfortably. This aspect also see her make the detective on her case, Sheridan, to be a bit shaken off when undertaking the investigations, sometimes finding himself in fantasy on sexual experience with the Beauty Killer.

She is an independent and brave woman, relying on her own brain and physical energy to carry out any murder that she targets. She bits the rules of femininity, which dictate that women should be timid, while using the femininity that nature offered her to complete her mission.

She is ruthless and not worth being in the human race. As developed, she does not have a second thought when dealing with her victims, and it takes people by surprise when she finally turns herself in for sentence. This was a great twist of the storyline, as everyone else would have expected her to feel free after putting the Sheridan through a traumatizing experience that would have successfully acted as a threat.

It is further surprising to realize that the Beauty Killer finally shows a tinge of humanity when she offers to help Sheridan with the murder case that happened just after she turned herself in.

Gretchen is one of the most heartless people you might have come across even in book and movie characters, yet you will be surprised to find out that there are people who found her a celebrity, not surprising because she was always on the cover page of magazines and newspapers. You find it more devastating when the Portland Herald reporter, Susan Ward finds out that there has even been a bizarre fan club that is in memory of the number of days that the villain was able to escape the police.


Archie and Gretchen character has been brought out in the most mesmerizing manner, giving a real picture of the person of each.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Archie Sheridan/ Gretchen Lowell

One Response to “Archie Sheridan/ Gretchen Lowell”

  1. Joan Murphy: 6 years ago

    Just finished this series and started on Kick series. Will there be another Archie & Gretchen book. Also, I loved Susan’s character as much as Archie and Gretchen


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