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Claire McNab Books In Order

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Publication Order of Carol Ashton Mysteries Books

Publication Order of Denise Cleever Thrillers Books

Murder Undercover (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Understood (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Out of Sight (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Recognition Factor (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death by Death (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at Random (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Kylie Kendall Mysteries Books

The Wombat Strategy (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kookaburra Gambit (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Quokka Question (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dingo Dilemma (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Platypus Ploy (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Under the Southern Cross (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silent Heart (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writing My Love (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aspects of the Heart (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Loving Lesbian (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Author Claire McNab was born in the year 1940 and is a transplanted Australian. She is a member of both the Science Fiction Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America, and has served as president of Sisters in Crime. McNab won the 2006 Alice B. Medal.

Her debut novel “Lessons in Murder” was released in the year 1989. She writes the “Detective Kylie Kendall” series, the “Inspector Carol Ashton” series, and the “Agent Denise Cleever” series. All of which star lesbian detectives. She has also penned some stand alone novels, as well.

Her writing career began at Macquarie University, in Sydney, where she won a play writing award from the university. It led to her being accepted into the inaugural play writing course that was run by the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

While pursuing a career in Sydney as a high school teacher, she started her writing career, penning textbooks and comedy plays. During the mid-eighties she left her teaching career to start writing full time.

She moved to Los Angeles in the year 1994, after she fell in love with an American woman, and she teaches writers who are not published through the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program.

She did not realize at first how close she and Carol Ashton would become. Claire thought she had just written a stand-alone mystery. Carol, as well as her publisher, had other plans for her.

“Lessons in Murder” is the first novel in the “Carol Ashton” series, which was released in the year 1989. On a hot summer day in Sydney, Australia at Bellwhether High School, Bill Pagett, a teacher, lies murdered, and the hole in his skull was accomplished with tidy efficiency by a Black & Decker drill.

Detective Inspector Carol Ashton is investigating the case, and she has her formidable reputation for competence. She quickly uncovers some motives for murder and tangled relationships among the staff, along with a labyrinth of malicious anonymous letters and some threatening phone calls. Then, there is another corpse.

Carol’s case is made even more complicated by the attraction between the prime suspect Sybil Quade, and herself. Carol fights the desire she feels, knowing that it could potentially compromise her investigating. Neither does Sybil welcome this “unnatural” obsession with the attractive lady who is unyielding in gathering evidence to convict her for multiple murder.

The writing and the story are both excellent, and the main character is really likable. She has something about her that makes her out of the ordinary. The other characters are human and fallible, too; they are likable because they seem normal and it is easy to see yourself in their positions.

“Fatal Reunion” is the second novel in the “Carol Ashton” series, which was released in the year 1989. Carol seems settled after an intense investigation that concluded with a welcome and surprising new relationship. She remains in the closet to keep her career safe, life with Sybil has been good. Until she gets a call that drives Carol right back to the very woman that left her three years ago to return to her husband.

Now Christine’s husband is deceased and she desperately wants Carol’s help. Even though she is not assigned to the case, Carol agrees. Quickly, Carol is pulled into Christine’s world of low values and big spending, and finds she is at a personal and professional. Any choice she makes could be her last.

The book has some fantastic characters and gripping suspense. This book offers the reader insights into Carol’s character as it pertains to her motivations in her personal life, which is a nice touch.

“Death Down Under” is the third novel in the “Carol Ashton” series, which was released in the year 1990. Four women have been strangled to death with an orange cord, and their corpses have been ritually arranged. Carol and Detective Sergeant Mark Bourke are aware that this killer, like every serial killer, is going to be extremely tough to hunt down.

The Australian press has already sensationalized these murders, chiefly the fact that one of the victims was a lesbian. Star of The Shipley Report, Madeline Shipley, is claiming that the “Orange Strangler” has contacted her.

Adding to her problems at the moment is Carol’s relationship with Sybil, who is getting more and more restless with their secrecy. Carol learns uncomfortable truths about own self from the confident and thriving Madeline Shipley.

Carol continues to gather evidence, putting the clues together in her relentless hunt for the Orange Strangler. The whole time, the murderer gets closer to her than she could imagine.

This one is a good balance of mystery and crime mixed in with personal relationships, as it deals with the closet. Carol and Sybil’s relationship issues hold the reader’s attention the entire time, as the tension between the pair about the secrecy of their relationship is believable. The mystery in the book is well done, and the entire book was well written.

“Cop Out” is the fourth novel in the “Carol Ashton” series, which was released in the year 1991. Bryce Darcy, who is a partner in a thriving family business, has just been killed. His sister confessed and DI Carol Ashton has been told that it is a closed case.

Carol finds out that the dead guy was a member of a support group for married gay men, and the Darcy family simmers with secrets.

Each of these books is highly enjoyable, and readers keep on coming back for more. The killer is believable in committing the crime, and the explanation is realistic and disturbing. Even though this book came out in the early nineties, somebody having a problem with coming out of the closet is still a fresh idea and holds up today.

“Dead Certain” is the fifth novel in the “Carol Ashton” series, which was released in the year 1992. Carol Ashton opens up an investigation into the death of Collis Raeburn. This is due to her being convinced that the young Australian opera star did not kill themselves as is widely believed. It is an act that makes her quite unpopular with the next-of-kin of the victim.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Claire McNab

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