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Colonel Primrose Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Colonel Primrose Mystery Books

The Strangled Witness (1934) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ill Met By Moonlight (1937) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Simple Way of Poison (1937) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Three Bright Pebbles (1938) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mr. Cromwell Is Dead aka Reno Rendezvous (1939) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
False to Any Man aka Snow-white Murder (1939) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Old Lover's Ghost (1940) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Murder of the Fifth Colimnist aka A Capitol Crime (1941) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder in the O. P. M aka Priority Murder (1942) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Siren in the Night (1943) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
All for the Love of a Lady aka Crack of Dawn (1944) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Philadelphia Murder Story (1945) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Honolulu Murder Story aka Honolulu Story (1947) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Woman In Black (1947) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Devil's Stronghold (1948) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Washington Whispers Murder aka The Lying Jade (1952) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Colonel Primrose Mystery Series

Writing under a variety of different pen-names, the American crime and thriller writer Zenith Jones Brown was highly regarded during her lifetime. Creating suspense filled stories, she was a master of the serialized crime fiction format, tackling a whole range of different themes and ideas throughout her long and illustrious career. Included amongst her many pseudonyms were Brenda Conrad, David Frome and, perhaps most notably, Leslie Ford. Marking one of her most prolific brands she would produce scores of novels and franchises, building some of the most noteworthy examples of the crime fiction genre to date. Taking the many tropes and cliches, she would turn them on their head, creating something entirely new from the form, as she brought it in new and interesting directions. A series that would really stand the test of time though, was that of her long-running ‘Colonel Primrose Mystery’ series of novels. Featuring the eponymous gentleman amateur sleuth in the lead role, the book see him solving a number of cases in his own inimitable manner. Not only that, but he also has a sentimental side, a facet which can often play to his advantage, as he really gets to the heart of each and every mystery. Largely taking place in Washington, the stories are very much of their time, providing good solid mysteries that keep their readers constantly guessing throughout. This helps explain why many still appreciate the books to this very day, with many continuing to discover them each and every day.

Running for a total of fourteen novels, this series began in 1934 with the novel ‘The Strangled Witness’ and ended in 1953 with ‘Washington Whispers Murder’. Over the course of the series it would feature a variety of different adventures and case files for the gentleman sleuth to solve. Whilst many of them would feature elements from the previous novels, they could also be read as stand-alone titles too. This made them the ideal serial to read casually, making them an addictive and compelling collection of titles that could be picked up at any point. Publishing these mainly in United States, which was the main purpose of Brown’s Leslie Ford pen name, these were universal in both their scope and accessibility.

The Strangled Witness

First published in 1934, this would be the book that came to herald the arrival of an entirely new and exciting franchise. Introducing the character of Colonel Primrose, it would also build a sense of what was to come in the following books. With a stand-alone mystery too, it would provide an ideal entry-point for anyone hoping to discover more on Zenith Jones Brown as an author.

Bringing the series and the leading character into focus for the first time, this would mark a major step in Brown’s career as an author in America. Setting it all in the United States, it would establish the premise and the world of Colonel Primrose, thus highlighting a major turning point in her style. Not only that, but she would gain a firm grasp on writing for an international market, as her story would take place in Washington. Along with that, she would also create a whole different tone, making the crime stories relevant to an entirely different market.

Starting out with Senator Greer, it sees him being found murdered within his study only just hours before he was all set to completely renounce all support of the city’s public utilities. Immersed in a shady world of political intrigue and double dealings, the police believe their only witness to be his assistant Lynn Ash. That’s when she’s also discovered murdered, having been strangled to death within her own auto-mobile, leaving behind a string of unanswered questions. Stepping onto the scene is on to the scene is one Colonel Primrose, the gentleman sleuth, as he must traverse Washington’s political underworld to get to the bottom of it all. Can he find the real culprit? Where will they strike next and who is in danger? Just who is behind the strangled witness?

Ill Met By Moonlight

Released just three years after the first, this would continue in much the same vein as the original, this being released in the year of 1937. Providing yet another stand-alone mystery for the Colonel to solve, it would also serve to introduce the character of Mrs Grace Latham for the first time too. Over the course of the following books she would come to be a major recurring character, being instrumental to the series as a whole.

Following the murder of the beautiful but deadly Sandra Gould, it would appear that there are a long list of suspects. Many of them located around April Harbor, it definitely appears that Colonel Primrose has his work cut out for him this time in getting to the bottom of the case. Looking to solve the complex and intricate crime, he must separate the fact from fiction if her ever hopes to find the truth. That’s when a second body is found, as the murderer strikes again, and it would seem that Primrose is up against the clock in solving the case, especially if hopes to prevent anyone else from being harmed. Will he discover the culprit and bring them to justice? Who could it possibly be and why are they doing this? Why were the victims ill met by moonlight?

The Colonel Primrose Series

As a collection of crime fiction mystery novels, these really do stand the test of time, still providing something for readers today. Showing an insight into the history of the genre, these are not only a must for fans of the author, but also those hoping to learn about the field as a whole. Taking the readers on a journey with each and every novel, the series really manages to come alive for the audience on each single page turn. From the character of Colonel Primrose himself, to the streets of Washington, every element is extremely well detailed and defined. Finding new fans with every new generation of readers, this is a series that still stand the test of time for years to come.

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