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Detective Annalisa Vega Books In Order

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Publication Order of Detective Annalisa Vega Books

Detective Annalisa Vega Series by Joanna Schaffhausen
Author Joanna Schaffhausen writes the “Detective Annalisa Vega” series of mystery novels.

Annalisa Vega, a Chicago homicide detective, got married hastily in her early twenties, as her parents thought she was too young to get married, and now that she is well into her thirties, her mom fears that it might be too late.

This is why she agrees to go on a blind date with a lawyer that her best friend sets her up with. However the date winds up boring her to tears, and she is relieved, at first at least, to get a call which summons her to a murder scene. But then her problems deepen immediately once her ex-husband turns up.

“Gone For Good” is the first novel in the “Detective Annalisa Vega” series and was released in 2021. A cold case starts to heat up.

The Lovelorn Killer killed seven women, ritually binding each one of them and leaving them for dead before he penned them some gruesome love letters in the local papers. Then he vanished, and after twenty years without any trace of him, many think he’s gone for good.

But not Grace Harper. She is a grocery store manager during the day, and at night she uses her snooping skills as a part of this amateur sleuth group. She believes that the Lovelorn Killer still lives in the same neighborhoods that he once hunted in, and if she can just figure out how he picked his victims, she’ll have the key to the guy’s identity.

Detective Annalisa Vega lost somebody that she loved to this killer. Now she is at a murder scene with the worst sort of deja vu: Grace Harper is lying bound and dead on the floor, surrounded by clues to the largest murder case which Chicago homicide was never able to solve. Annalisa has the opportunity to make it right and heal her own family, however she first must figure out what it was that Grace knew, how to see a murderer that might be standing right in front of you.

This means retracing the man’s steps back to her childhood, and peer into dark corners that she had not acknowledged before, and learning that despite everything this killer took, she’s still got so much more to lose.

Annalisa is a fantastic character, with a nice mix of soft and hard personality qualities that keep her balanced. She is a bold, brilliant, resilient, and kickass new detective for the thriller world to read about. The book starts slowly and continues building its momentum until the heart pounding conclusion. There were turns, twists, misdirects, red herrings, and constant suspense as the Lovelorn Killer continues getting bolder in his efforts.

“Long Gone” is the second novel in the “Detective Annalisa Vega” series and was released in 2022. Annalisa Vega ruined her life, both professionally and personally, when she turned in her former cop dad for his role in a murder. Her fellow officers no longer trust her, and her family cannot forgive her. Detective Leo Hammond winds up dead in a strange murder, Annalisa believes she’s got nothing to lose by investigating whatever secrets he hid behind the thin blue line.

Annalisa soon zeroes in on somebody that had good reason to want Detective Hammond dead: a fast-talking and wealthy car salesman that had gotten away with murder already and was not about to allow Hammond a second chance. Moe Bocks is still the prime suspect in his girlfriend’s brutal unsolved murder, and now he has this new woman in his sights, she is Annalisa’s best friend.

Annalisa is desperate to keep her friend safe and force Bocks to pay up, either for his earlier crime or for Hammond’s death. However once nobody else believes this connection, she takes increasingly risky shots to reveal this truth. Because Bocks and Hammond each had secrets to die for, and if she does not untangle them fast, she’ll be next.

Additional layers are added to Annalisa’s character, including her vulnerable side and her self-righteous confidence. Her banter with ex-husband and now partner, Nick Carrelli, was fantastic and it’s great seeing how the partners play off one another. It’ll be interesting to see just how their relationship plays out in future books. Readers found themselves being immersed right off the bat.

Joanna creates characters that are multi-layered, vivid, compelling, and flawed. She never relies on over the top turns and twists since her plots are subtle, intricate, and developed. She weaves in suspense, tension, and a ton of action, too.

“Dead and Gone” is the third novel in the “Detective Annalisa Vega” series and was released in 2023. For Annalisa, Sam Tran’s death presents quite the ominous puzzle for her. This former cop turned Private Investigator is discovered hanging from a cemetery tree with this message across his chest which suggests that somebody holds this murderous grudge against the cops. Annalisa suspects that the real answer lies in an open case Tran was working on.

She thinks that he stumbled upon a dark secret during his investigations and that somebody murdered him in order to keep him quiet. Her own family is harboring plenty of secrets, something that Annalisa is reminded of as her brother winds up being one of Sam’s final clients.

Vinny Vega hired Tran to track down a dangerous stalker on his daughter’s college campus. Now Sam has died and the stalker is still at large, with Quinn, Annalisa’s niece, firmly in his sights.

Annalisa, in order to protect Quinn, starts to trace Sam’s steps back through his open cases, which include the campus stalker, but also this brutal double homicide that happened twenty years back. Did Sam finally track this killer down? Did he uncover the identity of Quinn’s stalker? Annalisa has to figure out which secret got Sam murdered, and quick, or somebody else is going to die. Every move that she makes brings her one step closer to learning the truth of Sam’s death, as well as closer to a killer that’ll stop at nothing to remain free.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Detective Annalisa Vega

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