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Elizabeth Gunn Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jake Hines Books

Triple Play (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Par Four (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five Card Stud (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Six-Pound Walleye (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seventh Inning Stretch (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crazy Eights (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
McCafferty's Nine (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ten-Mile Trials (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Too Many Santas (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eleven Little Piggies (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Noontime Follies (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Sarah Burke Books

Cool in Tucson / Close To Her (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
New River Blues / Rio Nuevo (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kissing Arizona / Too Close To Kill (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Magic Line / Close to Death (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Red Man Down / Closing Ranks (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Denny's Law / Close To Home (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sarah's List / Close to the Edge (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Ella's Dream (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Landscape Comes And Goes (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Burning Meredith (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Anthologies

How Still We See Thee Lie(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Elizabeth Gunn is an American author born in 1926. Gunn lived a long and varied life before finally settling down to write procedural mysteries typically set within rural locations.


Gunn grew up in Southeast Minnesota. She eventually moved to Tucson. With novels like Triple Play (1997) earning her so much renown, you would think that someone like Elizabeth Gunn who was born in the 1920s probably has a length writing career with a large volume of critically acclaimed works behind her.

However, it might surprise some people to learn that Elizabeth Gunn started writing novels when she was 70. And it is because she lived such a varied life up to that point that Elizabeth Gunn has written so many mystery novels.

Before she began her life as a novelist, Gunn was working as an innkeeper in Montana. If that doesn’t sound like the most exciting life, know that Gunn pursued a number of curious hobbies that allowed her to escape her mundane life at the inn.

One could accurately call her an adventurer. She earned a private pilot’s license at some point in her life. More than merely flying planes, though, this allowed her to become a skydiver.

She also indulged in scuba diving, taking to sea life with a lot of fervor. Beyond merely sailing, though, she also hiked deserts and mountains. Elizabeth Gunn’s earliest years were always filled with one form of excitement or another.

Even as an adventurer, though, Elizabeth Gunn always knew that she would settle down one day. Global travel wasn’t the only thing on her mind. She also wanted to write and knew that she would have to put those most exciting facets of her existence to the side in order to pursue this passion successfully.

However, in the beginning, she was able to adventure and write at the same time by becoming a freelance travel writer. Traversing the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe, Elizabeth Gunn would write travel articles.

People who knew her could find her work in regional papers around the United States. This was the beginning of her journey to becoming a full-time author.

Prior to writing full time, Elizabeth and her husband Phillip managed a motel in Helena, Montana. Her time as an innkeeper gave her the freedom to travel and raise her two daughters.

The family lived just above the lobby of their motel; and it was probably because of how cramped their apartment was that Gunn’s passion for traveling grew.

It is in her retirement that Elizabeth Gunn has finally chosen to pursue writing full time. Asked about her retirement, Gunn has called it hard work. It always takes her more time and effort than she expected to start and finish her novels.

She struggled to get into the routine of things, this including getting her work done in the morning so as to spend the rest of her day doing yoga, eating and walking. Producing her novels takes extensive research and study.

More than merely browsing the internet, she has to visit police stations, talk to cops and go on ridealongs to get a better understanding of the life they live.

+Triple Play

Police Detective Jake Hines enjoys a relatively quiet life. Rutherford, Minnesota is a small, quiet town where death isn’t exactly new but only occurs as a result of natural causes.

And that is all Jake Hines knows until a murder victim is found at home plate on the Park’s baseball field. Jake only has one clue at his disposal: a photo of the crime scene.

Before Jake can wrap his head around the first murder, a second victim is discovered. Jake is no fool. He knows when he’s in over his head. So he looks for help, calling in Trudy Hanson (Forensic Expert for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension), Adrian Pokornoskovic (Coroner) and a whole troupe of professionals.

Elizabeth Gunn speaks about Triple Play as though it were a mystery. But in truth, it is more of a police procedural than anything else. The book emphasizes the mundane goings-on of police life, providing an accurate picture of the steps the police follow to solve crimes.

However, there is very little in the way of mysteries. There is also very little suspense, tension or danger; people generally look for these things in mystery novels. As such, certain circles of readers might find that this book doesn’t quite scratch their itch.

None the less, Triple Play has a few things going for it. The main character is great and so are the supporting characters. The novel does have violence, but those more gruesome elements are restricted to the crime scenes. And the levels of violence are actually quite manageable.

There are also elements of romance. The romance is interesting enough to run parallel to the murder mystery story, but it doesn’t overrun it in any way that people might find annoying.

People who give this Elizabeth Gunn book a chance will be surprised.

+Five Card Stud

For Jake Hines, murder isn’t anything new. As such, he doesn’t bat an eyelid when he is called in to investigate a frozen corpse that was discovered on the highway. The murder of the man is only heightened by the fact that he is a known local trucker, and yet his truck and trucking partner are both missing.

When both the truck and trucking partner are found riddled with blood and bullets, Jake finds himself at the center of a double murder investigation. Jack loves playing poker, and for the detective, investigating a murder is a simple matter of finding out who is bluffing and who has a perfect hand.

This book finds Jake Hines having made a few leaps in his career. His romantic life has also undergone numerous changes. A dead man found on the highway piques Jake’s interest. He isn’t wearing shoes and there is a bullet hole in his head.

Jake has to involve the police in St. Paul because Rutherford doesn’t have the necessary forensic expertise. The investigation unfolds much like you would expect from that point on.

That doesn’t mean Five Card Stud is boring and predictable. This Elizabeth Gunn novel is simple but entertaining. The mystery will keep you engaged and engrossed. Just don’t expect it to break any new ground.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Elizabeth Gunn

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