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Fear Familiar Books In Order

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Publication Order of Fear Familiar Books

By: Caroline Burnes, Carolyn Haines
Fear Familiar (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Too Familiar (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shades Of Familiar (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Remedy (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Tale (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bewitching Familiar (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Heart (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Fire (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Christmas (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Obsession (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Lullaby (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Mirage (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Oasis (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Double (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Texas (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Escape (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Vows (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Familiar Showdown (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thrice Familiar (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Fear Familiar is a series of novels written by Caroline Burnes. Burnes is actually a pseudonym for Carolyn Haines. The books are published by Harlequin.

+The Story

The Fear Familiar series is unique for one particular reason: the books are about a black cat that solves crimes. You won’t find that premise in any other romance novel, and that is probably the reason Caroline wrote the books.

It’s either that or she actually had a burning desire to tell a story about a crime-solving cat. Even though the books are supposed to be romantic in nature, they depend on elements of mystery to drive the intrigue.

In fact, it would be more accurate to call the books romance mysteries; though, some people read the Fear Familiar series for its romance while others only care about the mystery.

Caroline does an effective job of blending these two elements together. Each book introduces a new hero and heroine. The protagonists are rarely the perfect match, yet one thing or another draws them together. And in their midst is a mystery that will either strengthen their bond or tear them apart.

And that is where a cat called Familiar comes into play. Familiar not only solves the crime but helps the couple in question get together. It should be noted that Familiar primarily works to nudge the human actors of the story in the right direction.

For the most part, Familiar acts just like a cat. You won’t see him walking into interrogation rooms on two feet and giving suspects an earful. His impact on the human actors is no less dramatic.

And the fact that the books are written from the perspective of the cat immediately sets the Fear Familiar series apart. The novels, it should be noted, were just a mini-series at the start. However, Caroline Burnes eventually saw fit to expand them into a full-blown series of novels, with the first book coming out in 1990.

+The Author

Caroline Burnes was born in 1953 to Roy and Hilda Haines. The author, whose parents were journalists, called Lucedale, Mississippi Home. A student of journalism who graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi, Burnes accumulated over a decade of experience in the field of journalism. She worked with newspapers like The Huntsville Times and the George County times. She eventually bolstered her journalism degree with a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama.

Under her real name, Caroline is best known for the Sarah Booth Delaney series. She has also written darker mystery and crime novels, though her humorous side has been most prominently manifested with books like the Fear Familiar series.

Besides writing, Caroline also teaches at the University of Alabama.

+Fear Familiar

Eleanor Duncan’s life is spiraling out of control. It all began when the professor came across a cat in the university parking lot. Then came the assault and her interrogation at the hands of the CIA. And that was before the reanimation of her dead husband.

Only Peter Curry, a vet, could provide answers, identifying the cat as an escapee from a research lab. However, finding that clue only thrusts Eleanor into more adventure and mayhem.

This is a solid book. It works both as a mystery and a romance novel and it blends the two elements very well. And it will take most readers a while to understand this book. The first half of the story comes off as just another romantic tale. However, the mystery soon kicks in and readers are taken for a thrilling ride featuring the CIA, secret research facilities, and mysterious cats.

The book depends on the cat more than anything else. Caroline Burnes’ whole premise of a crime-solving cat, while unique, could have just as easily fallen flat if Burnes had failed to sell the cat’s point of view.

However, the feline is just as intriguing a character as anyone else, so much so that the conclusion of the book leaves readers wanting more. In fact, it could be argued that the cat outshines the human characters, which is problematic.

Certainly, the book is told from the cat’s perspective, but the fact that the feline is the only three –dimensional character detracts from the quality of the book. It seems like Caroline Burnes put everything she had into bringing Familiar to life and, in the process, ignored the humans.

The romantic elements, while somewhat engaging, could have been more subtle. The protagonists do not appear to have any chemistry, at least at the start, and their coupling appears forced.

+Thrice Familiar

Patrick Shaw has nothing good to say about Catherine Nelson. Once upon a time, Patrick was happy. He had everything he could possibly want, especially his ownership of a renowned breeding Farm and equally valuables stables.

However, that was before Catherine Nelson came into the picture.

Now, all Catherine wants is for Patrick to overlook her affluent background and ownership of his breeding farm. His good looks and hardened body have sparked a lustful desire in her and she can do little to control her feelings for him.

Things get complicated when Patrick is accused of stealing from the breeding farm. It falls onto Familiar the cat to bring resolution to the situation.

This book is fun. It has real stakes and that adds to the intrigue. Patrick Shaw was once the owner of a famous breeding from. But now he is merely the horse trainer. Patrick looks at Catherine as the woman who took everything from him.

Catherine had set her eyes on Limerick as the stallion that would make her new venture a success; that was before the stallion was stolen. Now everyone is looking at Patrick as the prime suspect.

It will take both Patrick and Catherine to find the horse and unearth the thief. Luckily for the pair, there is a cat just around the corner looking to help them resolve their issues. The cat continues to shine. And fortunately, the human characters are actually a worthy match.

Caroline Burnes’ cast is more interesting to follow. Everyone knows that Patrick and Catherine will get together in the end. But the journey to that destination isn’t exactly straightforward.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Fear Familiar

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