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Gail Anderson-Dargatz Books In Order

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Publication Order of Claire Abbott Mystery Books

Search and Rescue (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Playing With Fire (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Race Against Time (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Cure for Death by Lightning (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Recipe for Bees (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Rhinestone Button (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Turtle Valley (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spawning Grounds (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Return Address (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Iggy's World (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ride Home (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Almost Wife (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Almost Widow (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Stalker (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Coyote's Song (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bed and Breakfast (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
From Scratch (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tiny House, Big Fix (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Life Off-Key (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Miss Hereford Stories (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Gail Anderson-Dargatz

The writer Gail Anderson-Dargatz is a Canadian author who’s largely known for writing novels based in the mystery genre. Compelling and intriguing in equal measure, she really understands the form, giving her work a real sense of atmosphere and ambiance. Regarded for her sense of experimentalism too, she’s always looking for new and innovative perspectives when it comes to writing. This creativity has made her one of the foremost leading figures currently working within her field to this day, with many looking to her and her work for inspiration.

Reaching a worldwide audience, she has managed to attain an international level of success over the years beyond Canada. Translated into numerous different languages, she’s reached readers from all around the world, with her books resonating with a wide and diverse audience. Setting herself apart from other writers, she’s also known for her humor and wit, making her fiction far more easy to relate to. Entertaining the readers, she always manages to say exactly what it is that she wants to say through her stories, providing a clear and articulate message within her work.

Winning plenty of awards for her work, she’s been hugely successful with both the critics and the general public alike. Making a name for herself, she’s won a number of awards for both her short-fiction, along with her longer full novels too. Creating strong and fully developed characters, she couples them with well defined plots that move along with intelligence and wit. There’s a lot more set to come in the future too, as she continues to write, with lots more planned for release upon the horizon.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1963 on the 14th of November, Gail Anderson-Dargatz would grow up with a keen interest in literature. While born in Kamloops, British Columbia, she would grow up in Salmon Arm in Canada, as she would develop her skills as a writer. Drawing in inspiration from the world around her, she would constantly be on the lookout for new and exciting ideas to write about.

Attending and graduating from the University of Victoria, Gail Anderson-Dargatz would gain an academic background. This education would then help her to continue her journey towards becoming a fully fledged author, as she would become a reporter following university. Publishing novels on a regular basis, she currently teaches a Creative Writing MFA program at the University of British Columbia.

Writing Career

Starting out in the nineties, Gail Anderson-Dargatz would begin her literary career with the novel ‘The Cure for Death by Lightning’ in 1996. This would be her first book, and it would be a stand-alone title incorporating elements of magical realism into its story. Given the ‘Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize,’ the book would also become a bestselling novel around the world, with it fast becoming popular.

She has previously cited several different authors as inspiration, including Alice Munro, Margaret Laurence, and Toni Morrison. It’s her own life and experiences she draws from though, using the world around her to help influence both her and her work. Writing many novellas too, along with numerous short-stories, she’s won awards such as the ‘Betty Trask Award’ in 1998 for her first novel, and continues to put out work to this day.

The Cure for Death by Lightning

Initially published through the ‘Little, Brown Book Young Readers’ imprint, this came out back in 1996, and was the first novel from Gail Anderson-Dargatz. It would win awards upon its release, as well as becoming a massive bestselling novel fast, with readers from all over appreciating it. Not a part of any series as such, it’s read as a stand-alone title, as it features elements of magical realism in its intriguing story.

Set in a poor and highly isolated farming community in Turtle Valley, British Columbia, this takes place in the wake of the Second World War. Following Beth Weeks who’s now fifteen, it sees her dealing with a series of strange events during the course of one summer. Meeting a colorful cast of characters, she is then struck by lightning on her arm, leading to her then exploring the land with all its dangers. Where will her journey now take her, will she find what she’s looking for, and just what is the cure for death by lightning?

There’s an ethereal quality to this book that really works, evoking a strong sense of atmosphere and ambiance throughout. It’s a great debut with an extremely strong premise coupled with engaging and inventively written characters populating it. The world of the story itself is very immersive too, really drawing the reader in, allowing them to feel as if they’re actually there at that time.

The Almost Wife

First published during in 2021 on the 6th of July, this title came out through the ‘HarperAvenue’ publishing house. It was a stand-alone thriller grounded firmly in reality, with a tension fuelled narrative that uses suspense to drive its story forwards. Not a part of any overall series, it can be read by itself, making it an easily accessible read for both fans of the author of the genre.

Soon getting married to her dream man, Kira feels her whole life is in order, as he’s handsome, wealthy, and a great father to his children. Having been brought up in a troubled relationship, Kira looks for stability in her own life, and now she’s taking her baby daughter Evie and her fiancée’s thirteen year old daughter Olive on a summer vacation. That’s when her fiancée’s ex-wife and Olive’s mother Madison chases them down, as they face a vacation that’s to become a bitter struggle for survival. Will they all overcome this together, just what secrets does Kira have in her own past, and what, exactly, will become of the almost wife?

As a thriller with real people, this is almost impossible to put down, with its exciting and tension fuelled narrative. There’s a lot happening, but it never gets lost, with it being expertly told at an easy to manage pace that makes it instantly accessible. That characters all feel wholly believable every step of the way, as the world comes to life on the page, being a darkly immersive experience throughout.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Gail Anderson-Dargatz

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