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Harley Jane Kozak Books In Order

Publication Order of Wollie Shelley Mystery Books

Dating Dead Men (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dating Is Murder (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead Ex (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Date You Can't Refuse (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Rich and the Dead(2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer's Journey(2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Harley Jane Kozak is a popular American actress and writer of paranormal romance, paranormal suspense, thriller, and mystery stories. She is famous for acting in the movies The House on Sorority Row, Clean and Sober, When Harry Met Sally, Arachnophobia, Parenthood, etc. Kozak is particularly well known for portraying the role of Mary Duvall in the popular soap opera called Santa Barbara. As an author, Kozak is popular for writing the Wollie Shelley Mystery series. She has also contributed to the Keepers L.A. series, in which she collaborated with authors Alexandra Sokoloff and Heather Graham. Kozak has also edited an anthology in 2006 called Landmarked for Murder with Nathan Walpow and Michael Mallory. She began her acting career in the early 1980s and continued to act in movies and shows throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. For her debut book, Dating Dead Men, Kozak won the Macavity Award and the Agatha Award in 2005.

Author Kozak was born as Susan Jane Kozak on January 28, 1957, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States. Her mother, Dorothy Kozak, was a music teacher at the university, while her father, Joseph Aloysius Kozak, was an attorney. Kozak has seven siblings older than her. Her father died when she was one year old and after that, she was brought up in Lincoln, Nebraska. Author Kozak studied at the Nebraska-Lincoln University for 3 semesters before she relocated to New York City. There, she earned her livelihood by working as a waitress for 10 years. During that period, Kozak attended the Graduate Acting Program sponsored by the University of New York at the Tisch Arts School. She eventually graduated in 1980. Kozak says that she took her first name ‘Harley’ from one of her ex-boyfriends, who had a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. She was attracted to the nickname so much that she decided to adopt it as her legal name.

Following her first stint in the 1983 movie The House on Sorority Row, Kozak received numerous acting and voice-over offers throughout the 1980s. In the soap opera Santa Barbara, Kozak’s character died after getting hit by the giant letter ‘C’ while having an argument under the Capwell hotel. The fans of the show became so angry with her character’s death that they began a letter campaign with the demand of bringing her back. The makers received letters in such huge numbers from all parts of the country that they requested Kozak to return to the show and accepted their mistake. However, Kozak had already started working on other projects and had to decline the request. Also, she was proud of the exiting the show in an unusual way. Upon further request from the producers, Kozak agreed to make a special appearance in the form of an angel in one of the episodes.

In 1987, she won the Soap Opera Digest Award for the role of Mary Duvall. Between 1993 and 1994, Kozak acted in the comedy show Harts of the West as Alison Hart. Other prominent actors who were part of this show included Beau Ridges, Lloyd Bridges, Sean Murray, Meghann Haldeman, Mark Harmon, etc. In 1996, Kozak featured din the Titanic mini-series alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones and Peter Gallagher. Her role in the show was that of a mother named Bes Allison, who dies while looking for her child during the sinking of RMS Titanic. In Once And Again, she was set to play the role of Karen Sammler. But, after the pilot episode, the makers made her withdraw due to her pregnancy. After her exit, Susanna Thompson was chosen in her place. Beginning in 2004, Kozak wrote 4 successful mystery books, all of which consist of an amateur sleuth and greeting-card designer named Wollie Shelley. As of today, author Kozak resides in Los Angeles, California. She was married for a brief period in the 1980s. Her second marriage was with an entertainment lawyer named Gregory Aldisert. The marriage happened in 1997 and ended in divorce in 2007. Kozak has 3 children, who live with her in Los Angeles.

The Wollie Shelley Mystery series written by author Harley Jane Kozak is comprised of a total of four books released between 2004 and 2009. Each book of the series takes place in Los Angeles and revolves around a greeting card artist named Wollie Shelley, who becomes an amateur sleuth to investigate mysterious murders. Other essential characters created by Kozak in this series include Annika, David Zetrakis, Joey, Simon, etc. The debut book of this mystery series is entitled ‘Dating Dead Mean’. It was released by the Doubleday publication in 2004. The book opens by showing that Wollie Shelley dates 40 men in 6 days as part of research being carried out by the host of a radio talk show for her upcoming book on dating and break-offs. In spite of meeting numerous eligible bachelors, she does not fall in love with any of them.

Later, Wollie discovers a dead body while on her way to Rio Pescado, a mental hospital where her schizophrenic brother is admitted for treatment. A charismatic ‘doctor’ takes her hostage momentarily, who appears to be running from the goons of the Mob. Wollie Shelley fears that her brother might be involved in a murder and thinking about the safety of her brother, she does not go to the police. Instead, she begins investigating the murder case on her own. The investigation leads her to an array of swaggering mobsters and small-time crooks, who look much more sinister than the ones she has been dating. Wollie realizes that getting dumped is the last thing to worry at the moment and finding real love sometimes requires learning ways to prevent herself from getting murdered.

The second installment of this exciting series is called ‘Dating is Murder’. It was published by Broadway Books in 2005. This novel opens by mentioning that Wollie Shelley finds it difficult to manage herself financially and to find her true love. When the search for contestants for a show called Biological Clock goes on, she reluctantly decides to participate in it. In the show, 6 eligible singles indulge in dating and receive votes from the audience to become the best couple. Wollie worries about not being able to find a man who would date her in the real sense. As her biological clock rotates, she gets stuck in a more pressing concern of the time. Wollie Shelley learns that her friend Annika has disappeared without a trace.

Fearing for her safety, Wollie begins to look for her everywhere. When she approaches the LAPD to report Annika’s disappearance, the detective shows more interest in her than finding Annika. So, she is forced to step into her sleuthing shoes again. The search for Annika lands Wollie Shelley in the middle of an ongoing FBI investigation involving an international drug organization. Shortly after, several threatening characters begin to stalk her. This book provides another action-packed story filled with intriguing twists and turns to keep the readers interested until the final page.

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