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Helen Starbuck Books In Order

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Publication Order of Annie Collins Mystery Books

The Mad Hatter's Son (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Pity In Death (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Burden of Hate (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Cold Case of Conscience (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Legacy of Secrets (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Finding Alex (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Woman He Used to Know (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Helen Starbuck is an award-winning author who won the National Indie Excellence award. The OR nurse and Colorado native is the author of suspense, romance, and mystery novels. She made her debut with “The Mad Hatter’s Son” the first of the “Annie Collins Mystery” series and has never looked back since. She has also written several single standing titles and received starred reviews from Kirkus. Starbuck began writing as a teenager when she wrote about the Beatles in her teenage years, before progressing to more adult topics. The novels in her “Annie Collins” mystery series are written from the perspective of OR nurse Annie Collins. Many reviewers believe she has a tendency towards dark and sometimes dry humor and many have wondered if there is something she shares in common with her lead protagonist Annie. While she has acknowledged that she has a few things in common with Annie she does not think she has the same boldness as her. She usually visits book clubs in person or via Zoom or Skype for clubs outside the Boulder or Denver metro areas. Helen also loves to attend a variety of author events in and around Denver.

Starbuck is a third-generation native of Colorado that spends much of her adult life working in the main Operating rooms of suburban hospitals and a Denver area children’s hospital as a nurse. She made use of the knowledge and experience of her OR job to become an OR nursing journal’s clinical editor. Working as editor, she was responsible for helping nurse authors polish their manuscripts and helped journalists get a better understanding of what happens in an operating room. In return for her help, journalists brought her up to speed on the aspects of the AMA style book which has always been puzzling to her. Helen Starbuck has always loved stories about interesting men and strong women. She writes her works as an operating room nurse and taps into her love for romance and suspense in writing her romantic suspense works. According to the author, it is always possible to give life a different ending if you do not like what it is at present. She has written on and off her whole adult life having started in junior high. However, she had always written her manuscripts for private use and it was not until she published “The Mad Hatter’s Son” that she started thinking that maybe she could become a professional author.

Helen Starbuck started writing her debut novel “The Mad Hatter’s Son” while she was working at the Denver Children’s Hospital in 1984. She was helping take care of a young woman that was exhibiting some bizarre neurological symptoms and the doctors had a tough time figuring out what was wrong with her. When they finally figured it out, it came as a huge surprise and she writes about it in the story. At the time she thought it would make for a fine story and penned three or four chapters. Soon after, she was offered the editing job at the journal and got married several years later, and started a family. This meant she had less time and the story she had started writing would go onto the shelf for several years. In 2015, while moving houses she found the old dusty copy of the manuscript and started reading it. Helen found that she still loved the premise and potential ending and decided to finish writing it. It would take a year to get the entire work written and edited before she got it published in 2017. It was a big switch since everything she had written up to that point had been commentaries and short stories on life and now that she had published a full-length title, she was pumped up about her prospects.

“The Mad Hatter’s Son” by Helen Starbuck is a novel that tells the story of betrayal, love, and friendship in a story full of turns and twists that grips one from the first page to the last. The lead protagonist is an OR nurse named Annie Collins that spends her life caring for others in her personal life and the operating room. As such, it is not a surprise when she gets herself involved in the chaos of Libby Crowder, her long time best friend. Their friendship had suffered when her friend had met a wealthy but cold man named Edward Mathiesen and in no time she was married to him. They have not seen each other for four years but Libby is back in town with some puzzling symptoms. She wants the help of Annie her old friend but she cannot help but wonder if her friend is really ill or could there be more to the story she had told Annie. Her suspicions are heightened when one of Libby’s closest friends is assaulted and dies from the wounds. Things get more complicated when Libby dies of an apparent suicide. Annie blames herself for not caring enough to help her old friend. Racked with guilt, she is determined to find answers to the bizarre manner of her death. But find these answers may come at a high cost. Annie digs into the life of a friend that had been derailed and soon the mystery of what had afflicted Libby threatens to destroy her own life too.

Helen Starbuck’s second novel “No Pity in Death” opens with Annie Collins trying to put her life back together after she was almost killed in the previous outing. She has been working with Alex Frost the detective to look into the bizarre cases of patient deaths in the hospital’s intensive care unit. It is not a case of unexpected death but Frost and Annie believe someone may be helping the patients commit suicide. Angel Cisneros the Assistant DA that is also a neighbor and close friend does not like that Annie is involved in the investigation and worries about her mental and physical health. He gets even more worried when someone from Annie’s past makes contact and given his feelings for her, he cannot help become anxious. Initially, he only thought of her as a girl of the month but thinks he could develop something serious with her. They both have dangerous enemies but it gets frustrating when Angel and a fellow district attorney have to deal with harassment, vandalism, and tire slashing that may or not be due to the happenings at work. Could it be revenge by an unhappy relative or friend who is happy at a verdict they got or could it be something more serious?

“The Burden of Hate” by Helen Starbuck is a story of hate, fear, and revenge. Ian Patterson is a dangerous convicted killer that escaped from prison that may have revenge on his mind. ADA Angel Cisneros the fiancée to Annie Collins the operating room nurse has to deal with the threat he poses. They were planning a wedding and her mother had been a headache micromanaging the wedding of her firstborn son. But then things go wrong starting with the priest that was to officiate over the ceremony going missing. They need to find the escaped convict as he seems to be on a quest for revenge against Angela and Annie that he believes were responsible for his conviction. Will they meet face to face and settle their feud or will he keep them guessing and tormenting them while at it?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Helen Starbuck

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