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Henry Kennis Mystery Books In Order

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Publication Order of Henry Kennis Mystery Books

Nantucket Sawbuck (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nantucket Five-Spot (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nantucket Grand (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nantucket Red Tickets (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nantucket Counterfeit (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nantucket Penny (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Henry Kennis Mystery is a series of crime fiction novels written by Steven Axelrod. The books follow the exploits of a police detective in Nantucket who solves crimes.

+The Story
Readers first meet Henry Kennis, the protagonist of the story and the character after which this series is named, in ‘Nantucket Sawbuck’.

Henry is the chief of police on Nantucket and it is his job to maintain law and order. So when Preston Lomax dies, Kennis knows that he must find the man’s killer. This is despite the fact that no one really liked the murder victim.

Preston owed a lot of people a lot of money and, from what people had heard, he was on the verge of fleeing the Island and disappearing to some remote corner of the world where he would live his life out in luxury at the expense of his victims.

As such, when Kennis actually gets down to the business of investigating the murder, he quickly realizes that everyone on the island could be a suspect. But that doesn’t stop him from trudging forward, with his investigation eventually revealing a litany of scandals.

The Henry Kennis Mystery series tells the story of Henry Kennis. These books could be accurately described as police procedurals. Each installment in the series features a crime, a murder, or a mystery that the hero must solve.

The crimes will vary. Some are simple misdemeanors. Others are brutal felonies. The antagonists are also just as diverse. Some of them were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others intended to commit the crimes for which they have been accused.

Regardless of the nature of the crime, it always falls on the shoulders of Henry Kennis to identify and punish the guilty party.

Henry never intended to become police chief of Nantucket. Years earlier, Kennis was a police officer in Los Angeles, and he was pretty good at his job. Things started to go downhill after the protagonist encountered a case that implicated a superior officer in illegal activities.

Not one to let things go, Kennis wrote a book in which he brought the matter to light. And as a consequence, he lost his job. Where Kennis saw a problem, though, his wife saw an opportunity.

She had always hated Los Angeles. But her husband’s job kept them both firmly rooted in the location. The moment Kennis lost his job, she immediately jumped at the chance to argue for a change.

The couple eventually moved to the Island of Nantucket. Once there, unwilling to completely forego his career as an officer of the law, Kennis applied for the job of police chief, which he got.

The hero initially struggled to find his footing. The members of his community had all lived near and besides one another for a very long time. So they enjoyed a strong bond and a sense of understanding that often made Henry Kennis feel like an outsider.

However, over time, as Kennis proceeded to prove his worth, his new neighbors welcomed him. But the police chief never forgot his roots. And he quickly found that his foreign approach to doing things gave him a perspective that was wholly alien to the people of Nantucket; it also empowered Kennis to better combat crime.

As far as the people of Nantucket are concerned, Henry Kennis is the best addition their island has had in ages. With each new book, Kennis is forced to face off against a new mystery.

The Henry Kennis Mystery novels normally have a number of cases, crimes, and mysteries at play at the same time. It is always Kennis’ job to find that one factor that connects them all.

For the most part, as far as detectives go, Kennis is ordinary. Granted, the protagonist is more diligent than most, and his outsiders’ perspective allows him to see clues and connections that other people might miss.

That being said, the detective doesn’t possess any extraordinary investigative abilities. You won’t find him deploying special mental quirks and gifts that only he can access.

The key to Kennis’ success is his determination. Once the protagonist catches the scent of a mystery, he won’t stop probing it until he finds answers.

The character stands out from some of his counterparts in the genre because he isn’t just another brute of a detective with a miserable personal life. Kennis is designed to be a thriving human being.

For one thing, when the detective isn’t fighting crime, he can be found writing poetry, an art about which he is completely passionate. Kennis also has two children he tries very hard to raise, not to mention various friends and acquaintances around the island.

+The Author
Steven Axelrod is an American author with a writing MFA from Vermont College. A former screenwriter, Axelrod is a father of two who calls Nantucket Island his home. Suffice it to say, he based the character of Henry Kennis on his own life.

The author paints houses for a living, though he also finds the time to write mysteries.

+Nantucket Sawbuck
When Preston Lomax dies, no one is surprised. Lomax owed a lot of people money and he was in the process of fleeing with everyone’s earnings when he met his murderer.

Henry Kennis, the chief of police, must work hand in hand with the state police to solve Lomax’s murder. The case initially seems straightforward. But then Kennis takes a closer look and stumbles upon all manner of scandals.

+Nantucket Five Spot
Henry Kennis is a police chief by day and a poet by night. Kennis is called upon to investigate the threat of a bomb. The island depends heavily on its tourism industry and the bomb threat could destroy Nantucket’s economy.

When the Department of Homeland Security enters the picture, a local carpenter is eventually identified as the prime suspect. However, Kennis isn’t so sure that they have found their man.

In fact, he is starting to believe that Bill Delavane might have been framed. However, it will take more than a few hunches for Kennis to prove his theory, especially when Bill becomes the target of even more criminal charges.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Henry Kennis Mystery

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