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J. Robert Janes Books In Order

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Publication Order of St. Cyr & Kohler Books

Publication Order of Richard Hagen Books

The Toy Shop (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Third Story (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hiding Place (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Alice Factor (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Odd-Lot Boys and the Tree-Fort War (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Theft of Gold (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spies for Dinner (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder In The Market (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Watcher (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Danger on the River (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hunting Ground (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Betrayal (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sleeper (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Little Parachute (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Geology And The New Global Tectonics (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Canadian Outback (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon

J. Robert Janes is a Canadian author that is best known for the St. Cyr and Kohler series. Robert is a mining engineer by profession. His most popular works are adult mystery novels set in the Second World War.


J. Robert Janes was born in 1935 in Toronto, Ontario. The author lived on Keewatin Avenue with his two brothers. He always thought his parents were very complex people.

Robert’s father was a journalist who made a splash as Canada’s first public relations man. The work consumed a lot of his time and he was successful enough to keep many of his family members employed.

People remember him primarily for the work he did with The Northern Miner and the Toronto Star, both Canadian newspapers.

The author’s mother sought her fortunes in art and Robert believes she distinguished herself as one of the best the Canadian art scene had to offer. Robert remembers her penchant for inviting friends to dinner and making effective use of her children in the kitchen to produce some of the most scrumptious meals their neighborhood had ever seen.

Robert remembers her being a passionate woman who fought tooth and nail for her artistic beliefs. As such, some of the conversations at dinner had a tendency to get quite volatile.

Because of her mother’s dinners, Robert was given the opportunity to interact with weavers, painters, and sculptresses. The author believes he inherited his passion for literature from his mother.

Her love for art was such that she had no qualms about sending Robert out into the back garden to play by himself at the age of two because she was too busy painting. Robert believes that she could have accomplished considerable feats on the artistic scene if it wasn’t for her family responsibilities.

Theirs was a literary household. Robert’s parents were avid readers and so were his siblings. So there were plenty of books available for his consumption. J. Robert Janes imputes a lot of his success in the mystery genre to his mother.

She loved mysteries and she was quick to introduce Robert to the genre. It put a lot of pressure on the author when he first started to write. He knew how critical his mother could be and he dreaded showing her his attempts at writing mystery and crime fiction.

The author’s earliest literary memories revolve around ‘Thornton W. Burgess’. Robert learned to read at an early age and Burgess had an impact on him. Robert did a lot of writing in his pre-teens.

He tried to illustrate his own animal adventures. Though, there was never a time during those years when the author determined that he would go into publishing.

In fact, J. Robert Janes has a degree in Mining Engineering. He got it from the University of Toronto in the late 1950s. He proceeded to attain a teaching certificate before finally targeting a doctorate in geology.

Suffice it to say, fiction writing wasn’t a priority for Robert for such a long time. He made a mark in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Division in Canada. His resume also includes stints as a petroleum engineer and a geologist.

Robert climbed so many hills in his field in Canada that when he finally decided to retire, a lot of voices begged him to stay. Interestingly enough, when Robert ignored his boss’ pleas to stay in his position of research engineer at the Ontario Research Foundation, it was with the intention of teaching high school.

The author is himself unsure what drew him to teaching. But once he took a crack at it, Robert found that the career gave him plenty of satisfaction. He realized just how much he loved children and the art of teaching.

The work wasn’t easy because Robert had to keep thinking of new ways to engage his students. He wanted to keep them interested in geology and geography and that meant crafting new methods of delivering his content.

The transition to full-time writing wasn’t planned. The author believes the spark was ignited while he did his undergraduate thesis. Robert spent a lot of time in the library doing research.

He remembers immensely enjoying the process. Robert’s career as a writer began with a few travel articles that failed to satisfy his creative desires. Robert was also contracted to write a few textbooks in the 1960s.

The decision to become a full-time writer was made in 1970. One day, with so many scholarly writing opportunities starting to emerge, J. Robert Janes decided to leave all his prior careers behind in favor of writing.

It was an opportunity to work for himself and it excited Robert. The family was a little alarmed, though his mother and father tried to contain their opinions.

Robert had a wife and four young children at the time, so the financial worries weighed heavily on his mind. But Robert was so certain of his ability to succeed that he never wavered in the decision.

For a while, Robert wrote nonfiction. It was safer that way. He produced textbooks on geology for children and that paid the bills for some time. But then Robert eventually grew dissatisfied and that drove him to try his hand at fiction.

The first few novels he wrote were mysteries for children. Those opened the way for the author to produce his Gunther, St. Cyr and Kohler series of historical novels which featured middle-aged detectives taking on ruthless criminals during times of war.


It is 1942. A bicyclist is dead, abandoned on a deserted road. The signs point to a resistance execution and that is a problem for everyone involved. The Germans want the killer. They want him found and produced in two days.

Failure to do so will lead to unwanted consequences. The first book in the St. Cyr and Kohler series will bring two disparate personalities together as they try to avert disaster.


It is 1942 in Paris. A girl has been murdered. She was strangled and her naked remains abandoned not too far from the remains of a young man. The man’s throat was slashed and his body tied to the back of a carousel animal.

Now that a Wehrmacht corporal has been killed, rumors about the resistance begin to emerge. In a country struggling under the weight of occupation, St. Cry and Kohler have their work cut out for them.

Book Series In Order » Authors » J. Robert Janes

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