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Jeri Howard Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jeri Howard Mystery Books

Kindred Crimes (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Till the Old Men Die (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Take a Number (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don't Turn Your Back On The Ocean (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Missing Child / Nobody's Child (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Credible Threat (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Witness to Evil (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Where the Bodies Are Buried (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Killing at the Track (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bit Player (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cold Trail (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Water Signs (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devil Close Behind (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Things We Keep (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Jeri Howard novels are a series of detective mystery thrillers by bestselling American author Janet Dawson. Janet Dawson asserts that she grew up in the movies since her entrepreneurial family operated their own movie theaters since the 1920s. She did spend a lot of time helping her uncle lift film reels onto projectors and also helped her aunt sell popcorn. Perhaps this is how she was inspired to become a storyteller in her later life. She has written more than fifteen novels in the “Jeri Howard Mystery” series and the “California Zephyr” Series in addition to a single standing novel What You Wish For, a short story collection Scam and Eggs, and several novellas. “Kindred Crimes” the first novel of the Jeri Howard series was the winner of the best first private eye novel in the Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin’s Press contest. It was also nominated for the Antony, Macavity, and the Shamus awards for mystery fiction.

Janet Dawson has been chair and president of the MWA NorCal Edgar Allan Poe awards, a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the Sisters in Crime. Before she became a full-time author, she worked several jobs that included a stint in Florida and Guam as a US Navy journalist, and a newspaper reporter in Colorado. As a Naval officer, she lived for a time in the San Francisco Bay Area, the setting for the Jeri Howard series of novels. After she left the military, she took a job working in the legal field before she got a job at the University of California. When she is not writing her bestselling novels, she likes to go to museums and the theatre, do some gardening, ride on trains, and go birding. While she loves cats she says that she is not the weird cat lady.

Jeri Howard the lead of the Jeri Howard series by Janet Dawson is the new and better breed of female private investigators that came after the boom of the 1980s. Jeri is a former paralegal from the San Francisco Bay Area. She works and lives in Oakland where much of the stories of the series are set. Over time, the character develops to become a better sleuth which makes her work more interesting. In the first novel of the series “Kindred Crimes,” she is introduced as a recently divorced woman. She still has issues with her ex-husband that also happens to be a homicide detective in Oakland. In subsequent novels Jeri Howard gets past the bitterness with her husband and they become fast friends even helping each other out on cases. Over the course of the novels, she has several relationships with other men and in the latter books even finds one that she believes might just be the one. While some of the earlier cases in the series involved her family the client pool did spread out in the later novels. This made the novel more interesting and proved Jeri quite the shrewd and determined sleuth that could take almost anything thrown at her.

“Kindred Crimes” the first novel of the series is a well-plotted and well-written novel that introduces the protagonist Jeri Howard. When Howard took on a mysterious case of a missing person she is shocked to learn that even her husband was unaware of her real name. Philip Foster had approached Jeri asking for her help to find his missing wife Renee, who had gone missing a few days past. She had withdrawn every cent from their bank account, left their baby with his mother and disappeared without a trace. At first, Philip really wanted her to be found but when Howard finds out her real name and some not so flattering facts about her, the husband’s father puts pressure on him until he lets go of Jeri. But she is not one to let go of an investigation midway and continues working on it. Digging deeper into the circumstances of the case she reveals long-buried public scandals and secrets that may endanger her life.

“Till the Old Men Die” the second novel of the series is an intriguing novel set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tim Howard a professor of history California State University and Jeri’s father gets her to investigate the case of a murdered colleague. Dr. Lito Manibusan is a history professor at California State who was recently murdered by unknown persons. Tim had found the body and still has nightmares months after the fateful day since the man was not only a colleague but also a friend. Dr. Lito had written a will and hence there should not have been any dispute as to who would get the inheritance. But then a Filipino woman comes into town and claims that she is the widow of the dead man. Jeri plans to prove her wrong but to do so she needs to venture into the Philippine community in San Francisco. She dives deep into the culture and comes to learn about political feuds and meets the friends of the man and the woman that claims to have been his wife. In the midst of following the intricate trail of clues she also meets an intriguing Filipino man who helps her in her quest to solve the mystery of the death of the old professor.

“Take a Number” the third novel of the Jeri Howard series is set in Alameda County in San Francisco. It is the capital of mindless violence, divorce and adultery and the place where Sam Raynor Petty Officer First Class fits right in. He is a good looking man with muscled and blood looks that hide a vicious psychopath. His wife Ruth just got Jeri Howard to help her get a divorce from the wife battering Raynor. She also wants half of everything he has though she is sure that he has hidden much more than he had dsiclosed. But the wife battering was only half of it as it seems the man has a murderous streak and he will not hesitate to kill someone like Jeri if she gets to close. Her investigations soon reveal that Raynor has also been hiding money from the Internal Revenue Service. He had been involved in a variety of undercover dealings and has a huge amount of money in his secret accounts. But things get more interesting when Sam turns up dead and Ruth is the only suspect. Jeri now has to find not only the money he was hiding, but the man that had killed him and set up her client.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Jeri Howard

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