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Juanita Sheridan Books In Order

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Publication Order of Lily Wu and Janice Cameron Books

The Chinese Chop (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kahuna Killer (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mamo Murders (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Waikiki Widow (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Murder Intercontinental(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Juanita Sheridan
Author Juanita Lorraine Light in Oklahoma on November 15, 1906. She once claimed in a long letter to her editor at Doubleday, Doran Crime Club that she was able to come by her knack for murder naturally after maternal grandfather was murdered by Pancho Villa in a holdup. Her own dad might possibly have been poisoned by some political rival.

After her dad’s death, Sheridan and her mom went on the road, touring all of the American West. While on vacation from boarding school, Sheridan was frequently put by her mom onto a train, with a tag put around her neck which told both her destination and her name. She was never afraid, and not once lost.

This self-reliance came in handy some years later during the height of the Depression (around 1930), with an infant child in her arms, found she was dropped off at the corner of seventh and Broadway in Los Angeles with just five cents and two suitcases to her name. She used her nickel to phone a friend, who lent her five bucks, and went to get a job as a script girl for twenty bucks a week.

Her son Ross went off to live with a rich Beverly Hills foster family and around the age of six got legally adopted by his maternal grandma. After this adoption, Sheridan, having sold a few of original scripts, went off to Hawaii to start her writing career.

Life was not that easy in Hawaii and once more she found herself in pawn shops, however, the typewriter was the last thing to go as usual. Juanita said the tough times taught her that it is never the smugly prosperous that offer help, rather it is the poor small guys that know what it is like.

Lily and Janice have their own money as the series begins. Both Lily and Janice knew their share of hard times, with Janice’s descriptions of her early writing career echoing the author’s experiences. She was familiar with the types of things that a young woman had to put up with when she was all on her own.

She told people, editors included, who thought her plots had more than just a bit of melodrama, that she was writing from life. She had been choked into unconsciousness by a guy she never saw, was clubbed by a gun, and woke up from a sound sleep to find odd hands reaching for her in the dark on two different occasions.

Juanita did not use much of the material she gleaned from her real life, thinking that nobody would believe a word of it. One of her interesting friends in Hawaii was the madame of a ‘house’. She looked a lot like a schoolteacher, wore glasses, and spoke New England. The lady had a library and a record collection.

Juanita wrote the “Lily Wu and Janice Cameron” series and wrote mystery novels. Her debut novel, called “The Chinese Chop”, was released in the year 1949.

She died on May 1, 1974 at 67 years old.

“The Chinese Chop” is the first novel in the “Lily Wu and Janice Cameron” series, and was released in the year 1949. The year is 1949 and Janice Cameron, a novelist, is forced by the postwar housing shortage in New York City to share a room in a Washington Square rooming house with Lily Wu, who is a comparative stranger. Lily needs for Janice to front for her due to her fear that the other roomers may not be willing to rent to the young Chinese-American woman. It quickly becomes obvious that Lily has got an ulterior motive for wanting to stay at this converted old mansion.

No quicker do Lily and Janice get moved in than the superintendent of the building is found dead in the basement of cardiac arrest. Foul play is suspected and all suspicion falls upon all the other residents staying in the house.

Evelyn Sayre, a suspect, is a writer of kids books. Bela Palyi, among the suspects, who is an artist that knows all too well that no man works harder for his cash than the guy who marries it. There is also Henri Ledoux, who is a French refugee, Doris Manning, who loves Henri. Louise Kane, who is a radio actress desperately seeking to conceal her past, and Jarvis Lloyd, who is a frustrated musician that works in a music shop.

Lily Wu, a self-assured and mysterious 25 year old that can assume the perfect demeanor in order to serve her purpose.

Readers enjoyed the feminist aspect of the novel, and enjoyed reading how it doesn’t accept any of the gender and racial restrictions of the period. There is also a great setting and atmosphere, and the way Juanita describes Lily and Janice as well as the enigmatic inhabitants of the house resonates with clarity. Fans enjoyed the mystery in the novel, and were glad they were unable to guess who the killer was.

“The Mamo Murders” is the third novel in the “Lily Wu and Janice Cameron” series, and was released in the year 1952. Older Hawaiians that the sweltering heat of the Kona season is a prelude to disaster. With all the cooling trade winds stilled, the islands are no longer a paradise. In years previous, the season has brought earthquakes, tidal waves, or some volcanic eruptions.

This time around, it brings death.

Leslie Farnham, recently married and young, comes back to her Maui ranch from the mainland just to find that her older and wealthy rancher husband has gone missing at sea. Her in-laws have taken the ranch over and now Leslie finds that she is an unwelcome guest in her own home. One of the stable boys attempts to warn her about some impending danger, but gets killed in a questionable and sudden accident.

Janice Cameron is Leslie’s one ally. Janice made the trip from Honolulu over to Maui on behalf of a friend of the missing rancher. As Janice looks around the island, Lily Wu does some sleuthing back on Oahu.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Juanita Sheridan

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