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Julie McElwain Books In Order

Publication Order of Kendra Donovan Mystery Books

A Murder in Time (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Twist in Time (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Caught in Time (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Julie McElwain is an award-winning author that is responsible for a mystery series of novels about an FBI agent that gets lost in 1815 in England.

+Biography

Julie McElwain is a child of North Dakota. That is where she was born and raised. She also attended North Dakota State University, eventually going into journalism.

Julie was an avid reader as a child. She read Nancy Drew in the Fourth Grade and fell in love with Caroline Keene. The books ignited in her a powerful desire to write mysteries like Nancy Drew. It helped that Julie’s appetite only seemed to grow with the passing of time.

Julie McElwain cannot even remember the number of books she read during those early years. It almost seemed like a given that the author would carve out a career in the publishing industry.

But Julie took a bit of a detour in college.

She decided to pursue a fashion degree course. She eventually switched to journalism and began putting her writing skills to the test in the student newspaper. While it wasn’t exactly the publishing dream she had once sought after, Julie realized that she could make a living as a writer.

After graduating with a major in textiles and clothing, the author did some work for numerous print media organizations in California. She spent a couple of years covering the fashion and entertainment industries before she realized that, while she was definitely making a living as a writer, she wouldn’t be content until she produced fiction.

Julie McElwain has read widely over the years, with some of her influences including Nora Roberts, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Gardner.

+Literary Career

Julie McElwain is best known for her Kendra Donovan series. The books explore the adventures of a tough FBI agent who goes rogue in London in an effort to assassinate the man who killed her team, only to end up in England in the 1800s.

Julie has never had much interest in historical fiction. The idea for the story came to her after an incident involving an old television. One of Julie’s friends had a son who needed a television set to play video games.

Julie had an old television set, the kind that had no remote. She decided to donate the item to the boy. When he accidentally nudged the dial to another channel, the boy, despite being so intelligent, had no idea how to get the television back to the right channel. His equally intelligent friend was just as stumped on the issue.

The incident amused Julie to no end. And it got her thinking. What would happen if all the technology people relied on went away? Surely, even the smartest of individuals would struggle to adapt.

Julie loves history. But she had never written about history. But as she followed that one concept down a rabbit trail, a historical tale featuring an FBI stuck in 1815 began to take shape.

Julie chose the 1800s because that whole era fascinated her. It wasn’t just the Regency aesthetic but the manner in which 1815 mirrored the 21st century. In 1815, England had just come out of a war. Industrialization was starting to pick up steam and the emergence of new machines was making jobs scarce, this creating tension and conflict between the poor and the wealthy.

Besides the drama that the era attracted, Julie appreciated the silly celebrity culture that began to emerge, this while political upheaval swept through the land.

Julie McElwain’s main objective in writing each Kendra Donovan book is to get the mystery right. Sure, the time travel aspect is fascinating. But, at the end of the day, Kendra is using her knowledge of forensics and criminal investigation to solve crimes in 1815. That is the crux of the Kendra Donovan series

To get the mystery and investigative aspect of her Kendra Donovan books right, Julie relies on her so-called murder library which has books on everything from serial killer biographies to investigative techniques.

In other words, Julie does research for her book series by reading about murder. She also subscribes to numerous newsletters and blogs that allow her to delve into Regency England. She has visited Britain on a number of occasions. The trips helped her gain a better understanding of the geography and architecture she would be working with.

Despite her love for writing and her willingness to do research for her books, writing never comes easy for Julie McElwain, and that is primarily because she can never find enough time to get immersed in her work.

For this reason, Julie relies heavily on her revision sessions to get her books ready. Because she only ever has a few minutes to an hour at a time to get her writing done, she usually focuses on getting as many words on the page as she possibly can, regardless whether or not she’s feeling inspired.

She then relies on rewrites, later on, to help her fix any problematic chapters.

For the most part, Kendra succeeds in her efforts. While she has been criticized for the decisions her protagonist makes, fans and critics alike always praise the author’s mysteries.

+A Murder in Time

Kendra was a rising star in the FBI. Groomed for success since she was a child, her future couldn’t have been brighter. But then disaster struck. The raiding party Kendra was leading against a murderer fell into his trap and half of her men died.

Kendra was lucky to survive. When she recovers, Kendra goes rogue, flying to England with the intention of killing the man who took so many of her teammates away.

When Kendra flees into a castle to escape an assassin, she emerges to find that she is in 1815.

Kendra is stuck in the past, and as she struggles to adapt to her new world, the death of a girl in the grounds of an estate forces her to don her investigative hat once more.

+A Twist in Time

Kendra is an FBI agent stuck in 1815 in England. Since coming to the past, she has taken the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec as a confidante and lover. Having failed to return to the 21st Century, Kendra puts her mind to the task of helping Alec after he is accused of murdering his mistress.

Someone is out to see Alec hanged for murder and it will take everything Kendra knows to save him.

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Book Series In Order » Authors » Julie McElwain