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Kristen Lepionka Books In Order

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Publication Order of Roxane Weary Books

The Last Place You Look (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
What You Want To See (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stories You Tell (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Once You Go This Far (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Columbus Noir(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Private Investigations: Mystery Writers on the Secrets, Riddles, and Wonders in Their Lives(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Edgar & Shamus Go Golden(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Author Kristen Lepionka spent a lot of time while growing up in her public library, and she could be found with a huge stack of adult mysteries. And this was before she was out of middle school. It was here that her love of mysteries of all kinds began.

Five novels that really influenced her are “Lush Life” by Richard Price, “B is for Burglar” by Sue Grafton, “Paper Doll” by Robert B. Parker, “Darkness, Take My Hand” by Dennis Lehane, and “The Girls are Missing” by Caroline Crane.

One thing that draws her to private investigators, is how they are able to pick their cases and whether or not they get determined to solve it or not. There is more flexibility being a private investigator than there is being a cop.

With Roxane Weary (who is the main character of her books), she wanted to create a character that she wanted to see in fiction, but never had. Roxane is bisexual, drinks a lot of whiskey, and get obsessive and nosy about making sure things get resolved. They both are able to find things for people, however, Kristen is only able to annoy herself and other people with this talent.

She was not able to harness it into a career, like her fictional counterpart. Besides all of these things that are similar about the two, there are many things about the character that are pure invention on Kristen’s part.

She wanted to make Roxane wake up and not feel or look all that great, as it would reflect how real life works. She gave Roxane her drinking problem, because that sort of stuff is usually something only the men have. She is simply a mess, and it is not played as cute or charming. Lepionka feels that Roxane would not make it as a cop, but is still an outstanding detective.

Kristen wanted to make Roxane bisexual because she wanted the character to have it has an attribute of her character, not one that defined her, though.

She writes the “Roxane Weary” mysteries, and the first one was released in the year 2017 when “The Last Place You Look” was published.

To do research for writing, she has taken a class on picking locks, taken multiple ride alongs with the police, and trespassed through a granary that was abandoned. She even went on a hike through a volcano in Iceland.

Her work has been picked for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Black Elephant, Shotgun Honey, and Grift.

“The Last Place You Look” is the first novel in the “Roxane Weary” series, which was released in the year 2017. Sarah Cook, who was a gorgeous teenage blond vanished fifteen years back, which was the same night her parents were brutally killed in their Ohio home. Brad Stockton (who is black, from the wrong part of town, and Sarah’s boyfriend at the time) is on death row, after being convicted for the killings.

Despite this, he always maintained that he was innocent of the crime. His execution date is just weeks away, and his sister, devoted to him, insists that she spotted Sarah Cook at a gas station in the town. She hires a private investigator named Roxane Weary to look at the case one more time.

Currently, Roxane is reeling from the death of her cop dad, and finds herself pulled into the story of the vanishing act that Sarah pulled. Even more so, when she believes that she has connected her disappearance to an unsolved murder case of her dad’s that involved another teenaged girl. Roxane starts to hope that she can possibly save Brad’s life, as well as her own. This is despite her own self-destructive tendencies.

Fans of the novel loved reading about Roxane, as she is able to be tough, yet she is still feminine. Her messy and not perfect life makes her that much more interesting to read about. You truly do care about her, while she is solving the crime. It makes it so that you want to read more about her, and like the fact there are more stories planned for the series. Long after some read this, Roxane popped up in their mind again and again.

“What You Want to See” is the second novel in the “Roxane Weary” series, which was released in the year 2018. Marin Strasser is hanging onto a secret. Her fiancee believes her secret is that she is cheating on him. He hires Roxane Weary to prove that she is. But just days into the case, Marin gets shot and killed in an apparent mugging on the street.

Quickly, the police start to focus on Marin’s fiancee for the killing. It makes her start investigating Marin’s life; she finds that Marin is an elegant woman that has quite an extensive past. She has two failed marriages, a son that has just been released from prison, and she even has a criminal record.

The trail takes her to a group of con artists, and an awful real estate scam that defrauds some elderly homeowners out of their land. There is an accident, a rather suspicious one, that happens to an older and wealthy woman that lives not too far down from where Marin was murdered.

Roxane’s client is facing indictment for murder. The people running the scam threaten her mother by pulling her home into their fraud web, all Roxane has to do is drop the case. It starts becoming clear that there are high stakes, just as the secrets run really deep.

Fans of the novel found this to be even better than the first book. Roxane is more reformed this time around, and has put her dad’s death further behind her, which means she is not drinking too much now. She is even able to make more responsible choices in regards to her relationships, both with family and with Catherine and Tom, who are the people she is dating. She even has a compelling voice, and readers love just how snarky she can be.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kristen Lepionka

One Response to “Kristen Lepionka”

  1. Ellen Nolan: 1 year ago

    I met you at Joseph Beth in Cincinnati back in 2017. I have all your books. A couple autographed. When is your next book coming out. I’m ready. Thank you for sharing your talent with us hungry readers.

    Ellen Reed


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