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Lisa Sandlin Books In Order

Publication Order of Delpha Wade Books

The Do-right (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bird Boys (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The Famous Thing About Death (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Message to the Nurse of Dreams (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the River Province (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lisa Sandlin is a reputed American writer of mystery, thriller, and crime fiction novels. She is famous for writing the Delpha Wade and Tom Phelan Mystery series. Additionally, Sandlin’s career is comprised of five short story collections. The highlight of her career is winning the Shamus Award for her debut book called The Do-Right in the category of the Best First Novel. The written works of author Sandlin have appeared in The NY Times, Crazy Horse, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, Story Quarterly, and several other publications. Sandlin is the recipient of a Dobie Paisano Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and an NEA Fellowship. She ventured into writing mystery with the Delpha Wade series. After successfully writing two books, she is working on the development of the third installment and is expected to release it soon.

Author Sandlin was born in Beaumont, Texas. Her family currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska, where she is employed as a teacher. Sandlin manages to divide her time equally between her two professions. She says that she enjoys writing as much as she enjoys teaching. Besides winning a Shamus Award from the PEWA, Sandlin has also received a Hammett Prize from the IACW. The second book of her career is set in her hometown of Beaumont in 1973. Her previous books include Message to the Nurse of Dreams, You Who Make the Sky Bend, In the River Province, etc. Following her birth in Beaumont’s Gulf Coast town, Sandlin lived there with her family until her father was transferred to Naples, Italy. Three years after living in Naples, the family returned to Beaumont. Sandlin completed her graduation from the Houston based Rice University. After that, she resided in Santa Fe, New Mexico for several years.

When Sandlin earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College, she packed everything and headed in the direction of Nebraska. Between 1997 and 2009, she has worked as a teacher at Wayne State College. In between, she used to take semester leaves to undertake teaching projects at Texas University, Nebraska University, and the University of Kadir Has in Istanbul, Turkey. To write one of her books, Sandlin collaborated with a retablo artist from New Mexico named Catherine Ferguson. Between 2009 and 2018, she was employed at Nebraska University’s Writers’ Workshop as a professor emeritus.

Sandlin decided to write The Do-Right, because she wished to reverse the convention of the detective story. She wanted to create a grizzled, but novice private investigator and a secretary who has a dark side to her life. To her joy, Sandlin succeeded in creating Tom Phelan as a fed-up roughneck who starts a detective agency called Thomas Phelan Investigations. Delpha Wade comes to him to look for a job and gets accepted to work as his secretary. She has served 14 years of imprisonment for murder and is now out on parole. Together, they solve cases of murder mysteries. Author Sandlin says that she received huge inspiration from various Texas writers such as Larry McMurtry, Molly Ivins, Katherine Anne Porter, James Lee Burke, Ben Saenz, Mary Karr, Allen Weir, Cormac McCarthey, and K. Frank Dobie.

Sandlin wishes to write many more interesting novels in the years to come and keep entertaining her fans. Sandlin is grateful for all the love and support she has received from readers all over the world. She is also thankful to the critics and fellow writers for their rave reviews and kind words. Sandlin feels happy to know that her writing style and character descriptions are liked by people across the globe. She is quite satisfied with whatever progress she has made in her literary career and considers herself blessed to have succeeded in establishing herself as a noteworthy author.

The Delpha Wade & Tom Phelan Mystery series began in 2015 and comprised of just 2 books up to 2019. It features the primary characters in the roles of Thomas Phelan, Delpha Wade, and a few others. Author Sandlin has set the series in the 1970s in Beaumont, Texas. The debut book of the series is entitled ‘The Do-Right’. It was released by the Cinco Puntos publication in 2015. The book opens by showing that two men tried to rape Delpha Wade in 1959. She ended up killing one of them and attempted to kill the second one as well, but he managed to escape. Delpha was caught and tried in the court of law that sentenced her to life imprisonment. After spending 14 years in jail, she comes out on parole in 1973. To earn a living, Delpha tries to get a job. But, no one wants to hire her because of her criminal background. Later, she meets Tom Phelan, who gives her a secretarial job at his private detective agency.

Tom and Delpha begin to pry into Beaumont’s dark corners to look for mysterious cases to solve. They come to know about mayhem plotted by a mysterious client against a small oil company. When they are not able to find any reason behind it, they continue to investigate more. Later, Tom Phelan succeeds in uncovering a murder mystery involving a serial killer. On the other hand, Delpha looks for the second rapist outside of her duty hours. This novel is filled with surprises, excitement, karmic justice, and shocking twists.

The second volume of the series is called ‘The Bird Boys’. It was also published by Cinco Puntos Press in 2019. This novel opens by depicting that Delpha Wade is handed over to the city police by the county hospital after she narrowly escapes being killed by a serial killer. Now, she is put up for questioning for killing the man who attempts to murder her. Being an ex-convict, the police suspect that she must have committed a foul play. Tom Phelan awaits for Delpha’s return in his office. As soon as she arrives, they go on to get involved in another investigation and find themselves in a deep shit again. The case at hand appears to be an easy one, involving a Bird brother waiting for his long lost brother’s return. But, when it is discovered that one of the brothers is a killer, Delpha and Tom set out to catch him. However, they cannot do so unless they find out which brother has the knack of slitting throats. Delpha is approached by a young girl, who claims that she can identify the killer. She helps in carrying out the investigation and catching the main culprit.

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