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Melissa Lenhardt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jack McBride Books

Publication Order of Laura Elliston Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Heresy (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret of You and Me (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Run Baby Run (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

An American writer of historical and mystery fiction, the author Melissa Lenhardt has become an extremely influential voice within the industry, as more and more are discovering her work everyday, with a lot of her peers and contemporaries looking up to her as well, gaining her both critical and commercial success for her and her books. Knowing and understanding her market well, she’s managed to build a following both online and off as, whilst she primarily targets the female demographic, her novels are highly accessible to anyone and everyone. Not only that, but she has also become an extremely prominent spokesperson for both her and her craft, as she engages in the DFW Writer’s Workshop, passing on the tools of her trade to other aspiring writers hoping to get into the industry.

Early and Personal Life

Born and raised in America, the young and aspiring author to be Melissa Lenhardt was always keenly interested in literature and the written word for as long as she could remember. Taking in any and all inspiration that she possibly could from the world around her, she would feed it all back into work, as she used her keen insights and in-depth observations to inform both her and her work. This would then allow her to become a lot more grounded in her outlook, giving her work a sense of realism and sincerity that it may not have had otherwise, something that her many fans would come to appreciate her for.
Studying the craft throughout her education, she would apply herself to the form, learning in great detail how to structure the modern novel more simply and easily. This is something that, in time, would pay off, as it soon became a lot more natural to her, a learning that can definitely be seen reflected within all her work to date. Graduating from high-school, she would continually come back to her love and passion for writing constantly throughout her life, continually reexamining and reapplying herself to the form.

Writing fiction for a number of publications prior to becoming a full-time independent novelist, she was able to find her voice through a variety of different outlets. These included such publications as ‘The Western Online’ and the ‘Heater Mystery Magazine’, as they published her short-stories, thus exposing her to a wider audience. Over time this would progress as she developed both her and her voice, leading up to her being able to apply herself full-time to her and writing craft, creating one of the most prolific personalities on the literary scene to date.

Gaining a number of awards as well, she was soon well on her way to becoming not just a commercially viable author, but a critically successful one as well. Still writing to this present day, she currently lives in the American state of Texas where she writes full-time, happily living alongside her husband and their two sons. With a lot more to come she shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, as her writing career will carry on into the foreseeable future for some time yet.

Writing Career

Publishing her first book in 2015, Melissa Lenhardt made her debut onto the scene with her novel ‘Stillwater’, which was also the first title in her ongoing ‘Jack McBride’ series. After this she would go on to bring out the ‘Laura Elliston’ franchise of novels, which would continue in a similar vein as her others, but differentiate themselves by taking them in a somewhat different direction. Not happy to be neatly put into one genre, she has managed to branch out across a variety of different fields and styles, creating a niche that is all her very own.

Receiving a number of awards over the years, she is not without her fair share of nominations either, gaining such positions such as being a finalist in the Whidbey Writer’s MFA Alumni Emerging Writer’s Contest. This has allowed her to take a far more prominent role within the industry, as her writing doesn’t just travel nationally, but internationally as well on a global scale. With her writing career growing from strength-to-strength, this expected to continue for some time to come, with a lot more titles set to be released on the horizon.

The Fisher King

Initially brought out through the Skyhorse Publishing house, this title was first released on the 1st of November in 2016, as it marked the second title in the ongoing ‘Jack McBride’ series of novels. Carrying on from the first, it manages to build upon the events of the previous novel, taking them forwards and developing characters both new and old in the process. This is not to say that it doesn’t retain a lot of the elements that made the original book work so well, as Lenhardt manages to stay true to the spirit and tone of the original.

Following the six weeks of torture that Jack McBride has endure after his life went to hell, it’s taking him a while to pick-up the pieces and resume some normalcy in his daily schedule. That’s when a new investigation comes his way and her must get to the bottom of a mystery, one that threatens to unearth old and bitter rivalries within the local community. Ever since McBride, an outsider, was elected into his position it seems crime has been on the rise, despite his best efforts, something which the local Stillwater natives won’t forget in a hurry. Will he be able to solve the mystery? Can justice be served? Who is the Fisher King?


First brought out through the Redhook publishing label this time, this particular title was set to mark the third entry into the ongoing ‘Laura Elliston’ series of novels. Originally released on the 27th of June in 2017, this carried on the events of the previous novel, whilst also adding some excitement of its own along the way. Not only that, but it also manages to capture the character arcs and developments from the last two novels, taking them to a more in-depth and intricate level for the reader.

This period piece novel sees the character of Kindle being taken into custody, whilst Laura herself is on the run. In New York she is sure to be met by the noose, but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere outside of the city to turn. That’s when it’s apparently time for Dr. Catherine Bennett to face up and deal with her past. Can she escape certain death? Where will her journey take her? What lies out in the badlands?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Melissa Lenhardt

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