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Michael Kilian Books In Order

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Publication Order of Andy Derain Books

Bad Girl Blues (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Postcard from Hell (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Harrison Raines Books

Murder at Manassas (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Killing at Ball's Bluff (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ironclad Alibi (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Grave at Glorieta (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shiloh Sisters (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Antietam Assassins (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Jazz Age Mystery Books

The Weeping Woman (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Uninvited Countess (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Sinful Safari (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Valkyrie Project (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Northern Exposure (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood of the Czars (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
By Order of the President (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dance on a Sinking Ship (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Looker (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Virginia Gentleman (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Score (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Major Washington (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deepkill (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Who Runs Chicago? (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Who Runs Washington? (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flying Can Be Fun (With: Dick Locher) (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon

Michael Kilian was an American author of mystery novels famously known for his Jazz Age series, Harrison Raines series and Andy Derain series also known as Rex Dancer series. Born in Toledo, Ohio, he was raised in Westchester and Chicago. He was an established author of several bestsellers including Harrison Raines Civil War mystery series, and a long-time contributor for the Chicago Tribune.

Murder at Manassas

Murder at Manassas is the first book in the Harrison Raines series. It’s a story about a southern gambler on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer as war erupts between the different states. The story opens up in 1861, and both the Confederate and the Union armies expect to achieve victory in less than 24 hours. For Raines, a southern gambler settled in DC, it time to choose the side to support. Even though he loves the state of Virginia, he hates slavery and joining either side of the army would force him to leave Washington, leaving behind the beautiful British actress Caitlin Howard. And for Caitlin sake, Raine remains neutral in a period when neutrality means death.

On the morning when the battle begins, Raines escorts Lady Caitlin to watch the bloodbath firsthand. When the first battle turns into a fight, he notices a major rallying his troops- the major is later found dead behind the union lines and branded as a traitor. To clear the dead major’s reputation, he must solve the homicide as war wages on.

Michael Kilian, a long-time correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, put his knowledge of Washington political and social past and American history to use in his series debut novel featuring Harrison Greenville Raines.

Raines is a nomadic horse trader and gambler caught in the capital as the country is crushed by rebellion. He wants to remain neutral in what he believes would destroy the country as he knows it. His dying love for Caitlin leads him to the Battle of Bull Run and into a murder scene. The reader accompanies the main character on journeys to prisons, brothels, military camps, and into the white house. Along the way, he meets Civil War personalities such as Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, detective Alan Pinkerton, Belle Boyd and other different characters who either aid or obstruct Raines in his pursuit of justice for the dead military man.

Historical authors face a precise challenge crafting a captivating story while at the same time conveying accurately the historical details, time frame, and the people who lived in the era. The writer must also create a complex crime tale, and that’s not an easy task. The author, in this case, succeeds on all three different levels. While some people may think that the author has gone overboard in exposing the reader into a long list of prominent personalities, he deserves praise for showcasing in details the complexities of life in a time of war.

A Killing at Ball’s Bluff

Ball’s Bluff was fairly a minor affair when compared with the massacre at Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg. Historians know it too well as the battle in which Abraham Lincoln’s close associate Edward Baker was murdered in action leading to the defeat of the Union Forces. This defeat sparked the formation of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, and this politically active group would expand to play a vital role in decision making for the federation.

Michael Killian uses his knowledge and expertise of the Civil War and Ball’s Bluff as the setting for his second novel in Harrison Raines series.
Raines, a Virginian man whose allegiance lies with the US and not the rebellion, is a horse trader and a gambler enlisted in the Union by Allan Pinkerton. He’s coerced by Pinkerton to try and protect Senator Baker. But when he cannot prevent the assassination of the senator, Raine’s must use all his intelligence and guile to free himself from the suspicion of the killer. On his way to solving the murder puzzle, Raine’s must come face to face with the Confederate sympathizers and go undercover behind the enemy lines and at the same time try to win the heart of the woman he loves but loves another man.
The author does a fantastic job of integrating both historical and fictional character with both fictional and real past events. The story has a feel for the period and vividly paints the pictures of both rural and urban.

The Ironclad Alibi

The Ironclad Alibi is the third book Harrison Raines Civil War mystery series Sent by his spymaster Pinkerton behind the enemy lines to gather information about the Monster- a rebuild of the captured Union Ship transformed into a warship capable of resisting enemy fire- Harrison Raines arrives in Richmond just in time before President’s Jefferson inaugural. He stumbles on luck as his former romantic enemy now the husband of his first love is an essential supplier of iron sheathing who knows more about the Merrimack enemy ship.

Harry’s reunion with Arabella his former flame turns unpromising when she shows up at his hotel room and throws herself into his arms with intentions of getting more intimate with him. Their second encounter is more awkward: Harry returns from dinner with General Lee and Davis only to find Arabella’s body hanging from his chandelier and his boyhood friend accompanying him on this dangerous mission about to be sent to prison with the possibility of execution without trial.

Applying his knowledge in intelligence gathering, Harry embarks on a journey to get his friend Caesar Augustus his companion freed from slavery freed, but his efforts only succeed in provoking a war and angering the local citizens before another fate twist gives him a chance to get a glimpse of the Ironclad ship he had initially planned. The novel ends with the first battle of the Virginian or Merrimack, and the Monitor. For those who enjoy reading historical books with both real historical and fictional characters, settings, and events, you will enjoy reading Harrison Raines series by Michael Kilian.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Michael Kilian

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