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P.M. Carlson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Maggie Ryan and Nick O'Connor Books

Audition for Murder (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Is Academic (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Is Pathological (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Unrenovated (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rehearsal for Murder (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in the Dog Days (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Misread (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bad Blood (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Marty Hopkins Books

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Father Of The Bride (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Jersey Lily (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of P.M. Carlson Short Story Collection Books

Renowned Be Thy Grave (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Malice Domestic Books

Malice Domestic 2 (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malice Domestic 14 (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Each book is an anthology, with the listed author credited as the editor of the book.

Publication Order of Anthologies

Sisters in Crime 2(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malice Domestic 1(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malice Domestic 4(1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mr. President, Private Eye(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

An American author of cozy mystery novels, Patricia Carlson aka P.M. Carlson as she’s known by her pen-name, is hugely popular around the world. Reaching readers far and wide, she’s become enormously successful, really appealing to audiences both nationally and internationally. Her work keeps readers constantly guessing, while the stories themselves are simultaneously fun and light-hearted in their approach to the formula. With immersive stories that really draw the audience in, she manages to hold them there, keeping them on the edges of their seats.

Over the years she’s managed to take the genre forwards in new and interesting directions, allowing it to essentially become its own unique thing. Making it ostensibly work for her, she has a distinctive style and tone that’s become almost trademark to her and her alone. With intricately crafted narratives as well, her stories always have plenty of twists and turns on each and every single page. Becoming a permanent fixture on the bookshelves of many, her writing has secured her place as being that of a household name for many.

Not only managing to craft engaging and compelling stories, she’s also created numerous well-written characters as well. Many of her protagonists have gone on to become highly iconic in their own right, ensuring her readers return time and time again for more. Standing out from the page, her characters take on a life of their own, allowing her audience to really get to know them and who they are. And there’s still so much more to come yet, as she definitely wont be putting her pen away any time soon either, with lots more planned.

Early and Personal Life

Born Patricia McElroy on the 3rd of February in 1940, the future writer to be Patricia McElroy Carlson was born and raised in Guatemala City. Growing up with a passion for the written word, she would focus on writing for much of her life, continuing this through her education into her adult life. Moving to the city following the Great Depression in the hope of finding work, her father, a radio engineer, brought her up there.

Later she would go on to attend Cornell University, whereby she would receive a bachelors, a masters, and then a Ph.D. She would also go on to teach psychology and human development, before going on to chair the Environmental Commission in Ithaca, New York, between the years of 1975 and 1978. Previously living in southern Indiana, she soon went on to live in New York City, before becoming a full-time writer herself.

Writing Career

The first mystery novel P.M. Carlson would write was titled ‘Audition for Murder,’ and this came out in 1985, beginning the ‘Maggie Ryan’ novels. This series of books would be one of her foremost series, comprising a collection of cozy mysteries within the life of protagonist Maggie Ryan. Another series that Carlson would go on to create was titled ‘Mary Hopkins,’ starting with ‘Gravestone’ in 1993, and then there were her ‘Bridget Mooney’ books, with Renowned Be the Grave’ in 1998.

Publishing a dozen short-stories and counting, also in the mystery genre, she’s gone on to win countless awards as well. These awards include a Macavity, an Edgar nomination, and two Anthonys, along with her short-stories also winning awards as well. Previously a president of the ‘Sisters in Crime’ organization, comprising women in mystery fiction from around the world, she’s a key figure within her genre.

Murder Misread

First coming out back in 1990, this would would arrive on the 1st of January, with it setting up the seventh book in the ‘Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor’ mystery series. Continuing on from the previous books, it paved the way for more to come, with the eighth book, ‘Bad Blood,’ coming out in 1991. The books are all self-contained mysteries, as the series can be read in any order, although there’s still plenty for returning fans to enjoy.

As a statistician Maggie Ryan is consulting with Professor Charlie Fielding after returning to her alma mater, and he’s conducting experiments. But after being invited to a lunch with Tal Chandler a retired professor, Tal is found dead, with the initial verdict reading that it’s suicide. Maggie believes it to be something more nefarious though, as doubt is cast upon Fielding, the widow, and the whole department in turn. Will Ryan be able to find who the real killer is in time, who really did the crime, and what will happen after it’s murder misread?

Easy to read with a language that effortlessly flows across the page, this book really works on a number of different levels. The story itself is an engaging one, making for a more than compelling narrative that really captures the attention of the reader from the outset. Maggie Ryan herself is well drawn, leading the way with the action, pushing the story forwards with a real sense of personality.


Originally arriving in 1998 on the 1st of January again, this book would be the third in the ‘Marty Hopkins’ mystery series. Carrying on from the other books in the collection, it would continue in much the same vein as before, while providing plenty of surprises of its own. Once again it doesn’t need to be read in any particular order, although the arc of Deputy Sheriff Marty Hopkins is continued from before, and ‘Crossfire,’ the fourth book, would come out in 2006.

As the Deputy Sheriff of Nichols County in Indiana, Marty Hopkins is called up during the middle of the night by her boss. Tornado season is soon to be hitting the state of Indiana, and now it seems that Marty might have a new mystery on her hands. A young woman’s body has been discovered in a bank lobby, and it’s up to Hopkins to investigate the truth of what actually happened. Can she get to the bottom of this particular case, who is the woman and what’s her past, and how will everything pan out when facing the deathwind?

Another fine example of the mystery genre doing what it does best, Carlson truly is in her element here, making the most of her premise. Easy to pick up once again, it’s difficult to put down, allowing readers to truly invest themselves in the story and its outcome. The setting of Indiana is fully utilized as well, with Marty Hopkins herself truly coming alive on the page for the reader.

Book Series In Order » Authors » P.M. Carlson

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