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Petra Connor Books In Order

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Publication Order of Petra Connor Books

About Petra Connor:

Following in the shadow of another famous character is never an easy way to begin a book series. But author Jonathan Kellerman determined that it wasn’t impossible, and actually took the unique opportunity to fuse two series together in a way that allowed a spin-off series (Petra Connor) to evolve from Kellerman’s otherwise famous Alex Delaware books.

Petra made her first appearance in the Alex Delaware book Survival of the Fittest in 1997. Petra later starred in her own novel Billy Straight in 1998, as well as Twisted in 2004. Connor reappeared in other Alex Delaware books such as A Cold Heart in 2003 and Obsession in 2007. The Petra Connor series is officially considered a spin-off of the Alex Delaware series, the first, but not the last. It was later followed by True Detectives, which starred Moses Reed and Aaron Fox, characters from the original Delaware stories.

In Twisted, Petra Connor babysits a college-aged-kid who is a genius when it comes to numbers. He constantly works on statistics problems at all hours, and has theories that are impossible for any detective to ignore. She agrees to allow him to assist her on a case, but soon discovers the pattern behind the killer’s motivation. With a student who is hiding something from her (including an illegal weapon), and a serial killer who is known only to her, Petra finds herself in a twisted situation, far from sanity and far from safe.

Who is Alex Delaware?

Alex Delaware is a literary character who began his detective work in 1985, when his first novel, When The Bough Breaks, was published. Delaware makes appearances in twenty-eight of Kellerman’s novels, in some of which he is not even the protagonist of the story. He has inspired two spin-off series based off of his own popularity, and holds a specific emphasis on children.

Delaware represents Kellerman’s want to create a detective who is caring, considerate, and kind towards others rather than cold, harsh, and misleading. Kellerman managed to create a detective who accomplishes all of these goals, but still has a fan base at the end of the day. If this is because of his sympathetic approach to his cases, it may be because readers are trying to turn to a more innocent kind of protagonist in murder mysteries (in other words, ones who don’t always break the rules to get what they want or to prove that they’re right).

A reader explains that the difference between Delaware and other superstar detectives is one of note. His style is unlike those of a normal policeman. He uses quiet and professional observations to make decisions rather than moving and reacting using instinct. This, the reader explains, is an important factor for any ideal private eye.

Where do their Stories Intertwine?

Survival of the Fittest is all about the brutal murder of the daughter of an Israeli diplomat. The little girl was already disabled to begin with, marking the act as particularly cold and calculated. There is no specific motive given for the crime, and the position of the body (as well as the location) gives no insight as to who could be responsible.

The story begins to pick up when those who have disabilities (such as having a low IQ, being deaf, or being blind) begin seeing weird symbols at the crime scene. Delaware, with the help of Petra Connor, slowly starts to understand that there is a self-righteous conspiracy at the heart of this murder. One with eugenics, the study of how to genetically improve the human race, at the heart of the motive. It takes two detectives to get to the bottom of this mystery, but this book also serves as Petra’s stepping-stone into her own series of novels.

Who is Jonathan Kellerman?

Jonathan Kellerman was born in August of 1949 in New York City. His parents, David and Sylvia, worked in two very different worlds, one a dancer and one an office manager. Kellerman did not choice to follow either of these routes. Instead, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in psychology at UCLA in 1971. After that, he took time working as a journalist, an editor, an illustrator, and a cartoonist. Kellerman received his PhD from USC in 1974, and worked on important research involving childhood psychopathology.

Kellerman currently works as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and the Keck School of Medicine, his background with children probably much of the reason that his major character has a weak spot for kids. He also worked as an intern at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Jonathan now lives in Los Angeles and is married to Faye Kellerman, a well-known author herself. They have four children, two of which are authors as well (Jesse Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman). Jesse Kellerman has written well-known novels such as The Executor, and Aliza Kellerman co-wrote Prism with her mother, which was released in 2009.

Jonathan Kellerman has a strong opinion about the “misguided” release of the mentally ill into the real world, where they are left unable to fend for themselves when they should be receiving help. He believes that these individuals should have psychotherapy, counseling, and medication to treat them. His opinions about this topic probably have a very strong connection with the contents of Survival of the Fittest.

What’s Next for the Petra Connor Series?

As of yet, no production company has picked up the idea of the Petra Connor series, though the general consensus is that Alex Delaware will make his big screen debut first, perhaps in a movie that includes the famous female detective. Jonathan Kellerman’s latest novel on the dynamic duo, Obsession, was released in 2007, just seven years ago. The idea of a new novel is not entirely out of the picture, especially since the newest Delaware book, Guilt, was released just last year in 2013.

Though Petra Connor does not have the twenty-eight books to her name that Alex Delaware has to his, she holds her own in a spin-off novel, and has received overall positive reviews for her work and showmanship. Even if the series is not continued, the adventures and mysteries that Connor has already embarked upon in her given books are more than enough to please the readers of the Alex Delaware books, not to mention many, many others.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Petra Connor

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