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Virginia Lanier Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jo Beth Sidden "Bloodhound" Mystery Books

Death in Bloodhound Red (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The House on Bloodhound Lane (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Brace of Bloodhounds (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blind Bloodhound Justice (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ten Little Bloodhounds (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Bloodhound To Die For (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Virginia Lanier was an American author of mystery and thriller novels popularly known for her Bloodhound mystery series. She was born in Madison County, and as an orphan, she was taken in by a foster family. She published her first novel Death in Bloodhound Red, in 1995 at the age of 65 and went on to release five more sequels concluding with mystery series in 2003 with A Bloodhound to Die For.

Several Virginia Lanier books have won and been nominated for various awards. The first novel in Bloodhound series, Death in Bloodhound Red was nominated for the 1995 Agatha Awards and also won of 1996 Anthony Award. Subsequently, the Blind Bloodhound Justice was nominated for the Agatha Award in 1998 while the last book in the series was nominated for Mary Higgins Clark Award. In 1998, Jo Beth Sidden “Bloodhound” Mystery Series was optioned for adaptation to be the basis of a TV Mini-series or a Hollywood movie; however, the adaptation appears to have been scrapped.

Death in Bloodhound Red

Virginia Lanier is a true inspiration not only through her stories but also her life as well. She was in her 60’s when she published her debut novel. The author and her husband Hoss had recently retired, and they were not in good health. She took a book, tried to read it only to throw it away declaring that she could write much better. Her husband encouraged her to do it, but she had a million excuses. With no education, she couldn’t spell and didn’t have anywhere to write. Her husband bought her a dictionary, a used typewriter, a desk and four months down the line; she had scripted a 600-page manuscript, the first book in Bloodhound mystery series.

Death in Bloodhound Red is the first novel in the Jo Beth Sidden mystery series. It’s a unique, fascinating and a great mystery different from most mysteries books you’ve probably read. This is a series that you should buy all at once because the moment you start reading, you will not want to put the book down until you’ve read the last page. Even though it’s a mystery novel, this is a story somehow hard to classify. It’s not a light read because there are parts that will make you very somber and others that will make you laugh.

The main character is JoBeth Sidden, the owner of a local bloodhound kennel. After escaping from an abusive marriage, she is thriving on her own, raising and training several bloodhounds and doing search and rescue mission for the local law enforcement. Sidden is feminist who regularly rubs the males the wrong way. She is sweet on the inside, though she’s willing to do anything or whatever it takes for her dogs and friends. But this gets her on a murder suspect list when Bubba, her divorced husband gets out jail and is beaten nearly to death and Jo beth can’t provide a solid alibi without disclosing information that could be hurtful to a friend. Additionally, she also goes on some thrilling searches, gets a mysterious inheritance, and worries about the security measures that she has put in place around her home.

Mrs. Lanier does a fantastic job in her series debut novel despite the challenges she had to undergo as a new author in her old age. Her heroine lives a rather exciting life. Her dead father became a well-known artist when she was only a teenager and while she spent most of her childhood in poverty; her childhood is in many ways mysterious. But by working tirelessly, JoBeth has built a bloodhound business, and law enforcement and other business agencies hire her and her bloodhounds to seek out criminals and drugs. She is instead a tough woman because she has to be. She is also working to address all the vulnerabilities in her life, and this concept is well reflected in the story. She is also a feminist ardent because she has to face and fight many prejudices in her life of work. Other characters in the story are vividly portrayed, and the descriptions are well done to capture the imagination and transport the reader Deep South where the novel is set. The bloodhounds as well come to life and are not mere background props. The bloodhound mythology, history and how these amazing dogs do their tracking, their affectionate and yet gentle disposition is well depicted. If you’re a fan of Margaret Maron, Susan Conant, Sue Grafton, Nevada Barr, and Sara Paretsky you will like this book.

The House on Bloodhound

The House on Bloodhound is the second book in the suspenseful and entertaining Bloodhound mystery series. This story is about a lady in Georgia who trains in Bloodhounds to search drugs for the police and companies. She also tracks people or felons lost in the woods.

The lady is named Jo Beth, and we come across a lot of her adventures in the story. She is a feminist and a very cunning lady the author describes her engagingly and excitingly and the characters she meets as she searches for the lost people. She also does not report some crimes since she has a different purpose and aims at it. She makes use of her cleverness on various occasions in the story’s subplots, and she gets held up in a mystery concerning the search of a man believed to have been buried.

The real hero in the story is a bloodhound puppy named Bobby and has been blind since birth with a brilliant mind. Bobby is a likable character, and the author delightfully portrays him. Dog lovers and readers interested in a story with a female protagonist should not fail to read this series. Virginia Lanier writes the story at a good pace keeping the reader interested as he switches to different subplots rapidly.

The main character is an active feminist with an attitude, but this does not make her less likable. She tries to fix and improve the lives of her close friends since her own is a disaster. The story is set in a village in South Georgia, and the author shows her love for it including its features like the swamps, humidity, heat and the moonshiners.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Virginia Lanier

3 Responses to “Virginia Lanier”

  1. Lyn McConchie: 3 weeks ago

    I ran across Virginia when a book critic friend sent me the book in which she (and 3 other authors) has dog detection stories. I loved her tale and continued to search. To date I have 3 of her 6 novels, another one coming, and hope to collect the final two this year. She was a very good writer and as I am currently several years older than she was when she died, I plan to send the set (once completed and read) to a Canadian friend. I just wish I could contact her son to say how much I honoured her. I write too, 53 books published and I hope to sell more before I too am gone

  2. RB: 2 years ago

    I read these delightful books many years ago and wanted to reread them-actually I was interested in the audio books but my library no longer has these books nor does Amazon. Why are these books not in circulation???

  3. Mollie Montes: 3 years ago

    I met Virginia while traveling from Chicago in the Atlanta airport many years ago – A very gentle woman – She told me of the book(s) she had written and how she became a writer (the same story above) – She was interesting to speak with – She also told me she did not think she would live long enough to reap the rewards of her writings – I see that she continued writing – When I arrived home, I read one of her bloodhound books – Truly she could write better than many; the book was well written without errors that I remember – I treasure the opportunity to have met her – I am glad to see her books available everywhere – Here’s to you, Virginia


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