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I often get asked by readers what order the Jack Daniels books should be read in.
I purposely write each book so it can be read without any prior knowledge of any of the others. If you want to start on the last book and work backwards, or start in the middle, you can still enjoy the series without missing anything.
That said, some readers do want a chronological list of events in Jack's life. So here it is.
Besides the ten Jack Daniels novels, Jack and her cohorts have appeared as supporting characters in several other books and stories. Here's the order, from her years as a rookie cop, to the future.
SHOT OF TEQUILA by JA Konrath
SERIAL KILLERS UNCUT by JA Konrath and Blake Crouch
WHISKEY SOUR by JA Konrath
BLOODY MARY by JA Konrath
RUSTY NAIL by JA Konrath
DIRTY MARTINI by JA Konrath
JACK DANIELS STORIES by JA Konrath
LADY 52 by JA Konrath and Jude Hardin
FUZZY NAVEL by JA Konrath
CHERRY BOMB by JA Konrath
SHAKEN by JA Konrath
STIRRED by JA Konrath and Blake Crouch
RUM RUNNER by JA Konrath
LAST CALL by JA Konrath
The Jack Daniels books also crossover with several books by me and my frequent collaborators Blake Crouch and Ann Voss Peterson.
THE LIST by JA Konrath
ORIGIN by JA Konrath
WEBCAM by JA Konrath
AFRAID by JA Konrath
TRAPPED by JA Konrath
ENDURANCE by JA Konrath
HAUNTED HOUSE by JA Konrath
DESERT PLACES by Blake Crouch
LOCKED DOORS by Blake Crouch
PUSHED TOO FAR by Ann Voss Peterson
BURNED TOO HOT by Ann Voss Peterson
DEAD TOO SOON by Ann Voss Peterson
WATCHED TOO LONG by JA Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
FLEE by JA Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
SPREE by JA Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
THREE by JA Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
EXPOSED by JA Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
HIT by JA Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
NAUGHTY by JA Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
FIX by JA Konrath, Ann Voss Peterson, and F. Paul Wilson
RESCUE by JA Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
TIMECASTER by JA Konrath
TIMECASTER SUPERSYMMETRY by JA Konrath
TIMECASTER STEAMPUNK by JA Konrath
Plus there are a whole lot of short stories I've written with other authors that take place in the Jack Daniels universe. If you're looking for a complete bibliography, just search Amazon for "JA Konrath Reading Order" to get a handy list of everything I've ever written.
This is an anthology of the first three "Jack" Daniels mysteries. I bought it at a discount, which is good because I would have hated to pay full price for any of these. I've been reading mysteries a long time and one has to like (or identify with) the main character before one can form a connection with the author's creation. Unfortunately...I didn't form a connection with Jack D.
Jack is a neurotic mess: frustrated and frustrating. She stumbles upon the answers more than deducing it (Cardinal Sin #1 in my mystery checklist). She has the requisite messy-but-experienced partner/mentor. The "laughs" Konrath goes for are so clumsy they're not really even funny. All the characters have as much depth as a pancake, and in three novels there was little change.
In #3, Rusty Nail, at the very end Jack D. comes to the decision that she will make some needed changes in her life. But for me, it was too little, too late. I'll stick with J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas, instead.
The first three books in the series were really good. Great page turners...interesting characters. I really like Jack. I did notice, however, that the level of editing has dropped significantly in the fourth book. I am almost done with the fourth book, and I have noticed a lot of spelling mistakes - specifically with words ending in "L," "K," "M" and "N" (and oddly enough "and" and "of") having the last letter replaced with a "." "...Jack an. Herb..."
I know that these books were never intended to be literature, but it's frustrating to read novels with spelling errors. Maybe Konrath should invest in a spell checker.
It's refreshing to read a book series with a strong heroine. Also, I appreciate that Konrath doesn't depict the stereotypical rough around the edges, non-feeling cop. Jack experiences the full gamut of emotions and deals with relatable every day experiences: loss, fear of death, love. She's such a well-developed character that makes this series much more than just a typical procedural, although the procedure is well-researched and articulated as well, making the crime stories realistic and believable. The villains are also well-developed and have intriguing backstories that tell us a lot about their twisted psychosis and how monsters are made.
Did I mention the research that goes into these novels? Makes the reader feel like they are right there, in Chicago, following the 26th District PD through these various violent crime division procedures. I especially like how Konrath brings Chicago to life with references to actual places and streets.
The books are violent and disturbing in many passages--not for the faint of heart--but Konrath also infuses a lot of humor to lighten things up. The interactions between Jack and McGlade are hilarious! Also, I love Jack's cat.
Would definitely recommend this series. Can't wait to start Dirty Martini.
Mr. Konrath is an excellent writer. I enjoyed the construction of his stories and the development of his main character, a middle-aged woman, workaholic and poor navigator of relationships. For those who enjoy murder mysteries, I think they will find the fast pace of the stories, the interesting story twists and the excellent story construction quite engaging. If you don't mind the sort of "pushing the envelop" kind of thing that goes on in this sort of book, and by that I mean the "what new and extreme predilections" can be created for the villain, than you'll definitely enjoy these books. Konrath says he does not write explicit scenes of mayhem and murder and it's our own imaginations that are filling in the gross details. Perhaps that is true. Although I thought there wasn't much left to the imagination. These books were recommended to me on the basis of Konrath's great writing and on that score I wasn't disappointed. However, because I don't enjoy having this sort of extremely gross negativity rolling around in my mind, I actually could not read the final book in the series. But those who do enjoy this kind of book will not be disappointed.
I love this series! The Klerk are over the top, but the books make me laugh out loud, and they even scare me. I'm always sad when I see the end approaching, and I scour the Internet looking for more. Read one, if you don't like it you probably won'tike the rest, but if you fall in love like I did you'll be in Heaven!
I've not been into too many crime series but I tried this one. Read all three back to back. Found it interesting, sometimes quite gruesome, but not over the edge. I read quite a few forensics and crime and courtroom novels...these are more about the killer or killers and what they are thinking, reasoning, feelings, planning, etc. The actual "catch the bad guy" stuff is bland and sometimes unbelievable, but at least it doesn't drag and drag. The attempt at comedy is, how shall I say, predictable.
For a quick and entertaining read if you like this type of book - go ahead and give it a go. I will most likely purchase more in this long series, when I need something to bite on rather than rip off and really chew!
Very well written. Great, well-defined characters. Author writes "thrillers" and "horror" stories. This was was a thriller. But the extreme torture/violence was so over the top that I will not read another of his books nor could I possibly recommend this one. The book could have been so much better without what Konrath calls the "imagined" violence.
This is a fun series for those of you who love the serial killer genre. I enjoy the character of Jack Daniels and that the storylines are always about giving the reader a twist or surprise. The author keeps to this formula and doesn't go off on tangents about the current state of our society, and given the subject matter, that would be easy to do. I appreciate that the author is writing to entertain me and not to educate me on policy.
If "Silence of The Lambs" didn't make you squeamish, then this series is for you! Try one, and enjoy!