Category: Whodunit Challenge Answers

Answer to #Mystery Author Whodunit Challenge 5

Did you recognize the mystery/suspense author from last week’s Whodunit Challenge #5Janet Evanovich was the author with the popular series mixing romance and mystery genres. You probably would have recognized her if we revealed the protagonist in the series is bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.

Janet Evanovich started out writing romance novels. She readily admits she collected rejection letters for 10 years prior to publication. In fact, she said she had filled a crate with them . One day she decided to burn the letters, give up, and got a job at a temp agency.  Fortunately for readers everywhere, one of her submissions that was still out caught the eye of an editor and soon she was able to quit the temp agency to write full time.

We were “counting down” to her newest novel because the books in the series all have a number in the title. For example Janet Evanovich’s most recent release in the series is Tricky Twenty-Two: A Stephanie Plum Novel.

If you have a few minutes, you can learn more mystery author Janet Evanovich from this interview about her 27th book at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore (on Facebook).

Series: Stephanie Plum
Publisher: Random House (November 17, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0385363230
ISBN-13: 978-0385363235

Newest Book:

Also in the series, Turbo Twenty-Three: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich, is due out November 15, 2016. According to Evanovich’s website, Stephanie goes undercover at an ice cream factory and someone gets their “just desserts.” (groan)

Publisher: Random House  (November 15, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0385363249

For Writers:

If you are a writer, you also might want to look for How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich and Ina Yalof.

In the book Janet Evanovich reveals a highly personal view of all aspects of writing. Starting with writing tips, such as how to plot, she takes the reader through revising, publishing and has a whole section on what it is like to be a writer. She has an amazing ability to create quirky, believable, and relatable characters. It isn’t a surprise, therefore, that Part 1 of the book is dedicated to “Creating Great Characters.”

Whether you are a reader or a writer, our whodunit challenge mystery author Janet Evanovich has some sensational books for you.



Answer to #Mystery Author Whodunit Challenge 4

Looking over my blog and Tweets, I realized I was giving away the answers to the mystery author challenges in the titles of the posts. I’ll only reveal the names in the posts from now on.


The mystery author from Whodunit Challenge 4 was Donna Leon.

mystery author Donna leon

(Photograph by Michiel Hendryckx Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, retrieved from Wikimedia)

Donna Leon’s books, starting from Death at La Fenice, feature Commissario Guido Brunetti who investigates crimes in and around Venice, Italy. The 25th book in the series is coming out this year.

(Affiliate Link to Amazon)

Different mystery authors have different talents, and Leon’s is making the setting come alive. The city of Venice becomes an important character in her books. The buildings, the weather, the people, the food all become tangible with her expert touch.

If you want to learn more about Donna Leon and her work, check out this video. It features scenes from the German television series based on her work, as well as interview.


Are you a fan of Donna Leon’s mysteries? Which one is your favorite?


Be sure to stop back next week for a new Whodunit mystery author challenge. Please leave a comment if you have suggestions for future authors.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (July 27, 2004)
ISBN-10: 006074068X
ISBN-13: 978-0060740689



Answer to Whodunit Challenge 3: Raymond Chandler #Mystery Author

Our Whodunit challenge author from last week was Raymond Chandler (video in the link has a short bio).

The teacher in a writing class I once took said what we write first is usually a cliché. The trick is to recognize we go to the familiar first and push ourselves to create something new and fresh. This is particularly true of descriptions.

Raymond Chandler was the king of the witty and fresh description. For example in Farewell, My Lovely instead of writing the antagonist had big hands, he wrote the guy had “a hand I could have sat in…”  What a memorable image.

One of my personal favorites is found in the beginning of The Big Sleep.


(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon)

“Over the entrance doors…there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree  and didn’t have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair. The knight had pushed the vizor of his helmet back to be sociable, and he was fiddling with the knots on the ropes that tied the lady to the tree and not getting anywhere. I stood there and thought that if I lived in the house, I would sooner or later have to climb up there and help him. He didn’t seem to be really trying.”

Not only does he give action to an inanimate object, he reveals much about his famous private detective Philip Marlowe’s character right up front. Here is a man who both is observant and likes to get things done.

Besides, how can you not like an author who has his photograph taken with his cat?


(Photograph found on various websites without proper credit. If you have more information, please let me know.)


If you are a fan of mysteries, there are some excellent collections of Raymond Chandler’s work still available.

Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window


Raymond Chandler: Later Novels and Other Writings: The Lady in the Lake / The Little Sister / The Long Goodbye / Playback /Double Indemnity / Selected Essays and Letters


Stop back next week for a new Whodunit challenge. Please leave a comment if you have suggestions for future authors.

Are you a fan of Raymond Chandler’s mysteries? Which one is your favorite?



Answer to Whodunit 2: Faye Kellerman #Mystery Author

The mystery author from last week’s Whodunit challenge #2 is Faye Kellerman. Her husband is New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman. He has written a series of books featuring detective Alex Delaware. Their son, Jesse Kellerman, is also a well-known author.

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Faye’s first book, The Ritual Bath was published in 1986.  If you are interested in reading the series, The Ritual Bath contains important backstory for the rest because her long time characters, Peter Decker of the LAPD and recently widowed Rina Lazarus, meet in this book. This title also contains the most information about practices of Orthodox Judaism.


Twenty-six books later, Kellerman’s most recent book in the Decker/Lazarus series, The Theory of Death was published in 2015. Now Peter and Rina have left LA and moved to Greenbury in upstate New York. Kellerman puts her real life B.S. in mathematics to good use when the murder involves people in the mathematics department at Kneed Loft College (not a real institution).


Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition first Printing edition (October 27, 2015).

If you would like to learn more about Faye Kellerman and her family, check out this Q&A session recorded at The Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.


You may also want to see photographs of the couple’s amazing New York City apartment.

Stop back next week for a new Whodunit challenge. Please leave a comment if you have suggestions for future authors.

Are you a fan of Faye Kellerman’s mysteries? Who is your favorite character?


Answer to Whodunit 1: J. A. Jance #Mystery Author

The answer to Whodunit challenge #1 is mystery author J. A. Jance.

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Jance started her career with a book of poetry and essays called After the Fire, published in 1984. It chronicled the difficult years of her first marriage to a man suffering with alcoholism.

Her first mystery Until Proven Guilty, was published a year later in 1985. It featured Seattle Police Department Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont, who had his own problems with alcohol. The series proved to be hugely popular, with number 25 in the series published last year.


A decade later came Desert Heat starring soon-to-be sheriff Joanna Brady who was struggling with the recent death of her husband. Set in Cochise County, Jance shows off her Arizona roots. After 17 novels, the series is still going strong.


Jance has said that her Ali Reynolds series was born from a conversation with her editor that she wanted to start a new character. Given a deadline to complete the book in January, it took Jance until October to decide who her new main character would be. She was finally inspired by an actual news story about a television anchor who was fired due to her age. By January, she had finished writing Edge of Evil. The 13th of the series, Clawback, was released this year.

Jance introduced the Walker Family in Hour of the Hunter before Joanna Brady in 1990. Not as well known, the latest, Dance of the Bones (5th in the series), joins Brandon Walker with old favorite J. P. Beaumont.

Given that she was denied entrance to a creative writing program back in 1964,  J. A. Jance has more than proved them wrong. Be sure to check Jance’s website for full lists of her books.

For an in depth interview with J.A. Jance, see the next post.

Stop back next week for a new Whodunit challenge.

Are you a fan of J. A. Jance mysteries? Who is your favorite character?


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