Janet Dawson

Janet Dawson is the author of two mystery series. The first features Oakland, California private eye Jeri Howard. The first book in the series, Kindred Crimes, won the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America contest for Best First Private Eye novel and was nominated for several awards. Jeri usually sleuths in California. Her territory is the Bay Area, but she ranges farther afield, heading for Monterey and San Luis Obispo in Don’t Turn Your Back on the Ocean, and Sonoma County in Bit Player and Cold Trail. The thirteenth book in the series, The Devil Close Behind, finds Jeri even farther from home, as a vacation in New Orleans turns into a case.

Janet has also written four historical mysteries set in the early 1950s. The California Zephyr series features protagonist Jill McLeod, who is a Zephyrette, the only female member of the crew of the sleek streamliner that runs between the Bay Area and Chicago. Her job is to see to the passengers’ needs and be aware of any problems that interfere with a smooth journey. Problems such as murder! Jill began sleuthing in Death Rides the Zephyr, which was followed by Death Deals a Hand and The Ghost in Roomette Four. Now arriving in the station is Death Above the Line. Jill, who has been roped into playing a Zephyrette in a film noir, finds yet another body.

Other publications include her suspense novel, What You Wish For, a novella, But Not Forgotten, and numerous short stories, including Shamus nominee “Slayer Statute” and Macavity winner “Voice Mail.”

Janet recently finished a novel titled The Sacrificial Daughter, which will be published in January 2021. She has just started a historical novel.

Janet and fellow author D. Z. Church publish as Bodie Blue Books and have a joint newsletter. You can find more information about Janet and her work, and sign up for the newsletter at her website:


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