Elaine Orr


Elaine L. Orr has written fiction and nonfiction for many years and introduced the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series in 2011. She has written plays and other light mysteries. Biding Time, which is geared to young adults, was one of five finalists in the National Press Club's 1993 fiction contest, the club's first.

The juxtaposition of having more time for writing and the ease of self-publishing has been more than an advantage--it's been a true gift.

Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994, where she met her husband, Jim Larkin, in a writers' group at an Iowa library.

Her fiction and nonfiction are at all online retailers in all formats -- ebooks, paperbacks, large print, and (on Amazon, itunes, and Audible.com) audio in digital form.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
I enjoyed writing by the time I was in my early teens, but did not see it as a full-time career possibility until I was in my early thirties. I started writing more seriously then--first plays, then screenplays, and finally, novels.
What's the story behind your latest book?
There is always something new going on in the Jolie Gentil mystery series. I have been working on two projects concurrently. One is the sixth book in the series, and the other is the story of Jolie and Scoobie during the one year she went to Ocean Alley High School. That has been quick to write because I have thought through their high school time as I have written the five books in the series.

Five (and now six--Behind the Walls) needed to consider the impact of Hurricane Sandy, which was a life-changing event for the Jersey shore. The fictional Ocean Alley was set about 80 miles north of where Sandy came ashore in 2012, so it would not have been devastated. Still, there would have been damage, and lots of the long-term impacts of a very bad storm. So, Sandy hurricane repairs were woven into the plot for Trouble on the Doorstep, and are in the background for Behind the Walls. That book will be out in fall 2013.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Elaine Orr online

Where to buy in print


Behind the Walls
By Elaine Orr
Series: Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series, Book 6. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 87,120. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2013. Category: Fiction
Something was hidden behind the walls of the hurricane damaged house Jolie bought in her New Jersey beach town. Something someone seems willing to kill for. Jolie is pursued by a purse thief and a burglar, but the guy she’s most worried about is the one who left an elderly auctioneer dead on her porch swing. The Jolie Gentil series--fiction you can share with your family.
Jolie and Scoobie High School Misadventures
By Elaine Orr
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 34,830. Language: American English. Published: September 13, 2013. Category: Fiction
Jolie's parents take her to Aunt Madge for junior year so they can work on their marriage. She’s mad. Some kids snub her but she makes friends with the irreverent Scoobie. He’s quirky & fun but he's skipped school & smoked pot, so people avoid him. Jolie shoots a squirt gun from under the boardwalk & sits for a family with a secret that's trouble for her. Same humor, different challenges.
Short Stories and First Chapters
By Elaine Orr
Price: Free! Words: 49,690. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2013. Category: Fiction
Enjoy reading threel short stories and the first few chapters of each of the six books in the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series. The series debuted in October 2011 with Appraisal for Murder. Rekindling Motives came out in November, When the Carny Comes to Town in February 2012, Any Port in a Storm joined them in mid-September 2012, Trouble at the Doorstep in March & Behind the Walls in Nov 2013.
Trouble on the Doorstep
By Elaine Orr
Series: Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,460. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2013. Category: Fiction
From Hurricane Sandy to Cozy Corner B&B repairs to Aunt Madge's wedding in three weeks. If Jolie can handle that surely she can deal with a sobbing woman who shows up at midnight playing a scary message on a cell phone. Between burning muffins for guests, appraising houses, and murder Jolie may be in above her head. The police, best bud Scoobie, & boyfriend George think so. And maybe the murderer.
Any Port in a Storm
By Elaine Orr
Series: Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,620. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2013. Category: Fiction
Jolie, Scoobie & friends plan a Talk Like a Pirate Day fundraiser for the food pantry. They don't expect a body under the pirate ship. Someone wants to frame Jolie for the murder. She and her nemesis, reporter George Winters, are determined to find out who the murderer is and why someone is targeting Jolie -- before the killer strikes again. Maybe they'll figure out how they feel about each other.
When the Carny Comes to Town
By Elaine Orr
Series: Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 71,970. Language: American English. Published: February 16, 2012. Category: Fiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
Jolie did not want to sit above the dunk tank at the carnival's food pantry fundraiser. She never dreamed what Scoobie saw that day would nearly kill him. His ex-con mother shows up and there's murder to add to the mix. Soon Jolie is doing more than appraising real estate, and even that is complicated by home burglars. She asks reporter George Winters for help, so you know she's desperate.
Rekindling Motives
By Elaine Orr
Series: Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 71,610. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2011. Category: Fiction
Jolie Gentil appraises the Fisher house & dances with a skeleton hidden in the attic. She & friend Scoobie see a link to the family's Prohibition era business & seek clues from old photo albums and ledgers. A present day murder says they're on the right track. Between running a food pantry at Christmas time and escaping a burning building they hope to find the killer before someone else is hurt.
Appraisal for Murder
By Elaine Orr
Series: Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,790. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2011. Category: Fiction
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
Can a real estate appraiser in a New Jersey beach town get in this much trouble? Jolie Gentil dumps a husband who put their assets in the toilets that masquerade as slot machines and moves to Aunt Madge's B&B in Ocean Alley. Jolie is rekindling friendships, dodging a low-level wise guy, and (oops!) finding a dead body. Her old buddie Scoobie looks down and out, but he may be smarter than anyone.
Searching for Secrets
By Elaine Orr
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,190. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2011. Category: Fiction
Christa Heckertt was surprised to interrupt someone trying to steal parts from the computers her class had won in the mayor's competition. Kirk Reynolds did not want to be called from drug surveillance to investigate an attempted burglary at Buckingham Elementary. Soon, Kirk's niece is kidnapped & they dodge bullets and speeding vans to try to stop a drug dealer in time to prevent more deaths.
Biding Time
By Elaine Orr
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,770. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2011. Category: Fiction
Frank Myers never met the uncle he was named for. He was in Vietnam and he's still MIA. The young Frank learns about himself as he hears more about Uncle Frank from those who served with him. Is it enough to help Frank overcome the challenges of the streets of DC?
Tess and All Kinds
By Elaine Orr
Price: Free! Words: 2,840. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2011. Category: Fiction
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Tess lives with Grandma Wilma now. Grandma manages a storage facility, and Tess watches people come and go. She places them in categories, and for a seven-year old she has some insightful thoughts.
Secrets of the Gap
By Elaine Orr
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 34,670. Language: English. Published: September 13, 2011. Category: Fiction
Secrets of the Gap is a modern mystery set the ancient Roman Baths of Bath, England. Can events of centuries ago matter today, and will archeologists Carolyn and Greg sort them out in time? In school they butted heads, now their lives may depend on working together. They need solve a secret that has lived through the ages and unmask a colleague who will do anything to find the ancient prize.

Elaine Orr’s tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by Elaine Orr

  • The Truth About Us on Jan. 01, 2012
    star star star star star
    This is a beautiful book with three distinct points of view and an intriguing plot. Pacing is very good. Three former college roommates have very different lives now, but each has made choices based on something that happened long ago. Very much worth a read. Subtle humor is quite good.
  • 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover - A Novella and Other Short Stories on Feb. 02, 2012
    (no rating)
    The three works are seamlessly presented. It's rare that you see all three perspectives in a love triangle and can empathize with all three. You'll spend a worthwhile evening reading these three works.
  • Creating YOUR Plan for Weight Loss Success (How to Lose 100 Pounds) on Sep. 13, 2013
    star star star star
    A very practical approach with realistic advice based on experience. This is not a long book--if you are interested in this topic it's a good way to jump in and get an overview.