Janet Dawson

Biography

In elementary school, Janet Dawson wrote mysteries in longhand on lined binder paper, influenced by those blue-backed Nancy Drew books she devoured. Now Janet writes about private investigator Jeri Howard. Her first book, Kindred Crimes, won the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America contest for Best Private Eye Novel, and was nominated for Shamus, Anthony and Macavity awards. Other books include Till The Old Men Die, Take A Number, Don't Turn Your Back On The Ocean, Nobody's Child, A Credible Threat, Where The Bodies Are Buried, A Killing At The Track, Bit Player, Cold Trail and the forthcoming Water Signs.She is also the author of a suspense novel, What You Wish For, and two books in the California Zephyr historical mystery series, Death Rides the Zephyr and Death Deals a Hand.

Janet was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Colorado. With a journalism degree from the University of Colorado, she worked as a newspaper reporter, then joined the Navy. An enlisted journalist, she wrote news and features in public affairs offices in Guam and Pensacola, FL. As an officer, her duties took her to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives in Alameda. Janet has a master's degree in history from California State University East Bay and can't think of anything she wants to study enough to go back to grad school. She is happily retired from her day job and writing full time.

Where to find Janet Dawson online


Where to buy in print


Books

Candles on the Corner
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,260. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Twelve-year-old Emily Gebhardt is dead – struck down by a hit-and-run driver while walking home from school. The makeshift shrine of candles and flowers on the corner is a daily reminder of her parents’ pain and loss. It’s also a starting point for investigation as PI Jeri Howard searches for information to bring the perpetrator to justice. Emily’s parents want. Or is it vengeance?
Blue Eyes
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,710. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
“That’s a lot of cat crunchies,” says Oakland private investigator Jeri Howard, in this short story involving a cat with blue eyes. The sum in Mrs. Littlejohn’s will has been left to her niece, for the care of her cat until that beloved feline departs for that great cat tree in the sky. But the will doesn’t name the niece, and now two claimants have appeared. Which woman is the imposter?
Slayer Statute
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,820. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
“I have to hand it to you . . . This one is a stinker.” In this Shamus-nominated short story, private investigator Jeri Howard sorts out a stinker of a case. A husband and wife are dead – looks like murder-suicide. Who gets the insurance money? It all depends on who died first. But the law prevents a killer or a killer’s heirs from collecting on the crime.
Little Red Corvette
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,930. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
A classic red Corvette, pristine, with low mileage, abandoned at a repair shop. Now the mechanic is trying to sell it. But is the sale legal? In this Jeri Howard short story, the Oakland private investigator looks into the car’s provenance – and finds murder.
Packrat
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,660. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
“When the neighbors saw rats climbing the curtains . . . they called the cops.” A pack rat – of the human variety – lives in the rundown house, surrounded by the junk he hoards. As the officers discover, there’s more to this short story than the rats at the window and the piles of old newspaper inside. What’s going on is a crime.
Jeri Howard Casebook: 4 Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 29,570. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Four short stories featuring Oakland, CA private investigator Jeri Howard: “Little Red Corvette”, "Blue Eyes", Slayer Statute", and "Candles on the Corner".
Voice Mail
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,850. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Winner of the Macavity Award for Best Short Story. We communicate by e-mail, text, voice mail – all detached and at a distance, without the immediate feedback of a face-to-face conversation, or even the voice-to-voice exchange of a phone call. But sometimes there are reasons for that distance, as one woman discovers her ex-husband has his own agenda.
By the Book
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,410. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Accident? Or suicide? That’s the question Navy Lieutenant Dinah Gray must answer when a sailor at her Navy command drives a car into San Francisco Bay. In this short story, Dinah discovers people would rather she didn’t make waves, including the formidable captain Dinah calls The Dragon Lady. Despite the pressure, the young officer must go where the evidence, and her conscience, lead her.
Witchcraft
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,900. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Backing the wrong horse can be murder. And in this short story, jockey Deakin Kelley is about to be taken for the ride of his life. Deakin’s bewitched. He’s fallen under the spell of a beautiful woman, one with a sleek figure and a sly, come-hither smile. But witchcraft – and obsessive love – are dangerous.
Mrs. Lincoln's Dilemma
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,600. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the sixteenth president, is the First Lady of a nation embroiled in the Civil War. She’s also a savvy political wife in wartime Washington. In this short story, the First Lady uses her powers of observation and the help of two White House employees to sort out crimes – including murder – and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Invisible Time
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,550. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Greta and Hank are orphaned and homeless, scrabbling for survival on the cold, rainy streets of San Francisco. In this short story, a noir take on Hansel and Gretel, the little girl struggles to keep herself and her brother from falling through the cracks in this scary urban landscape, where homeless adults help and also prey on lost children.
What the Cat Dragged In
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,290. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Hattie Ballew is a gold miner in California’s Mother Lode. She works a claim with her brothers, and enjoys the company of her cat Little Bit, who pilfers things from the cabin and the surrounding woods. As Hattie finds out in this short story, the lust for gold leads to violence – and murder. And Little Bit may drag in a clue.
Scam and Eggs
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,340. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
A fabulous jeweled egg made by Fabergé for the Russian imperial family disappears during an art gallery opening. Then murder enters the picture. Private investigator Errol Seville may be retired, but in this short story, it's clear that he still has his private eye chops.
A Killing At The Track
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 104,300. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Some people will do anything to make a killing at the racetrack. Dope a horse, bribe a jockey – or murder a trainer. Private investigator Jeri Howard discovers dangerous odds on the track’s backside.
Where The Bodies Are Buried
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 99,010. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Oakland private eye Jeri Howard had a client, but he was murdered. Why did he need a private investigator? Maybe the answer is at the company where he worked. Jeri goes to work, undercover, to find out where the bodies are buried.
Witness To Evil
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 100,480. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Darcy Stefano is seventeen, going on forty. She swiped her mother's credit card and went to Paris. The Stefanos have more money than sense. So they pay Oakland private eye Jeri Howard to go to the City of Lights and retrieve their errant daughter. Darcy and Jeri come face-to-face with long-ago evil and its modern-day counterpart.
A Credible Threat
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,020. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Oakland PI Jeri Howard searches for reasons as threats and vandalism frighten the residents of a house near the university in Berkeley. After a violent incident, murder could be next. Or has it already happened?
Nobody's Child
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 107,340. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
It's a cold dreary winter as Oakland private investigator Jeri Howard looks for a little lost child. The toddler's mother was murdered and it looks like this is a child that nobody wants.
Don't Turn Your Back On The Ocean
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 114,120. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Even private eyes take vacations - but this one isn't turning out the way Oakland detective Jeri Howard had hoped. It's more work than play, especially when murder enters the picture.
Take A Number
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 124,570. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
“Sam Raynor was the biggest slug that ever oozed across my path,” says Oakland private eye Jeri Howard. “Anyone who wanted to kill him would have to take a number and get in line.” Someone does murder Sam, and there's a long, long line of suspects.
Till The Old Men Die
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 92,200. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
The past never dies. It's just covered up. That's what Oakland private eye Jeri Howard discovers when she investigates the murder of her father's friend and fellow professor.
Kindred Crimes
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,500. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
A simple missing persons case? Oakland private eye Jeri Howard looks for a missing wife and discovers plenty of complications - and murder, both old and new.

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