At a Glance
American bestselling author Kathleen Bacus is best known for her Calamity Jayne cozy/chick-lit series featuring Tressa Jayne Turner, a wannabe reporter solving crimes. The author has also written two standalone novels and a story in the 12 Days of Christmas series which is a Calamity Jayne prequel story. Here are the Kathleen Bacus books in order for her list of works.
Calamity Jayne Mystery / Tressa Jayne Turner Books in Publication Order
- Calamity Jayne (#1), 2006
- Calamity Jayne Rides Again (#2), 2006 (aka Calamity Jayne and Fowl Play at the Fair)
- Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun (#3), 2006 (aka Calamity Jayne and the Haunted Homecoming)
- Calamity Jayne Goes to College (#4), 2007 (aka Calamity Jayne and the Campus Caper)
- Calamity Jayne Heads West (#5), 2007 (aka Calamity Jayne in the Wild, Wild West)
- Anchors Aweigh (#6), 2008 (aka Calamity Jayne and the Hijinks on the High Seas)
- Six Geese a’ Slaying, 2013 (Calamity Jayne prequel Christmas short story, part of the 12 Days of Christmas series)
- Calamity Jayne and the Trouble With Tandems (#7), 2014
- Calamity Jayne and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Lawn Gnome (#8), 2015
Standalone Kathleen Bacus Novels in Publication Order
Who is Calamity Jayne?
Calamity Jayne is actually Tressa Jayne Turner. Her nickname came from Rick Townsend, her childhood nemesis turned love interest after she grew up. And why did she get that dreaded childhood nickname? Because it was well deserved. Sort of, since she tends to stumble into trouble wherever she goes. Tressa is a divorced, unemployed, and somewhat clumsy woman who moves back to her hometown in Montana to start fresh.
Despite her clumsiness, Tressa has a sharp mind and a knack for solving mysteries, which often involves her meddling in the affairs of the local sheriff and other law enforcement officials. Her investigations often involve a cast of quirky and colorful characters, including her best friend, a beauty salon owner named Nicole, and a cowboy named Justin who becomes her love interest.
The Calamity Jayne series is known for its humorous tone, witty dialogue, and engaging characters. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone mystery, but readers can also enjoy following Tressa’s personal growth and romantic development over the course of the series.
Kathleen Bacus Biography – About the Author
Kathleen Bacus is a former Iowa state trooper and consumer fraud investigator turned author, who is making waves in the world of fiction with her cozy mystery chick-lit suspense novels. A true pioneer for women in law enforcement, Bacus was one of the first female state troopers in Iowa. Her experience in law enforcement has helped her to develop a keen sense of humor, which shines through in her writing.
She grew up in a family of storytellers, and as a child, she used to write monster horror stories. Later, as a teenager, she started soap opera scripts as she discovered soap operas on television. Growing up surrounded by horses, she incorporated some of these majestic animals in her writing of the Calamity Jayne series as well.
Some of the books she constantly read growing up were the Nancy Drew series, and gothic stories by authors such as Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart and Barbara Michaels. Her first novel was a western historical romance. However, Cathleen Bacus began seriously writing fiction while she was a divorced stay-at-home mom with four children, three of whom were triplets. Her debut novel, Calamity Jayne, tells the story of Tressa Jayne Turner, a hapless heroine known far and wide in Granville, Iowa, for attracting trouble. The book was met with positive reviews, with Publishers Weekly praising the “dumb-blonde jokes, nonstop action, and rapid-fire banter.”
In addition to Calamity Jayne, Kathleen Bacus has written two standalone novels and a story in the 12 Days of Christmas series. Her writing has garnered her numerous accolades, including being a Romantic Times American Title finalist and a Golden Heart finalist for Fiancé at Her Fingertips in 2005. Her Calamity Jayne series perfectly blends in the author’s love for humor, comedy, and lighthearted writing and mysteries, thanks to her role as a police officer.
Kathleen Bacus is a strong advocate for never giving up and never stopping laughing. She continues to inspire law enforcement women to pursue their dreams and never let anyone or anything hold them back. With her quick wit and engaging writing style, Kathleen Bacus is an author to watch.
While the paperback editions are getting out of print one by one, each of the books is now available as Kindle edition, all with new cute covers to check out. While reading the series, I was strongly reminded of the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series. It’s almost as good as that Stephanie Plum. The character is certainly as clumsily walking into troubles like Stephanie as well.