Carol O’Connell is the American author of the Kathleen Mallory crime mystery series, which currently includes 12 books.
The series focuses on Kathy Mallory, a former sergeant, now detective with the New York Police Department, a tough, competent and very smart person, who gets the job done.
Having said that, Kathleen is not a very likable woman. She has some sociopathic tendencies, which never sat well with the family who raised her at a young age.
The policeman who took her in soon realized that she is not the sweet girl everybody hoped she would be, but an often cruel, cold person who stays away from any kind of relationships.
Reading the Carol O’Connell books in order for this series is a must, if you want to get to the bottom of who really Kathy is and what makes her tick. She has indeed a unique personality, and I truly find her fascinating.
Each book reveals a bit more about her and by the 12th book published in 2016 you start to have a pretty good idea, while also realizing that you’ve somehow grown awfully attached to her quirky character.
Here are Carol O’Connell books in publication order for her series, with the reading order in brackets.
Kathleen Mallory Series In Order
1. Mallory’s Oracle (Kathleen Mallory #1), 1994
2. The Man Who Cast Two Shadows (Kathleen Mallory #2), 1995
3. Killing Critics (Kathleen Mallory #3), 1995
4. Flight of the Stone Angel (Kathleen Mallory #4), 1997
5. Shell Game (Kathleen Mallory #5), 1999
6. Crime School (Kathleen Mallory #6), 2002
7. Dead Famous (Kathleen Mallory #7), 2003
8. Winter House (Kathleen Mallory #8), 2004
9. Find Me (Kathleen Mallory #9), 2006
10. The Chalk Girl (Kathleen Mallory #10), 2011
11. It Happens in the Dark (Kathleen Mallory #11), 2013
12. Blind Sight (Kathleen Mallory #12), 2016
Other Books By Carol O’Connell
Judas Child, 1998
Bone by Bone, 2008
About The Author
Carol O’Connell was born in 1947 in New York. She was raised and educated to become a painter.
She studied at the California Institute of Arts and the Arizona State University.
After leaving school, she knew she’d be a starving artists, as so many of her contemporaries were.
She sold every now and again a painting and did some freelance proofreading and copyediting, but that was not enough to keep her well fed, and paying all her bills.
At some point she wrote: ”I was writing in the closet, and re-arranging my paintings in the living room in case any gallery owners came by, they would think I was still producing new work.”
Once she realized that writing appealed to her more than art, and seeing that her first book took off nicely both in the UK and the US, she started focusing her effort in her new interest: writing novels.
When she wrote Mallory’s Oracle, she tried unsuccessfully to publish it. She couldn’t find an agent because she was not published, and she couldn’t get published without an agent.
So she decided to send her manuscript to the UK, where Hutchinson auctioned it off in Europe to Dutch, French and German publishers. The book was very well received. The author was 46 at the time.
After the European success, of course, American publishers wanted a piece of the pie as well, so the book finally got published here too.
Now Carol is a full time author with 12 books in the series written so far, and two standalone novels.