Born in 1938 in San Franciso, California, Jerry Kennealy is a former San Francisco policeman and licensed private investigator who decided to put his investigative knowledge into writing books.
Back during his day job as a policeman, he was often the first to help a person with a problem like finding someone’s keys, or be the first at the scene of a crime like a burglary. He often came into contact with regular folks, and these interactions influenced the stories in his books a lot.
One of the stories the author mentioned that really stayed with him was being a rookie cop when he was in a building, heard the cries of a small baby, knocked on the door, and after hearing no answer, he kicked in the door and found a toddler covered in his own filth, as his parents left him alone locked in a closet.
These kinds of cases do tend to stay with you over the years, even long after you stopped working in that job.
Later, as Jerry Kennealy worked as a PI, he came across some very interesting cases as well. It is no surprise that Nick Polo is a crime mystery series. The author’s knowledge of the law (both in keeping it and breaking it due to coming into contact with those on the wrong side of it) gave him a pretty unique and authentic perspective.
The author first introduced Nick Polo in 1987 with his debut novel Polo Solo. Since then, he has written 11 books in the popular series and has started a new series titled The Carrol Quint Mysteries, and has written several standalone thrillers.
Polo is a complex character. He is tough but also compassionate, and what I liked most about him in the Jerry Kennealy books is that he is not a pushover. He has a rather laid-back attitude that if you don’t bug him, he won’t bug you. It’s really a refreshing outlook on life that he has.
The Nick Polo series has also a set of very enjoyable secondary characters like Mrs. Damonte who pretty much everyone who reads about her loves her.
The latest installment in the Nick Polo series is published in 2017 with the title Polo’s Long Shot.
Several of Kennealy’s novels have been nominated for the Shamus Award for Best Novel, and his book, The Eye, has received the lifetime achievement award by the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA).
Here are the Jerry Kennealy books in order for his two crime mystery series and his standalone thrillers.
Nick Polo Series
- Polo Solo (Nick Polo #1), 1987
- Polo Solo (Nick Polo #2), 1988
- Polo’s Ponies (Nick Polo #3), 1988
- Polo in the Rough (Nick Polo #4), 1989
- Polo’s Wild Card (Nick Polo #5), 1990
- Green with Envy (Nick Polo #6), 1991
- Special Delivery (Nick Polo #7), 1992
- Vintage Polo (Nick Polo #8), 1993
- Beggar’s Choice (Nick Polo #9), 1994
- All That Glitters (Nick Polo #10), 1997
- Polo’s Long Shot (Nick Polo #11), 2017
The Carroll Quint Mystery Series
Other Books by Jerry Kennealy
- The Conductor, 1995
- The Forger, 1996
- The Suspect, 1998
- The Hunted, 1999
- The Other Eye, 2000
- The Conductor, 2002
- The Vatican Connection, 2003
- Chasing the Devil, 2004
- Screen Test, 2016
- Dirty Who?, 2018