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Chelsea Cain books in order

Chelsea Cain is an American New York Times bestselling author of mystery, thriller and non-fiction books.

She is best known for writing books such as Heartsick (2007), Sweetheart (2008), Evil at Heart (2009), and The Night Season (2011)—the first four installments of the Archie and Gretchen Series.

Briefly raised in a sleepy Iowa commune, Chelsea later moved with her family to Bellingham, Washington, where the notorious Green River killer terrorized her childhood.

She attended University of California, at Irvine, where she studied journalism before attending graduate school in journalism at the University of Iowa.

Unlike writing books, journalism entailed talking to far more strangers, something that Chelsea never enjoyed.

Nevertheless, she went on to work as a creative director for a PR firm before retiring at the age of 31.

A husband and a daughter later, Chelsea found herself writing gory thrillers following the capture of the Green River Killer, resulting in the story of Gretchen and Archie.

Chelsea currently lives in Portland with her beloved husband and daughter.

More about Chelsea Cain

Genres: Mystery, Non-fiction, Thriller

Born: 1972

United States


Non Series

  • Confessions of a Teen Sleuth: A Parody (2005)

Man-Eaters Graphic Novels

  1. Man-Eaters Volume 1 (2019)
  2. Man-Eaters Volume 2 (2019)
  3. Man-Eaters Volume 3 (2019)
  4. Man-Eaters Volume 4 (2022)

Mockingbird Graphic Novels

  1. Mockingbird Vol. 1: I Can Explain (2016)
  2. Mockingbird Vol. 2: My Feminist Agenda (2017)

Archie and Gretchen

  1. Heartsick (2007)
  2. Sweetheart (2008)
  3. Evil at Heart (2009)
  4. The Night Season (2011)
  5. Kill You Twice (2012)
  6. Let Me Go (2013)

Kick Lannigan

  1. One Kick (2014)


  1. Dharma Girl: A Road Trip Across the American Generations (1996)
  2. Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counterculture (1999)
  3. The Hippie Handbook: How to Tie-Dye a T-Shirt, Flash a Peace Sign, and Other Essential Skills for the Carefree Life (2004)
  4. Does This Cape Make Me Look Fat?: Pop Psychology for Superheroes (2006)
Kick Lannigan

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Confessions of a Teen Sleuth: A Parody

America's favorite girl detective is back to set the record straight. According to our titian-haired heroine, she was not in fact a fictional character, but an intrepid real-life sleuth who investigated some of the twentieth century's biggest mysteries. And the famous series she starred in was not cooked up by a team of writers, but plagiarized from her exploits by her nosy college roommate Carolyn―who, not surprisingly, got a whole lot wrong.

Here are the daring escapes, brilliant hunches, and dependable stock characters, including interlopers from numerous other beloved series, that have delighted generations of fans. And here, also, are the details of teen-sleuth life that you never saw: the secret romances, reckless driving, minor drinking problems, political action, and domestic drama that have, up till now, remained hidden from these brave detectives' adoring public.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-1596911215
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Man-Eaters Graphic Novels

Man-Eaters Volume 1

Adolescent girls can be real monsters. Maude is twelve, about the age some girls turn into flesh-eating wild cats. As her detective dad investigates a series of strange mauling attacks, Maude worries she may be the killer.

Collects #1-4

Includes the informative survival handbook, "Cat Fight! A Boys' Guide to Dangerous Cats."

Plus never-before-published extra content.

NB: Authored in collaboration with Kate Niemczyk and Lia Miternique.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1534311435
Publisher: Image Comics
Man-Eaters Volume 2

Twelve-year-old, Maude, has a case of puberty-induced pantherism, a missing friend, a detective dad who thinks she may be a killer, a mom with a big secret, a unicorn hiding in her bedroom, and a plan to overthrow the patriarchy.

From the creative team that brought you the groundbreaking and Eisner-nominated series Mockingbird, this trade paperback collects the second arc of the unconventional coming-of-age tale―including the mental hygiene guide for girls, “WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME AND HOW CAN IT BE STOPPED?”

Collects MAN-EATERS #5-8

NB: Authored in collaboration with Kate Niemczyk and Lia Miternique.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1534313095
Publisher: Image Comics
Man-Eaters Volume 3

Middle schooler Maude turns into a werepanther when she gets her period. Will an in-patient, anti-pantherism clinic called Ruminations cure her through hormone adjustment therapy? Or will Maude overthrow the patriarchy, solve a series of murders, and uncover a global capitalist conspiracy?

This volume wraps up the MAN-EATERS series and includes the inspirational and informative guide, “HANDBOOK FOR THE REVOLUTION,” plus never-before-published extras.

Collects MAN-EATERS #9-12

NB: Authored in collaboration with and Lia Miternique and Elise McCall.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1534314245
Publisher: Image Comics
Man-Eaters Volume 4

Maude, now age 15, returns to her childhood summer camp to find that dark forces are lurking in the woods. MAN-EATERS: THE CURSED reunites the original MAN-EATERS Eisner-nominated creative team, led by NYT bestselling thriller writer, Chelsea Cain, for another tale of adolescent feminist derring-do and supernatural hijinks. Chock-full of ephemera, smart, laugh-out-loud funny, provocative, referential, scary, and compulsively re-readable. Each volume comes with a Patriarchy Reparations Packet.


NB: Authored in collaboration with Kate Niemczyk and Lia Miternique.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1534321120
Publisher: Image Comics

Mockingbird Graphic Novels

Mockingbird Vol. 1: I Can Explain

Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bobbi Morse, the former Avenger known as Mockingbird, goes solo in her own incredible adventures!

With a scientific mind and a lethal mastery of martial arts, she's one of the most versatile, in-demand assets at Maria Hill's disposal - that makes her ideal for investigating strange goings-on in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s own medical and recovery network. And when Lance Hunter's undercover gig at the London Hellfire Club goes south, Mockingbird sets off, battle staves at the ready, to save him - and the Queen of England!

From helping out a teen driven bonkers by her own new powers, to doing a little dog-sitting, Bobbi shows that she's a woman of many talents as bestselling author Chelsea Cain and artist Kate Niemczyk make Mockingbird sing!

NB: Co-authored with Kate Niemczyk.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1302901226
Publisher: Marvel
Mockingbird Vol. 2: My Feminist Agenda

A top secret mission on behalf of an old friend, a tropical cruise. What could go wrong? Turns out it's a theme cruise -super-hero themed, naturally -a floating comic con. 

Now Bobbi is trapped on a boat with a thousand cosplayers, caped colleagues she was trying to avoid, an ex-boyfriend who keeps showing up at inopportune times and a rampaging herd of corgis. When a passenger is murdered, Bobbi must play Hercule Poirot to find the killer and confront some uncomfortable truths from her past in the process.

NB: Co-authored with Kate Niemczyk.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1302901233
Publisher: Marvel

Archie and Gretchen


Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. 

Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind---addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. 

Archie's a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she's right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth---he can't stay away.

When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. 

A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0312657819
Publisher: Minotaur Books

Portland detective Archie Sheridan, the former head of the Beauty Killer Task Force, hunted Gretchen Lowell for years before she kidnapped him, tortured him, and then let him go. 

Now that she is behind bars, Archie is finally piecing his life back together. He has returned home to his ex-wife and their two children and sworn off visiting Gretchen. Though it should feel like progress, being away from Gretchen makes him feel worse.

When the body of a young woman is discovered in Forest Park, Archie is reminded of the last time they found a body there, more than a decade ago: it turned out to be Gretchen's first victim, and Archie's first case. The body can't be one of hers. She's in prison.

Then the unthinkable happens: Gretchen escapes and, while the city is on edge, Archie is secretly relieved. He knows he's the only one who can capture her, and once he does he now has a twisted plan to get out from under her thumb for good.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0312662394
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Evil at Heart

Gretchen Lowell is still on the loose. These days, she's more of a cause célèbre than a feared killer, thanks to sensationalist news coverage that has made her a star. Her face graces magazine covers weekly and there have been sightings of her around the world. Most shocking of all, Portland Herald reporter Susan Ward has uncovered a bizarre kind of fan club, which celebrates the number of days she's been free.

Archie Sheridan hunted her for a decade, and after his last ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong, remains hospitalized months later. When they last spoke, they entered a détente of sorts---Archie agreed not to kill himself if she agreed not to kill anyone else. But when a new body is found accompanied by Gretchen's trademark heart, all bets are off and Archie is forced back into action. Has the Beauty Killer returned to her gruesome ways, or has the cult surrounding her created a whole new evil?

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0312946784
Publisher: Minotaur Books
The Night Season

With the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Archie Sheridan—a Portland police detective and nearly one of her victims—can finally rest a little easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the city of Portland is in crisis. 

Heavy rains have flooded the Willamette River, and several people have drowned in the quickly rising waters. Or at least that's what they thought until the medical examiner discovers that the latest victim didn't drown: She was poisoned before she went into the water. Soon after, three of those drownings are also proven to be murders. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case.

Reporter Susan Ward is chasing this story of a new serial killer with gusto, but she's also got another lead to follow for an entirely separate mystery: The flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died more than sixty years ago, the last time Portland flooded this badly, when the water washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least fifteen people.

With Archie following the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch a killer and possibly regain his life, and Susan Ward close behind, Chelsea Cain—one of today's most talented suspense writers—launches the next installment of her bestselling series with an electric thriller.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1250864949
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Kill You Twice

Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Gretchen Lowell—the serial killer whose stunning beauty is belied by the gruesome murders she's committed—is locked away in a psych ward. Archie can finally heal from the near-fatal physical and emotional wounds she's inflicted on him and start moving on with his life.

To this end, Archie throws himself into the latest case to come across his desk: A cyclist has discovered a corpse in Mount Tabor Park on the eastern side of Portland. The man was gagged, skinned, and found hanging by his wrists from a tree. It's the work of a killer bold and clever enough to torture his victim for hours on a sunny summer morning in a big public park and yet leave no trace.

And then Archie gets a message he can't ignore—Gretchen claims to have inside knowledge about this grisly murder. Archie finally agrees to visit Gretchen, because he can't risk losing his only lead in the case. At least, that's what he tells himself . . . but the ties between Archie and Gretchen have always been stronger, deeper, and more complex than he's willing to admit, even to himself. 

What game is she playing this time? And even more frightening, what long-hidden secrets from Gretchen's past have been dredged up that someone would kill to protect?

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0330512848
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Let Me Go

Detective Archie Sheridan just has to get through the next few days, then his birthday and Halloween will be over. But with escaped serial killer Gretchen Lowell on the loose, the investigation into the murder of a DEA agent demanding his attention, and journalist Susan Ward showing up at his apartment needing a favor, it's going to be a long weekend.

Soon Archie finds himself crashing a masked ball on a private island owned by Jack Reynolds, a notorious local drug kingpin. By morning, Archie is back on pain killers, a guest is dead and Archie quickly realizes that little is what it seems. One thing is clear: Gretchen is back, and Archie's nemesis and sometimes lover has something special in mind for the birthday boy, something she's been planning for a long, long time.

On Halloween Eve, with time running out, and the life of someone close to Archie on the line, Archie knows his only chance is to give Gretchen exactly what she wants. But Gretchen will prove more horrifying, and unpredictable, than Archie could ever imagine.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1250231802
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Kick Lannigan

One Kick

Kick Lannigan has taught herself to be dangerous. She can pick any lock, fire any weapon, throw any knife, and aim a punch at her opponent’s trachea. She has also taught herself to be safe. So when enigmatic John Bishop shows up asking her to help him rescue missing kids, Kick has every reason to be wary. He appears to have access to limitless money, high-level contacts, and details of Kick’s background long kept sealed by the court. Yet everything he tells her about himself seems to be a lie.

Headstrong by nature, suspicious by circumstance, and a smart-ass by self-determination, Kick can’t help but see the writing on the wall: together, she and Bishop could make an unstoppable team, willing to do whatever it takes—legal or not—to see justice served…if they don’t kill each other first. For Kick, whose interest in child abduction is deeply personal, it’s a gamble worth taking.

NB: This book is also known as Gone.
Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1471130663
Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Dharma Girl: A Road Trip Across the American Generations

When Chelsea Cain discovered that her mother was suffering from cancer, she was inspired to go on a road journey from Oregon, back to Iowa and the hippie commune where she spent her childhood. This book charts the journey and Cain's travels through two generations as she aims to reclaim the past.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 1996
ISBN: 978-1878067845
Publisher: Seal Press
Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counterculture

Tofu casseroles, communes, clothing-optional kindergarten, antiwar protests - these are just a few of the hallmarks of a counterculture childhood. What became of kids who had been denied meat, exposed to free love, and given nouns for names?

In Wild Child, daughters of the hippie generation speak about the legacy of their childhoods. The writers present a rearview mirror to contemporary culture; with an eye on the past they remind us that there is more than one path through the present. Contributors include Lisa Michaels (Split) and Ariel Gore (Hip Mama).

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-1580050319
Publisher: Seal Press
The Hippie Handbook: How to Tie-Dye a T-Shirt, Flash a Peace Sign, and Other Essential Skills for the Carefree Life

Brothers and sisters! Here at last is a light-hearted, free-spirited, groovy guide to the timeless hippie skills and activities that make the world a better place, one macrame belt at a time. 

In illustrated, easy-to-follow instructions, author Chelsea Cain—who grew up on an Iowa hippie commune—provides practical and playful know-how for the hippie and hippie-at-heart. Learn how to milk a goat, build a compost pile, play “Kumbaya” on the guitar, teach a dog how to catch a Frisbee, and get your file from the FBI. 

Discover the finer points of caring for a fern, choosing a mantra, organizing a protest, naming your hippie baby, and making sand candles as holiday gifts. Including primers on cooking, dressing, driving, telling time, dancing, and celebrating your birthday in classic hippie style, and a righteous appendix of essential hippie books, movies, and slang, The Hippie Handbook knows the score. Right on.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0811843201
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Does This Cape Make Me Look Fat?: Pop Psychology for Superheroes

Saving the world is hard enough, but what about the tests of inner strength faced by today's harried superhero?

Unafraid to tackle the tough questions, Does This Cape Make Me Look Fat? offers illustrated self-help guidance for the caped crusader on the subjects of costume choice and self-esteem, guilt and x-ray vision, getting along with a sidekick, thriving in the team environment, negotiating a secret identity at work, and more. 

The action-packed, comic book-style illustrated advice will help heroes conquer fear of flying, get in touch with super feelings, and choose the nemesis that's right for them. 

Also including practical advice for avoiding lawsuits, coming up with a good catch-phrase, and maintaining super hair, this hilarious self-help manual—and sly pop psychology satire—brings the help heroes need right to their gloved fingertips.

Author: Chelsea Cain
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0811852005
Publisher: Chronicle Books