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Jennifer Graeser Dornbush books in order

Jennifer Graeser Dornbush is an American screenwriter, forensic specialist, international speaker and author of suspense, thriller, and true crime novels.

She is the author of God Bless the Broken Road (2017) which received a film adaptation directed by Harold Cronk.

Raised as the daughter of a medical examiner who worked from home, Jennifer had a natural inclination and familiarity with forensics from an early age.

Although she went on to have careers in journalism and teaching, she later turned to screenwriting and acquired a degree at the Forensic Science Academy in Los Angeles.

As a screenwriter, she has collaborated with prominent entities such as Lifetime TV, Echo Lake, Wolper Productions, Hoplite, just to mention a few, contributing to the development of various film and TV projects.

Jennifer also imparts her expertise by teaching for multiple universities and serving as a mentor for aspiring writers from all over the globe.

She is a member of the Writers’ Guild of America, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, the Mystery Writers of America, and the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni.

More about Jennifer Graeser Dornbush

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, True Crime

United States


Non Series

  • God Bless the Broken Road (2017)
  • Hole in the Woods (2020)

Coroner's Daughter Mystery

  1. The Coroner (2018)
  2. Secret Remains (2020)
  3. Last One Alive (2023)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

God Bless the Broken Road

A heartwarming story about a grieving army widow who finds her way back to her daughter, her faith, and a new love.

Amber Hill never imagined she would find herself a war widow and single mom. She feels robbed and is angry at God, and she doesn’t know how to help her nine-year-old daughter Bree through her grief. Where, Amber wonders, are the Sunday dinners, the picnics, the bike rides, the time together they should be enjoying as a family? Instead, Amber is left with a folded flag and an empty heart.

Cody Jackson has a death wish. Or at least that is what his manager thinks, as Cody pushes his race car and his luck in every race. Is he hiding something, or just daring God and other racers to end the path of destruction he finds himself on as he rounds the last turn? When Cody encourages Bree to join in a Derby car race for local youth, she finds a way to channel her grief into something good—and she likes that her mom and Cody are starting to become friends—or maybe something more.

Cody invites Amber and Bree to see him race, but as they watch Cody narrowly escape a devastating crash, she realizes she can’t lose another person in her life. It’s better to be alone than feel that type of grief again. But when Amber hits rock-bottom, she cries out to God and asks for help. With her faith, her life, her family, and her heart hanging in the balance, Amber is forced to decide between the broken road she knows so well and trusting that God will provide a new path.

God Bless the Broken Road
Director: Harold Cronk
Cast: Matthew Derek Davis,Arthur Cartwright, Adam Agee, William Matthews, Lindsay Pulsipher, Makenzie Moss, Jordin Sparks, Robin Givens, Kaelin Stockwell, Andrew W. Walker
Author: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1501159596
Publisher: Howard Books
Hole in the Woods

July 1989, in a sleepy Michigan town, high school grad, Nina Laramie, heads out with her friends and is never seen alive again. Months later, her skeleton is found near a remote party spot in the forest. The ME determines Nina has been brutally raped and bludgeoned to death.

Fear and anger ripple through this tight knit community when the case goes cold.

Thirty years later, Riley St. James, a Detroit PD assigned to Nina’s case, is determined to get her first big cold case win despite having a similar past to the victim. Relying on her investigative prowess and gut instinct, Riley tracks down a witness, who saw Nina Laramie’s murder. But as the truth comes to light, Riley must face the killers who want their secret to stay in the Hole in the Woods.

Based on the 1989 true-life murder case of Shannon Siders for Newaygo County, Michigan. After the case went dormant, a Michigan cold case team formed in 2011and uncovered new evidence that enabled them to arrest, try, and convict the killers, who were sent to prison for Shannon’s murder in 2015.

Author: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1953290007
Publisher: Ally Press

Coroner's Daughter Mystery

The Coroner

Summoned to take up her ailing father’s post as a medical examiner, surgeon Emily Hartford returns to her Midwestern hometown—and finds herself at the center of a murder investigation.

Recently engaged and deeply ensconced in her third year of surgical residency in Chicago, Emily Hartford gets a shock when she’s called home to Freeport, Michigan, the small town she fled a decade ago after the death of her mother. Her estranged father, the local medical examiner, has had a massive heart attack and Emily is needed urgently to help with his recovery.

Not sure what to expect, Emily races home, blowing the only stoplight at the center of town and getting pulled over by her former high school love, now Sheriff, Nick Larson. At the hospital, she finds her father in near total denial of the seriousness of his condition. He insists that the best thing Emily can do to help him is to take on the autopsy of a Senator’s teen daughter whose sudden, unexplained death has just rocked the sleepy town.

Reluctantly agreeing to help her father and Nick, Emily gets down to work, only to discover that the girl was murdered. The autopsy reminds her of her many hours in the morgue with her father when she was a young teen—a time which inspired her love of medicine. Before she knows it, she’s pulled deeper into the case and closer to her father and to Nick—much to the dismay of her big-city fiancé. When a threat is made to Emily herself, she must race to catch the killer before he strikes again.

Author: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1335299680
Publisher: Worldwid
Secret Remains

A cold case murder, a grisly discovery, and a viper's nest of resentment, betrayal, and dirty secrets converge.

It's been 12 years since Sandi Parkman went missing after being dropped off at home by her schoolmate, Nick Larson, now the Sheriff of Freeport, Michigan. When a construction crew unearths Sandi's bones--along with Nick's letterman jacket and one of his hairs--Nick becomes suspect number one in the murder.

Dr. Emily Hartford, the daughter of Freeport's medical examiner, is called in to investigate, but the case is about to get personal. Nick was Emily's high school love, and now she has to either clear his name--or contend that he's the killer. As she delves into the case, a host of other suspects emerge: a coterie of Nick's jock friends from high school; Sandi's sister, Tiffany, now a dancer at a local strip club; and James VanDerMuellen, a trust funder who's recently returned to Freeport.

As the autumn skies darken over Freeport and the holiday season looms, Emily must sift through more than Sandi's brittle bones to solve the case. Can she exonerate Nick--and rekindle their long-smoldering romance? The race is on to find the truth.

Author: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
First Release: 2020
Ebook: B07QGP59WV
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Last One Alive

Dr. Emily Hartford is back in Chicago, ready to move forward and leave the past behind, until an unexpected request for help sends her deep into an investigation -- and into the path of a killer.

Seventeen months after the Parkman case, Dr. Hartford has returned to Chicago to finish her surgical residency. But when she is contacted out of the blue by Solange McClelland, the only survivor of a decade-old triple homicide, Emily is compelled to dig deeper. She doesn’t know the details of the event but remembers it as one of the few cases her deceased father never solved.

On her thirtieth birthday, Solange opens a long-forgotten safe-deposit box and is entirely baffled by what she finds. Inside are not only painful reminders of a once-happy youth but almost four million dollars -- enough to pursue and finally solve the mystery of who brutally murdered her family. It’s been over ten years, and Solange has built a new life in Detroit with her husband, Joseph. 

But there are certain disturbing questions about her past that she is determined to answer. So she reaches out to the only one who might know something about her family’s deaths and their possibly erroneous death certificates -- Dr. Hartford, the daughter of Freeport’s former medical examiner.

Finding it impossible to believe that her scrupulous father made a mistake, Emily joins Solange’s pursuit of the truth, and as subzero temperatures blanket snow-covered Michigan, the two women pursue justice in two very different ways. But lurking nearby in the frigid cold is a crafty, unrepentant killer, determined to finish what he started long ago.

Author: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
First Release: 2023
ISBN: 979-8212449366
Publisher: ‎Blackstone Publishing