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H. Terrell Griffin books in order

Harmon Terrell Griffin, better known as H. Terrell Griffin, was an American award-winning and best-selling author of mystery novels.

He was best known for writing the Matt Royal mystery series, set on the Florida Gulf Coast island of Longboat Key.

Raised in Waycross, Georgia and Sanford, Florida, Terrell joined the U.S. Army when he was seventeen before serving three years of active duty–most of which he spent in Europe.

While in Georgia, he attended Mercer University in Macon, where he earned degrees in history and law.

Afterwards, Terrell became a board certified trial lawyer and practiced law in Orlando, Florida for nearly four decades.

He made his debut as an author with Longboat Blues (2005), the first of the Matt Royal mysteries.

Prior to his demise in 2019, Terrell lived with his beloved wife, Jean, in their homes in Maitland and Longboat Key–both of which are in Florida.

More about H. Terrell Griffin

Genre: Mystery

Born: 1942 / Died: 2019

United States


Ethan Fitzgerald

  1. The Assassin's Game (2013)

Matt Royal Mystery

  1. Longboat Blues (2005)
  2. Murder Key (2005)
  3. Blood Island (2008)
  4. Wyatt's Revenge (2009)
  5. Bitter Legacy (2010)
  6. Collateral Damage (2011)
  7. Fatal Decree (2013)
  8. Found (2013)
  9. Chasing Justice (2015)
  10. Mortal Dilemma (2016)
  11. Vindication (2018)
Ethan Fitzgerald

Detailed book overview

Ethan Fitzgerald

The Assassin's Game

When the NATO commanding general's wife is kidnapped, he calls on an old friend, Ethan Fitzgerald, an agent of the U.S. government's most secretive intelligence agency, to rescue her. Fitz finds himself fighting against time and a cabal of demented terrorists who have conceived a plot that would upset the balance of power in the world and bring about a new order that would destroy Western civilization. The action moves across Europe as Fitz races the clock and tries desperately to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1467581929
Publisher: Tangerine Press

Matt Royal Mystery

Longboat Blues

When his girlfriend's body is discovered on the balcony of his condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Logan Hamilton is indicted for murder. His friend, Matthew Royal, a burned out trial lawyer living in an island paradise on the Southwest coast of Florid reluctantly comes out of early retirement to represent Logan. It's a great ride from the pristine beaches of Longboat and Egmont Keys to the cities of South Florida and the Midwest. The author spins a tale of mystery and intribue, peopled with characters you won't soon forget.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-1420884128
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Murder Key

When a stranger tries to kill Matt Royal in one of his favorite watering holes on his Florida island paradise, his attention focuses on more than the sun, fishing and beer.

Matt doesn't know why anyone would want to kill him, and the only way to stay alive is to find out who and why.

Matt and his buddies Logan Hamilton and jock Algren begin an odyssey that takes them from the island beaches to Mexico and back to the mines, labor camps and farms of the interior of Florida, a place tourists never see. They find themselves ensnared in a tangle of ilegal immigrants and imported drugs, while death stalks from every point on the compass.

As Matt tries to stay alive, his love affair with a beautiful lawyer is falling apart, and he doesn't know how to fix it. The timing is bad. Somebody's trying to kill him, and his lover is dumping him.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0977404711
Publisher: Tangerine Press
Blood Island

What's happening on this island will make your blood run cold.

Matt Royal never has to look far for excitement. Excitement—and sometimes trouble—has a way of finding him first. But for this fun-loving lawyer turned beach bum, things are about to get serious. Dead serious.

When his ex-wife asks for help in tracking down her stepdaughter, last seen in Matt's hometown of Longboat Key, Matt agrees to do a little searching. But what looks like the case of one missing girl turns out to be something much bigger—and much more dangerous.

Enlisting the aid of his buddies Jock Algren and Logan Hamilton, Matt launches a full-speed-ahead search that leads from Longboat Key to Key West to an ominous strip of land called Blood Island.

But this is no island paradise. Blood Island is home base to a cult of religious zealots. And they're making devastating plans that could change the world forever.

Bullets fly, and as the clock ticks down, it will be up to Matt to make sure that what happens on Blood Island stays on Blood Island.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-1933515700
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Wyatt's Revenge

Like an action adventure movie—a roller coaster of action.

On balance, retired trial lawyer-turned-beach-bum Matt Royal is a pretty laid-back fellow. But when Laurence Wyatt, one of Matt's best friends, is murdered, Matt trades in his easygoing ways for a hard-hitting quest for revenge.

Matt knows the Longboat Key police will do their job in investigating. But for Matt, finding Wyatt's killer isn't a job; it's personal. Determined to do whatever it takes to solve Wyatt's murder, Matt takes matters into his own hands and embarks on a clandestine investigation.

Soon, Matt finds himself in hot pursuit of a cadre of remorseless criminals and trained killers, but the tables turn, and Matt becomes the pursued. Faced with mounting danger, Matt calls for backup from his buddies Jock Algren and Logan Hamilton.

Matt Royal would go to the ends of the earth to exact revenge for Wyatt's murder, but will he go outside the law?

Expect the unexpected in this wild and dangerous ride from Longboat Key, Florida, to Frankfurt, Germany—because hell hath no fury like Matt Royal scorned.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-1608090006
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Bitter Legacy

Matt Royal has gotten himself into a royal mess.

After a week away, Matt Royal's ready to get back to the Longboat Key good life—good fishing, good food, good beer, and more good fishing. But Matt comes back to bad news: while he was away, a sniper tried to kill one of his best friends. Even worse, now that Matt's back, someone's trying to kill him. And whoever is trying to kill him is trying really hard.

With no clue who's after him or why, Matt soon finds he's at the center of a mystery involving a lawyer's murder, a tourist left for dead, a ruthless biker gang, a reclusive billionaire with nothing to lose, and an ancient document that could bring ruin to some of the most entrenched financial interests in Florida.

Between solving the mystery and staying alive, Matt's got his hands full. But he'd better watch out or his hard-charging ways could get him sideways with the newest member of Longboat Key's police force, the undeniably attractive Jennifer Duncan. For Matt, it's shaping up to be a really long week.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-1608090327
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Collateral Damage

Four murders and a love affair—and all on the serenely beautiful island of Longboat Key.

The quiet beauty of Longboat Key is shattered when a young groom is shot to death on the beach the day after his wedding. His father is an old army buddy of Matt Royal, and Matt tries to soften the anguish of his friend by finding his son's murderer. Matt's search takes on added complexity when there appears to be a link between this murder and three seemingly unrelated murders that occurred on board a dinner cruise on Sarasota Bay the same day.

Fortunately for Matt, his old buddies, Logan Hamilton and Jock Algren, show up to cover his back and to help investigate. But this case rekindles haunting events of Matt's past and incites a web of doubt, deception, and even suspicion, among the closest of friends.

When Longboat Key detective Jennifer Diane (J.D.) Duncan joins the investigation, Matt loses a little focus as he drifts toward more than just a professional relationship. Will this distraction cost lives when they encounter a shady and very dangerous cabal?

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1608090846
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Fatal Decree

Serial killer loose on Longboat Key.

When a serial killer shows up on Longboat Key after a twelve-year absence, Matt Royal is stymied. The first woman killed on Longboat Key has ties to a secretive government agency for which Matt's best friend, Jock Algren, works. Was this a coincidence or was she a targeted kill?

Matt's friend, Longboat Key detective Jennifer Diane (J.D.) Duncan, investigates the murders—but also seems to be a target of the killer. Why? And where has the killer been for the past twelve years? And why has he come to Longboat Key when his earlier kills were all in Miami? The mystery deepens when Guatemalan gangbangers try to kill Matt and J.D. and suspicions grow that Mexican drug cartels are somehow involved.

The director of Jock's agency orders him to do whatever is necessary to find the killer because of the death of the woman with connections to the agency. Will Jock simply take out the murderer or allow J.D. and the law to arrest, try, and convict the bad guys?

Matt's life is further complicated by J.D.'s growing dissatisfaction with island living—and her thoughts of returning to Miami.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1608091225
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

Sleepy Longboat Key comes alive with multiple crimes.

The quiet of Longboat Key, Florida, is shattered when an old man is shot to death and his murderer is killed while fleeing the police. Strange documents in German and Arabic are found in the killer's car, then an old friend of the murdered man disappears.

The island's only detective, Jennifer Diane (J.D.) Duncan receives a text message with a picture taken that morning of a college friend whom she thought was dead. Matt Royal and J.D. are pursued by men who would do them harm, and Matt's best friend, Jock Algren, a shadowy operative of the U.S. government's most secretive intelligence agency, comes to visit the island.

As the mystery deepens, a ragtag group of devious and dangerous characters intrudes on the lives of the islanders, creating a kind of havoc unusual for a sun-splashed island full of retirees and beach bums.

Matt, J.D., and Jock rush to find the answer to why one old man was killed and another disappeared, the meaning of the photo sent to J.D. of her almost surely dead college friend, and why somebody is trying to kill them.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1608091485
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Chasing Justice

After a multi-year absence, Matt Royal returns to the courtroom. Reluctantly.

Matt Royal is going back to the courtroom. He has agreed to defend his good friend and wife of Longboat Key’s Police Chief. Abby Lester has been charged with the murder of Nate Bannister, an unlikeable, shady character. He was found shot to death in his downtown Sarasota condo and the evidence points to Abby as the killer.

Matt cannot refuse Abby’s pleas for help, despite having retired from the practice of law several years earlier. Now, he must face a hotshot prosecuting attorney with a record of twenty-two wins and zero losses in murder trials.

As he begins to investigate, Matt finds that nothing is what it seems. Police, politicians, academics, real estate moguls and other powerful forces are tied together in a cauldron of issues that Matt must untangle to get at the truth. Can he rekindle his legal skills and outwit the prosecution pitted against him? Matt knows he must, as the life of his friend hangs in the balance.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1608092239
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Mortal Dilemma

Matt Royal meets the meanest man he has ever faced.

Jock Algren arrives on Longboat Key in a state of depression and hopelessness. His most recent mission for his secretive U.S. government intelligence agency has been disastrous, and his friends Matt Royal and J.D. Duncan aren’t sure they’ll be able to pull him out of his despair—then the bad guys show up and danger erupts on all fronts.

J.D., a Longboat Key detective, is investigating a cold case when the brother of the victim shows up on the island and complicates the investigation. A grizzled sailor—described by Matt as “the meanest man I’d ever known”—brings his boat into a local marina and bodies begin to accumulate.

A Middle East jihadist intent on revenge locks on to Jock’s clandestine past, bringing a deadly chase to the last outpost in the continental U.S.—Key West.

Three prongs of evil descend, clashing violently. How could all this malice be interconnected?

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1608092376
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

Cold-blooded murder in Florida’s “friendliest” retirement community—The Villages.

In this John Grisham style mystery, Matt Royal, the retired lawyer-turned-beach-bum is called back into the courtroom to defend his girlfriend J.D. Duncan's Aunt Esther, who lives in the sprawling North Central Florida retirement community of The Villages. A best-selling author has been murdered after a book signing, and Aunt Esther has been arrested. Matt has a history with the local sheriff—one which may not bode well for his client.

Matt reluctantly suits up for the courtroom, and J.D. takes a leave from the police department to go undercover. A bizarre specter from the past haunts their investigation every step of the way.

As they delve further into the case, the pieces of the puzzle refuse to fall into any kind of coherent pattern. Jock Algren arrives with his special skill set to expose the real murderer and free Aunt Esther, but to no avail.

Not until the case goes to trial and the evidence is revealed does the truth emerge—and a strange kind of justice prevails.

Author: H. Terrell Griffin
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1608093328
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing