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Sue Henry books in order

Sue Henry was an American award-winning author of thriller, mystery and cozy mystery novels.

She was best known for her award-winning Alaska mystery series featuring famed "musher" Jessie Arnold.

Born in Salmon, Idaho as Mathilda Sue Hall, she adopted the name Sue Henry after marrying Paul K. Henry in 1965, although they later divorced.

Sue Henry attended the University of Washington, where she held an undergraduate degree in English, and did her postgraduate studies in library science.

After her divorce, she moved with her two sons to Fairbanks, Alaska, where her lifelong love for the Alaska frontier would begin; one that would inspire her to write books.

Murder on the Iditarod Trail (1991), the first book in the Alaska Mysteries, won the Macavity and Anthony Awards, on top of receiving a motion picture adaptation.

Sue Henry lived in Anchorage, Alaska and worked as an administrator and instructor at the University of Alaska.

She died in 2020 at the age of 80.

More about Sue Henry

Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1940 / Died: 2020

United States

Jessie Arnold

  1. Murder on the Iditarod Trail (1991)
  2. Termination Dust (1995)
  3. Sleeping Lady (1996)
  4. Death Takes Passage (1997)
  5. Deadfall (1998)
  6. Murder on the Yukon Quest (1999)
  7. Beneath the Ashes (2000)
  8. Dead North (2001)
  9. Cold Company (2002)
  10. Death Trap (2003)
  11. Murder At Five Finger Light (2005)
  12. Degrees of Separation (2008)

Maxie and Stretch

  1. The Serpents Trail (2004)
  2. The Tooth of Time (2006)
  3. The Refuge (2007)
  4. The End of the Road (2009)

Detailed book overview

Jessie Arnold

Murder on the Iditarod Trail

Iditarod: a grueling eleven-hundred-mile dogsled race across hazardous Arctic terrain.

It is an arduous sport, but not a deadly one. But suddenly the top Iditarod contestants are dying in bizarre ways: first a veteran musher smashes into a tree, then competitors begin turning up dead, with each murder more brutal than the last. 

State trooper Alex Jensen begins a homicide investigation, determined to track down the killer before more blood stains the pristine Alaskan snow. Meanwhile, Jessie Arnold, Alaska’s premier female musher, has a shot at winning for the first time. But as her position in the race improves, so do her chances of being the killer’s next target.

As the mushers thread their way through the treacherous trails, Jessie and Jensen are drawn deep into the frozen heart of the perilous wild: where nature can kill as easily as a bullet and only the Arctic night can hear your final screams.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 1991
ISBN: 978-0802123398
Publisher: Grove Press
Termination Dust

Alaska is a great place to visit…and a bad place to die.

It is said that when the first snow of early winter—the "termination dust"—starts to fall, it's time for visitors to leave Alaska's wonders behind.

For some, it's already too late.

Jim Hampton's Yukon vacation takes a turn for the worse when he discovers a prospector's diary from the 1800s. And it dies when the rugged outdoorsman is arrested for the gruesome slaying of a controversial ex-Senator. But Alex Jensen isn't convinced of Hampton's guilt. And the dedicated state trooper is ready to track the bitter truth through the treacherous snows of the Yukon wilderness—and in the pages of a mysterious, hundred-year-old journal, which describes crimes remarkably similar...and deadly.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-1941890370
Publisher: Epicenter Press (WA)
Sleeping Lady

Alaska State Trooper Alex Jensen is faced with solving the mystery of what became of pilot Norm Lewis, whose plane disappeared six months ago in the vast white wilderness. 

Even more puzzling is the discovery of the broken hulk of his Cessna, half submerged in the icy waters of the Spring thaw—with the frozen body of an unidentified woman strapped in the passenger seat. Norm is nowhere to be found, and his wife, Rochelle, a pilot herself, has flown in, demanding to be included in the search.

Jensen and Rochelle begin their probe, an emotional trek through the forbidding Alaskan wilderness—a trail that turns even more ominous as they follow the fateful path of a man who has vanished without a trace, leaving behind a bundle of troublesome secrets, unanswered questions...and some dangerous connections in the business of murder.

A frozen wilderness holds the promise of Spring… and the secret of murder.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 1996
ISBN: 978-1941890400
Publisher: Epicenter Press (WA)
Death Takes Passage

History is repeating itself on hundred years later on Alaska's breathtaking Inside Passage. Re-creating the famous Voyage of 1897, the Spirit of '98 is setting sail from Skagway, Alaska, en route to Seattle, Washington, carrying two tons of Yukon gold. Alaska State Trooper Alex Jensen and his love, famous female "musher" Jessie Arnold, are among the excited participants. The Grim Reaper is a passenger as well.

Dressed in period coustoume, Gold Rush buff Alex Jensen is only too happy to be representing the Troopers on this historic journey through a giant maze of scenic straits, harbors, and inlets. But the strange disappearance -- and probable death -- of a crew member pulls Alex rudely back to the present. As the only law officer in the vicinity, it is now his duty to unravel a twisted skein of lies, greed, and lethal shipboard secrets -- before the Spirit's fateful encounter with murderers abroad a stolen ketch writes a grim new chapter in Alaska's history.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 1997
Ebook: B003V1WVVG
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books

Iditarod musher Jessie Arnold is being stalked and terrorized by an anonymous enemy. First, one of her sled dogs is badly injured in a steel trap and an ominous note leaves no doubt that the trap was set with malicious intent. Threatening phone calls and unsigned messages follow—pressing Alaska State Trooper Alex Jensen to urge Jessie to go into hiding while he tries to track down the source of the threats. Finally, a near fatal car crash convinces Jessie to let Alex fly her to an isolated island more than two hundred miles away.

There on desolate, windswept Kachemak Bay, Jessie hikes the island trails with her lead dog Tank, marveling at the splendor of her solitude. But in a wilderness filled with hazards and hiding places, she soon discovers she is not alone. With Alex searching for a madman hundreds of miles away, Jessie is on her own... playing a deadly game of hide and seek with a killer.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 1998
ISBN: 978-1941890462
Publisher: Epicenter Press (WA)
Murder on the Yukon Quest

Jessie and her team of dogs are competing in the toughest dog sled race in the world—the Yukon Quest. Alone in the vast white wilderness, she's suddenly facing a danger worse than anything Nature has to offer. A young novice racer she met at the start of the race is abducted, and the girl's frantic father is warned that no one but Jessie Arnold is to be told or the girl will die.

Jessie's in the competition of a lifetime as she forges ahead in a desperate race against an unknown kidnapper who will stop at nothing. Speeding through the twists and turns of the icy, broken trails, Jessie has no time for fear. For somewhere in that lonely landscape, a killer waits for a chance to unleash his murderous rage on anyone who dares to get in his way.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-1941890653
Publisher: Epicenter Press (WA)
Beneath the Ashes

In the lingering chill of the early Alaskan spring, famed "musher" Jessie Arnold confronts the charred remains of a favorite local pub, destroyed by a suspicious blaze that claimed an innocent, unsuspecting life. 

This lull between racing seasons is meant to be a time of grueling training and conditioning for Jessie and her dogsled team—but instead it has become a time of fear. Because the burning has only begun, and its flames will scar and blister Jessie's world in ways she can barely imagine. And in the wake of more death, her next race will be one for survival—as she struggles to determine whether a desperate friend is a terrified victim... or a killer.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-1941890622
Publisher: Epicenter Press (WA)
Dead North

With her cabin a pile of ashes and her life in pieces, champion Alaskan "musher" Jessie Arnold has gratefully accepted a friend's proposal that she drive his motor home up from Idaho, along the Alaska Highway—a breathtaking, two thousand-mile-long route winding past hot springs, glaciers, and ice-blue lakes. But the idyllic trip takes a dark turn when a teenage hitchhiker brings terror aboard. 

Frightened and alone, Patrick Cutler disappears just before the police inform Jessie that the young runaway is wanted in connection with two shocking murders. Suddenly she is cast into a raging maelstrom of dark secrets and deadly consequences. And the cold and empty road she's traveling could be leading her not to her home...but to a grave in the trackless wilderness.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-1628152890
Publisher: Speaking Volumes
Cold Company

Famed Alaskan "musher" Jessie Arnold thinks she's finally put her dark past behind her. But the excavations on her new cabin unearth a decades-old skeleton entombed in a crumbling basement wall -- along with a butterfly pendant necklace worn by the alleged victim of a brutal serial slayer who preyed on area women twenty years earlier.

Pulled once more into a murder investigation against her will, Jessie fears a grim, half-forgotten nightmare has been reborn. For, in this stark and lonely place, in the first days of the all-too-brief Alaskan summer, another woman has disappeared without a trace. The signs suggest the unthinkable: an insatiable human monster has returned. And the clues she's uncovering hint that Jessie Arnold may well be his next victim.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-0380816859
Publisher: Avon
Death Trap

Up north,

the summers are brief --

and winter, like death,

is cold and long...

Recovering from knee surgery that will cause her to miss the upcoming dogsled racing season, champion "musher" Jessie Arnold feels empty and bored -- so she grabs an opportunity to fill her days manning the Iditarod booth at the Alaska State Fair. But murder becomes an attraction here as well -- an especially brutal one -- when the corpse of a small-time hoodlum slain by a double-blade axe blow to the skull turns up on the fairgrounds. 

Jessie shouldn't get involved, having already seen too much violent death in her lifetime. But strange connections are linking the killing with a child's kidnapping...and with the sudden disappearance of her own beloved lead sled dog. Soon friends old and new will be pulled in as well when the unthinkable occurs: Jessie herself vanishes without a trace.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-1941890639
Publisher: Epicenter Press (WA)
Murder At Five Finger Light

Two of Jessie’s friends are throwing a party at their new digs—an old lighthouse on the Alaskan Inside Passage. Not a party in the typical sense, but one where guests earn their keep by scraping, painting, and generally restoring Five Finger Light, named after the long, low islands around it. 

So Jessie decides to leave her partner-in-crime, Alex, alone for a few days and lend a hand. With the company of old friends and a view to die for, Jessie won’t soon forget this weekend—especially when she stumbles across a dead body. Looks like an accident. But even as a frantic Alex learns that someone’s cut the phone lines and wrecked the radio, Jessie realizes there’s a killer loose on the island. Worse yet, the killing spree might not be over—even though the party certainly is....

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2005
Ebook: B002DQDODY
Publisher: Berkley
Degrees of Separation

After months of recuperating from knee surgery, Jessie Arnold is eager to begin training for this year’s Iditarod. With the loving care of Alaska State Trooper Alex Jensen, her convalescence wasn’t as painful as it could have been, but she and her dogs have a lot of work to do if they’re going to qualify in the race.

Jessie’s first practice run is going smoothly until her sled hits a bump along the trail—a snow and ice-shrouded dead body, bearing a gunshot wound. The victim’s name was Donny Thompson, the youngest son of a mechanic from the town of Palmer. What Thompson was doing on a musher’s trail without any evidence of a sled and dogs is anyone’s guess. But what worries Alex and Jessie more is how close the man was killed to their home.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2008
Ebook: B00125L7X6
Publisher: Berkley

Maxie and Stretch

The Serpents Trail

At sixty-three, Maxie McNabb is cruising down the Alaska Highway in her brand-new Winnebago. With her mini-dachshund at her side and the open road ahead, she's never been happier. But before her exploration of the Lower Forty-eight gets underway, Maxie needs to figure out who burgled her friend's Colorado home-and why. And the closer Maxie gets to solving the puzzle, the more it becomes chillingly clear that her friend's life isn't the only one on the line.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2004
Ebook: B002DQDO7K
Publisher: Berkley
The Tooth of Time

She's the Winnebago-driving, pistol-packing sixty-something-year-old-and she's back, with her mini-Dachshund Stretch. She's Maxie McNabb-and criminals from the frigid Iditarod Trail to the scorching Southwest had better beware. This time, before leaving New Mexico's lovely warmth, Maxie sets out to turn one on-edge town back into a peaceful pueblo.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2006
Ebook: B001N89KZ4
Publisher: Berkley
The Refuge

After nine months on the road, Maxie McNabb is ready for some R&R, Alaska-style, with her miniature dachshund, Stretch. But no sooner has the sixty-something RVer parked the Mini-Winnie than a pleading phone call sends her flying to Hawaii. Because Karen Bailey, hobbled by an accident, needs Maxie's help packing up her house.

But within hours of Maxie's arrival, a prowler tries to break in and someone sabotages the plumbing. And when she hears Karen whispering into the phone-don't call here...I'll call you when it's safe, when she's...-Maxie suspects that Karen is hiding something. Far from home and no longer behind the wheel, Maxie feels as though the ice is melting around her.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0451223524
Publisher: Signet Books
The End of the Road

Drifter John Walker has no friends, but he's so engaging that Maxie invites him over for dinner. The next day he moves on-and is later found dead in his motel room. What looks like a simple suicide quickly grows more complicated when police discover that Walker was living under an assumed identity. Maxie tries to fathom why he would choose to end his life where the U.S. highway system ends-and where Maxie just might meet a dead end of her own.

Author: Sue Henry
First Release: 2009
Ebook: B002SV36WS
Publisher: Berkley