Julie McElwain books in order
Julie McElwain is an American national award-winning journalist, and author of historical mystery novels.
She made her debut as a novelist in 2016 with A Murder in Time, the first book in the Kendra Donovan Mystery. The book was not only among the 10 picks by the National Librarian Association for its April 2016 book list, but was also selected by Town & Country magazine as one of 35 best time travel books.
The success of the novel saw McElwain add more installments to the series.
McElwain currently lives in North Dakota.
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Mystery, Time Travel Fiction
Kendra Donovan Mystery
- A Murder in Time (2016)
- A Twist in Time (2017)
- Caught in Time (2018)
- Betrayal in Time (2019)
- Shadows in Time (2020)
- Ripples in Time (2023)
Detailed book overview
Kendra Donovan Mystery
When brilliant FBI agent Kendra Donovan stumbles back in time and finds herself in a 19th century English castle under threat from a vicious serial killer, she scrambles to solve the case before it takes her life―200 years before she was even born.
Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.
While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.
Mistaken for a lady's maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there's some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.
First Release: 2016
Publisher: Pegasus Books
When Kendra Donovan’s plan to return to the 21st century fails, leaving her stranded in 1815, the Duke of Aldridge believes he knows the reason—she must save his nephew, who has been accused of brutally murdering his ex-mistress.
Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan’s attempts to return to the twenty-first century have failed, leaving her stuck at Aldridge Castle in 1815. And her problems have just begun: in London, the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec—Kendra’s confidante and lover—has come under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover, who was found viciously stabbed with a stiletto, her face carved up in a bizarre and brutal way.
Lady Dover had plenty of secrets, and her past wasn’t quite what she’d made it out to be. Nor is it entirely in the past—which becomes frighteningly clear when a crime lord emerges from London’s seamy underbelly to threaten Alec. Joining forces with Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must navigate the treacherous nineteenth century while she picks through the strands of Lady Dover’s life.
As the noose tightens around Alec’s neck, Kendra will do anything to save him, including following every twist and turn through London’s glittering ballrooms, where deception is the norm—and any attempt to uncover the truth will get someone killed.
First Release: 2017
Publisher: Pegasus Crime
Still stranded in 1815, FBI agent Kendra Donovan finds herself on the trail of a vicious murderer with a shocking secret.
October 1815: There is only one place Kendra Donovan wants to travel—back to her own time period in the twenty-first century. But since that’s not happening, she agrees instead to travel with her new guardian, the Duke of Aldridge, to one of his smaller estates in Lancashire. Their journey takes them through Yorkshire, a region whose breathtaking beauty masks a simmering violence brought on by the Industrial Revolution, which pits mill owner against worker.
When Kendra and the Duke encounter a band of Luddites on a lonely, fog-shrouded road, the Duke informs the authorities in the nearby village of East Dingleford that mischief may have been done at the local mill. However, it isn’t just mischief but murder that is discovered, when the body of the mill manager, Mr. Stone, is found brutally bludgeoned to death in his office.
The Constable is certain the radical-minded Luddites committed the murder. One look at the crime scene and Kendra knows they did not, prompting the Duke to shock the locals by volunteering their services to catch the real killer. Joined by lover Alec and Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must sort through the puzzle of Stone’s rather unsavory life, picking apart alibies and dissecting carefully created deceptions from a growing list of suspects.
As a special agent for the FBI, Kendra thought she’d encountered every kind of evil. But when another, even more vicious murder rocks East Dingleford, Kendra realizes that they’re dealing with a stone-cold killer—one who has a shocking secret that he will do anything to protect.
First Release: 2018
Publisher: Pegasus Crime
Kendra Donovan’s adventures in nineteenth-century England continue when she is called upon to investigate the murder of a spymaster.
February 1816: A race through the icy, twisting cobblestone streets of London ends inside an abandoned church—and a horrific discovery. Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly is called to investigate the grisly murder of Sir Giles Holbrooke, who was left naked and garroted, with his tongue cut out. Yet as perplexing as that crime is, it becomes even stranger when symbols that resemble crosses mysteriously begin to appear across the dead man’s flesh during autopsy. Is it a message from the killer?
Sam turns to the one person in the kingdom who he believes can answer that question and solve the bizarre murder—the Duke of Aldridge’s odd but brilliant ward, Kendra Donovan.
While Kendra has been trying to adapt to her new life in the early nineteenth century, she is eager to use her skills as a twenty-first century FBI agent again. And she will need all her investigative prowess, because Sir Giles was not an average citizen. He was one of England’s most clever spymasters, whose life had been filled with intrigue and subterfuge.
Kendra’s return to the gritty streets and glittering ballrooms of London takes her down increasingly dangerous paths. When another body is discovered, murdered in the same apparently ritualistic manner as Sir Giles, the American begins to realize that they are dealing with a killer with an agenda, whose mind has been twisted by rage and bitterness so that the price of a perceived betrayal is death.
First Release: 2019
Publisher: Pegasus Crime
In 1816 London, Kendra Donovan tries to track down a missing man, but also finds trouble brewing closer to home.
When Kendra Donovan is approached by Mrs. Gavenston with an unusual request—to find her business manager, Jeremy Pascoe, who recently vanished—the FBI agent is eager to accept the challenge. To Kendra’s way of thinking, spending her time locating a missing person suits her more than perfecting her embroidery, painting watercolors, practicing on the pianoforte, or any of the other activities that are socially acceptable for young ladies in the early nineteenth century.
Unfortunately, the missing person’s case turns into a murder investigation after Kendra finds the man stabbed to death in a remote cottage that he’d been using as a writer’s retreat. Everyone who knew him says that Pascoe was a fine fellow. So who hated him enough to kill him?
Seeking the answer to that question plunges Kendra into the world of big business, as Mrs. Gavenston happens to run one of the largest breweries in England. And if there is one thing Kendra knows hasn’t changed, it’s that big business means big money . . . and money is always a motive for murder.
While Kendra works to sift through the truth and lies swirling around Mr. Pascoe’s life—and death—her world is rocked closer to home when a woman arrives claiming to be the Duke of Aldridge’s presumably dead daughter, Charlotte. It is a distraction Kendra cannot afford, not when there is a killer lurking in the shadows who will do anything to keep the truth from being exposed.
First Release: 2020
Publisher: Pegasus Crime
July 1816—Kendra Donovan could use a distraction. The FBI agent has been dealing with a serious case of cold feet after impulsively agreeing to marry Alec, the Marquis of Sutcliffe. And if that isn’t enough, there is also the tantalizing possibility that maybe, just maybe she could return to her own timeline as the one-year anniversary of her shocking arrival in the early 19th century approaches.
When Reginald Lansing, the Earl of Craymore, is found mortally wounded on the Duke of Aldridge’s land, Kendra gets the distraction that she’s been looking for. At first glance, it appears as though the aristocrat is the victim of a highwayman. After all, Lansing had been traveling with the Anahita Pink, a priceless pink diamond that can be traced to the lost treasure of King John, and has since vanished. However, some things aren’t adding up, and Kendra begins to suspect that there’s more to the crime than a simple robbery.
Certainly, Craymore’s life proves to be complicated. He had his sister, Lady Evelyn, committed to a madhouse to prevent her from marrying a fortune hunter, and recently he’d been heard arguing with his radical cousin, who is next in line to inherit the title and Craymore fortune. Both could benefit from the earl’s untimely death. On the other hand, anyone who managed to get their hands on the Anahita Pink would benefit.
No one knows better than Kendra that humanity’s darker impulses can cause devastating ripples. And when the killer strikes again, Kendra realizes that her investigation is more than a puzzle, more than a distraction—it is a terrifying game of cat and mouse against a ruthless killer, who will stop at nothing to win.
First Release: 2023
Publisher: Seshat Books