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Dawn Lee McKenna books in order

Dawn Lee McKenna is an American author of mystery and romantic suspense.

She is best known for writing the Southern fiction novel See You (2014), and the bestselling Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense series.

A native of Florida, Dawn Lee resided in various regions of the Sunshine State before eventually relocating to a tiny town in Northeastern Tennessee in her thirties.

She is a wannabe homesteader, a sucker for coffee, and an imperfect yet functional Christian.

Whenever she isn't writing, Dawn Lee can be found playing with her cat and kicking cancer's butt.

She has five children, three of whom are grown, and many grandkids.

More about Dawn Lee McKenna

Genres: Mystery, Southern Fiction, Suspense Romance

United States

Non Series

  • See You (2014)

Dismal, Florida

  1. Black and White (2019)

Forgotten Coast

  1. Ebb Tide: A Forgotten Prequel (2019)
  2. Back of the Bayou: A Forgotten Coast Bonus Prequel (2019)
  3. Low Tide (2015)
  4. Riptide (2015)
  5. What Washes Up (2015)
  6. Landfall (2015)
  7. Dead Wake (2015)
  8. Awash (2016)
  9. Apparent Wind (2017)
  10. Lake Morality (2018)
  11. Squall Line (2018)
  12. Overboard (2018)

Still Waters (Co-authored with Axel Blackwell)

  1. Dead Reckoning (2017)
  2. Dead Center (2018)
  3. Dead and Gone (2019)
Non Series
Dismal, Florida
Still Waters (Co-authored with Axel Blackwell)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

See You

A joyful story about two people who find each other for the first time, after knowing each other their whole lives.

Emma has been in love with Jack since she was a girl, but nothing ever came of it and she's not a child anymore; she's raising one of her own and growing up means letting go of childhood dreams.

But when Jack returns home to Alabama for the first time in a decade, Emma realizes that she's never stopped dreaming and Jack realizes that he's spent his life looking for something that he'd already left behind.

When Jack delivers the news that he's not expected to live another year, Emma is devastated. But Jack has a plan, and while going along may break Emma's heart, sometimes something is so good that it's worth having, even if you know you can't keep it.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0692357002
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press

Dismal, Florida

Black and White

July, 1973. Secretariat has just won the Triple Crown; "Shambala" is dominating AM radio; and Jennifer Sheehan has come home to Dismal, FL to reclaim her life and find out who murdered her family.

Eleven years ago, a racially-charged, deadly attack forever changed the lives of Jennifer's carefree group of high-school friends. Soon after, her mother, a Civil Rights activist, was strangled to death in her car. Police knew the crimes were connected, but they remain unsolved.

Now, with a new job as Dismal's first female police officer, Jennifer must confront the life she left behind when she fled her hometown: the best friend who was injured in the attack, the boyfriend whose heart she broke, and the mystery that has haunted her for eleven years.

Now the three childhood friends struggle to connect as adults, and Jennifer looks for answers to the violence that defines her past--with the reluctant help of the man who was supposed to have been her future.

But there are some people who wish Jennifer had never come home. And at least one of them is willing to kill her for it.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-0998666976
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press

Forgotten Coast

Ebb Tide: A Forgotten Prequel

No one is ever exactly as they seem, no matter how well you think you know them.

Maggie Seward's first case as a criminal investigator with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office involves the shooting death of an elderly man during what appears to be a home robbery. Who broke into the French's home? Was Robert French's murder the reason for the break-in, or a terrible, unexpected result?

The people of this quaint coastal area in the Florida Panhandle are shocked by the crime, but one of them is the one who pulled the trigger, killing a man who only had a few months to live.

Meanwhile, Maggie struggles to understand new mysteries in her own marriage. What is her husband and best friend really doing to earn a living? What other secrets is he keeping?

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2019
Ebook: B07RBN7FQL
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press
Back of the Bayou: A Forgotten Coast Bonus Prequel

Miss Evangeline, a middle-aged Creole woman, takes it upon herself to care for a little Cajun boy when his beautiful mother is killed. The first time she walked down the dirt road to the boy's remote and ramshackle home, she had no idea she would walk that road for decades. She also had no idea how important that boy would become to her, or how their lives were about to be permanently interwoven.

Back of the Bayou moves through the 50s and 60s with these two beloved characters from the series, and reveals not only the events that made them who they are, but the shared experiences that made them who they are to each other.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2019
Ebook: B07VD7RDJJ
Low Tide

In Apalachicola, Florida, sinister things are afoot, as sinister things tend to be.

Bold. Honorable. Damaged. Meet Lt. Maggie Redmond.

Lt. Maggie Redmond is called to a crime scene on St. George Island, where she is met with the body of Gregory Boudreaux. The medical examiner calls it a suicide, but no one knows that Maggie has a horrible connection to the dead man.

When investigating an apparent suicide opens a door to her past, Lt. Maggie Redmond must face her personal demons. No one knows her horrible connection to the dead man on the beach, but she relives the horror over and over in her nightmares.

Bennett Boudreaux has a certain charm, despite being the town's most powerful and dangerous man. With his nephew's suicide, his sudden interest in Maggie has people starting to wonder... Maggie included. He may know of her secret and suspect her of murder, but she can't help but be drawn him.

Between the investigation, Little League, and time with her kids, single-mom Maggie also juggles helping a young woman and her children escape the clutches of a volatile drug dealer who would love to see her dead. Add in a budding romance with her best friend and boss, Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, and it's just another day on the job.

Unfortunately, secrets have a way of revealing themselves at low tide. Can Maggie keep her sanity in check, even as her life hangs in the balance?

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0692466339
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press

Once again, sinister things are afoot in Apalachicola, FL, and one of them is an actual foot.

When a local fisherman finds a severed limb in his net, it sets off a chain of events that no one can anticipate.

Lt. Maggie Redmond soon discovers that the foot belongs to the friend of another recently dead guy, Gregory Boudreaux, the man she never told anyone about. Gregory’s death was thought to be a suicide. That seems less likely, now that his best friend Sport’s foot has shown up out of the blue, as it were.

When it starts looking like town villain Bennett Boudreaux might be responsible for eliminating Sport, things begin to get a little weird. Especially since Maggie’s started to take a liking to Bennett. She’s also taken a real liking to her boss, Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, but both her relationship to Bennett and her secret connection to the dead men threaten hers and Wyatt’s relationship.

Is Bennett protecting or avenging Maggie for some reason, or does he have something altogether different on his mind?

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0692487440
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press
What Washes Up

Southern mystery and suspense, liberally seasoned with coastal atmosphere and dark humor.

Karma’s alive and well in Apalachicola, Florida, and there are several people who are about to meet it face to face.

When more than a dozen bodies wash up on the beach on St. George Island, the residents of Apalach are outraged, and none more so than investigator Maggie Redmond and Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton. It’s time for the greedy to answer for the lives of innocents.

Meanwhile, a man is found tied to a burning boat in the middle of the bay, and Maggie’s instincts tell her Bennett Boudreaux is behind it. But if he is, Maggie has to decide whether she really wants him punished, or if justice has already been served.

Vengeance is afoot in Apalachicola, and everyone is in its path.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0692501689
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press

Two storms that nobody thought were coming just made landfall.

As a hurricane gathers its power just off Apalachicola’s shore, another storm comes to a head in Lt. Maggie Redmond's home.

Held prisoner by a man bent on avenging the death of a son, Maggie must find a way to save herself and her two children.

No one knows where they are. No one is coming to help. Maggie and her children will have to find a way to survive both the madness inside their home and the madness raging outside.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0692536216
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press
Dead Wake

DIY has a sinister component in historic Apalachicola, Florida.

When the local florists find a dead guy in their wall, it opens up a decades-old missing persons case. It also opens up a Pandora’s box of secrets - secrets that might have ramifications for Sheriff’s Office investigator Maggie Redmond.

Maggie and Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton learn that local kingpin Bennett Boudreaux was the primary suspect in the disappearance of Holden Crawford almost forty years ago, but he had an alibi. The problem is, no one knows what that alibi was. The former sheriff won’t tell, and even Boudreaux himself refuses to say.

When a photograph of Maggie’s own father becomes an important part of the case evidence, learning Boudreaux’s secret becomes even more crucial.

When is going to jail for a murder you didn’t commit preferable to revealing the proof of your innocence? Who is Boudreaux really shielding?

It might be the same person Maggie wants to protect.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0692613061
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press

In the quiet, coastal town of Apalachicola, the past is never far behind, and secrets don’t always stay buried.

When a young girl is attacked, Lt. Maggie Redmond draws on her own experience as a rape survivor to give the girl the help that she herself never got, but in the process finds herself doubting her judgement, her commitment to the law, and who she believes herself to be.

Maggie’s also increasingly confused about her feelings for town crime lord Bennet Boudreaux. If she really loves Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, why is she so unwilling to walk away from her strange friendship with this enigmatic man with the startling blue eyes? What is the secret from the past that connects them?

The answers will turn Maggie’s world upside-down and make her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her past.

In her efforts to rescue a defenseless young girl, Maggie finds that maybe she is the one who needs rescuing.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0692741627
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press
Apparent Wind

In Apalachicola, FL, what goes in the river doesn't always stay there.

When some locals find a dead woman in the jaws of a gator, it's fairly upsetting. When Lt. Maggie Redmond finds lifelong friend Axel Blackwell in the dead woman's hotel room, it's a little more upsetting than that.

Axel becomes the chief suspect in his ex-wife's murder, but Maggie is convinced that he would never harm the beautiful but tragic Marisol Corzo.

As Axel deals with his loss, and the potential loss of his freedom, Maggie works to unravel the evidence, evidence that suggests Marisol brought about her own demise. Drug dealers from down south seek to expand their commerce to the sleepy, coastal town of Apalachicola, FL, and it seems that the dead woman is the one who led them there.

As Maggie tries to understand who Marisol really was, she also comes to terms with who she really is, and with her true connection to town crime lord Bennett Boudreaux.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0998666907
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press
Lake Morality

People get up to all kinds of mischief out at Lake Morality.

When Kristen Morgan abandoned her baby girl in a locked car, Lt. Maggie Redmond was angry. Though the baby was uninjured, things could have been much worse.

When the mother’s body is found two days later, in a lake far outside town on the road to the county prison, Maggie suddenly has more than child endangerment or a missing person on her hands.

Kristen Morgan’s family and doctor say that she was depressed and possibly not taking her medication, and that she’d talked about suicide in the past, but Maggie and her fiancé, former Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, aren’t convinced.

When evidence of homicide surfaces, Maggie must discover who wanted a young mother dead, and why.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0998666921
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press
Squall Line

In the small, coastal towns of the Florida Panhandle, there are no six degrees of separation; they’re lucky to stretch it to three. 

Everyone knows everybody, and the loss of any one person is felt by all.

But what happens when a beloved law enforcement officer is shot down, and the shooter is a terrified young man, barely more than a child?

Lt. Maggie Hamilton is devastated when a good friend and fellow officer is shot while trying to keep a bullied high-schooler from making a terrible mistake. Soon after, videos of the event become viral, fanning the flames.

Now both the young man and the bully who victimized him go missing. It suddenly becomes clear that the two boys disappeared together. Who is the aggressor now, and who is most at-risk? As the situation begins to unfold both online and in the real world, everyone is faced with the ramifications of bullying, and with the part that social media plays in making bad situations worse and turning private hells into public tragedies.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0998666945
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press

Due to a past trauma, Lt. Maggie Hamilton has a paralyzing fear of sharks that has kept her out of her beloved Gulf all her adult life.

When a group of drug dealers dumps the Sheriff’s Office investigator overboard one night, leaving her to her fate, Maggie finds herself in the middle of her most terrifying nightmare, with no hope of waking up safe in her own bed.

To survive, Maggie must not only meet her fear head on, but overcome it, so that she can stay alive long enough to be rescued or make her way back home.

Maggie’s husband, former Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, and the town’s most notorious criminal, Bennett Boudreaux, join forces in a desperate search for Maggie.

They’re in a race against time to save her before the Gulf, her fear, or the thing she fears most takes her life.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0998666952
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press

Still Waters (Co-authored with Axel Blackwell)

Dead Reckoning

The real Florida lies far from the interstates, where there are no dancing mice, bikini-covered beaches, or shopping malls. If you listen closely, beneath the cries of hungry gulls and the rustle of wind through the palm fronds, you might hear it whisper its secrets.

Lieutenant Evan Caldwell is a man adrift, cut loose from a life he thought he knew. His wife has lain comatose for months, and the accident that put her there has raised questions that she’s unable to answer. Now, with his wife in a nearby hospice, Evan has moved to a boat in the quiet Panhandle town of Port St. Joe, where he works as an investigator with the local sheriff’s office.

Evan’s hopes for peace and solitude are shattered when the current sheriff is found murdered. Worse, Evan’s put in the position of interim sheriff while he investigates the murder of his former boss.

Evan keeps coming up with more questions than answers; questions about what really happened in the dark privacy of the swamp, and questions about what really happened to his marriage and his wife.

As the answers begin to surface, he discovers secrets as deep and twisted as the roots of the ancient cypress trees that litter the landscape - secrets that no one wants revealed.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0998666914
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press
Dead Center

The quaint coastal town of Port St. Joe, FL isn’t the kind of place where people go around getting stabbed to death.

So, when Jake Bellamy – an insurance agent and beloved father – is found murdered in the dewy grass of a local park, it comes as a bit of a shock. Now it’s up to Evan Caldwell, the new Sheriff and recent transplant, to solve the case.

All he wants to do is live peacefully on his boat and tend to his comatose wife, but that’s easier said than done when he’s tasked with solving the murder of a man with no enemies. Evan struggles to find a motive for the brutal slaying, but when the killer strikes a second time, even the theories he thought he had fall apart. The only thing he knows for sure is that no one will be safe in Port St. Joe until he closes this case.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0998666938
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press
Dead and Gone

It’s just another day in Paradise, if Paradise was in Detroit.

In the quaint, coastal town of Port St. Joe, FL, Sheriff Evan Caldwell had been called out to the fancy new development to appease its influential owner and look into his missing shrubbery. He did not go out there to work a homicide, but since the old man in the pajamas probably didn’t bury himself, a homicide investigation is pretty much mandatory.

Finding out how and when the man died, and who killed and/or buried him, would be a lot easier if the Gulf County Medical Examiner hadn’t gone missing, and easier still if he hadn’t subsequently had the temerity to turn up dead.

Now Evan and his deputies have two deaths on their hands, and Evan’s life is further complicated by a county commissioner who thinks he knows something about law enforcement, a bright but morally ambiguous defense attorney trying to make a name for herself by ruining Evan, and a cat who seems unwilling to make himself more likable.

Author: Dawn Lee McKenna
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-0998666969
Publisher: The Sweet Tea Press