Perri O’Shaughnessy books in order
Perri O’Shaughnessy is the pen name of sisters, Mary and Pamela O’Shaughnessy.
They are best known for authoring the Nina Reilly series, which is a New York Times bestselling legal suspense series.
Raised in Southern California, the two sisters enjoyed spending their summers reading Perry Mason novels by the seaside.
Mary O’Shaughnessy attended UC Santa Barbara and studied English literature. She plied her trade as a multimedia editor for several years, and currently resides near San Francisco with her beloved husband and children.
Pamela O’Shaughnessy on the other hand attended Harvard Law School, before practicing law in Monterey, San Pablo, and South Lake Tahoe, California, for more than a decade and a half.
After successfully practicing law, Pam joined forces with Mary and the two started writing mystery, suspense, legal thrillers and crime fiction novels.
Pamela currently lives in Hawaii.
Genres: Crime Suspense, Legal Thriller, Mystery, Thriller
Pseudonym: Perri O’Shaughnessy
- Keeper of the Keys (2006)
- Sinister Shorts (2006)
- Motion to Suppress (1995)
- Invasion of Privacy (1996)
- Obstruction of Justice (1997)
- Breach of Promise (1998)
- Acts of Malice (1999)
- Move to Strike (2000)
- Writ of Execution (2001)
- Unfit to Practice (2002)
- Presumption of Death (2003)
- Unlucky in Law (2004)
- Case of Lies (2005)
- Show No Fear (2008)
- Dreams of the Dead (2011)
Detailed book overview
For single-mindedly ambitious, but troubled architect Ray Jackson, a nightmare begins one muggy California night when his wife, Leigh, disappears. There’s no ransom note, no messages, no body—nobody knows if Leigh is dead or alive.
Suddenly, when a strange woman—Kathleen, an old friend of his wife—shows up, demanding answers from Ray, he starts feeling defensive. Ray wants the truth too, but his questions seem off to Kat. Suspected by both his wife’s friend and the police, Ray knows he must unravel the mystery before he’s all but tried and convicted.
Using a collection of keys that he’s had since he was a boy—keys to all the homes that he and his mother used to live in, Ray searches each house, hoping to unlock the secrets of his childhood. When past and present crash up against each other, a terrifying mystery begins to unravel…
Ray faces the most excruciating choice of his life—face up to his own violent history in order to prevent another heinous murder, or stay quiet and live with what will come…
First Release: 2006
From the New York Times bestselling author of Nina Reilly Series comes a thrilling collection of short crime fiction—sure to keep you turning pages deep into the night…
From desperate housewives to hard-boiled PIs to an appearance by Nina Reilly herself, discover nineteen sizzling stories that cover the entire crime genre…
Love and betrayal, rage and revenge—these clever short mysteries set the mood of suspense as only Perri O’Shaughnessy can. Sinister Shorts shows us life at is most ominous, murderous, and deliciously suspenseful.
First Release: 2006
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Returning from her late shift as a barmaid at a casino in Lake Tahoe, Misty Patterson struck her violently jealous husband in self-defense. She admits that--but did she kill him? She says she can't remember. Like so many times before, Misty blacked out and the rest of the evening is a blank. Now her husband has disappeared, leaving behind a trail of blood, and she's the number-one murder suspect with no one to turn to for help.
San Francisco attorney Nina Reilly is also on the run—from a bad marriage and a worse career setback. Relocated to Lake Tahoe, Nina is resolved to recover her spirit, give her young son a secure home, and build up a small solo practice. But, when Misty Patterson walks in the door, a blond Barbie doll of a cocktail waitress accused of murder, it triggers a harrowing series of events that will change both women's lives forever.
Common sense says Misty is lying. To win this case Nina will have to trust her own instincts, diving headlong into the dark convolutions of the human mind. This murder case—teeming with sinister secrets, unspoken betrayals, and jolting revelations—is going to change everything Nina Reilly believes about the law. It's going to rock everything Misty believes about herself. And if they can learn to trust each other, it's going to give both women their one and only chance to reclaim their shattered lives.
First Release: 1995
Twelve years ago, a young girl disappeared. Now a filmmaker has made a movie about it. The girl's parents call it invasion of privacy. A woman lawyer calls it murder.
The bloodstains on the courtroom floor belong to attorney Nina Reilly. Months earlier she'd been shot during a heated murder trial. She should have died that day. Instead, Nina has returned to the same Lake Tahoe court. Her only concession to her lingering fear is to give up criminal law. She figures an invasion of privacy lawsuit is a nice, safe civil action that will help her support her young son and pay the bills for her one-woman law office. She figures wrong.
Nina's client is Terry London, a filmmaker whose documentary about a missing girl is raising disturbing questions. The girl's distraught parents believe the film invades their privacy. But Terry's brutal murder changes everything. Breaking her promise to herself, Nina decides to defend Terry's accused murderer, a man she'd known years before and hoped never to see again. Suddenly the secrets of Nina's past are beginning to surface in a murder case that gets more dangerous every day.
The evidence against her client is shocking and ironclad--a video of Terry's dying words. The only chance Nina has to save the man may be illegal. And if it fails, Nina may lose the case, her practice...and even her life.
First Release: 1996
Lightning strikes twice.
Two people have died in Lake Tahoe in shocking accidents. In a nearly empty parking lot, a hit-and-run driver kills probation officer Anna Meade Hallowell. High up on a jagged mountain, wife abuser Ray de Beers gets what he deserves: he's struck by lightning. Attorney Nina Reilly, hiking on a rare day off from her one-woman law practice, sees him die. So does her date, Tahoe deputy DA Collier Hallowell. Still shaken from his wife's violent death, Hallowell is hit hard by the accident. It's a bad end to a first date...and the start of a case that will test Nina's ethics and her heart.
Nina is certain de Beers's death is an act of God. But his aging father wants to exhume the body to rule out foul play. De Beers's frantic wife and teenage twins hire Nina to stop the disinterment. What gets unearthed are secrets that raise new questions about Anna Hallowell's death, an indictment against one twin for murder, and a damning piece of evidence that can convict the boy...unless Nina obstructs justice by hiding it. No good lawyer will take that kind of risk. But a brilliant lawyer, one with a passion for truth, just might...
First Release: 1997
Broken hearts. Broken promises. Deadly consequences.
In glitzy Lake Tahoe, couples break up every day. But few are as successful as Lindy and Mike Markov, who built a $200-million business together--before Mike took up with a younger woman. Now he's claiming he doesn't owe Lindy a dime since they never married.
Attorney Nina Reilly, struggling to make a living in her one-woman office and raise a young son alone, agrees to take Lindy's case. Nina knows winning is a long shot, even with a brilliant jury consultant and a palimony expert on her side. It's the kind of case--full of passion and explosive secrets--that could make a fortune for a young lawyer. Or drive someone to commit murder--for love, money...or the right verdict.
First Release: 1998
Amid the sparkling snow-swept mountains of Lake Tahoe, Nina Reilly has made a home, juggling the demands of her one-woman law practice and raising a teenage son alone. Now Nina has taken on a case that will threaten everything she holds dear, drawing her into a tangled web of loyalties and alliances within one of Lake Tahoe's most prominent families.
Her client: a man accused of murdering his own brother--on the ski slopes of Tahoe. The law says Nina must give Jim Strong the best possible defense. But Strong's family has turned violently against him, and suddenly Nina is at the center of the storm.
As she works a flawed and troubling case and gets swept into an unexpected love affair, the two sides of Nina's life come crashing together...in the ultimate act of malice.
First Release: 1999
An attorney and single mother, Nina Reilly runs her one-woman law practice in South Lake Tahoe, balancing compassion and cunning with a passion for justice. But Nina is wholly unprepared for her latest client--sixteen-year-old Nicole Zack, a rebel, a thief, and the best friend of Nina's teenage son, Bob. Did Nikki steal something from her uncle, a prominent plastic surgeon, and then kill him with an ancient samurai sword? The district attorney is trying Nikki as an adult and the charge is first degree murder.
With the stakes this high, Nina calls in private investigator Paul Van Wagoner, her ex-lover and constant ally, whose bravado conceals a troubling personal secret. As Paul investigates the eerily coincidental death of the surgeon's son--killed in a plane crash the same night his father was murdered--Nina sorts through the twisting lies surrounding Nikki, uncovering a bitter struggle over a mining claim, enraged former patients, and two old crimes.
Finally, Nina must confront the central question she needs to answer in order to save her client: What did Nikki really see the night of her uncle's murder?
First Release: 2000
In the mountain resort town of South Lake Tahoe, Nina Reilly is known for taking on the underdog cases, the kind that can make -- or break -- her one-woman law practice. Her latest case begins in the middle of a summer night when she is called away from a very personal visit to her investigator Paul van Wagoner's hotel room to meet with a desperate new client at her office who gives her name as Jessie Potter. The frightened young woman has just hit a huge slot machine jackpot, and the men in suits are waiting to hand her the check just as soon as she tells them her real identity.
With time running out, Nina helps her client devise a brilliant plan to collect the money while keeping her true identity a secret. Unfortunately, powerful interests have lined up to grab the money. The gaming commission thinks the jackpot was rigged. The man sitting on the seat just before the jackpot hit says it's his, and he doesn't mind going outside the law to get it. And the wealthy man stalking Nina's client has retained an unscrupulous local lawyer, Jeff Riesner, to attack the jackpot winnings using a legal maneuver called a Writ of Execution. The odds of Jessie ever collecting are starting to look hopeless.
For Nina, what began as a fight for an underdog in federal court soon escalates into something very different and far more dangerous. Jessie has a secret, and she needs that money for a very good reason. By the time Nina discovers that Jessie is withholding vital information, it might be too late for her client and even for Nina herself.
Because somewhere in the darkening Tahoe night, people are dying. A cold-blooded, obsessed killer will stop at nothing -- including execution-style murder -- to get that jackpot in a case where the Writ of Execution has become more than a legal maneuver; it's a death warrant.
First Release: 2001
Publisher: Piatkus Books
It’s the moment every attorney fears most...one careless moment that threatens careers, reputations, lives. For Nina Reilly, it will change everything—and ignite a case where her own clients are witnesses against her...and where the defendant is Nina herself.
As an attorney championing desperate people, Nina Reilly has skirted the edges of legal ethics in pursuit of a just result, but she has never before broken the rule of absolute protection of her clients’ secrets. One September night in Lake Tahoe when her unlocked truck is stolen, her life changes forever. Gone are her most sensitive case files, complete with the sometimes brutally candid notes she took while interviewing her clients.
It’s every attorney’s nightmare. And now the worst has happened: The secrets are being revealed, one by one, in ways that will cause the greatest harm. Nina’s own clients complain to the State Bar of California, and suddenly Nina is fighting for her license and her livelihood in a legal proceeding that may ultimately lead her to disbarment. In desperation, Nina turns to her ex-husband, celebrated San Francisco lawyer Jack McIntyre, to represent her.
And as personal tensions erupt between McIntyre and Nina’s sometime boyfriend, private investigator Paul van Wagoner...as reputations are ruined and people begin to die...a chilling pattern of rage and revenge comes into focus. Someone is bent on destroying the lives of Nina’s clients and, in the process, Nina Reilly.
First Release: 2002
Publisher: Island Press
Nina Reilly needs a fresh start. In three years, she’s taken on some of Lake Tahoe’s most controversial cases and has turned her struggling one-woman law firm into a thriving practice. Now she’s ready to sort out her complex relationship with her boyfriend, Monterey P.I. Paul van Wagoner. So she’s heading to the Carmel Valley, the place where she began her career and where her estranged father lives.
It’s also a place of dramatic contradictions and hidden tensions, of new wealth and old families. And, within days of her arrival, Nina is already feeling the heat, as a case of arson exposes some of the darkest secrets of her hometown.
Two suspicious fires have already raged through the valley this summer, igniting suspicions of arson. When a third blaze ends in a fatality, police zero in on a suspect: Wish, the son of Sandy Whitefeather, Nina’s ex-assistant. The dead man is identified as Wish’s childhood friend, a troubled local auto mechanic who hated the changes wealthy newcomers had brought to the valley. Nina and Paul are certain that there is more to this strange case than meets the eye.
As they work together to clear Wish, new, more frightening questions are raised, and another fire is set. And out of the flames a terrifying picture emerges: a community steeped in secrets and rage, a tangled history between two men, and a killer whose motives are dark and wrenching.
First Release: 2003
Nina has just received a last-minute call from her old boss and mentor in Monterey County, California, where she is enjoying the breathtaking scenery and spending time with her boyfriend, P.I. Paul van Wagoner.
Klaus Pohlmann is in desperate straits and begs Nina to take over a seemingly unwinnable case: A luckless two-time felon named Stefan Wyatt has robbed a grave and made off with the long-buried bones of a Russian émigré. When he is caught and arrested, further devastating evidence found in the grave suggests that Stefan is guilty of a far more deadly crime.
A young woman, a classmate of Stefan’s, has been killed, and he is accused of her murder. Now, as a result of California’s Third Strike law, Wyatt is looking at twenty-five years to life whether he’s convicted of grand theft or murder. Either way, he’s in big trouble.
With her client’s blood DNA found in the dead woman’s apartment, Nina faces an uphill battle. Suspecting that her hapless client has been set up, Nina brings in a brilliant forensic pathologist who comes up with a startling theory about the case that could rewrite a crucial page of European history.
As the evidence mounts against Nina’s client, Paul launches his own investigation into the shadowy past of the two-decades-old skeleton. But long-held secrets nearly get him killed and reveal a more insidious evil at work—and an extraordinary story dating back to tsarist Russia and the Romanov court.
As Wyatt edges closer to the unluckiest verdict of his young life, Nina makes an astounding discovery that just might save her client—or expose a killer who could bury them all.
First Release: 2004
For Nina Reilly, the mountain town of Lake Tahoe is home. It’s where she forged a successful career as a tough, resourceful attorney–and raised her teenage son, Bob, alone. Back from a stint in Monterey, where her love life took a tumble, Nina has returned to her Tahoe law office with her old friends Sandy Whitefeather and Sandy’s son, Wish.
It isn’t long before she has a new client whose wife was shot and killed during a casino-district robbery two years before. The police have no suspects, and the robbery victims, three students, lied about their identities and are hiding outside California and the reach of the court.Two of the witnesses have fled to a village not far from the home of Bob’s father, Kurt Scott, in Germany.
As Nina tries to unravel the mystery of one violent Tahoe night, a harrowing journey begins–one that takes her from the dark underworld of Tahoe’s casinos to the halls of a prestigious East Coast university to Europe and an emotional reunion with Kurt.
As old feelings are rekindled, Nina’s case turns violent. Everyone has something to hide–the brilliant but unstable mathematics student who has made an astonishing discovery, the owner of a motel where the shooting took place, and the shooter, who has turned the whole case into a gigantic lie.
First Release: 2005
As a single mom working as a paralegal and attending law school at night, Nina has her hands full fighting for custody of her young son Bob and overseeing a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her mother. But when a woman falls to her death off a bridge near Big Sur and witnesses disappear, Nina suspects there is more to the "accident" than the authorities are saying.
With the help of homicide cop Paul van Wagoner, she rushes to uncover the truth. Show No Fear illumines what makes the brilliant Nina Reilly tick—and, in this fascinating prequel to an illustrious career, begins a love affair for her fans and readers of complex, gripping thrillers everywhere!
First Release: 2008
Publisher: Gallery Books
In addition to coping with her demanding, sometimes creepy clients, Nina Reilly is dealing with prickly personal issues involving her sixteen-year-old son, Bob, his estranged father, and her investigator, confidante, and sometimes lover, Paul van Wagoner.
Then, in walks disaster. The millionaire owner of a Tahoe ski resort, Philip Strong, is the father of Jim Strong: a sociopath who devastated many innocent lives, including Nina’s when she defended Jim again charges of murder two years earlier.
He shattered her life, then vanished. Paul van Wagoner made sure of that.
Now in negotiations to sell his ski resort, Philip has received a letter purportedly from his fugitive son in extradition-free Brazil, demanding his share of the profits. Nina is certain it’s a con, but to prove that means exposing the secrets of someone very close to her. But when two local women are murdered, Nina begins to question their links to her client and the truth about Jim Strong’s sudden disappearance.
As Nina’s worst fears flood back, with time running out, she’s about to discover that the dreams of the dead can still destroy the living.
First Release: 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books