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Lisa Towles books in order

Lisa Towles, previously Lisa Polisar, is an American blogger, graphic designer, musician, and award-winning author of crime, suspense, mystery and thriller novels.

Passionate about Sherlock Holmes, math, physics, and quantum computing, Lisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Music (flutist), and an MBA in IT Management.

She previously served as a fiction and non-fiction writing instructor at Emeritus Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico between 2006 and 2007.

An active member and repeated Panelist/Speaker of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Lisa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she plies her trade full-time in the tech industry.

Some of her awards include: 2004 National Association of Press Women (art reviews published in Crosswinds Weekly), 2017 Distinguished Favorite - IPPY Award - Thriller category, Choke, 2018 Distinguished Favorite - NYC Big Book Award - Thriller category, Choke, and 2020 Winner - NYC Big Book Award - Crime Fiction category, The Unseen.

A devoted graphic designer and video creator, Lisa also designs event flyers, ads, covers, social media content, IG stories, website content, business content, and makes short videos.

More about Lisa Towles

Genres: Crime Suspense, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

United States


Non Series

  • Blackwater Tango (2002)
  • Knee Deep (2003)
  • The Ghost of Mary Prairie (2007)
  • Escape (2010)
  • Choke (2017)
  • The Unseen (2019)
  • Ninety-Five (2021)
  • The Ridders (2022)

E&A Investigations

  1. Hot House (2022)
E&A Investigations

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Blackwater Tango

Spending her days and nights as a criminal profiler would seem, to most, like the more glamorous side of law enforcement. For single, thirty-four year old Gena Hollender, however, it comes with the familiar milieu of identity-loss, paranoia, lack of sleep and having to ward off constant advances from her former colleague, Detective Marcus Valenzuela. But, somehow, this black hole still has some old appeal as she finds her intellect stimulated and blood racing rigorously through her veins.

Between deciphering cryptic newspaper poetry, hunting down vanished witnesses and the emergence of haunting crime scene visions, Gena is now closer than ever to finding the phantom serial killer that has plagued her psyche and stolen five years of her life. She's on the right track, until they find two other victims, she finds herself duped by the one man she always trusted, she ends up back within the jaws of the Great White, and now she's next on his list of victims.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-1591330141
Publisher: Hillard & Harris
Knee Deep

Tamara Kindrel vanishes after her final visit to the Hagen Mineral Mine. In the same mine, two years later, a mineralogist discovers a shaft containing bones, artifacts -- and a human skeleton.

What begins as an exploratory meandering quickly turns to obsession as Sheriff Judd Eakins and Law Enforcement Ranger, Leo Drucker track down a killer with a two-year headstart.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-1594660078
Publisher: Port Town Publishing
The Ghost of Mary Prairie

It's 1961, Grady, Oklahoma, population 103. Fifteen-year-old Jacob Leeds lives in a modest house on Hooper Circle. His world includes a wily sister, provincial parents, a grandfather named Woody, and an obsession with superheroes. Peel back one layer, though, and find a very different Hooper Circle--one teeming with lies, a family cover-up, and a secret that will change Jake forever.

The summer of 1961 begins with a teenage initiation rite for Jake, delivered by his best friend, Mikey Savage: "Initiation into Manhood--sleep on bare ground in the old baseball diamond. No sleeping bag, no shoes, no blanket." How difficult could it be?

Pirate songs and funny stories accompany him in the darkness, until he hears the first of the screams. As he approaches the sound, he sees an apparition of a young woman, brutally beaten. He tries to run away, but finds he's running toward her.

When Jake tells Mikey the story, he learns the legend of Mary McCann--a murdered Grady girl who to this day haunts the Oklahoma prairie in search of her killer. For Jake, this sighting marks the end of his childhood and the beginning of his quest to find the truth of her story.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0826342096
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

From the quiet English countryside to the gritty streets of Boston’s Chinatown, there is a silent commonality among these eerie tales – Polisar’s fascination with the darkness of the human psyche. Whether it's murder in a jazz club or deadly assassins, Polisar’s intricate storytelling and startling characters will take you on an unforgettable journey from fear and terror to escape.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0982529461
Publisher: NukeWorks Publishing

Your life is a lie.

The past you remember isn't yours.

There is no one to Trust.

Kerry Stine’s plan to rebuild her life goes into freefall when a patient vanishes from San Francisco General Hospital on her watch, thrusting her down a rabbit hole that leads to a past from which she can no longer escape. Fired, frantic, and running from the police, she trusts no one and every step pushes her further away from logic and reality.

Three thousand miles away, scientist Adrian Calhoun has developed a cigarette that cures lung cancer, and he’s hell bent on distributing his miracle cure before the pharmaceutical mafia gets to him first. Kidnapped by his pursuers, he is held prisoner in exchange for the chemical formula to his invention. His redeemer holds the key to not only his life, but Kerry’s as well.

And when the threads finally intertwine, Kerry discovers that what she and Adrian Calhoun have in common will return to her pieces of her past that she never knew she’d lost.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1944077174
Publisher: Rebel ePublishers
The Unseen

Ancient scrolls discovered by Rachel Careski threaten the power of the Church. Descendants of Pope Theopolis, sworn to protect Christianity, believe Soren Careski took possession of them after Rachel disappeared--but he is dead.

Forty years later, Soren's son, Alex Careski receives an email from a dead man, he is fired from his job, shot at, his car is rammed, and his wife, Simone, is kidnapped.

In London, two rare books go missing from the British Museum. The Director of Antiquities disappears. Her colleague is murdered and her would-be lover is caught up in the intrigue.

Soren left boxes of diaries in Alex's cellar--will they help unravel the truth about the disappearances of Alex's wife, father, and aunt? Desperate for answers, he travels to Italy where he is kidnapped along with an enterprising young woman who is also embroiled in the deadly mysteries of the ancient scrolls.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-0578422671
Publisher: 9mm Press

Troubled University of Chicago student, Zak Skinner, accidentally uncovers evidence of an on-campus, organized crime scam involving drugging students, getting them to commit crimes on camera, and blackmailing them to continue under the threat of expulsion.

Digging deeper, Zak discovers that the university scam is just the tip of the iceberg, as it’s connected to a broader ring of crimes linked to a darkweb underworld. Following clues, Zak is led to a compound within Chicago’s abandoned Steelworker Park, only to discover that he’s being hunted.

While trying to find his way out alive, Zak discovers there’s something much more personal he’s been running from – his past. And now there’s nowhere to hide.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1644563342
Publisher: Indies United Publishing House
The Ridders

Brock “BJ” Janoff and his older brother Jonas run a private investigation firm in Venice, CA. BJ is randomly approached by a stranger on the street with a proposition he can’t refuse – one million dollars to deliver a single envelope to a hotel lobby.

They pay him up front, which sounds good on the surface, but now BJ’s life is in danger if he doesn’t deliver the envelope in time. Obsessed with the envelope’s contents and the “why me”, BJ follows clues to investigate the players behind what he believes is an organized crime scam.

When an act of brilliance changes the balance of power, the safety of everyone he loves is in jeopardy. And the more he digs, the closer he gets to truths he can’t bear to face – about the elusive Bilderberg Group, his missing father, and about the fate of everyone he loves.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1644564387
Publisher: Indies United Publishing House

E&A Investigations

Hot House

When a former CIA operative and private investigator Mari Ellwyn starts digging into the blackmail case of a federal appellate judge, she becomes targeted by a van following her, threatening notes in her mailbox, and a breach of her home.

Teaming up with seasoned investigator and former detective, Derek Abernathy, the crime-savvy pair begin looking into the wrongful death of a mentally-ill college student, Sophie Michaud, as well as two journalists – one dead, one missing, who were writing a story on the dead college student with allegations of her connection to the federal judge.

The two investigators must uncover the truth about Sophie Michaud before her killer makes them their next target. But more importantly, Mari needs to find her missing father and reconcile her broken past and family.

Author: Lisa Towles
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09R2D22FW
Publisher: Indies United Publishing House