P.J. Tracy books in order
P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym of the award-winning mother and daughter writing duo, P.J. and Traci Lambrecht.
A college dropout with no writing qualifications whatsoever, P.J. Lambrecht always enjoyed telling everyone that she made it into the writing business due to her unflappable ability to lie.
She passed away peacefully at her home in 2016 at the age of 70.
An alumna of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she was a Russian Studies major, Traci Lambrecht’s hopes of working as a spy were shattered when the Cold War ended.
Desperate to finance her terrible habits of traveling and singing in rock bands, she turned to writing–joining her mother’s trade.
The duo wrote the international bestselling Monkeewrench series, and received accolades such as the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards.
Traci, who currently lives in Minnesota, still writes murder mysteries; continuously guided by the spirit of P.J.
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Detective Margaret Nolan
- Deep into the Dark (2021)
- Desolation Canyon (2022)
- The Devil You Know (2023)
Monkeewrench / Twin Cities
- Monkeewrench (2003)
- Live Bait (2004)
- Dead Run (2005)
- Snow Blind (2006)
- Shoot to Thrill (2010)
- Off the Grid (2012)
- The Sixth Idea (2016)
- Nothing Stays Buried (2017)
- The Guilty Dead (2018)
- Ice Cold Heart (2019)
- Return of the Magi: A heartwarming Christmas story (2017)
Detailed book overview
Detective Margaret Nolan
Sam Easton―a true survivor―is home from Afghanistan, trying to rebuild a life in his hometown of LA. Separated from his wife, bartending and therapy sessions are what occupy his days and nights. When friend and colleague Melody Traeger is beaten by her boyfriend, she turns to Sam for help. When the boyfriend turns up dead the next day, a hard case like Sam is the perfect suspect.
But LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, whose brother recently died serving overseas, is sympathetic to Sam's troubles, and can't quite see him as a killer. She's more interested in the secrets Melody might be keeping and the developments in another murder case on the other side of town.
LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan is struggling to move forward after the death of her brother in Afghanistan and taking a life in the line of duty. Her stoic parents offer little support – they refuse to address anything difficult, and she’s afraid their relationship is eroding beyond the point of recovery.
The days off are the hardest, because they give Margaret time to think. A moment of weakness leads to cocktails with a colleague―an attraction she knows could be dangerous ―at the luxurious Hotel Bel-Air bar. A stroll through the grounds leads to a grim discovery beneath the surface of Swan Lake: the body of a successful attorney who made his fortune in international trade.
It initially appears to be death by misadventure, but the case is anything but straightforward. As a series of shocking revelations emerge, Nolan finds herself confronting a sinister cabal that just might destroy her and everyone she loves.
Los Angeles has many faces: the real LA where regular people live and work, the degenerate underbelly of any big city, and the rarified world of wealth, power, and celebrity. LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan’s latest case plunges her into this insular realm of privilege, and gives her a glimpse of the darkness behind the glitter.
The body of beloved actor Evan Hobbes is found in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide a day after a fake video ruins his career. It’s not clear to Nolan if it’s an accident, a suicide, or a murder, and things get murkier as the investigation expands to his luminary friends and colleagues.
Meanwhile, Hobbes’ agent is dealing with damage control, his psychotic boss, and a woman he’s scorned. But when his powerful brother-in-law is murdered, he and Nolan both find themselves entangled in a scandalous deception of deadly proportion that shakes the very foundation of Hollywood’s untouchables.
Monkeewrench / Twin Cities
People are dying for the new computer game by the software company Monkeewrench. Literally. With Serial Killer Detective out in limited release, the real-life murders of a jogger and a young woman have already mimicked the first two scenarios in the game.
But Grace McBride and her eccentric Monkeewrench partners are caught in a vise. If they tell the Minneapolis police of the link between their game and the murders, they'll shine a spotlight on the past they thought they had erased-and the horror they thought they'd left behind. If they don't, eighteen more people will die...
NB: This book is also known as Want to Play?
Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are bored - ever since they solved the Monkeewrench case, the Twin Cities have been in a murder-free dry spell, as people no longer seem interested in killing one another. But with two brutal homicides taking place in one awful night, the crime drought ends - not with a trickle, but with an eventual torrent.
Who would kill Morey Gilbert, a man without an enemy, a man who might as well have been a saint? His tiny, cranky little wife, Lily, is no help, and may even be a suspect; his estranged son, Jack, an infamous ambulance-chasing lawyer, has his own enemies; and his son-in-law, former cop Marty Pullman, is so depressed over his wife's death a year ago that he's ready to kill himself, but not Morey.
The number of victims - all elderly - grows, and the city is fearful once again." The detectives' investigation threatens to uncover a series of horrendous secrets, some buried within the heart of the police department itself, blurring the lines between heroes and villains. Grace MacBride's cold-case-solving software may find the missing link - but at a terrible price.
Computer game company founders Grace MacBride and Annie Belinsky—along with Wisconsin deputy Sharon Mueller—are en route to Green Bay, following reports of a serial killer, when their car breaks down deep in the northern woods.
A short walk through the forest leads them to the eerily quiet town of Four Corners, where they find severed phone lines and a complete absence of any life. But the quiet is deceptive. Before they know it, they witness a horrifying double murder—and discover that this is only the beginning of a race to save their own lives…and countless others.
When the corpses of three police officers are discovered entombed in snowmen, Grace MacBride and her team of crime-busting computer jocks at the Monkeewrench firm are called in to assist. What they discover is a terrifying link among the victims that reaches beyond the badge and crosses the line between hard justice and stone cold vengeance.
When Minneapolis homicide cops Rolseth and Magozzi are called to a derelict stretch of the Mississippi River, they see a bride, facedown, dead in the water. And when the Monkeewrench crew – computer geeks who made a fortune on games, now assisting the cops with special anticrime software – are invited by the FBI to investigate a series of murder videos posted to the Web, it’s not long before the group discovers the frightening link between the unlucky bride and the latest, most horrific use of the Internet yet. Using their skills to scour the Net to prevent more killings, the team must race against the clock…before it’s too late.
NB: This book is also known as Play to Kill.
Off the Florida coast, Grace MacBride, partner in software company Monkeewrench, thwarts an assassination attempt on a retired FBI agent. A few hours afterward in Minneapolis, a young girl’s throat is slashed. Later that day, two men are killed execution style.
Minneapolis Homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth struggle to link the three crimes, but the wave of murders across the country has only just begun. Piece by piece, evidence accumulates, pointing to a suspect—and a motive—that shocks them to the core. It puts the entire Midwest on high alert...and Monkeewrench in the line of fire.
NB: This book is also known as Two Evils.
The peaceful Christmas season in Minneapolis is shattered when two friends, Chuck Spencer and Wally Luntz, scheduled to meet in person for the first time, are murdered on the same night, two hours and several miles apart, dramatically concluding winter vacation for homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth.
An hour north of Minneapolis, Lydia Ascher comes home to find two dead men in her basement. When Leo and Gino discover her connection to their current cases, they suspect that she is a target, too. The same day, an elderly, terminally ill man is kidnapped from his home, an Alzheimer’s patient goes missing from his care facility, and a baffling link among all the crimes emerges.
This series of inexplicable events sends the detectives sixty years into the past to search for answers—and straight to Grace MacBride’s Monkeewrench, a group of eccentric computer geniuses who devote their time and resources to helping the cops solve the unsolvable. What they find is an unimaginable horror—a dormant Armageddon that might be activated at any moment unless Grace and her partners Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, along with Leo and Gino, can find a way to stop it.
NB: This book is also known as Cold Kill.
When Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called to a crime scene in a heavily wooded city park, everything about the setting is all too familiar. And when they discover a playing card on the victim's body, their worst fears are confirmed--there's a serial killer operating in the city for the first time in years.
Across town, Grace MacBride and her unconventional partners in Monkeewrench Software find themselves at both a personal and a career crossroads. Weary of the darker side of their computer work for law enforcement, they agree to take on a private missing-persons case in a small farming community in southwestern Minnesota.
As the violence accelerates in Minneapolis, Magozzi and Rolseth soon realize their killer is planning to complete the deck, and they enlist Monkeewrench to help stop the rampage. As a baffling tangle of evidence accumulates, the cops and Monkeewrench make the unlikely connections among a farmer's missing daughter, a serial killer, and a decades-old stabbing that brings them face-to-face with pure evil.
Dead men tell no tales...but their pasts can’t keep a secret.
Gregory Norwood is Minnesota’s most beloved philanthropist, and the story of his son’s overdose was splashed across the front page of all the papers. When a photojournalist sets out to get a candid shot of the highly successful businessman on the one year anniversary of his son’s death, he’s shocked to find Norwood dead with a smoking gun in his hand. The city is devastated, and Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called in to handle the delicate case. It should be open and shut, but something is not right. Norwood's death is no suicide.
With no suspects and an increasing tangle of digital evidence that confounds the Minneapolis Police Department’s most seasoned cops, Magozzi calls on Grace MacBride, Monkeewrench Software’s founder and chief computer genius and the soon to be mother of their child together. She and her motley crew of partners begin to unravel connections between Norwood’s death and an even larger plot. Norwood wasn’t the first, won’t be the last, and by the end, may be just one of many to die.
It's a bitter winter in Minnesota--too cold to kill. There hasn't been a murder for a month, but the lull quickly comes to an end for Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth, when they're called to the gruesome homicide of Kelly Ramage. Found in a friend's vacant house, this was no random attack, and clues reveal that she was living a very dangerous secret life.
Magozzi and Gino trace her steps back to an art gallery where she was last seen alive. The gallery seems like a dead end, but the art is disturbing and exploitative. It may very well be inspiring a sadistic killer, because in this instance, art doesn't imitate life, it imitates death.
Tipped off about a year-old murder that is a mirror-image of Kelly's crime scene, Gino and Magozzi enlist the aid of Grace MacBride and her eccentric, tech genius partners in Monkeewrench Software to help them decipher the digital trail that might connect the cases.
As coincidences emerge, Magozzi, Gino, and the team have to work around the clock at breakneck pace to unravel a series of clues that form the framework of a larger, more sweeping, and insidious conspiracy than any of them could have imagined. Is Kelly the last person to die or just the most recent? And is there any way to stop it?
Emil Rice has a silver tongue and sticky fingers, the only problem is that his charm always gets him into trouble and he's never been very good at not getting arrested.
Twenty-two times he's been caught and twenty-two times he's sworn never to steal again, but it's on his twenty-third arrest when Emil realizes he may have picked up more than he bargained for.
Sentenced to community service at a secure mental health facility, Emil is unwillingly befriended by two elderly female patients who believe he is the final part of a big cosmic plan that will change their lives forever...
This heartwarming Christmas tale of kindness, friendship and redemption will be perfect for the cold winter nights!