John Verdon is an author of mystery novels that was born in 1942 in the United States. A student of Regis High School (New York City) and Fordham University, John always had a taste for the arts, which explains his foray into the world of advertising. And even after leaving the industry and moving to the foothills of the Catskills Mountains, John Verdon wasn’t content to simply sit on his laurels, instead using his artistic skills to build furniture.
Order of Dave Gurney Series
Writing only came into the picture when Naomi, his wife, inspired him to take to publishing. Interestingly enough, it was during the ten years he spent building furniture that John nurtured an intense love for classic detective stories, sinking his teeth into the likes of Reginald Hill and Conan Doyle. John was a little hesitant when he wrote Think of a Number, his first novel. However, it did so well, financially and critically, that the author felt driven to write even more books.
John Verdon is best known for Dave Gurney, the protagonist of many of his books. Verdon has admitted to injecting a lot of his own traits into the detective. John writes thrillers and mysteries because they tend to be so simple and straightforward while revolving around highly complex characters.
John Verdon’s fans appreciate his ability to paint vivid images of the bleak and challenging realm of law enforcement and prosecution. In fact, Verdon does such an amazing job of delving into these worlds that many critics initially thought he was a retired prosecutor or police officer.
John Verdon Awards
John Verdon is hardly a celebrated mystery author, but he isn’t without his fans. And the accolades he has garnered over the years prove his mastery over the mystery/thriller genre, especially when one takes into account his nominations for a Nero Award for Think of a Number and Peter Pan Must Die, not to mention a Shamus Award nomination for Best Novel.
Best John Verdon Books
John Verdon’s appeal lies in the charm of his characters and the inventiveness of his mysteries, with some of the best John Verdon books on the shelf including:
Think of a Number: When Dave Gurney put his career as a homicide detective to rest, he thought that life with his wife Madeleine in upstate New York would be smooth sailing. But then the letters came. They were direct enough, simply asking those that found them in the mail to think of any number, picture it, and then the sender would know all their secrets.
Even though the letter writer went on to accurately predict the random choices of those who complied with his instructions, Dave dismissed the situation as little more than a curious marketing ploy.
And then the fun-filled mystery became a serial murder investigation, one involving a killer who could seemingly disappear into thin air and who had a knack for rhymes. Dave Gurney only agreed to come on to the case as a consultant. But his deductive breakthroughs quickly pushed him to the frontlines of the conflict between the New York Police and this detail-oriented killer.
Even as Dave proves to be a match for the wits of an unstoppable murderer, his actions drive his marriage to the edge of disaster while forcing him to confront an unpleasant past.
This book is John Verdon’s debut novel and it quickly cemented him as a name to watch in the mystery genre.
The book introduces Dave Gurney to readers. Dave was New York’s best homicide detective. But then he chose to retire. Dave is pulled back into the homicide business when Mark Mellery, a friend of his, receives threatening poems and asks Dave for help.
Shut Your Eyes Tight: When a bride is decapitated by machete on her wedding day, the police suspect her Mexican gardener for the crime. But her mother isn’t convinced. Some months after the Mellery situation, David is still trying to settle into retirement.
Dave always hated the moniker of Super Detective, assigned to him by the newspapers. But he couldn’t deny that his successes were always driven by his desire to solve puzzles. And he always found the truth because every case he encountered had a trail to follow.
Dave is pulled into a grotesque crime despite the resistance of his wife when a new case emerges to challenge his genius. He is soon forced to question everything he knows about himself.
The second book from John Verdon finds Dave Gurney struggling with retirement. Despite all the promises he made to his wife, Dave misses the hunt, which is why he jumps at the chance to consult on a case.