The name Hannah Smith refers to a series of novels written by Randy Wayne White. The name also refers to the primary protagonist of the series.
Order of Hannah Smith Series
Hannah Smith is a rare addition to Randy Wayne White’s bibliography primarily because she is a woman. White has a reputation for writing strong male characters with bad habits, charming personalities and somewhat difficult lives.
Anyone that has followed White’s career for any notable period of time could never have predicted that he would eventually create a character like Hannah Smith. But that is exactly what he did and, just like his male characters, Hannah is a strong protagonist.
Hannah first appeared in the Doc Ford books and her role was so minuscule that one couldn’t be faulted for not remembering her. In 2012, White released Gone, the first book in a series that saw him take Hannah out of the Doc Ford series and give her the spotlight.
Gone finds Hannah tasked with finding a missing girl, a job she undertakes with determination and fervor.
The fact that Hannah has so many fans is a testament to Randy Wayne White’s abilities. The author had the potential ruin Hannah before she had even undertaken her first adventure by botching her personality and making her a trope.
However, Hannah is pretty nuanced in the way she is presented. While she is intelligent and capable, Hannah is also quite feminine. Whereas some of White’s colleagues have struggled to transition to a female voice, typically because they create heroines that are basically the female counterparts of their action-driven male heroes, White makes Hannah as womanly as possible.
He doesn’t forget to make her feminine. However, her feminine aspects do not interfere with her ability to perform her tasks, especially in the face of danger.
Hannah Smith is introduced in Gone as a determined woman who has strong ties to Florida. In fact, she is not the first person in her family to bear the name Hannah. Her family has been in the area for generations.
When Hannah comes into her own, she takes over her uncle’s boat, making a living by acting as a fishing guide. However, she is also a competent detective, working as a private eye in and around the island of Sanibel.
When her friends and family are in trouble, they know who exactly they can come to for help. Hannah isn’t like any other detective. Her methods are very unconventional. However, they work and those that have faced them can attest to that fact.
The one aspect Hannah has been criticized for is her insecurities. Hannah is often consumed by anxiety over her appearance. She is often making random comments about the men she meets and whether they are only engaging with her because of her body.
Some readers have been known to defend Hannah in this area, identifying her insecurities as a realistic issue that many women face. Other readers think that aspect of Hannah compromises the strength of her character.
Best Hannah Smith Books
Hannah Smith is a pretty divisive character amongst fans of Randy Wayne White. However, the series still has a following, with the best Hannah Smith books including the following:
Deceived: There is a plan to eliminate Hannah Smith’s entire village. It begins with a private museum to which everyone in Sulfur Wells must contribute as it attempts to bring the history of the state’s earliest settlers to life.
Then Hannah learns that the whole thing is a scam. And now she knows that there are forces determined to wipe her village away. However, she doesn’t know if she has what it takes to stop them.
The second book in the Hannah Smith series finds Hannah working to solve a decade’s old murder. Meanwhile, there’s a museum trying to take her mother’s money with a ridiculous scam. She must work with her new friend Birdy to get to the bottom of the situation.
Seduced: Florida is in trouble. Its orange trees are dying at the root and the only solution might be to find the first seeds the Spanish Conquistadors planted centuries ago. However, Hannah’s quest to locate a sample of the original root stock won’t be easy, not when there are those who might seek to impede her work.
This book is very informative, providing information about Florida’s history. The state’s citrus industry is highlighted here. Hannah’s romantic life is also emphasized, not to mention her bonds with her friends.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “Virgil Flowers” Series by John Sandford is a spinoff of the Prey series which features Lucas Davenport. The books put Virgil Flowers in the spot light. Recruited into the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension by Davenpot, Virgil is a very unconventional officer, very laid back and often happy to simply go with the flow and figure things out along the way.
The “John Puller” Series by David Baldacci. These books chronicle the life of a combat veteran who works for the United States Army’s Criminal Investigative Division as a military investigator. Puller is often compared to the Jack Reacher character, not only in terms of his personality but history as well.