Kate Brannigan Books

Kate Brannigan is a series of mystery novels written by Val McDermid. The books tell the story of a private investigator by the names of Kate Brannigan.

Order of Kate Brannigan Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Dead Beat 1992 Description / Buy
2 Kick Back 1993 Description / Buy
3 Crack Down 1994 Description / Buy
4 Clean Break 1995 Description / Buy
5 Blue Genes 1996 Description / Buy
6 Star Struck 1998 Description / Buy
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When Kate Brannigan is first introduced in Dead Beat, she is struggling to care about a case that has seen her spend several days casing and staking out warehouses. She takes the opportunity to pursue a missing person’s case for a friend as a means of escaping the monotony only to encounter murder and mayhem.

Kate Brannigan and her partner Bill Mortensen are private investigators. They primarily deal in fraud and white collar crime. The field isn’t always the most exciting. And it normally takes the involvement of an external party such as Kate’s boyfriend to get her assigned to far more interesting cases.

Every once in a while, though, Kate’s white collar work will take an unexpectedly dangerous turn, such as the time Richard gets Kate to permit him to assist her on a car sales fraud case only to put her in a difficult situation when he is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and gets arrested.

The Kate Brannigan books were written and published in the 1990 and, unfortunately, they show their age a lot. Kate is constantly using dated terminology or losing her mind over technology that modern readers might consider antiquated. On the other hand, some readers appreciate just how authentic and true to the 1990s the book feels, especially readers that were not alive in that time period and cannot help but wonder what life was like back then.

Kate Brannigan is a relatively ordinary protagonist. She has enough wits about her to solve mysteries and catch bad guys. And she typically relies on understandable and down-to-earth techniques to put puzzles together.

However, the feisty detective does make a few surprisingly poor decisions, especially when the story veers towards her relationship with Richard, her music reporter of a boyfriend who lives in an adjoining house with her.

Because Kate Brannigan is a junior partner in her PI firm, part of what makes her endearing is her determination to prove her worth to the team.

The author, Val McDermid, has a tendency to inject lesbian and feminist elements into her novels. Those aspects are initially absent in this series. But they begin to crop up as the series progresses.

Kate Brannigan Awards

Val McDermid was shortlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Macallan Gold Dagger Award and the Anthony Award for Crack Down. For the novel Star Struck, McDermid won the Grand Prix des Romans d’Adventure.

Best Kate Brannigan Books

The Kate Brannigan books are considered to be among the weakest Val McDermid has written but they still have their fans, with some of the best titles in the series including:

Crack Down: When Richard offers to help Kate Brannigan on a car sales fraud case, she agrees because she doesn’t actually think that anything bad will happen. But then something bad does happen.

Now Richard is behind bars and, while they sort him out, Kate must take on the task of watching his little boy. The 8-year-old takes after his father and seems to make it his mission to make Kate’s life difficult.

But Kate is determined to do it all: take care of the little boy, get Richard out of prison and deal with all the drug traffickers and pornographers standing in her way.

This book finds Kate Brannigan panicking after her boyfriend is arrested on drug charges. Richard was posing as a car buyer to help Kate break a case. Now Kate must do what she can to prove his innocence.

Clean Break: Kate Brannigan was pretty confident when she was hired to manage the security of a stately home. But then a thief broke in and stole a Monet painting. Kate doesn’t know where she went wrong. She doesn’t see how the thief got past the alarm system, stole the painting and disappeared so quickly.

Now she must use her resources to find the painting before her reputation takes any further bumps.

Other Book Series You May Like

Check out the “DI Angus Henderson” Series by Iain Cameron. These books tell the story of a Detective Inspector solving mysteries in Sussex, England. The books detail the manner in which ordinary people like Angus Henderson use ordinary techniques to collect evidence, question suspects and make conclusions about crimes.

You will also like the “Lindsay Gordon” Series by Val McDermid. These books follow the exploits of a socialist lesbian journalist who uses her wits and resources to solve mysteries that affect the people closest to her.

What Is The Next Book in The Kate Brannigan Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Kate Brannigan Series. The newest book is Star Struck and was released on October, 5th 1998.

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