Swing Town Mysteries
One O’clock Jump
first published in 2001 by St. Martins Press
Halfway around the world, war has begun, but for Dorie Lennox, a newly-minted private eye on her first tail, danger is more immediate. The dark streets of Kansas City of 1939 offer swing music, fast cars, gangsters, and the chance to forget about the Depression and her own murky past. But first she must conquer her fears and save a woman on a bridge high above the muddy Missouri. Dorie is thrown into a quickly unraveling scam that offers salvation to few — and misery to plenty — in the high stakes world of machine politics and desperation deals.The landscape of America and the homefront of World War II are evoked in a thoughtful mystery that lingers for the force of characters and keen sharpness of a slice of history seen through the perceptive, compassionate eyes of Dorie Lennox.
“Wonderful. . . a richly detailed story that quite simply gets to your heart.” — Michael Connelly
“One O’Clock Jump is like a time capsule, transporting a tale of murder, greed, and intrigue from vintage Kansas City into the present day.” — Sue Grafton
“McClendon debuts an excellent historical series, with evocative period dialogue and a story line full of surprises.” — Publishers Weekly
Sweet and Lowdown
Sweet and Lowdown: the second Dorie Lennox Mystery
Europe is at War. Nazi bombers are hammering London. Wendell Willkie is giving Roosevelt a run for his money. In Kansas City, Dorie Lennox and her partner Amos Haddam are trying to keep the blond and beautiful Thalia Hines from destroying herself. It’s not easy. The girl has every reason to escape the cold stone mansion where her mother lies dying. Eveline Hines is a decorated war hero during the First World War. Now she’s struggling to protect her only daughter from men who lust over her inheritance even more than her curves.
In the rich milieu of a bygone time, an America preparing for war provides color for the intimate portrait of a powerful woman bearing witness to the destruction of all she loves. For the Hines family, nothing will ever be the same in this powerful story of maternal love and family secrets, and the disastrous attempts to mingle them. Sweet and Lowdown is a historical mystery full of darkness and peculiar heartache of the wayward child, a story that will stay with the reader long after the book is closed.
“Dorie Lennox is a humdinger of a private eye.” — Sue Grafton, bestselling author“Lise McClendon expertly probes the mystery of human desires.” — Michael Connelly“In this worthy sequel to One O’Clock Jump, set in the fall of 1940, Britain stands alone against Hitler, FDR is making a bid for a third term as president and Nazi spies have infiltrated American political groups to promote isolationism. In Kansas City, PI Dorie Lennox and her partner, Amos Haddam, are tailing Thalia Hines, the wayward 21-year-old daughter of a prominent local family. (Not the least of this mystery’s myriad pleasures is the author’s tip of the hat to Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep.)
McClendon handles all the threads, using a taut, staccato style that perfectly complements her edgy, skittish heroine. The author masterfully evokes the period. This is a book to be savored; read it too fast and you might miss something.” — Publisher’s Weekly