Nancy Fairbanks Herndon was born on the 29th of May, 1934, in St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America. Nancy is a well-known author, most notably of historical romances and mystery stories, along with being a US lecturer in English.
Throughout her career, Nancy has utilized several pseudonyms. Her historical romance genre novels were written using the name Elizabeth Chadwick, while the mystery books were written using Nancy Herndon and Nancy Fairbanks.
Nancy has studied at the University of Missouri and the Rice University, while her PhD was acquired, in the subject of English, at New York University. Following the receiving of her PhD., Nancy spent time working as a lecturer in English at a number of universities.
After her time working as a lecturer, Nancy published seven books, all belonging to a single series, in the mystery genre, in 1995.
While Nancy was born and raised in St. Louis, she currently resides in El Paso, Texas, along with her spouse, who, himself, works as a University professor.
With all that said, we can now take a look at what the best Nancy Herndon books actually are.
Elena Jarvis Book Series
- Acid Bath, published in 1995.
- Widow’s Watch, published in 1995.
- Lethal Statues, published in 1996.
- Hunting Game, published in 1996.
- Time Bombs, published in 1997.
- O. P. Out, published in 1998.
- Casanova Crimes, published in 1998.
The titular protagonist is Elena Jarvis. Elena is a police officer, very much devoted to all of her duties. Elena works in Los Santos, Texas, in the Department of Crime Against Persons. As things can often be subject to the petty passions, deeply woven convictions, or outright unenlightened thoughts of man, Elena is at the forefront of many discriminatory acts and talks. For instance, her boss oftentimes treats Elena as if she were a little girl needing a helping hand to get around, or the fact that her partner has a belief that women aren’t supposed to be seen outside of their ‘sanctuary’, i.e. the kitchen.
However, Elena was never under the disbelief or illusion that things would be easy or without a certain hinderance wherever she ended up, though she did expect most of the obstacles to come from the criminals, not the ones in charge of protecting against the illegal activities.
The first case we see Elena investigate is that of an erotic poet’s accusation that his former spouse, Sarah, is attempting to end his life. Elena doesn’t think that the allegation has much grounds, but as time goes on and as she learns of what their divorce entailed, how they split up, she is under the assumption that Sarah is the victim in this particular case. That is, of course, until the poet’s lifeless body is found in a bathtub, which is brimming with something quite unlike water. The acid, as one would suspect, is there to dispose of the evidence.
Seeing as one’s first assumptions and suspicions might not have been wholly justified, Elena sets aside her grievances and gets down to the crux of the case.
The exceedingly sharp mind of Elena coupled with the impeccable sense of justice makes Elena one hell of an officer. However, the anecdotal yang to Elena’s ying is her condescending, at times obnoxious, ex- husband. Their relationship oftentimes boils down to comical quips and one-liners, though her ex rarely stands not having the last word in the case of arguments.
Truly, the first of the series might be the best Nancy Herndon book, to date.
In one of the books, namely Lethal Satues, Elena encounters the case of Analee Ribbon. Analee was a singularly attractive, wonderful, young student. She was hardworking, diligent, and a complete computer whiz, of whom was expected a very bright and fortuitous future. However, as statues are wont to fall down upon people, Analee is found underneath a hefty, large statue in the campus library. This incident is what caused the death of Analee.
However, once Elena begins to uncover and prod deeper into the secrets and the odd mysteries of Analee’s life, she sees that not all is as it might have seemed. Soon enough, one begins to question whether the culprit was justified in the untimely exhaustion of Analee’s flame.
In another book, C. O. P. Out, Elena is faced with one of the craziest, most turbulent situations, yet. A volunteer that does her duty with the C. O. P. programs – meaning Citizens on Patrol – is found murdered, after having been seen on his patrol along with a rookie officer. Elena, knowing of the repercussions that might follow sooner rather than later, races to find who the true perp is before the whole department is dragged down because of a chance witness. To top things off, the victim was the wife of a mayoral candidate, whose griefs aren’t used for much other than gaining traction and advantage over his coevals, thus the case gains a damnably political tone.
If anyone can get to the bottom of this, it most certainly is Elena Jarvis, but she must be very swift. If not, the cruel eye of the public might turn towards her.
Other books that Nancy Herndon has written which are sure to mesmerize and satisfy readers Bride Fire, Wanton Angel, and Elusive Lovers.