• Latest Novels

    A McLaren Case Mystery: Cold Revenge

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  • Latest Novels

    A McLaren Case Mystery: Love Song

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  • Latest Novels

    A McLaren Case Mystery: Rock Song

    When McLaren gets an invitation from his grandfather to heal the rift between them, he travels to Scotland. But the older man hadn't sent for McLaren. If the grandfather hadn't sent for him, who had…and why? As McLaren tries to sort through the assaults and mystery surrounding his visit he’s plunged into a very personal hunt for a World War II treasure. The puzzle is fascinating; he just has to stay alive to solve it.

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  • Latest Novels

    A McLaren Case Mystery: Hit Song

    McLaren and his fiancée share a relaxing day touring Rufford Abbey. When he tries to straighten a crookedly-aligned brick in the old ice house, he discovers a brooch and a scrap of a newspaper wedged behind the brick. His curiosity is aroused, and he immediately begins unraveling an age-old mystery.

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About The Authors

Ms Jo A. Hiestand Author

Jo Hiestand knew as a child she wanted to be a mystery writer. So for years she laid down experiences she could use in her novels: camping throughout her Girl Scout years, working summers as a canoeing instructor and camp counselor, singing in a folk group, co-inventing P.I.R.A.T.E.S. (a mystery-solving treasure-hunting game), attending a citizen police academy, learning to fire a gun, riding along with police officers on patrol…. Which was all well and good, but she needed to immerse herself in the British countryside and villages for her books. She needed the ‘feel’ of the locations. England beckoned and she accepted.

Jo bee-lined to Derbyshire, feeling it was the ‘home’ of her books. Derbyshire also bestowed the essential English police contacts and transformed the St. Louisan into an Anglophile. The bond was made stronger when a retired Detective-Superintendent of C.I.D. and a working Detective-Sergeant agreed to read her manuscripts for police procedure accuracy and to provide investigation techniques.

She was fortunate to add a pathologist friend to her list of helpful people. Her friend supplies vital medical information for each book’s plot.

But something still was lacking. A different outlook to complement the main perspective? The genie appeared in 2006 in the form of friend and police detective Paul Hornung. Paul’s sub-plot ideas stem from his twenty-plus years as a police officer and his love of thrillers. But his wish granting didn’t stop there: he also writes first-person chapters as a specific character. His male street cop’s viewpoint underscores the female detective’s predominant narrative. “Like pie crust pastry,” Paul jokes. “The wealth of shortening transforms mundane flour and water into something incredibly flaky.” He refuses to divulge how flaky Jo was before he came along.

Paul teaches a mystery writing course with Jo at a St Louis-area community college, something they’ve been doing for more than half a decade. Jo also speaks to groups on odd British customs, seeing Derbyshire through a writer’s eye, how she overcame obstacles in the way of publication, and the origins of Groundhog’s Day, complete with animal fun facts and Groundhog Day carol singing.

Jo’s returned nearly a dozen times to England, researching and photographing for her two mystery series: Taylor & Graham and the CID team solve mysteries when British customs run amuck; ex-police detective Michael McLaren investigates cold cases on his own. She explored the rural beauty, participated in and watched customs, performed in folk music clubs, cooked British food, toured English police stations, wandered around castles and manor houses and villages…. “Who is this woman who loves our history and ancient ruins?” Britons asked. A book signing at Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, a live BBC radio interview, and a half-page article in the Derby Telegraph newspaper solved part of the mystery. To the other part, Jo just replies, “I’m an American-born British Mystery Writer. I’m the one whodunit.”

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Mr Paul Hornung Author

Paul discovered his love of writing very early in life. With the help of a high school teacher and, later, a university professor, writing became a favorite past time well beyond his school days.

A four year active duty stint as a military police officer for the US Army kindled the interest in his eventual full time profession: law enforcement. As a police officer, Paul adds a unique/realistic perspective to the Taylor & Graham mystery series. Through the years, Paul has served as a military police officer, military site security specialist, police patrol officer, field training officer, defensive tactics instructor, and currently serves as a police detective. Paul's interests include playing a variety of sports, and he can often be found at any given professional sporting event in the St Louis area. An avid poker player, Paul travels to poker rooms around the country, as he has for several years. A summa cum laude graduate from Lindenwood University, Paul plans to continue with his education, with emphasis on writing.

A random encounter with Jo Hiestand at a police station later grew into a lasting friendship ⎯ and writing partnership. Paul's love of good dialogue and knowledge of police procedures blends well with Jo‘s strengths of exceptional scene detail and character development. References throughout their books to poker, sports and family reflect Paul's other passions.

Paul lives with his family in the St Louis, Missouri area.

Tour Dates

Tour Dates

Here is where you will find information on Jo Hiestand's appearances throughout the year.

We do our best to update the calendar as soon as an event is set in stone. If you are interested in booking Jo Hiestand for your next event, contact her today.

Media & Press

Press Photos

Click on any of the photos to download a high resolution image.
Contact Jo: HERE

Full Novel List

English Mysteries by St. Louis author Jo A. Hiestand

The Taylor & Graham mysteries

1. Death of an Ordinary Guy
Published June 2004

2. Sainted Murder
Published July 2005

3. On the Twelfth Night of Christmas
Published December 2005

4. Pearls Before Swine
Published September 2006

5. Horns of a Dilemma
Published May 2007

6. The Coffin Watchers
Published September 2008

7. A Terrible Enemy
Published June 2009

8. A Well Dressed Corpse
Published April 2011

9. False Step
Published October 2012

10. The Corpse Road
Published May 2013

Cider, Swords and Straw: Celebrating British Customs
Published July 2012


The McLaren Case mysteries
1. Siren Song
Published April 2010

2. Swan Song
Published April 2011

3. Torch Song
Published April 27 2012

4.  Hit Song
Published March 2013

5.  Rock Song
Published November 2013

6.  Love Song
Published April 2014


[she] has done it again...thoroughly entertained.

the Novels

Jo Hiestand has published 14 mystery novels, one non-fiction book and contributed to three published anthologies. Her McLaren Case and Taylor and Graham series demonstrate her intimate knowledge of England- bringing her stories to life and inspiring her readers.

Carols for Groundhog's Day

13 songs to Celebrate the occasion!

A Handful of Taylor & Graham

Mystery Short Stories

Rock Song

A McLaren Case Series

A Terrible Enemy

A Taylor & Graham Series

The Coffin Watchers

A Taylor & Graham Series

Horns of a Dilemma

A Taylor & Graham Series

Pearls Before Swine

A Taylor & Graham Series

On the Twelfth Night of Christmas

A Taylor & Graham Series

Sainted Murder

A Taylor & Graham Series

Death of an Ordinary Guy

A Taylor & Graham Series

The Corpse Road

A Taylor & Graham Series

A Well Dressed Corpse

A Taylor & Graham Series

Swan Song

A McLaren Case Series

Torch Song

A McLaren Case Series

False Step

A Taylor & Graham Series

Hit Song

A McLaren Case Series

Love Song

A McLaren Case Series

Cold Revenge

A McLaren Case Series

Read all of these great reviews

Critics, fellow authors and mystery-enthusiasts alike, all agree that Jo Hiestand's writing gives you a thorough, yet exciting experience at the turn of every page, leaving you longing for more.

  • Hiestand raises awareness of global issues, layered in the unfolding of this grisly whodunit. And the mystery continues, for once we know whodunit, we must follow through to the capture. This intriguing mystery is well worth the reader's time. Finally, we must ask, who is really the Terrible Enemy?

    - Mystery Lovers Corner Review
  • The CID team from the Derbyshire Constabulary are drawn into the murders and burglaries in a small village which is home to a rather odd custom - being a coffin watcher. Additionally, a malevolent character from the previous Horns of a Dilemma is a presence, one I hope is developed further in the next book. I won't give anything away by telling more. Suffice it to say, I found it incredibly interesting and a really enjoyable read. The only way Hiestand and Hornung can disappoint me is if they don't write another!!

    – Amazon.com 5-star review
  • HORNS [OF A DILEMMA] is a realistic look into the emotions and personal lives of officers. Instead of looking at police as super-heroes, it looks at them as they are: real people with feelings and emotions who struggle with their own demons and lives while daily working cases.

    - Jon McIntosh, St. Louis-area police officer
  • The Derbyshire Peak District, campanology…and murder. Beautiful scenery and a love-sick detective-sergeant add to the brew in this unusual crime novel. Jo A. Hiestand is an exciting writer, blending evocative description with the ability to intrigue. She kept me guessing to the end.

    - Geraldine Evans, author of the Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series

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