Barbara Holloway Books in Order: How to read Kate Wilhelm’s series?

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I wrote about the Dismas Hardy series, I thought I could continue with another series about a lawyer. This time, we are talking about Barbara Holloway.

What is the Barbara Holloway series about?

Written by Kate Wilhelm (RIP), this series is about Barbara Holloway, an attorney in Eugene, Oregon.

Holloway is described as intelligent, courageous, and compassionate.

And, with the help of her semi-retired lawyer father and other friends and colleagues, Barbara Holloway works to uncover the truth in and outside the courtroom.

How to read the Barbara Holloway Books in Order?

Every book in the Barbara Holloway series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.

  1. Death Qualified (1991)
  2. The Best Defense (1994)
  3. For the Defense (1995)
  4. Defense for the Devil (1999)
  5. No Defense (2000)
  6. Desperate Measures (2001)
  7. The Clear and Convincing Proof (2003)
  8. The Unbidden Truth (2004)
  9. Sleight Of Hand (2006)
  10. A Wrongful Death (2007)
  11. Cold Case (2008)
  12. Heaven Is High (2011)
  13. By Stone By Blade By Fire (2012)
  14. Mirror, Mirror (2017)

What is the plot of the Barbara Holloway novels?

For more information about the books in the Barbara Holloway series by Kate Wilhelm, you’ll find below the official synopsis for all the books:

Death Qualified – When her father calls upon her to help him defend Nell Kendricks, a woman who has been indicted for the murder of her estranged husband, former lawyer Barbara Holloway, who is still legally able to defend clients facing the death penalty if convicted, returns to Oregon and begins to put together the pieces of the puzzle.

Heaven Is High (published later, after Cold Case, but takes place here) – Two people, desperate for help, show up on Barbara Holloway’s doorstep: former pro football player Martin Owens and his wife Binnie. Binnie, who is mute, met her husband when she snuck aboard his boat while it was docked in Haiti and smuggled herself into the U. S. Now Immigration is seeking to deport her back to Haiti, which would be a death sentence.

The Best Defense – Barbara Holloway gets her work done and wants for nothing more…certainly not another explosive courtroom case. Until a woman comes to Barbara with a case she cannot refuse. The sister of “Baby Killer” Kennerman, the tale she tells is so terrifying that Barbara must act. What she unearths is a corrupt conspiracy that will allow a killer to walk away free…

For The Defense (formely titles Malice Prepense) – Teddy Wendover is a hulking twenty-eight-year-old with the mind of a child. An accident at eight left him severely retarded. Someone has bludgeoned Oregon congressman Harry Knecht to death. He was the man who organized the ill-fated field trip that led to Teddy’s injury. Two more murders convince defense attorney Barbara Holloway that there’s a broader circle of guilt.

Defense for the Devil – Mitch Arno always meant bad news for Folsum, Oregon. When they ran him out of town seventeen years ago, he left behind a wife with two daughters and a family that never wanted to see him again. When he returns, he brings trouble in the form of a lot of suspicious money. As Barbara Holloway attempts to counsel Mitch’s wife about the money, a second form of trouble arrives, Mitch’s corpse.

No Defense – A seven-month marriage that ends in a suspicious car crash leaves the husband, Vinny, dead and the widow, Lara, a murder suspect with seemingly no defense–until Barbara Holloway takes the case.

Desperate Measures – Barbara Holloway finds herself pitted against her own father when they are hired to defend the two prime suspects in the murder of a pillar of the community–one a deformed young man who lives nearby, and the other a high-school principal who had a quarrel with the victim just prior to his death.

Clear and Convincing Proof – When David Mclvey, a much despised, yet brilliant, surgeon, is found brutally murdered outside of the Kelso/McIvey rehab center, a safe haven that he planned to close forever due to greed and fame, Barbara Holloway is confronted by a wealth of suspects in her quest to find the truth.

The Unbidden Truth – Barbara Holloway is offered a large retainer by a client who asks for complete anonymity. The defendant is a gifted pianist charged with killing the manager of a piano bar. The defendant can’t remember anything about her life before the age of 8 and now is having haunting nightmares about a mystery woman.

Sleight of Hand – Gregarious Vegas entertainer Wally Lederer has a lucrative showbiz career, but when a childhood friend accuses him of stealing a valuable artifact, his checkered past comes back to haunt him. Wally claims he’s turned his life around since spending time in the slammer for picking pockets, but will the police believe him? Does Barbara Holloway believe him when he pleads his case to her?

A Wrongful Death – Barbara Holloway’s peace at her retreat on the Oregon coast is shattered when a terrified young boy leads her to a cabin in the woods where his battered mother has clearly been left for dead. Barbara runs for help, but by the time she returns both mother and son are gone. The puzzle deepens when Barbara learns the boy she met is the grandson of a prominent family…and they have accused her of aiding his disappearance.

Cold Case – Twenty-two years ago, controversial author David Etheridge and ambitious state senator Robert McCrutchen were investigated in the death of a young coed. Today, when McCrutchen is found shot dead, Etheridge is back where he was two decades ago-suspected of murder. Barbara Holloway must battle the prosecution and the court of public opinion, which has already tried and convicted Etheridge for the murders.

By Stone, by Blade, by Fire – Travis Morgan’s case seems open-and-shut: a plot to kill his estranged father, fundamentalist preacher Arlie Morgan, goes awry and his bullet slays an innocent bookkeeper. Two eyewitnesses seal Travis’ fate. But despite damning evidence, Travis staunchly maintains his innocence. Beseeched by his anguished mother, veteran defense attorney Barbara Holloway agrees to represent Travis.

Mirror, Mirror – Chaos has descended on the Valducci family. Gina Valducci’s grandmother has died. Her death sets off a string of seemingly unrelated horrific murders. Gina’s colleague, Jeff, stands out as an obvious suspect, with plenty of motivation, opportunity, and means. Barbara Holloway accepts Jeff as her reluctant client.

What should you read if you like the Barbara Holloway novels?

If you like reading Kate Wilhelm’s Barbara Holloway stories, you may be interested in the Tom Reed and Walt Sydowski series, the Kate Shugak Investigations, the Ali Reynolds Series…

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