Carmine Delmonico Books in Order: How to read Colleen McCullough’s series?

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Written by Australian author Colleen McCullough (1937–2015), author of “The Thorn Birds” and the Masters of Rome series, the Carmine Delmonico series is a set of mystery novels set in the fictional town of Holloman, Connecticut, during the 1960s. The story primarily revolves around the investigations of police detective Carmine Delmonico as he tackles various criminal cases in the small town.

How to read the Carmine Delmonico Series in Order?

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

  1. On, Off (2005) – In Holloman, Connecticut, someone is preying on the innocent. At a prestigious research centre fondly known by its staff as the ‘Hug’, parts of a mutilated body are found. Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico of the Holloman Police learns that a string of horrifying murders – each with the same modus operandi as the one at the Hug – have been committed throughout the state. When another body is found, the medical staff become prime suspects.
  2. Too Many Murders (2009) – The year is 1967 and the world teeters on the brink of nuclear holocaust as the Cold War goes relentlessly on. On a beautiful spring day in the little city of Holloman, Connecticut, chief of detectives Carmine Delmonico walks into the prestigious Chubb University halls to be greeted by a limp corpse clamped in a bear trap, all traces of life drained from it. And this is just the beginning. Twelve murders have taken place in one day and suddenly Carmine has more pressing matters on his hands than finding a name for his newborn son.
  3. Naked Cruelty (2010) – America in 1968 is in turmoil and the leafy Holloman suburb of Carew is being silently terrorised by a series of vicious and systematic rapes. When finally one victim finds the courage to speak out and go to the police, the rapist escalates to murder. For Captain Carmine Delmonico, it seems to be a case with no clues. And it comes as the Holloman Police Department is troubled: a lieutenant is out of his depth, a sergeant is out of control, and into this mix comes the beautiful, ruthlessly ambitious new trainee, Helen MacIntosh, daughter of the influential president of Chubb University.
  1. The Prodigal Son (2012) – 1969. A lethal toxin, extracted from the blowfish, is stolen from a laboratory at Chubb University. It kills within minutes and leaves no trace behind. Captain Carmine Delmonico is therefore quick off the mark when the bodies start to mount up. A sudden death at a dinner party followed by another at a gala black-tie event seems at first to be linked only by the poison and the presence of Dr. Jim Hunter. A black man married to a white woman, Dr. Hunter has faced scandal and prejudice for most of his life, so what would cause him to risk it all now? Or is he being framed for murder—and if so, by whom? Carmine and his detectives must follow the trail through the university town’s crowd of eccentrics, no matter how close to home it may lead.
  2. Sins of the Flesh (2013) – August 1969. Two anonymous male corpses are discovered in the sleepy college town of Holloman, Connecticut. After connecting the emaciated bodies to four other victims, the police realize that Holloman has a psychopathic killer on the loose. Captain Carmine Delmonico’s team begins to circle a trio of eccentrics who share family ties, painful memories, and a dark past. Things become even murkier when one of them turns out to be a friend of Sergeant Delia Carstairs. Delia has also recently befriended the head of the local mental hospital, who has been trying to rehabilitate a very difficult patient.

If you like the Carmine Delmonico reading order, you may also want to see our guide to Val McDermid’s book series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.

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