Jenny Gordon & C.J. Gunn

Created by Jan Grape

Originally from Houston, private eye JENNY GORDON and her partner and pal C.J. GUNN (also known as “Cinnamon”) are more than just a “coupla good ol’ girls.” They’re also one of the few female duos in the genre in the nineties, appearing in a string of strong and always-entertaining short stories sprinkled throughout various anthologies.

Jenny and C.J. now work the mean streets of Austin, Texas, a move that followed that of their creator. “When I moved to Austin… I just moved Jenny and C.J. to Austin, as well, and nobody ever said a word about it,” confesses the author.


Long a fan favourite, Jan’s a big P.I. buff and has served as vice-president of The Private Eye Writers of America, as well as editing that organization’s newsletter, Reflections in a Private Eye for several years. She’s also the co-editor of Deadly Women. And, after slugging it out in the trenches for so long, it’s nice to see her nominated for a Shamus (and an Anthony) for Best Short Story, for 1997’s “A Front Row Seat.”

Jan’s was also the co-proprietor, along with her husband, Elmer, of a mystery bookstore, Mysteries & More, in Austin, Texas. Fans waited impatiently for a long-promised full-length Jenny and C.J. novel, tentatively titled Death Strikes, which had a pro-bowling background, but sadly it hasn’t materialized yet, despite the author’s claims that she wanted to strike while the “Grape name is HOT!” Still, she has managed to crank out a couple of novels featuring Austin police officer Zoe Barrow and a 2010 standalone, What Doesn’t Kill You.


  • “Kiss or Kill” (Detective Story Magazine, #4; editor Gary Lovisi chose it as the cover story)
  • “Whatever Has to Be Done” (1992, Deadly Allies)
  • “Neutral About Cats” (1992, Cat Crimes III)
  • “Scarlett Fever” (1994, Deadly Allies II)
  • “No Simple Solution” (1994, Partners in Crime)
  • “A One-Day Job” (1996, Lethal Ladies)
  • “A Front Row Seat” (1997, Vengeance is Hers)
  • “Funny How Deceiving Looks Can Be (1998, Lethal Ladies II)
  • “Kittens Take Detection 101” (1998, Midnight Louie’s Book of Pet Detectives)


  • Found Dead in Texas (2002) | Buy this book
    Eight short stories, including five featuring Jenny & C.J.



  • May 18, 2023
    The Bottom Line: A coupla good ol’ girl private eyes, served up Texas-style, in a string of strong and always entertaining short stories, by author, bookseller and P.I. superfan Jan Grape.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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