Ann Roberts on the big mystery at the heart of the Ari Adams series

Who killed Richie Adams?

I’ve been waiting to answer that question since the beginning of the Ari Adams mystery series, but timing is everything. The seeds for Justice Calls were planted over a decade ago in the first Ari Adams mystery, Paid in Full. Ari knew her eight-year-old brother Richie was collateral damage during a convenience store holdup, but she knew little else. The killer escaped and Ari and her family struggled with loss throughout her youth—and the gaping hole Richie’s death left in their lives.



I had not determined the details of Richie’s murder at the beginning of the series, but each book added more texture and definition to Ari and her family—their dark side, their secrets, and the overwhelming guilt each one carried about Richie’s death. It would have been impossible for Ari to solve Richie’s murder early in the series because she wasn’t ready yet. She wasn’t a good enough amateur detective with the confidence necessary to balance her overwhelming feelings for her little brother and the logical search for clues and evidence that would reveal his killer.

And then…the cliffhanger-ending of A Secret to Tell.



Justice Calls, like all the books in the Ari Adams series, stands alone. Many readers have read the series out of order, but there is a definite setup between Secret and Justice, as the character of Richie is introduced through flashbacks in A Secret to Tell.

So, think of this as a pitch for two books, not one. If you haven’t yet read A Secret to Tell, I’d read it first. And to those of you who’ve followed the series religiously…here’s what you’ve been waiting for.

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