One of my favourite crime thriller/police procedural series is The Tracy Crosswhite series. I did not know about these short stories, until I saw reviews posted on a few blogs I follow. I immediately downloaded all three of them from Kindle Unlimited and recently read all three of them, before reading In Her Tracks, #8 in the series. I don’t think I have ever given a short story 5 stars, but these were so well written, and definitely leave the reader wanting to dive into the series, if you haven’t already.

The Academy (Tracy Crosswhite #0.25) by Robert Dugoni

Published September 9th 2014 by Thomas & Mercer

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Academy introduces readers to Tracy when she begins her career in law enforcement. She has applied to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) when it is very much a boy’s club. The detectives going over the applications are directed to find some women who should be considered and enrolled in the Police Academy. Johnny Nolasco is a misogynistic bigot, who reluctantly agrees that Tracy is a possible candidate, but he has no intention in letting any females pass if he can help it, and being an instructor, he can make it difficult.

This is a short story, but definitely gives us insight into Tracy. She is one strong, independent woman who is not going to let someone like Nolasco get in her way. She is also extremely supportive of other women in the same position and is instrumental in helping another woman in her class who is sexually harassed by Nolasco. A quick read with an awesome twist and a great introduction to Tracy Crosswhite.

Third Watch (Tracy Crosswhite #0.5) by Robert Dugoni

Published August 16th 2015 by Thomas & Mercer

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Third Watch is another short story, a prequel to the Tracy Crosswhite series. Tracy has made it through the police academy and is working as a patrol office on the third watch. Her goal is to eventually make it to detective on homicide, but is being blocked at every turn. She doesn’t complain, she doesn’t file discrimination charges, she just plugs away doing her job. Reporter Tevia Kushman is shadowing Tracy on a ride along seeking to follow, ordered by the brass. She is working on a follow-up to a recent exposé about the Seattle PD’s treatment of female cops. Tevia is hoping for a juicy scoop on the gender politics of the PD, but she will get a scoop she wasn’t planning on. When Tracy attends a call where it seems a domestic has turned into a hostage situation, there is no one around for backup as there has been a serious accident elsewhere. Tracy becomes a hostage negotiator, but her mike is open and every step she takes, every comment she makes is heard.

Tracy is such a great cop, it is no wonder she makes a great detective. I love this series, and although this is a very short story, it was wonderful to learn how she earned her first medal. This story shows us how the politics and gender bias of the police can effect someone’s actions, as well as how it can be used to push good people to work harder. I enjoyed this story and it was great to see how Tracy deals with people, making her great at her job.

The Last Line (Tracy Crosswhite #8.5) by Robert Dugoni

Published October 21st 2021 by Amazon Original Stories

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Delmo (Del) Castigliano has recently been hired as a homicide detective by the Seattle Police Department (SPD). He left Madison, Wisconsin after being dumped by his fiance and knowing that it would be awhile before he would be made detective there. He is assigned to work with Moss Gunderson, investigating two bodies that had washed up in the local marina. Gunderson makes him the lead on the case, which immediately arouses suspicion, especially as he begins his investigation. What he finds out is that something is fishy in the SPD and he might be putting his new career on the line as the case moves forward.

This is 8.5 in the series, but is actually another prequel, this time introducing us to Del Catigliano, a regular in the Tracy Crosswhite series. This was another short story that hooked me from the beginning. This is the only one, that left me wanting more as there is a cliff hanger type ending. I read the first few books several years ago, so will have to check back to see how this case impacted both Del and the SPD. I loved how the title relates to the story, as the plot unfolds. Once again, even though it is 8.5 in the series, I recommend you read this one before starting the series, if possible.