Crime / Thriller

P.J. TRACY was the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their eight novels, Monkeewrench, Live Bait, Dead Run, Snow Blind, Shoot To Thrill, Off The Grid, The Sixth Idea, and Nothing Stays Buried have become national and international bestsellers. The Guilty Dead, the ninth installment of the Monkeewrench series, will be released in the US and the UK in fall of 2018. PJ was a long-time resident of Minnesota until her death in December 2016.  Traci remains in rural Minnesota, just outside Minneapolis, and continues writing about the Monkeewrench gang.

To learn more about P.J. Tracy:


Monkeewrench (2003)

Live Bait (2004)

Dead Run (2005)

Snowblind (2006)

Shoot to Thrill (2010)

Off the Grid (2012)

The Sixth Idea (2016)

Nothing Stays Buried (2017)

Biggest literary influencers on your work:
Steinbeck, Twain, Poe, twentieth century crime fiction, nineteenth century Russian literature, 1970’s horror…I guess I’ve been influenced by almost everything I’ve ever read.

Last book read and why:
Lies by Helen Callaghan. I was given an advance reader copy and whipped through it in a day. It’s a fantastic book.

The book that changed your life and why:
The Catcher in the Rye. I was quite young when I read it, and I was enthralled by the juxtaposition of gravity and levity; that such a dark book could also possess laugh-out-loud moments. It was definitely a surprise ending for me.

Currently working on:
The tenth installment of the Monkeewrench series, tentatively entitled The Dead City.

Words to live by:
Live everyday like it’s your last, because it might be. Every moment is precious.

Advice to new and inspiring authors:
No book is ever finished or perfect, but work toward those goals and you’ll get close. Listen to criticism and never stop learning or challenging yourself.

Coverage Of The Author:

Twin Cities Book Review



The thriller debut of the year.”

– Harlan Coben 

“PJ Tracy makes me jealous.”

– Robert B. Parker

“A killer read in every way…With its menacing suspense, snappy dialogue and techno edge, Monkeewrench moves at hyperspeed. Bottom line: Thriller fans will go ape.”

 – PEOPLE (critic’s choice)

“…With generous doses of humor and suspense, this sharp, satisfying thriller will rivet readers from the start.”

 – Publishers Weekly (starred review of Live Bait)

“If you haven’t been introduced to the Monkeewrench gang…you are missing out on complex characters, witty repartee, and exciting thrills…Skillfully incorporates a diverse array of elements…while keeping the thrill level high and the writing sharp and frequently funny…Top notch.”

– Library Journal

“A strong new voice in the thriller genre.”

– USA Today

“A chilling premise, a supremely appealing cast of characters, and dialogue that is brisk, witty, and authentic. Humor and humanity mix in this top—notch mystery…”

 – Kirkus Reviews