Gregor was born and raised on Cavanaugh Street in Philadelphia when it was the heart of the Armenian-American community. Gregor began his move away from Cavanaugh Street with a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania, a degree in accountancy, and a stint as an FBI agent. During his time with the bureau he remained in Washington, DC at headquarters where he came to the attention of J. Edgar Hoover. Gregor was a profiler before the specialty exited and he began the Behavior Analysis Unit with Hoover’s blessings. Gregor married his childhood sweetheart from the old neighborhood but neither had found the time or the need to return until Elizabeth was dying and both decided to go home.
But home isn’t what it used to be. The tenements are gone and the old buildings that featured many small, cramped apartments per floor are now bright and airy individual residences sold as condominiums. When the reader meets Gregor in the first book, NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING, he has adjusted to the new Cavanaugh Street and he has become friends with Father Tibor Kasparian, the leader of the local Armenian-orthodox church. Gregor has also started somewhat of a cottage industry. The man who created the behavioral sciences department is not going to slip into retirement. After Elizabeth’s death, Gregor finds himself with many loose ends and many friends who want to tie them up.
Gregor gets re-involved in his previous professional life when he is asked to come to the estate of the very wealthy Robert Hannaford. Gregor would like to refuse but Hannaford blackmails him by offering a $100,ooo.00 gift to Father Tibor’s church. But Hannaford is dead when Gregor arrives and one of the suspects is fantasy author, Bennis Hannaford, Robert’s daughter. Bennis becomes the second of the two primary characters in the series. She moves to Cavanaugh Street and finds the community she has always wanted.
In BLOOD IN THE WATER, Gregor is asked to look into two deaths in the exclusive gated community of Walnut Pines. Martha Heydrich is rich and bored and rumored to be engaged in an affair with Michael Platte, nineteen. One evening, Arthur Heydrich comes home to find his pool house on fire. One of the bodies found is that of Michael Platte. The other body is burned beyond recognition. Martha has disappeared and it is assumed that her’s is the second body. Arthur is arrested immediately. DNA tests change everyone’s thinking. The second body is male, too. Having no idea of the identity of the second body, the police have no idea about motive or suspects. Gregor is asked by the Philadelphia police to conduct his own investigation.
It isn’t necessary to read the series in order although there is character development over the course of the books that is more interesting if the reader can watch the characters change. Every book is enjoyable. There is no violence on the page and, because the investigations are conducted by an FBI expert, the solutions are reasonable. These don’t fall into the category of cozy but they don’t carry any graphic violence either.