St. Augustine author releases fourth murder-mystery novel


St. Augustine author John J. Jessop is releasing his fourth book, “A Fishy Tale,” part of a medical mystery series.

Jessop has worked in pharmaceutical and medical biotechnology development. An avid reader of mysteries, in retirement he has redirected his knowledge and experience toward writing “the perfect murder mystery with a twist.”

The medical mystery series examines the humorous side of what can go wrong with medical biotech when scientists tamper with DNA, immune system and cells.

“It’s all about creativity and imagination,” said Jessop. “I started my career as a scientist (pharmacologist) doing basic medical research. In that profession you use your knowledge, creativity and imagination to design experiments to answer a specific question. Each experiment comes from your mind, you are the only one in the entire world doing that experiment the way you planned it, so it’s pure creativity, which really gets my juices flowing.

“Writing fiction is similar in that it is very creative. The stories and characters come from your imagination only, and anything you create in your own mind you can put down on paper and into a book.”

The first book in his medical murder mystery series, “Pleasuria: Take As Directed,” set in the pharmaceutical industry, is published by Koehler Books.

His second book in this series, “Murder By Road Trip,” launched in November 2020. He co-wrote the book with his daughter. It is very loosely based on a 7,600-mile cross-country road trip they took together in 2016.

Jessop’s third book in the series, “The Realtor’s Curse,” is based in St. Augustine. He won first place in the mystery and humor categories at the Firebird Book Awards in 2022. In this one, the book characters buy a beachfront condo and end up investigating multiple murders and chasing a killer around St. Augustine.

“I chose murder mysteries because I have been an avid reader of the genre my entire life,” Jessop said. “I love to try to figure out whodunnit before the author’s reveal in the book. I settled on humorous murder mysteries for now because, while I wanted to provide readers with an intriguing mystery, we all need a good laugh with the world being such a mess. Studies have shown that laughter really is the best medicine. I have also incorporated a little bit of pharmacology into the plot of each book to make each story unique.”

Learn more about John J. Jessop’s book at His books can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ordered in bookstores everywhere.