How do you…?

Stop right there. This is, hands-down, the most-asked question I get. Although I’m three-quarters Irish, my last name is French. It’s pronounced “less-kwah” (the opposite of more-kwah) and, of course, was my father’s last name.


In what order were your books published?

You can check the Books page or: Sunburn (1981), Son of Holmes (1986), and Rasputin’s Revenge (1987). The Dismas Hardy group of books began with Dead Irish (1989), and continued with The Vig (1990), Hard Evidence (1993), The 13th Juror (1994), A Certain Justice (1995), Guilt (1997), The Mercy Rule (1998), Nothing But the Truth (1999), The Hearing (2001), The Oath (2002), The First Law (2003), The Second Chair (2004), The Motive (2005), The Hunt Club (2006), The Suspect (2007), Betrayal (2008), Treasure Hunt (2009), Damage (2010), The Hunter (2011), The Ophelia Cut (2014), The Keeper (2014), The Fall (2015), Fatal (2017), Poison (2018), and The Rule of Law (2019).


Why do I feel like I read A Certain Justice and Guilt out of order, even though by looking at the published date I can see that I didn’t?

I wrote A Certain Justice first and in the course of writing it came up with Wes Farrell’s account of this trial he’d done that made him lose faith in the law. So when I finished that book, I decided to go both backwards and forwards and tell the whole story of Mark Dooher in Guilt. In a real sense, Guilt is both a prequel and sequel to A Certain Justice. The events of A Certain Justice happen chronologically between Parts IV and V of Guilt.


In what countries are your books published?

John’s bestselling books are printed in 16 languages and published in more than 75 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, South America, Sweden, Turkey, United States and United Kingdom.


Where did you go to law school?

I didn’t. I graduated from Cal Berkeley with a degree in English Literature. I get my legal whatever-it-is from practicing lawyers, most notably my great friend Al Giannini, whom I’ve known since we were fourteen years old, and who has been a violent crimes prosecutor in the Bay Area for years.


I heard you are also a musician. What’s up with that? Are you still making music?

As a matter of fact, music is still a big part of my life, so much so that about five years ago I formed a record label, CrowArt Records. The first project on CrowArt Records was a CD of original piano solos, the melodies written by me and performed by master pianist (regularly working at the Bel Air Hotel) Antonio Castillo de la Gala, entitled Date Night. Fans of Dismas Hardy will know that Diz and Frannie set aside every Wednesday night for some time alone together—it’s their date night. And this CD celebrates the elegance and romance of San Francisco at the turn of the millennium. There are now several CDs available from CrowArt Records, the most recent being “Whiskey and Roses” which, as the name more or less implies, is a bunch of original country and western tunes, produced by Doug Chancellor, me, and Richard Montgomery (former guitarist for the David Grisman quintet). This CD features my “roots” pretty prominently, with a lot of songs from the Johnny Capo era and several new ones as well. I invite you to give a listen to tracks from this CD as well as all of the others (including the mind-blowing saxophonist Heath Walton) on the music side of my website. I hope you find there’s a lot to like.


Where does the name “Dismas” come from?

I was raised Roman Catholic. In the pantheon of saints in that religion, Saint Dismas is the “good thief” on Calvary, who was crucified next to Jesus. He is the patron saint of thieves and murderers.


Do you ever share recipes for food cooked by characters in the books?

Yes! There is now a recipe section on the site! Some of Dismas’s magical black frying pan recipes will be coming soon… For now, Andrea’s Peasant-Style Spaghetti Carbonara from The Hunt Club is online. Check back… there’s more to come!