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A Note from Kay:

The first books in the Bishop/SCU series were published back in 2000, and readers have asked me whether these stories are taking place in "real" time and if, at this point, more than seventeen years have passed in the series. The answer is no. Once it became clear the series would be a long-running one, I chose to use "story time" in order to avoid having my characters age too quickly. Roughly speaking, each trilogy takes place within a year or a bit less.

So, from an arbitrary start date, and counting the third book in the series, Out of the Shadows, as the first book in which the Special Crimes Unit is officially introduced, the timeline looks something like this:

Stealing Shadows February
Hiding in the Shadows October/November

Year One:
Out of the Shadows January (SCU formally introduced)
Touching Evil November

Year Two:
Whisper of Evil March
Sense of Evil June
Hunting Fear September

Year Three:
Chill of Fear April
Sleeping with Fear July
Blood Dreams October

Year Four:
Blood Sins January
Blood Ties April
Haven July
Hostage October

Year Five:
Haunted February
Fear the Dark May
Wait for Dark August
Hold Back the Dark October

So, with the publication of Hold Back the Dark, the Special Crimes Unit has been a functional (and growing) unit of agents for about five years. Time to have grown from being known within the FBI as the "Spooky Crimes Unit" to becoming a well- respected unit with an excellent record of solved cases. A unit which has, moreover, earned respect in various law enforcement agencies, word quietly passed from this sheriff to that chief of police that they excel at solving crimes that are anything but normal using methods and abilities that are unique to each agent, and that they neither seek nor want media attention.

An asset to any level of law enforcement, they do their jobs with little fanfare and never ride roughshod over locals, both traits very much appreciated, especially by small-town cops and citizens wary of outsiders. They regard both skepticism and interest with equal calm, treating their abilities as merely tools with which to do their jobs, and their very matter- of-factness helps normally hard-nosed cops accept, if not understand, at least something of the paranormal.


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