J. L. Greger’s Books

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Dirty Holy Water (Science Traveler) by J. L. Greger

In Dirty Holy Water, scientist Sara Almquist loses control of her life when she becomes the chief suspect in a bizarre murder case.

She’s frustrated by the slow progress of the investigations, which almost causes her to miss a romantic rendezvous at the Taj Mahal in India. More importantly, she has to reassess her friendships and recognize there’s a thin line between being a victim and being a villain.

Kirkus Review: A thought-provoking, disturbing, and engaging mystery with a likable, strong-willed female lead. Neither of us could put Dirty Holy Water down. A great read. Lee and Betty Higbie

From The Author: Water is considered holy in several major religions, but it is often disgustingly dirty. For example, the Ganges River and the River Jordan are two of the most polluted rivers in the world. Similarly, many seemingly pious people have a dark side.

In this novel, I try to explore the confusing intermingling of good and evil in a family as Sara Alqmquist tries to distinguish victims from villains.


  • Neither of us could put Dirty Holy Water down. A great read. Lee and Betty Higbie
  • A tightly plotted mystery. You will be hooked on the skill, brains, integrity, and argument of Sara Almquist (the protagonist). Sharon Moore, Author
  • The story moves at a brisk pace and lets you “see” the drama unfolding like you’re watching a film. Pat Smith Wood, author

Product Details:
Paperback: 212 Pages
Publisher: Bug Press (September 23, 2020)
Language: English
Global Library: Thrillers (Medical)
Global Library: Thrillers (Psychological)
Global Library: Women Sleuths
Global Library: Science Traveler

Amazon Print:


About J.L. Greger: J. L. Greger is a scientist turned novelist. She includes science and her travel experiences in her award-winning novels: The Flu is Coming, Murder: A Way to Lose Weight, Malignancy, and others.

J.L. Greger is a biology professor and research administrator from the University of Wisconsin-Madison turned novelist. She lives in New Mexico with Bug, the prototype for the dog of the same name in her mystery/thriller novels. Greger has Included tidbits on science, the American Southwest, and her international travel experiences in the eight novels of her Science Traveler series.

Is science a mystery to you? Does the COVID-19 pandemic make you want to learn a bit more about science, but you’re NOT a masochist and don’t want to read a dry text?

In my Science Traveler Series, you’ll see Sara Almquist apply her skills as a scientist to solve medical and criminal mysteries in New Mexico and worldwide. Why is a woman scientist my protagonist? I taught biology classes as the University of Wisconsin-Madison for over twenty years.

You’ll also meet the perfect gentleman in my books, Sara’s Japanese Chin dog – Bug. The character Bug is based on my own dog. As you read the books, you may think Sara has better taste in dogs than in men.

Here are key questions in my thrillers/mysteries:

A POUND OF FLESH, SORTA A pound of sheep guts contaminated with plague bacteria which causes plague is delivered to Sara’s home. Is it a threat by gang leaders to prevent Sara testifying at their racketeering trials or as a plea for help from an employee in a meat packing plant? (This thriller was a finalist for a 2020 book award. Book 7 in the series)

DIRTY HOLY WATER Sara learns what if feels like to be a suspect when a friend is murdered. Of course, she didn’t kill the woman, but can she prove it before she’s scheduled to take a romantic trip to India? (Book 8 in the series)

THE FLU IS COMING: Which is deadlier: a new form of flu which killed half or Sara’s neighbors in a walled community or a drug kingpin determined to break out of the quarantined enclave? (This medical mystery within a thriller was a finalist for a 2017 New Mexico/Arizona book award. Book 1 in the series)

MURDER…A WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT: Can Sara and her sister determine how a diet doctor in a medical center was poisoned before the killer strikes again? (This mystery was a finalist for a 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award and won the 2016 Public Safety Writers Association [PSWA] contest. Book 2 in the series)

IGNORE THE PAIN: Did Sara learn too much about the coca trade and too little about a sexy new colleague while on a public health assignment in Bolivia? (Book 3 in series)

MALIGNANCY: After being shot at twice in one day by gang members disguised as police, Sara accepts a risky assignment in Cuba. Was that a wise decision? (This thriller won the 2015 PSWA contest. Book 4 in the series)

I SAW YOU IN BEIRUT: Will Sara’s past provides clues to aid the extraction of a nuclear scientist from Iran? (Book 5 in the series)

RIDDLED WITH CLUES: Will tales about the Vietnam War from an undercover drug agent and messages from a homeless veteran save a woman? (This thriller was a finalist for a 2017 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award. Book 6 in the series.)

If you’d like less well-adjusted heroines, meet Dana Richardson in SHE DIDN’T KNOW HER PLACE. She battles inner demons as she learns the hard way what academics will do to protect their “kingdoms” at a state university in New England.

If you’re not in the mood for thriller or a mystery, why not read about families in THE GOOD OLD DAYS? or OTHER PEOPLE’S MOTHERS. (The second collection was a finalist for a 2017 NM/Arizona book award.) These stories aren’t memoirs but are based on real memories.

Published Books:

  • The Flu Is Coming (Science Traveler Series Book 1)
  • Murder…A Way To Lose Weight: A Medical Mystery (Science Traveler series Book 2)
  • Ignore The Pain (Science Travelers Book 3)
  • Malignancy (Science Traveler Book 4)
  • I Saw You In Beirut (Science Traveler Book 5)
  • She Didn’t Know Her Place
  • A Pound Of Flesh, Sorta (Science Traveler Book 7)
  • Dirty Holy Water (Science Traveler Book 8)
  • Other People’s Mothers: A Collection of Stories
  • Riddled With Clues

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