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Last Updated onThe Joe Ide IQ series has become quite popular with the fans of crime mystery genre, even though the series is so far quite short (only 3 books published to date). Still, the Japanese American author has gained quite a following with his unlicensed and underground detective, Isaiah Quintabe, also known as IQ to the locals, who goes on solving cases.
Here are the Joe Ide books in order for his popular series. The list will grow as the author releases more books.
New Joe Ide Books
IQ Series in Order
Joe Ide Biography
Joe Ide is a Japanese-American author born in 1948 in Los Angeles. He grew up in the South of the city, a poverty-stricken area where the majority of the population was black, and crime was an everyday occurrence. His family was also poor. His mom was a secretary and his dad worked at a community center. Still, money was very scarce.
Joe grew up with reading the Sherlock Holmes series by A. C. Doyle, and his love of reading never left him in life. He attended university where he got a master’s degree in education. However, school has never interested him particularly. A restless kid, he was always bored in class.
Before he became a writer, Joe Ide held several jobs, with the first one being a teacher for grades four to six, when he realized that teaching kids was not something of interest to him. He left his job after one semester only, following which he got several other teaching jobs, including a lecturer at the same university where he got his degree. But he didn’t like that either. He then also worked as a human resource manager at a company, a position he hated as well.
Next, he began writing screenplays which his agent would always send back with various notes of “this is very bad.” Still, he kept at writing screenplays, and the thirteenth one, titled Lawfully Wedded Wife, was a charm as he could sell it to Disney. He remained a screenplay author for 7 to 8 years until he literally got sick of doing it. After leaving that job, he took a 2-year sabbatical while he traveled and just got over his work depression until he decided to give writing books a chance.
He knew Los Angeles best, and he also loved Sherlock Holmes, so in IQ, his debut novel, he put all his knowledge and love to good use. So Isaiah Quintabe, a young African-American genius was born. A guy who ended up solving problems and mysteries in his East Long Beach neighborhood.
Before finishing the book, however, Joe Ide read several books on writing, including The Elements of Style, and worked on his manuscript for two years to polish it.
The third book in the Isaiah Quintabe series, Wrecked, has been released in 2018, and the fourth book has been published in 2020 with the title Hi Five. His IQ series has been picked up as a cable series for which he categorically won’t write the TV script.
The Joe Ide books have won the Anthony Award for Best Debut, the Shamus Award for best first P.I. novel, as well as the Macavity Award for Best First Novel. The author was also shortlisted for the 2017 Edgar Award and Strand Critics Award.
When he is not writing, Joe Ide is ice fishing, even though he himself mentioned that he is not good at it at all. But this gives him the chance to be alone in and with nature without any phones nearby.
Who is IQ?
Isaiah Quintabe is the main character in the IQ series and is quite a genius. His brain is years ahead of his peers. He is a 25-year-old African-American high-school dropout living in a very tough area in Long Beach who works for his poor neighbors who can’t take their problems to the police due to various reasons. It seems Isaiah Quintable is on the autism spectrum, socially awkward, and he has trouble figuring out other people’s emotions.
He doesn’t start out as an accredited PI, so he charges people only what they can each afford to give him. Often that means he is paid in goods rather than money (a free oil change, a pie, or a live rooster, who will actually feature in the books as IQ’s alarm clock).
The author infused IQ’s brain cells with all that genius based on his own love for all things Sherlock Holmes. In an interview, he mentioned that back in the day he had read all available Sherlock Holmes books, so it’s natural that IQ has somehow inherited a bit of that love of the intellectual, brainiac analyst.
Isaiah Quintabe a longer, very calm and collected person, a cool and inward one who doesn’t break easily. He is good at many things, and bravery is something natural to him. Albeit, he is not courageous with guns but with his wits and intellect. He is always the smartest and most intelligent person in any room he enters, but usually nobody knows that apart from him.
In his quest to help his neighbors and friends, Isaiah is emotionally driven. He is not just doing the job for the money. He actually cares and feels. A lot. His past is very dark, he has hurt many people over the years in what he considers unforgivable sins, so by helping others he seeks redemption, penance for his deeds.
In Hi Five, Isaiah Quintabe is trying to rebuild his life after the adventure he had with ex-Abu Ghraib thugs and is trying to rebuild it with the help of his girlfriend, Grace. Still, trouble comes looking for him even when he doesn’t search for any himself.
Praise for Joe Ide Books
The Holmes of the 21st century (Daily Mail)
Joe Ide is the best new discovery I’ve come across in a long time. And Isaiah Quintabe is the kind of sleuth not seen on the mystery landscape before. (Michael Connelly)
Joe Ide’s “IQ” is a wondrous double-helix of mean-street savvy entwined with classical detection, like Conan Doyle as channeled through Martin Scorsese. It’s a terrific book. (Stephen Hunter)
Joe Ide is the best new writer I’ve encountered in recent years. IQ is a terrific book with an unexpected story, whose lead character has great potential for a series. (John Sandford)
Joe Ide has got all the pre-requisites of a great mystery writer: an acerbic wit, a craftsman’s mastery of pace, and a clear-eyed but big-hearted view of humankind. His humble and low-key hero, a P.I. named IQ, is a joy to spend time with, and once you’ve hung out in this Los Angeles of two-bit thugs, half-baked capers, and big scary dogs, you’ll be as excited as I am for a sequel. (Ben Winters)