Category Archives: Phantom Instinct

A reminder: My books

IntoTheBlackNowhere    1121 UNSUB

phantom_instinct  Shadow    



Every now and then, readers ask how many books I’ve written, and what the titles are. Here’s the list as of February 2019. Into the Black Nowhere is the most recent. Click on each cover to learn more about each title.

And if you want to know the order in which they’ve been published, here you go. From first to fourteenth:

Evan Delaney novels:
China Lake
Mission Canyon
Jericho Point
Kill Chain

Jo Beckett novels:
The Dirty Secrets Club
The Memory Collector
The Liar’s Lullaby
The Nightmare Thief

Stand alone novels:
Ransom River
The Shadow Tracer
Phantom Instinct

UNSUB novels:
Into the Black Nowhere

Happy reading, y’all.

Get signed, personalized books for the 2017 holidays

1121 UNSUB
phantom_instinct  Shadow    

The holidays are coming up, and of course you’re contemplating giving books as gifts to everyone you know and love. Right?

If you’d like to get copies of my novels, you can now arrange for me to scribble in them, no matter how far away you live or whether you catch me in person when I have a pen in my hand. Thanks to my fantastic local bookstore, Book People in Austin, you can order signed, personalized copies of my novels. The store ships across the USA and internationally.

Book People doesn’t have a hard deadline for holiday shipping, but the sooner you order, the better.

UPDATE! Book People says:

To ensure orders make it somewhere in time for Christmas, we ask that they be placed before (not on) December 19th at the absolute latest. Making an order that late would require UPS shipping, our more expensive option, so customers looking to ship through USPS should place orders before the 12th to be sure they make it on time. UPS shipping typically takes 3 to 5 business days and USPS typically takes 5 to 10 business days.

If you’d like to order copies of my books and have me sign them, call (512) 472-5050 or CLICK HERE.

And once you order my books, you can keep on going and order books by other authors as well. Book People has a whole store full of them. What are you waiting for?

Goodreads discussion of Phantom Instinct


On Goodreads, the Crime Detective Mystery Thriller Group is going to discuss Phantom Instinct from July 20-Aug 20. I’ll be part of the discussion. If you’re on Goodreads, you can join the group and join the talk.

Readers can hit me with any questions about the book, or writing, or how I learned about handbrake turns for the scene where Harper Flynn teaches evasive driving in a Mini Cooper.

I’m looking forward to it. Hope to see you there.

Phantom Instinct: out in paperback in the USA


Hey, hey, USA… I almost forgot to tell you: my latest thriller, Phantom Instinct, is now out in paperback.

I think you’ll like it. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Don Winslow says: “It’s fast-paced, sharp, and unforgettable.”

So there you go.

This week: Santa Barbara Writers Conference. Bonus: Phantom Instinct paperbacks!


Stuff’s up this week. Booky, writery stuff.

First, I’m heading to California for one of the best writers’ conferences around:

Santa Barbara Writers Conference
Hyatt Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Wednesday, June 10 7:30-8:30pm: Guest Speaker
Thursday, June 11 4-5pm: Mystery Panel


Second, here’s a box of the books I’ve just received: the US paperback edition of Phantom Instinct. Which means it’s on the loose, running wild on the streets. Or at least in the bookstores. Go lasso yourselves some copies.

I hope I’ll see some of you in Santa Barbara.

Today: Dripping Springs Community Library


This afternoon I’ll be at the Dripping Springs Community Library, talking about writing and my novel Phantom Instinct. The event is free and everybody is welcome, so come on down.

Copies of my books will be available for sale, and all proceeds go to benefit the library.

Author Visit: Meg Gardiner 
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Dripping Springs Community Library
501 Sportsplex Dr.
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
(512) 858-7825

Sneak peek: Phantom Instinct paperback cover


My editor just sent me this to double check and approve. It’s the cover of the U.S. paperback edition of Phantom Instinct, coming in June.

Yes, I still get giddy seeing the covers of my books, even in PDF form.

Book giveaway featuring Phantom Instinct and novels by Heather Gudenkauf and Sandra Block


You like giveaways. You like the chance to win free books. I know you do. Here’s your chance.

Grand Central Publishing is giving away 10 signed copies of Sandra Block’s debut thriller Little Black Lies — AND Heather Gudenkauf’s Little Mercies AND my novel Phantom Instinct.

Little Black Lies is a darned good thriller. Heather Gudenkauf blurbed it, and so did I. Check out the quote on the book’s cover in the image above: “‘A darkly intriguing mystery that pulls you in deep and doesn’t let go.’ –Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award winning author.”

You can enter a random drawing to win autographed copies of all three books. You only have until this Friday, February 20th, at 11:59pm Eastern. Enter here.

Where I get my ideas, part infinity: the Mini

Meg & MINI

If anybody who’s read Phantom Instinct (or, as it’s called in the UK, The Burning Mind) wonders where heroine Harper Flynn got her love for the Mini Cooper she drives, here’s a clue.

To answer your questions:

  • It drives like a go kart. Yes, it’s economical, and can be parked in a space the size of a sofa. It’s fun.
  • I don’t have Harper’s advanced driving skills. Most of what she does in the book — evasive maneuvers, handbrake turns, donuts in an airplane hangar — I learned from online research, while sitting at my desk. So if you’re looking for a getaway driver, I’m not your woman.
  • Like Harper, I have taught a teenager to drive in a Mini. Granted, we didn’t do J turns while shouting profanities in Russian. But whipping along English country roads with a seventeen-year-old who made car chase sound effects every time we rounded a curve — that was fun, even at 30 mph.

This has been today’s look at the story behind the story.

And the real life seventeen-year-old passed his driving test in that Mini. Manual shift, first time.

The Burning Mind: Crime Review’s review

Linda Wilson of Britain’s Crime Review offers some thoughtful words about The Burning Mind (aka Phantom Instinct):


“The thing I like so much about MG Gardiner’s books is her ability to throw ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances and let them sink or swim. Or, in this case, do a lot of floundering in some very murky waters. Her characterisations is as good as ever, quickly bringing Harper, Aiden and Erika to life, and gradually peeling back some of the protective layers wrapped so tightly around Harper herself. […]

“The Burning Mind gets off to an explosive start and gradually gathers pace to a nail-biting climax that left me refusing to put the book down until I’d got to the end. Gardiner’s action scenes have everything: pace, clarity of description, excitement, sharp dialogue, originality and plenty of twists. If you’ve not read her thrillers before, this one will definitely leave you wanting more.”

Which makes me pretty damn happy.

The Burning Mind: UK audiobook edition

The Burning Mind_M. G. Gardiner - UK audio

I love seeing how various publishers design the covers for my novels. This is the UK audiobook edition of The Burning Mind (aka Phantom Instinct). It makes me wonder what Harper Flynn is pondering as she stares out over downtown Los Angeles. And how she gets her hair so straight and glossy.

This edition of the audiobook is narrated by the wonderful Laurence Bouvard. And it’s available now as either an audio download or an audio CD.

The Burning Mind: ideas and inspiration

If you want to know where I got some of the inspiration for The Burning Mind (aka Phantom Instinct), check out these interviews.BURNING MIND PIC


“The Burning Mind is about perception. A catastrophic shootout leaves two damaged survivors who must work together to stop a killer. Hunting him down, and coming out alive, depends on accurate perception—by the survivors, the cops, and the people the killer has in his sights. Because almost nobody believes he exists.

And things may literally not be what they seem.”

And over on, I talk about When Our Eyes Deceive Us.

Years ago, I stepped into a lift and came face to face with an old boyfriend. The door closed and an awkward moment worsened—he ignored me.

The rest of the interview is at the link.

The Burning Mind: out today in Britain


Hey there, Britain. My new novel The Burning Mind (aka Phantom Instinct) is published today in the UK. You know you want it. Go on. Go on, go on, go on.

The Burning Mind: reviews in Closer magazine and Crimetime

BURNING MIND PICThe Burning Mind (aka Phantom Instinct) will be published in the UK on Thursday. The first reviews from British publications have arrived, and I’m happy that they have nice things to say about the novel.

Closer magazine has chosen the book as one of its Hot Picks. It calls the book a “gripping psychological thriller” and says, “This suspense-filled book is a must-read.”

Crimetime says:

“In a previous incarnation (as Meg Gardiner), M.G. Gardiner was an author who had the absolute measure of the contemporary crime novel, in which plotting of tensile strength was matched to characterisation rich in nuance… if anything is new, it is, surprisingly, an even more assured sense of authority (recognised in a jacket encomium by Stephen King, who compares Gardiner to Lee Child and Michael Connelly)… As in the earlier The Shadow Tracer, there is a storytelling ethos at work here which fully justifies the oldest cliché in the reviewer’s lexicon: this one is unputdownable.”

Yeah. Happy, relieved, and thoroughly delighted.