About Susan

I grew up in a family that loved to tell stories, especially my father. When I was a teenager I knew I wanted to write, but I thought I'd write essays, think-pieces. In college I began writing short stories, and in my junior year I wrote a very bad novel. Even so, I was still sure writing was what I wanted to do. I've had various jobs over the years, to help pay the bills, but writing was always part of my work.

I began writing the Mellingham series featuring Chief Joe Silva in the 1990s. Murder in Mellingham (1993) introduces Chief Silva and the coastal village of Mellingham. In Last Call for Justice (2012), Joe confronts a long unsolved crime involving a member of his family. In the seventh book, Come About for Murder (2016), Joe teaches his stepson to sail, never suspecting the boy will soon be sailing to save his life.

I lived in India in 1976 and later in the 1980s, and out of that experience came the Anita Ray series featuring an Indian-American photographer living in South India at her aunt's tourist hotel. In the first book, Under the Eye of Kali (2010), a guest disappears and another falls unconscious. In The Wrath of Shiva (2012) and For the Love of Parvati (2014) Anita solves crimes among her extended family. When Krishna Calls (2016) finds Anita and Auntie Meena facing the loss of their hotel and everything they care about. Anita also appears in a number of short stories, which you can find listed on a separate page (Stories).

The community of West Woodbury is the location for a series of short stories featuring the men and women in the region of small farms and forgotten corners of rural America that is one part of the Pioneer Valley. My parents owned a dairy farm in the 1930s and 1940s, and in their later years bought a small farm and rented the fields to a local farmer. Most of my mother's family, for at least 200 years, lived on farms. Farming and farmers have long been part of my world, but I never thought I'd write about them until recently.

My short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and numerous anthologies. In 1988 I co-founded Level Best Books, which publishes an annual anthology of the best New England crime fiction. In addition, I published A Reader's Guide to the Classic British Mystery (G.K. Hall, 1988), and served as co-editor for The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing (Oxford, 1999).

One of my side interests is photography, and I hope you enjoy the photographs I've included on this website, especially those from India.

Before I entered into a life of crime, I studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where I received a PhD in Asian studies.

You can reach me by going here.