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(All three photos below should be credited, where possible, to Joe Henson Photography)
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Donna Andrews was born in Yorktown, Virginia and lives in Reston, Virginia. The Nightingale Before Christmas (October 2014) is the latest in her Agatha and Anthony winning Meg Langslow series, to be followed by The Lord of the Wings in August 2015. She blogs at http://femmesfatales.typepad.com/ . For more information: http://donnaandrews.com.
Free-form (quite a few words)
Like Meg Langslow, the ornamental blacksmith heroine of her series from St. Martin's Press, Donna Andrews was born and raised in Yorktown, Virginia. These days she spends almost as much time in cyberspace as Turing Hopper, the artificial intelligence who appears in her technocozy series from Berkley Prime Crime.
Although she read widely as a child, especially in fantasy and science fiction, her love of mystery developed during her college years (and particularly at exam time.) Andrews attended the University of Virginia, majoring in English and Drama with a concentration on writing. After graduation, she moved to the Washington, D.C. area and joined the communications staff of a large financial organization, where for two decades she honed her writing skills on nonfiction and developed a profound understanding of the criminal mind through her observation of interdepartmental politics.
In the fall of 1997 she started on the road to publication by submitting her first
completed mystery manuscript to the Malice Domestic/St. Martin's Press Best First
Traditional Mystery contest. Upon learning that Murder with Peacocks had won,
she acquired a copy of Peterson's Field Guide to Eastern Birds and settled
down to have fun in her fictional world for as long as she could get away with it.
Murder with Peacocks won the Agatha, Anthony, Barry, and Romantic Times awards for
best first novel and the Lefty award for the funniest mystery of 1999. Subsequent
books have also received Agatha and Lefty nominations, and Crouching Buzzard,
Leaping Loon won the Toby Bromberg Award for Excellence (presented by Romantic Times)
for the Most Humorous Mystery of 2003. Owl's Well That Ends Well (April 2005),
the sixth book in the series, features a murder at a giant yard sale.
No Nest for the Wicket (August 2006), the seventh book, explores eXtreme Croquet,
and in The Penguin Who Knew Too Much (August 2007),
Meg discovers penguins--and a body--in her basement. In Cockatiels at Seven, Meg must
solve a crime while encumbered with toddler. She must organize her county's
holiday parade and solve a related murder in Six Geese A-Slaying.
Swan for the Money, features competitive rose growing and belted Tennessee
Stork Raving Mad finds Meg solving the murder of a professor--while 8-1/2 months pregnant with twins In The Real Macaw, Meg finds the all of the inhabitants of the local animal shelter have been evacuated to her living, and helps her fellow townspeople figure out what to do with the bank repossesses their jail. In Some Like It Hawk , when eccentric hermit Phineas Throckmorton is accused of murder, everyone in the town of Caerphilly knows someone's framing him. But it's up to Meg to prove his innocence--and save the town from financial ruin. The Hen of the Baskervilles features a dastardly murder and the kidnapping of a prize chicken that threaten to ruin Caerphilly's fair. Duck the Halls features Christmas in Caerphilly, and a series of mysterious pranks that threatens to spill everyone's holiday. In The Good, the Bad, and the Emus, Meg tries to solve a long-standing mystery and prevent a new murder, while helping her grandfather round up a flock of feral emus. The Nightingale Before Christmas finds Meg helping her mother, who is one of twelve designers participating in a Christmas-themed show house--only to have one of the designers murdered. Next up is The Lord of the Wings, in which murder strikes during Caerphilly's Halloween festival.
Donna has also written four books in the Turing Hopper series, which was partly inspired by her experience serving as a translator between the marketing and systems departments at her day job. Andrews notes that in these books she seeks to use computers and other technology accurately without making the action incomprehensible for readers who prefer whodoneits to computer manuals. The first book in the series, You've Got Murder, won the Agatha award for best mystery of 2002, and was followed by Click Here for Murder, Access Denied, and Delete All Suspects.
A member of MWA, Sisters in Crime, and the Private Investigators and Security Association, Andrews spends her free time gardening, conquering the world (but only in Civiliation IV), and watching her twin nephews play baseball, basketball, and track.
For more information: http://donnaandrews.com.