Charlotte Elkins

Last updated
Charlotte Elkins
Born (1948-07-04) July 4, 1948 (age 72)
Houston, Texas
Pen nameEmily Spenser
LanguageEnglish
NationalityAmerican
EducationBA Cal State Hayward; MLS San Jose State
GenreMystery
Spouse Aaron Elkins
Website
www.aaronelkins.com

Charlotte Elkins (born July 4, 1948) is an American author who teamed with her husband, writer Aaron Elkins, to write a series of mystery novels about Lee Ofsted, a struggling female professional golfer.

Contents

Background

Elkins was born in Houston, Texas, but her father was an itinerant carpenter and the family moved frequently, living mostly in the southwest and Southern California. After graduating from Orange High School in 1966 she worked her way through college getting her B.A. in art in 1972 and a secondary teaching credential in 1974 from California State University, Hayward, and a M.L.S. in 1979 from San Jose State University.

She married Aaron Elkins December 29, 1972. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was a self-employed artist, secondary school teacher, and the librarian of American art at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco, CA in 1980/81.

Writing career

Elkins started her career in 1981 writing five mass-market romance novels for Mills & Boon/Harlequin under the pseudonym Emily Spenser, which were translated and sold in over a dozen countries. But she had always wanted to collaborate on a mystery with her husband, an established mystery writer. At first she had difficulty creating a character they would both find engaging. The inspiration came by chance. They were living near an American Air Force base in Germany while Aaron was teaching in the University of Maryland's overseas program for the American military, when they had an opportunity to take golfing lessons on the base. Charlotte, who loved the golf-themed stories by P.G. Wodehouse, suddenly realized a novice pro golfer would make an interesting protagonist in an amateur detective novel and Lee Ofsted was born.

A Wicked Slice was published in 1989, Publishers Weekly called it an "engagingly humorous thriller." Encouraged, over the years the Elkins wrote four more Lee Ofsteds: Rotten Lies (1995), Nasty Breaks (1997), Where have all the Birdies Gone? (2004), and On the Fringe (2005). In between they wrote short stories, one of which, "Nice Gorilla," won the Agatha Award for best short story of the year in 1992. In 1996, they co-authored the "Cumberland Cup Mystery Game," the first plot for Time Warner Electronic Publishing's Modus Operandi.

Related Research Articles

Historical mystery

The historical mystery or historical whodunit is a subgenre of two literary genres, historical fiction and mystery fiction. These works are set in a time period considered historical from the author's perspective, and the central plot involves the solving of a mystery or crime. Though works combining these genres have existed since at least the early 20th century, many credit Ellis Peters's Cadfael Chronicles (1977–1994) for popularizing what would become known as the historical mystery. The increasing popularity and prevalence of this type of fiction in subsequent decades has spawned a distinct subgenre recognized by the publishing industry and libraries. Publishers Weekly noted in 2010 of the genre, "The past decade has seen an explosion in both quantity and quality. Never before have so many historical mysteries been published, by so many gifted writers, and covering such a wide range of times and places." Editor Keith Kahla concurs, "From a small group of writers with a very specialized audience, the historical mystery has become a critically acclaimed, award-winning genre with a toehold on the New York Times bestseller list."

P. D. James English crime writer

Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park,, known professionally as P. D. James, was an English crime writer. She rose to fame for her series of detective novels featuring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh.

Ngaio Marsh NZ crime writer and theatre director

Dame Edith Ngaio Marsh was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1966.

Mary Stewart (novelist) British novelist

Mary, Lady Stewart was a British novelist who developed the romantic mystery genre, featuring smart, adventurous heroines who could hold their own in dangerous situations. She also wrote children's books and poetry, but may be best known for her Merlin series, which straddles the boundary between the historical novel and fantasy.

<i>The Mysterious Affair at Styles</i> 1920 Poirot novel by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by British writer Agatha Christie. It was written in the middle of the First World War, in 1916, and first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920 and in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head on 21 January 1921.

Sue Grafton American writer

Sue Taylor Grafton was an American author of detective novels. She is best known as the author of the "alphabet series" featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. The daughter of detective novelist C. W. Grafton, she said the strongest influence on her crime novels was author Ross Macdonald. Before her success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies.

Susan Elizabeth George is an American writer of mystery novels set in Great Britain.

Linda Barnes is an American mystery writer.

Agatha Award

The Agatha Awards, named for Agatha Christie, are literary awards for mystery and crime writers who write in the cozy mystery subgenre. At an annual convention in Washington, D.C., the Agatha Awards are handed out by Malice Domestic Ltd, in six categories: Best Novel; Best First Mystery; Best Historical Novel; Best Short Story; Best Non-Fiction; Best Children's/Young Adult Mystery. Additionally, in some years the Poirot Award is presented to honor individuals other than writers who have made outstanding contributions to the mystery genre, but it is not an annual award.

Tess Gerritsen

Tess Gerritsen is the pseudonym of Terry Gerritsen, an American novelist and retired physician.

Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.

Aaron Elkins American mystery writer

Aaron Elkins is an American mystery writer. He is best known for his series of novels featuring forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver—the 'skeleton detective'.

Cozy mysteries, also referred to as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence occur off stage, the detective is an amateur sleuth, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Cozies thus stand in contrast to hardboiled fiction, which features violence and sexuality more explicitly and centrally to the plot. The term "cozy" was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

Bob Lampert

Bob Lampert is an American photographer who also works with film, digital or video cameras. Lampert first started winning awards for his photography as a young San Diego teenager when he won a prized Kodak photographic award. His passion for photography led him to a photographic career which has spanned over 50 years; winning two Emmy's (1982–1987) and four Golden Mike Awards, a Sigma Delta Chi Award in Journalism and a State Bar of California Award for Administration of Justice reporting. In addition, Lampert's still photography has been published in Time and Life Magazines, as well as California and Washington newspapers.

Eleanor Taylor Bland was an African-American writer of crime fiction. She was the creator of Lincoln Prairie, Illinois police detective Marti McAllister.

Paula Huston is an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and creative nonfiction writer.

<i>Mrs. Ted Bliss</i> Novel by Stanley Elkin

Mrs. Ted Bliss is a 1995 novel by American author Stanley Elkin, published by Hyperion Books. It concerns the last eventful years in the life of an old widow. Elkin won the 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award in the fiction category for this work.

<i>Aunty Lees Delights</i>

Aunty Lee's Delights: A Singaporean Mystery is the first detective fiction novel in the Aunty Lee Series by Ovidia Yu. It was published in September 2013 by William Morrow and Company.

Emma Redington Thayer was an American artist and author of mystery novels.

References