Monday, December 24, 2018


Jane Langton has always been one of my favorite writers. Jane was a frequent contributor to Mystery Readers Journal and did at least one cover drawing for the Journal. This is such sad news.

From Mystery Writers of America:

It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of Jane Langton, a 2017 Grand Master, on December 22, 2018.

In a writing career that spanned over four decades, Jane Langton had not only written multiple mystery series, but also illustrated them.  Her first children’s book, The Majesty of Grace, was published by Harper in 1961. The first book of her Hall Family Chronicles series, The Diamond in the Window, was nominated for the Edgar for Best Juvenile.  The Fledgling, fourth in the series, was a Newbery Honor Book. Langton had written 18 books in the Homer (and Mary) Kelly series, published between 1964 and 2005. The fifth in the series, Emily Dickinson Is Dead, was an Edgar nominee and received a Nero Wolfe award.

From Mysterious Press:
Winner of the Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement Award, Jane Langton (b. 1922) is an acclaimed author of mystery novels and children’s literature. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Langton took degrees in astronomy and art history before she began writing novels, and has set much of her fiction in the tight-knit world of New England academia.

She published her first novel, The Majesty of Grace, in 1961, and a year later began one of the young adult series that would make her famous: the Hall Family Chronicles. In The Diamond in the Window (1962) she introduced Edward and Eleanor, two New England children whose home holds magical secrets. Two years later, in The Transcendental Murder, Langton created Homer Kelly, a Harvard University professor who solves murders in his spare time. These two series have produced over two dozen books, most recently The Dragon Tree (2008), the eighth Hall Family novel. Langton continues to live, write, and illustrate in Massachusetts.


MysandyKat said...

I so enjoyed her writings. I have read the children's books, as well as the mysteries. Both well series are well written. She illustrated her Homer mysteries, and I enjoyed taking the time to pore over them.

Nan said...

I feel especially badly about this because I contacted her publisher a few years ago to see if she was still living, and how I could get in touch. The pub gave me their address, and though I intended to do so, I didn't. I wanted to tell her how much her books meant to me all these years later.