Sunday, March 1, 2020


So very sad. Laura Caldwell: R.I.P.

A bright star has dimmed. Laura Caldwell, champion of human rights, mystery author, and friend, passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was truly an amazing woman who gave so much to so many. I will miss spending time with her at conventions. She was always so positive. She accomplished so much.

Laura Caldwell was a former civil rights trial attorney, law professor, and the founding director of Life After Innocence, a project that works with wrongfully convicted individuals affected by the criminal justice system to get cases overturned, help with re-entry to society, and to reclaim their lives.

From her website:

Before beginning her writing career, Laura was a partner in a Chicago law firm, specializing in medical malpractice defense and entertainment law. In 2001 she joined Loyola University Chicago School of Law and taught Advanced Litigation Writing and International Criminal Law, among others.

Laura began her writing career in women’s fiction and soon turned to mystery/thriller. Her first book, Burning the Map, was voted as one of the best books of the year by Barnes and Booklist declared “Caldwell is one of the most talented and inventive … writers around,” after the release of The Year of Living Famously and The Night I Got Lucky. The release of her trilogy in 2009 received critical acclaim and nominations for prestigious industry awards.

While researching her sixth novel, The Rome Affair, Laura was led to the criminal case of a young man who was coerced into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit. Charged with murder, he sat in a Cook County holding cell for nearly six years with no trial date. After hearing about his case, 

Laura joined a renowned criminal defense attorney to defend him, ultimately proving his innocence and inspiring her first nonfiction book, Long Way Home: A Young Man Lost in the System and the Two Women Who Found Him (Free Press, Simon & Schuster). All in all, she wrote 14 novels and one non-fiction book.

She is published in over 25 countries and her books have been translated into more than 13 languages. Laura is also a freelance magazine writer and has been published in Chicago Magazine, Woman’s Own, The Young Lawyer, Lake Magazine, Australia Woman’s Weekly, Shore Magazine and others.

Inspired by her court victory and the challenges her client faced in rejoining society, Laura founded Life After Innocence, which assisted wrongfully convicted individuals and other innocent persons affected by the criminal justice system in order to help them re-enter society and reclaim their lives.

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