Sunday, November 29, 2020


Such sad news. Mystery author, Sue Henry, died at the age on 80, in Anchorage, Alaska, on November 20. Her books have given me much enjoyment over the years. I remember chatting with her at several conventions. She will be missed.

Sue Henrywent to the University of Washington, where she earned her degree in English in 1962. She served two years in the Peace Corps in Thailand. Returning to begin graduate studies in library science at the University of Washington, she met Paul K. Henry, whom she married in 1965. They had two boys: Bruce and Eric. Moving to Pasadena, Calif., in 1972, she worked at the Huntington Library. Divorced in 1974, she moved the boys to Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1975.

In Fairbanks, her burgeoning love for the Alaska frontier and her passion for books collided. She drove the bookmobile for the Fairbanks Public Library over roads that only someone from Fairbanks during the pipeline construction could appreciate. Later moving to Juneau, she worked in the State Department of Education in Adult Education and dreamt of writing novels. She moved to Anchorage in 1984, and was the director of the Adult Learning Center at the University of Alaska. It was during this time that she wrote her first of 17 novels, Murder on the Iditarod Trail, which won the Macavity and Anthony Awards in 1992 and was adapted for TV as The Cold Heart of a Killer. She traveled extensively researching her novels and came to know and love the remotest corners of Alaska. She gave back to the writing community by teaching workshops all over the country. She has two series: Jessie Arnold, a dog sled race, and Sergeant Alex Jensen, a state trooper, in Anchorage. Her second series features Maxine "Maxie" McNabb, a 60-seomthing Alaskan widow, exploring the USA in her Winnebago with her faithful companion, miniature dachshund Stretch.

No funeral or memorial is planned. Donations can be made to the Peace Corps in memory of Sue Henry at


Kate Grilley said...

I am devastated to read this news. Sue Henry was my friend, conference roommate, travel buddy. She is missed. RIP, Sue.

Katy McCoy said...

Love her books, including the McNab series. I'm glad I still have a few to read in the other series.

Lise McClendon said...

Sad news. I remember her well. Rest in peace, Sue.