Saturday, September 10, 2022

Elizabeth Gunn: R.I.P.

Elizabeth Gunn
, author of the Detective Jake Hines series and the Sarah Burke series, died August 30 at the age of 95. 

From her website:

Before she started to write, Elizabeth Gunn made her living as an innkeeper in Montana, while indulging hobbies as a private pilot, live-aboard sailor, and SCUBA diver. “I like adventure,” she says, “but I was always sure I’d settle down some day and write books.”

Turned out she was right. Beginning in 1997, she’s written fifteen mystery novels, a fair-sized row of short stories, critiques, and a novella.  And yes, of course, she’s at work on another novel.

TRIPLE PLAY was the first of the Minnesota mysteries, and the series has progressed through the numbers—the latest is ELEVEN LITTLE PIGGIES. The setting is Minnesota, where the author grew up.  The pace of change, and the beautiful countryside being gobbled up by fast-growing cities, form a recurring motif throughout the series.

COOL IN TUCSON started a second series after she moved to Arizona.  From the green land of ten thousand lakes to the dry heat of a polyglot desert city is quite a jump. The Tucson stories reflect the gritty ambience, eighty miles from the Mexican border and in summer “too hot to spit,” one of her characters remarks.

Marilyn Stasio, mystery critic for the New York Times, called Gunn’s novels “precision-tooled procedurals.”  While she loves police ride-alongs, and is known for careful depiction of the latest bells and whistles, Gunn says she enjoys writing mostly “for the chance to build characters and turn them loose on each other.  People-watching, that’s what’s fun.”

Read Aubrey Hamilton's post about Elizabeth Gunn and review of Triple Play on Friday's Forgotten Book, here

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