Monday, November 28, 2022


Updated: November 29:

Sad news. Mystery author, teacher, and friend Shelley Singer (1939-2022) passed away of heart failure and other complications on November 10. 

Shelley Singer was the author of 12 novels, including the Jake Samson Mystery series. She taught fiction writing and worked one on one with writers as a manuscript consultant on nonfiction, literary novels, and in every genre from memoir to mystery to science fiction to horror.

Shelley grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and began her working life as a reporter with UPI in Chicago. During a checkered and brief journalism career, she met many famous people, at least two of whom were murdered, and many not-so-famous who are still alive. She lived for a very long time in beautiful Northern California before returning home to Minneapolis with her wife Polly Podolsky.

I met Shelley through Mystery Writers of America. She was always supportive, friendly, and funny. She will be missed.

Meredith Phillips, Perseverance Editorial Services:
Shelley Singer died on November 10. Perseverance Press/John Daniel & Co. were privileged to publish the final book in Shelley’s Shamus-nominated Jake Samson series, ROYAL FLUSH. (I hoped there would be more, but alas, no.) Shelley wrote presciently of the white supremacist groups who’d like to take over the US (now more than ever, 23 years later). And yet the book was fun to read and edit, written with a light touch in spite of the serious subject.

Shelley was one of our first two authors, along with Janet LaPierre, whom we also published in Fall 1999. As a new publisher, I greatly appreciated their faith in entrusting their books to our hands. I'd first met Shelley a few years before that, at an MWA or SinC meeting where I was on a panel. I think I "had her at hello," when I described Jake Samson as “a feminist’s dream of a PI”! I learned a lot about the Bay Area through her books—and I still miss exploring it with Jake and Rosie, wonderful series characters.

I haven’t seen an official obituary, but I believe Shelley is survived by her wife, Polly, and her daughter, Sonya. She was born in 1939, and she will be missed.


Renee said...

I read all of her Barrett Lake series a number of years ago and now will have to look into the Jake Samson series. May her memory be a blessing.

Ann Aptaker said...

She opened the world of writing for me. I still hear her advice whenever I write a book or short story. RIP talented and beloved teacher and friend.
Ann Aptaker

Patsy said...

So sorry to hear Shelley is gone. What an encouraging voice she was. Oh and her dogs and her cats. And the love in her life.
She was my writing teacher. What a rotten thing.
So sorry.
I will miss her stories of Chicago and her chug.