Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Linda Barnes

Photo of Linda Barnes

Linda Barnes was born on June 6, 1949 in Detroit. She graduated cum laude from the School of Fine and Applied Arts at Boston University. She then went on to become a drama teacher and director at Chelmsford and Lexington, Massachusetts schools. While teaching drama, Barnes wrote two plays, the award-winning "Wings" and "Prometheus," but found true fame with writing her highly successful mystery novels. In addition to best selling mysteries and plays, she also dabbles in poetry. Linda Barnes lives near Boston with her husband and son.

What she writes: Linda Barnes has written sixteen mystery novels, twelve of which feature her 6'1" redheaded Boston private eye Carlotta Carlyle, and four featuring actor/detective Michael Spraggue, an amateur sleuth. Carlotta Carlyle is in the tradition of the hard-boiled female detectives created by Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky.


List of works
Carlotta Carlyle series
  A Trouble of Fools (1987) Cold Case (1997)
  The Snake Tattoo (1989) Flashpoint (1999)
  Coyote (1990) The Big Dig (2002)
  Steel Guitar (1991) Deep Pockets (2004)
  Snapshot (1993) Heart of the World (2006)
  Hardware (1995) Lie Down with the Devil (2008)
Michael Spraggue series
  Blood Will Have Blood (1981) Dead Heat (1984)
  Bitter Finish (1983) Cities of the Dead (1986)


Won an Anthony Award and nominations for both the Shamus Award and the American Mystery Award for Best Short Story for "Lucky Penny" in 1985.
Received the American Mystery Award for Best Private Eye Novel and nominations for the Edgar, Anthony, and Shamus awards for A Trouble of Fools in 1987.
The Snake Tattoo was named one of the outstanding books of 1990 by The London Times.
What the critics say
Regarding Lie Down with the Devil - "All the action and suspense you expect from a Linda Barnes book are here in spades, with an emotional denouement you probably won't see coming." - Bruce Tierney,
Regarding Lie Down with the Devil - "The story moves unhesitatingly from point to point, and each character encountered holds his or her space on the page with confidence and distinctiveness. The reader can just sit back and enjoy the ride." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Regarding Heart of the World - "The breakout book of the series…that will shock and surprise the reader. Essential reading." - Library Journal
Regarding Snapshot - "Another bull's-eye for Barnes." - Kirkus Reviews
Regarding Coyote - "Move over Spenser. Make permanent room on the streets of Boston for another sleuth who's big (six foot one), strong, and tough as nails but soft at the core." - Entertainment Weekly
Regarding Coyote- "One of the most sparkling and irresistible heroines ever to grace the pages of a whodunit!" - Chicago Sun-Times
Regarding Coyote- "[Carlotta is] the genuine article: a straightforward, funny, thoroughly American mystery heroine." - New York Post
Regarding A Trouble of Fools - "Barnes uses all of her finely honed technique to deliver an exciting book." - Library Journal


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