Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Karen Harper

Photo of Karen Harper

Karen Harper was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1945, the daughter of an engineer and a teacher. After attending Ohio State University, Harper worked as an English teacher at both the high school, and then college levels. She and her husband Don have three children and live in both Ohio and Florida. She has been a full-time writer since 1984 and conducts workshops and lectures on writing and publishing.

What she writes: Harper writes historical novels, romantic suspense, and mysteries. Since she has spent a great deal of time in England, these novels have an authentic sense of place and are careful with historic details. Once she selects a historic figure as a main character, Harper says she reads extensively about that time and person. She finds that she is most interested in the relationships between people, finding them universal, regardless of place or time in history.

Her Queen Elizabeth I mystery series features a young Queen Elizabeth as an amateur detective. Period details add to the realism of the story and the behind-the-scenes feel makes Elizabeth and her time come alive.

The Maplecreek Amish series is set in a modern day Amish community in Ohio. Each book takes place in the same community, but focuses on different characters. The trilogy is suspenseful and romantic, and has the same attention to detail that mark the Elizabeth mysteries.

Harper has written a number of standalone novels as well.


List of works
The Queen Elizabeth I mystery series
  The Poyson Garden (1999) The Thorne Maze (2003)
  The Tidal Poole (2000) The Fyre Mirror (2005)
  The Twylight Tower (2001) The Fatal Fashione (2006)
  The Queene's Cure (2002) The Hooded Hawke (2007)
  The Queene's Christmas (2003)  
Maplecreek Amish series
  Down to the Bone (2000)
  Dark Road Home (2004)
  Dark Harvest (2004)
  Dark Angel (2005)


Mary Higgins Clark Award, 2006, for Dark Angel.

What the critics say
"A nice mix of historical and fictional character, deft twists and a plucky, engaging young heroine..."
"Harper has created an inspired if historically unlikely heroine, a young woman with natural curiosity ... and the grit to solve the mystery rather than fall victim to it."
"Well-researched and rich in detail."


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