At midlife, after two decades as an English professor and literary scholar, Joanne Dobson surprised herself (and her colleagues) by writing a mystery novel set at a small, elite, New England college where the curriculum seemed to offer a major in murder. Joanne was even more surprised when QUIETER THAN SLEEP (1997) was published by Doubleday. QUIETER was the first of the six Professor Karen Pelletier academic mystery novels, and the sheer pleasure of writing mysteries lured Joanne's feet from the straight path of tenured professorship to the slippery slope of 21st-century fiction writing. In addition to the Professor Pelletier mysteries, Joanne co-authored, with Beverle Graves Myers, FACE OF THE ENEMY (2012), a mystery novel set in wartime New York City.
And now comes an unexpected new surprise, THE KASHMIRI SHAWL (2014). An historical novel set in an India in violent rebellion (1857) and an America on the verge of Civil War (1860). An epic journey from the sultry climes of nineteenth-century India to the cosmopolitan chaos of New York City on the eve of Civil War, and then back again to India in quest of a kidnapped daughter and a lost, forbidden, love.
(Go to the website section on scholarship to learn about my scholarly work on 19th-century women writers, which thoroughly informs THE KASHMIRI SHAWL and the character of Anna Wheeler.)