Joanne Dobson

Author ~ Speaker ~ Teacher

AVAILABLE NOW from Amazon.com.


When a deranged voice arises from poet Anna Wheeler's tormented past, making demands that compel her from New York to India, she must confront the evil that sent her running in the first place. Will her audacious quest for her child, and for the love of her life, end in triumph or heartbreak?


Face of the Enemy: A New York in Wartime Mystery (with Beverle Graves Myers, Poisoned Pen Press 2012)
Masako Fumi, a prominent Manhattan avant-garde artist, is arrested by the FBI during the night after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, accused of espionage, and detained on Ellis Island. The novel centers on her plight and on the attempts of friends to exonerate her when---all-too- conveniently--she becomes chief suspect in a murder case.


Death Without Tenure: A Professor Karen Pelletier Mystery (Poisoned Pen Press, 2010)
Professor Karen Pelletier is about to realize her dream. After six years in the English Department at Enfield College, she is up for a tenured position. But when her rival for the one tenured position is found dead from an overdose of peyote buttons, Karen is first on the list of suspects.

The Maltese Manuscript: A Professor Karen Pelletier Mystery (Poisoned Pen Press 2003)
In classic noir tradition, Trouble stalks into Karen Pelletier's English Department office, dragging his crime-writer mistress behind him. Before the story is over, the famous writer is jailed, a priceless manuscript is stolen, and a thief is found dead in the library's closed stacks. All this in the midst of a conference on the crime novel in which far too many academics set out to Deconstruct Death.

"Oh, what fun . . ." New York Times

"An academic novel both gutsy and romantic . . . mystery scholars and collectors will eat this one up." Publishers Weekly

Cold and Pure and Very Dead: A Professor Karen Pelletier Mystery (Doubleday 2000)
A scandal at the core of a steamy 1950s bestseller leaps from the past to the present as Professor Karen Pelletier inadvertently brings the novel's long-reclusive author into the public eye.

"The chain of events Karen initiates proves once more that words can kill in fiction and for real. And Dobson's sparkling tale lures readers through enough bait-and-switch red herrings to quarantee a riveting curiosity about who's who." Kirkus

"Crisp writing and hilarious characterizations." Booklist

The Raven and the Nightingale: A Professor Karen Pelletier Mystery (Doubleday, 1999)
An unexpected literary bequest sets into motion a bizarre chain of theft and murder leading all the way back to Edgar Allan Poe. Will Karen Pelletier ever free herself from the academic mayhem that plagues her as a yet-untenured professor. "Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'."

"Dobson delightfully skewers the pretensions and politics of academic life while respecting the importance of education and a life of the mind." Booklist

"Accomplished stuff. . ." Kirkus

The Northbury Papers: A Professor Karen Pelletier Mystery (Doubleday, 1998)
Professor Karen Pelletier's chance encounter with a century-old photograph leads to the discovery of a long-lost manuscript, a major bequest to Enfield College--and murder.

"Few are better than Dobson at recording the minutiae of academic committee-speak, powerplays in . . . jargon, and what ignites a classroom." Booklist (Starred Review)

"A book that is true to its scene and a pleasure to read." Boston Globe

Quieter Than Sleep: A Professor Karen Pelletier Mystery (Doubleday, 1997)
On a small New England college campus, the curriculum includes murder, theft, jealousy, and madness.

"Deftly balancing its literary and mystery elements [Quieter than Sleep], sparkles with wit and insight into college politics. Readers academic and otherwise will look forward to the next adventure of smart and scrappy Karen Pelletier." Publishers Weekly

"Has anyone kept actuarial statistics on those faculty parties? They must be more dangerous than skydiving." Kirkus

Agatha nominee


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The Maltese Manuscript (2003)