Author of the Susan Wren Series
In Charlene’s WordsIt all began… Lightning forked through the night sky, rain pounded against the roof, fierce gusts of wind rattled the window panes. He pulled out a chair and gestured for me to sit. I hesitated, then did as I was told. He slapped a yellow legal pad on the table and held out a pencil. I looked up, hoping this was only a joke. He tapped the pencil twice against the pad. Even knowing this could lead to serious consequences, I closed my fingers around the pencil. A horrendous rending cracking crash shook the house. On that dark and stormy night, just as lightning ripped through the tree outside the window, I entered a life of crime.*
Dealing in crime requires me to sit at my computer and worry. I’m working on a new character, Maddie Martin, a detective with the sheriff’s department in southern California. She felt harassed by her boss, her partner, a persistent headache, her sixteen-year-old niece showing up unexpectedly, her current case getting cold, and a surprising phone call. He ex-husband has just taken a job with a company doing stem cell research, and he claimed he needed her help. Her instinct was to say no. * What is writing, but telling lies?
Charlene Weir: November 10, 1937 - April 4, 2015
She settled in the Bay Area shortly after and had two children, Chris and Leslie. After an early diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Charlene abandoned nursing and turned her love of reading and puzzles into a career as a mystery writer. Her first novel, The Winter Widow, won the St. Martin’s Malice Domestic contest for best first mystery and was nominated for an Anthony Award. The six novels that followed featured Kansas Chief-of-Police, Susan Wren. Charlene said of her strong female protagonist, “Susan is intelligent and competent, any doubts or uncertainties are hidden beneath a cloak of cool confidence. She solves her own problems effectively. She doesn’t get rescued. She gets herself out of the burning building.” In many ways, this was the perfect description of Charlene herself.
Charlene’s final novel, Unknown Footprints, has been posthumously published. When she wasn’t writing, Charlene enjoyed playing the piano, looking after her two beloved cats, and visiting with her grandchildren. She was known for her sharp wit and quick sense of humor.