Charlotte MacLeod

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Charlotte MacLeod
Born Charlotte Matilda MacLeod
(1922-11-12)November 12, 1922
Bath, New Brunswick, Canada
Died January 14, 2005(2005-01-14)
Lewiston, Maine
Pen name Alisa Craig
Occupation Novelist
Nationality naturalized American
Genre Mystery
Notable works The Peter Shandy series

Charlotte MacLeod (November 12, 1922 – January 14, 2005) was a mystery fiction writer.

Life and work[edit]

Born in Bath, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1922, Charlotte (Matilda) MacLeod emigrated to the United States in 1923, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951. She attended the Art Institute of Boston. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, she worked as a copy writer for Stop and Shop Supermarkets in Boston. She eventually moved on to join the staff of N. H. Miller & Company, an advertising firm, where she rose to the level of vice president, and retired in 1982.

While continuing to work at the advertising company during the day, MacLeod began writing mystery fiction, eventually publishing over 30 in all. Many of her books are set in New England, including one series focused on college professor Peter Shandy, and another on Beacon Hill couple Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn. Other mysteries, set in Canada, were published under the pen name Alisa Craig. She specifically tailored her books to be "cozies", i.e. avoiding too much violence, gore, or sex. All feature a humorous and literate-yet-light style, likable protagonists, and eccentric casts of secondary characters.[1]

Described as a "true lady" and often seen with hat and white gloves, MacLeod began writing at 6 a.m., continued through the morning, then used the afternoon for rewrites. She only started new books on Sundays and during writing would stay dressed in a bathrobe to avoid temptation of leaving the house for an errand.[2] Her work sold over one million copies in the United States as well as Canada and Japan. MacLeod was co-founder and past president of the American Crime Writers League. She received a Nero Award for The Corpse in Oozak's Pond (1987), which was also nominated for an Edgar Award.

MacLeod spent her final years in Maine. Toward the end of her years she suffered from Alzheimer's disease and died on January 14, 2005, in a Lewiston, Maine nursing home.


As Charlotte MacLeod[edit]

Mysteries starring Prof. Peter Shandy of (fictional) Balaclava Agricultural College [& Helen Marsh Shandy, DLS]
  • Rest You Merry (1979) -- Revised and expanded from a short story which became the 1st chapter +/-
  • The Luck Runs Out (1981)
  • Wrack and Rune (1982)
  • Something the Cat Dragged In (1984)
  • The Curse of the Giant Hogweed (1985)
  • The Corpse in Oozak's Pond (1987)
  • Vane Pursuit (1989)
  • An Owl Too Many (1991)
  • Something in the Water (1994)
  • Exit the Milkman (1996)
Mysteries starring Sarah Kelling (Bittersohn) and/or art investigator Max Bittersohn, set among Boston's upper crust
  • The Family Vault (1980)
  • The Withdrawing Room (1981)
  • The Palace Guard (1982)
  • The Bilbao Looking Glass (1983)
  • The Convivial Codfish (1984)
  • The Plain Old Man (1985)
  • The Recycled Citizen (1988)
  • The Silver Ghost (1988)
  • The Gladstone Bag (1989)
  • The Resurrection Man (1992)
  • The Odd Job (1995)
  • The Balloon Man (1998)
Non-series books
  • Mystery of the White Knight (1964)
  • Next Door to Danger (1965)
  • The Fat Lady's Ghost (1968)
  • Ask Me No Questions (1971)
  • King Devil (1978)
  • We Dare Not Go A Hunting (1980)
  • Cirak's Daughter (1982)
  • Maid of Honor (1984)
  • Grab Bag (1987) (short stories; including 2 about Max Bittersohn and Sarah Kelling, and one about Peter Shandy)
  • It Was an Awful Shame and Other Stories (2002) (short stories; a reprint of Grab Bag but with 3 additional stories, including one about Max Bittersohn and Sarah Kelling)
  • Charlotte MacLeod Remembered: Letters from Charlotte (collection)[3]
As editor
  • Christmas Stalkings
  • Mistletoe Mysteries
  • Astrology for Skeptics (1973)
  • Had She But Known: A Biography of Mary Roberts Rinehart (1994)

As Alisa Craig[edit]

Mysteries starring Madoc Rhys of the RCMP [& Janet (pronounced Jennet) Wadman Rhys]
  • A Pint of Murder (1980)
  • Murder Goes Mumming (1981)
  • A Dismal Thing to Do (1986)
  • Trouble in the Brasses (1989)
  • The Wrong Rite (1992)
Mysteries starring Dittany Henbit Monk, of the Lobelia Falls Grub-and-Stakers Gardening & Roving Club
  • The Grub-and-Stakers Move a Mountain (1981)
  • The Grub-and-Stakers Quilt a Bee (1985)
  • The Grub-and-Stakers Pinch a Poke (1988)
  • The Grub-and-Stakers Spin a Yarn (1990)
  • The Grub-and-Stakers House a Haunt (1993)
Non-series books
  • The Terrible Tide (1985)
  • Poems of Faith (1989)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Nero Award (1 win)
  • Edgar Allan Poe Award (2 nominations)
  • American Mystery Awards (5 wins)
  • Bouchercon XXIII Lifetime Achievement Award[4]
  • Malice Domestic Lifetime Achievement Award


  1. ^ Lindsay, Elizabeth Blakesley (2007). Great Women Mystery Writers. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-313-33428-3. 
  2. ^ Oliver, Myrna (January 19, 2005). "Charlotte MacLeod, 82; Author of 'Cozy' Mysteries, Juvenile Books". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Charlotte MacLeod Remembered: Letters from Charlotte.". Robert John Guttke. Retrieved February 13, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards and History". Archived from the original on 2014-07-13. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  5. ^ a b "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". 2003-10-02. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-04-03.