Elizabeth Gunn (author)

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Elizabeth Gunn is an American author of mystery novels.

Gunn lives in Tucson, Arizona. Her careful research into police techniques results in "precision-tooled procedurals" according to Marilyn Stasio of The New York Times.[1] One series is set the fictional city of Rutherford, Minnesota. A second is set in Tucson, where she moved in 1999. Her publishers include Walker, Dell, Harlequin, Forge, and Severn House.

Prior to her career as a writer, Gunn earned her private pilot's license, became a sky and scuba diver, hiked deserts and mountains, and travelled extensively in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe, including several years as a live-aboard sailor. While she was sailing, Gunn began to write travel articles, many of which were published in regional papers around the U.S. This was the beginning of her path to becoming a full-time writer. Before "retiring" to her career as a writer, Gunn made her living as an innkeeper, in Helena, Montana, where she owned a motel with her husband, Phillip. Together they raised two daughters and the family lived in a small apartment directly above the lobby of their motel. As a result of those cramped quarters, Gunn developed her desire to travel. She grew up in the Southeast Minnesota of her Jake Hines novels and later moved to Tucson, the setting of her Sarah Burke series.

The Jake Hines Mystery Series[edit]

The series takes place in and near Rutherford, a fictionalized version of Rochester, Minnesota. It features Jake Hines, a dumpster baby who survived a childhood of foster homes to become a detective with the Rutherford Police Department.

The Sarah Burke Mystery Series[edit]

Sarah Burke is a divorced Tucson homicide detective, and the protector of her substance-abusing sister's youthful daughter, Denny. Gunn chose the setting of Tucson because she views it as a rich resource. Tucson's proximity to the Mexican border allows her to pursue the thriving drug corridor and people-smuggling operations typical of the community. Severn House publishes the Sarah Burke novels in matching trade paperbacks a few months after the hardcover.

Anthology contributions[edit]

  • "Too Many Santas" in How Still We See Thee Lie (2002)
  • "The Butler Did It" in Fifteen Tales of Murder, Mayhem, and Malice (2012)

Short fiction e-books[edit]

Gunn was an early adopter of the e-book format, publishing her Jake Hines backlist as Kindle novels almost as soon as that format became available. In addition, she has published a few pieces of short fiction as standalone ebooks:

  • Runaway (2011)
  • The Fountain (2011)
  • Math (2011)
  • Too Many Santas (2011)


  1. ^ "Crime", New York Times, Books, July 22, 2001
  2. ^ "Denny’s Law: Cover Reveal and Title for New Sarah Burke Mystery Novel", Elizabeth Gunn Official Site, Jun 7 2016

External links[edit]