Ellen Hart

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Ellen Hart (born August 10, 1949) is the award-winning mystery author of the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenaway series. She was born in Maine in August 1949. A professional chef for 14 years, Hart's mysteries include culinary elements similar to those of Diane Mott Davidson.[1]

The author says of her work, "I don't write about the Mean Streets. I don't live there .... I don't do lots of blood and gore. I don't do sex scenes in any great detail. I'd never kill a dog or a cat. I guess you could call my style, maximal suspense and minimal gore."[2] Hart is openly lesbian.[3] Her Jane Lawless series features a lesbian restaurateur and her smart mouth best friend, Cordelia Thorn. The Jane Lawless series began in 1989 and is an early post-Stonewall example of the mystery genre in lesbian literature. Hart's novels deal with LGBT issues and five of the Lawless series have won Lambda Literary Awards.[4]

Dubbed the "lesbian answer to Agatha Christie,[5] " for her Jane Lawless series, Hart also pens the culinary Sophie Greenway mystery series. She frequently tours[6] and lectures on the craft of mystery writing. She has contributed to numerous crime writer anthologies including Resort to Murder: Thirteen More Tales of Mystery by Minnesota's Premier Writers.

In 2005, Hart was inducted into the Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame, joining literary greats such as Dorothy Allison, Felice Picano, Katherine V. Forrest, and others. At the 2007 annual meeting of the Golden Crown Literary Society, Hart was the keynote speaker.

In 2010, Hart was awarded the coveted Trailblazer Award from the Golden Crown Literary Society, an award given to other lesbian luminaries such as Ann Bannon, Jane Rule, and Lee Lynch. In 2017, she became the first openly LGBT writer to be named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.[7]

She is a founding member of The Minnesota Crime Wave along with local Twin Cities crime fiction writers Carl Brookins and William Kent Krueger. The Minnesota Crime Wave's TV show about mysteries and writing airs on CTV-15 in the Twin Cities or episodes can be seen at MinnesotaCrimeWave.org.

Hart has taught introductory classes for mystery writers at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis for many years. She and Kathy, her partner of over thirty years, lived in Minneapolis[3] until 2012 when they downsized and now live in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.


Jane Lawless[edit]

  1. Hallowed Murder (1989) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  2. Vital Lies (1991)
  3. Stage Fright (1992) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  4. A Killing Cure (1993)
  5. A Small Sacrifice (1994) – Lambda Literary Award Winner, Minnesota Book Awards Winner
  6. Faint Praise (1995) – Minnesota Book Awards Winner, Lambda Literary Award finalist
  7. Robber's Wine (1996) – Lambda Literary Award Winner
  8. Wicked Games (1998) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  9. Hunting The Witch (1999) –Lambda Literary Award Winner
  10. The Merchant of Venus (2001) – Lambda Literary Award Winner
  11. Immaculate Midnight (2001) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  12. An Intimate Ghost (2004) – Golden Crown Literary Society Award, Lambda Literary Award finalist
  13. The Iron Girl (2005) – Golden Crown Literary Society Award, Minnesota Book Awards Winner, Lambda Literary Award finalist
  14. Night Vision (2006) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  15. The Mortal Groove (2007) – Golden Crown Literary Society Award, Lambda Literary Award finalist
  16. Sweet Poison (2008) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  17. The Mirror and the Mask (2009) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  18. The Cruel Ever After (2010) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  19. The Lost Women of Lost Lake (2011)
  20. Rest for the Wicked (2012) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  21. Taken by the Wind (2013) – Lambda Literary Award finalist
  22. The Old Deep and Dark (2014) – Lambda Literary Award Winner
  23. The Grave Soul (2015)
  24. Fever in the Dark (2017)
  25. A Whisper of Bones (2018)

Sophie Greenway[edit]

  1. This Little Piggy Went to Murder (1994)
  2. For Every Evil (1995)
  3. The Oldest Sin (1996)
  4. Murder in the Air (1997)
  5. Slice and Dice (2000)
  6. Dial M For Meat Loaf (2001)
  7. Death on a Silver Platter (2003)
  8. No Reservations Required (2005)


  1. ^ "{title}". Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  2. ^ Jon Jordan. "Interview with "The Minnesota Crime Wave"". booksnbytes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-11.
  3. ^ a b Owen Keehnen. "Ellen Hart Sheds Light on Her Mystery Writing". glbtq. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  4. ^ "Q and A with Ellen Hart". Retrieved 2007-03-30.
  5. ^ "Seajay, Carol. Books to Watch Out for Lesbian Edition, Vol 1, #2".
  6. ^ Times, Windy City. "Writers on the Road, Ellen Hart, Lori Lake - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive - Windy City Times". Windy City Times.
  7. ^ Walters, Gillian (2017-01-10). "Lez Dish it OUT! - Lesbianing With AfterEllen Friday Round-Up". AfterEllen. Retrieved 2017-01-21.

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