Jane K. Cleland

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Jane K. Cleland
Born Boston, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Genre Fiction, Mystery

Jane K. Cleland is a contemporary American author of mystery fiction. She is the author of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries, a traditional mystery series set in New Hampshire and featuring antiques appraiser Josie Prescott, as well as "noir" plays that focus on women and their complicated love relationships with men.[1] In addition, Cleland runs seminars and workshops on business writing and marketing,[2] and the writing of memoirs, creative non-fiction, young-adult fiction, romance, and science fiction. Cleland has been nominated for and has won numerous awards for her writing.

Early years[edit]

Jane K. Cleland was born in Boston and reared in Newton, Massachusetts, graduating from Newton High School. She then attended the University of Denver, graduating with a B.A. in English and Theatre. She obtained an M.B.A in Marketing and Management from Babson College, and an M.F.A. in Playwriting and Speechwriting from Western Connecticut State University.


Josie Prescott novels[3][edit]

  • Consigned to Death (2006). This, the first Josie Prescott book, was an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller and was nominated for the Agatha Award, Macavity, and David Awards for Best First Novel. A Reader’s Digest Book Club selection. Selected by the New Hampshire State Library as a Book of the Week. Translated into Russian and Hungarian. Editions published in the UK and in large print. Selected by Library Journal as a "core title" for librarians seeking to build a cozy collection.
  • Deadly Appraisal (2007), won the David Award for Best Novel of 2007. Editions published in the UK and in large print.
  • Antiques to Die For (2008), nominated for the David for Best Novel of 2008. Editions published in the UK and in large print.
  • Killer Keepsakes (2009). Editions published in the UK and in large print.
  • Silent Auction (2010), a Harlequin Book Club selection. Editions published in the UK and in large print. Nominated for a David Award.
  • Deadly Threads (2011), a Harlequin Book Club selection. Editions published in the UK and in large print.
  • Dolled Up for Murder (April 2012), a Harlequin Book Club selection. Editions published in the UK and in large print. Winner of David Award.
  • Lethal Treasure (2013), a Harlequin Book Club selection. Editions published in the UK and in large print. Nominated for a David Award
  • Blood Rubies (2014), a Harlequin Book Club selection.
  • Ornaments of Death (2015), a LibraryReads pick (January, 2016).[4] Shelf Awareness Starred Review (December 22, 2015).[5]
  • Glow of Death (November, 2016)

Short stories[edit]

Noir plays[edit]

  • Easy Kill - A 10-minute play about a woman who’ll kill to save herself.
  • Back to Jack - A two-act play testing what’s more important—friendship or the truth.
  • Killing Time - A one-act play featuring Josie Prescott, an antiques appraiser who uses her knowledge of antiques to uncover a dark and dangerous secret.

Non-fiction books[edit]

  • Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot, Writer's Digest,[6] winner of the 2016 Agatha award for non-fiction.[7]
  • Business Writing for Results, McGraw Hill
  • Putting First What Matters Most NAL/Penguin Putnam
  • How to Create High Impact Newsletters, Career Track
  • How to Create Eye-Catching Design, Career Track

Writing guides[8][edit]

  • "Start a Blog, Earn a Career", LIM College, 2011.
  • "How to Solve a Case Study", LIM College, 2010.
  • "How to Structure an Essay", LIM College, 2010.
  • "How to Get Published", LIM College, 2010.
  • "Book Club discussion questions for the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries" St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2006–present
  • "One City, One Book Discussion Questions: Some Buried Caesar," City of Indianapolis, Indiana, 2010.2010
  • "Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot", Writers digest, 2016.


Cleland served as a director of the Mystery Writers of America and served a two-year term as president of the group's New York chapter. She has chaired the Literary Awards Committee of the Wolfe Pack, an association of fans of the Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout which confers the annual Nero Award, as well as the Black Orchid Novella Award (BONA) in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Cleland is also a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Sisters in Crime, and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Cleland is on the faculty of Lehman College,[9] part of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Agatha Award, Best Nonfiction 2016, Malice Domestic: Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories that Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats[10]
  • Bestseller, Independent Mystery Bookseller Association: Consigned to Death
  • “Core Title” Consigned to Death selected by Library Journal as a “core title” when building a cozy collection, one of only 22 titles listed, along with novels by Agatha Christie & Dorothy L. Sayers.[11]


  1. ^ Valeri, John (July 31, 2011). "Mystery author Jane Cleland invites you to a public reading of her noir play". Examiner.com. Clarity Digital Group LLC. 
  2. ^ http://janekcleland.com/index.html
  3. ^ http://us.macmillan.com/series/josieprescottantiquesmysteries
  4. ^ "January 2016 LibraryReads List". LibraryReads. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, December 22, 2015". Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  6. ^ http://www.writersdigestshop.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=cleland
  7. ^ http://malicedomestic.org/agathas.html
  8. ^ http://www.writersdigestshop.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=cleland
  9. ^ http://www.lehman.edu/academics/arts-humanities/english/faculty.php
  10. ^ http://malicedomestic.org/agathas.html
  11. ^ Ahlvers, Alicia; Cheryl Bryan; Megan McArdle; Jackie Sasaki; Joyce Saricks; Neal Wyatt (April 8, 2010). "Cozies: 22 Core Titles". LibraryJournal.com. Media Source, Inc. Archived from the original on November 26, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 

External links[edit]