Before she began writing novels, Quin-Harkin worked in the drama department of the British Broadcasting Corporation in London and, later, for the Australian broadcasting system in Sydney, Australia. She also worked as a drama teacher and a dance teacher.
In the 1990s Quin-Harkin began writing mystery novels for adults under the name "Rhys Bowen". She has written three series under this name: one featuring British aristocrat Lady Georgiana ("Georgie") in 1930s England; one featuring Irish immigrant Molly Murphy living in early 1900s New York City; and one featuring a Welsh police constable named Evan Evans.
She is also author of the Boyfriend Club series for young adults featuring four freshmen girls in Alta Mesa High School (Arizona): Roni, Ginger, Justine and Karen.
Works as Janet Quin-Harkin
- Peter Penny's Dance (Dial Press, 1976), picture book illustrated by Anita Lobel
- Benjamin's Balloon (Parents Magazine, 1978), p.b. ill. Robert Censoni
- Septimus Bean and his Amazing Machine (Parents, 1979), p.b. illus. Art Cumings
- Magic Growing Powder (Parents, 1980), p.b. ill. Art Cumings
- Ten-boy summer (Bantam Books, 1982), Sweet Dreams Romance
- Helpful Hattie (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983), 58 pp., ill. Susanna Natti
- Wanted—date for Saturday night (1985)
- The boy next door (Bantam, 1995), Love Stories 4
- Who do you love? (Bantam, 1996), Love Stories 13
- Torn apart (Bantam, 1999), Love Stories 18
- Love potion (Avon Flare, 1999), Enchanted Hearts 4, LCCN 98-94951
Works as Rhys Bowen
Constable Evan Evans series
Lady Georgiana "Georgie" series
Lady Georgiana short stories
Molly Murphy series
Molly Murphy short stories
- 2000 "The Seal of the Confessional" – finalist, Agatha and Anthony Awards
- 2001 Murphy's Law – Agatha Award for Best Novel
- 2002 Death of Riley – finalist, Agatha Award for Best Novel
- 2004 "Doppelganger" – finalist, Anthony Award for best short story
- 2011 Naughty in Nice – Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel
- Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, ed., Great Women Mystery Writers, 2nd ed. Greenwood Press, 2007, p. 27.
- "Rhys Bowen: Still a place for faith in mystery writer's body of work". The Visitor. Catholic News Service. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- DeBruyne., Ammon, Bette (1993). Rip-roaring reads for reluctant teen readers. Libraries Unlimited. p. 126. ISBN 156308094X. OCLC 44963622.
- Quin-Harkin, Janet (6 September 2014). "Why 1980s teen lit is still relevant today". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 June 2017.