Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Tana French

Photo of Tana French

Tana French was born in the United States but grew up in Ireland, Italy, the US, and Malawi. She has lived in Dublin since 1990 and has dual citizenship. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College, Dublin, and has worked in theatre, film, and voiceover. Her books are all set in Dublin. "I believe in books having roots in a specific place," she says. "It actually makes them more universal. Dublin is the only city I know in the kind of detail where I can tell you where to get a good pint."

What she writes: She writes a hybrid of crime, mystery, and psychological suspense novels. Stating that her acting training has been a big influence on her writing career, French says, "It is a very natural progression, from creating a character and a world for an audience to creating one for a reader – it made sense to me." Unlike conventional series mysteries, Ms. French uses a different detective from the Murder Squad to narrate each of her books to avoid redundancy. Although grisly murders populate her books, she says she is more drawn to the motivations and aftereffects of crime. Her inspiration can stem from such a mundane event as the appearance of a mouse on her kitchen counter which led to her character imagining an evil animal living in the walls of his house.


List of works
  In the Woods (2007)
  The Likeness (2008)
  Faithful Place (2010)
  Broken Harbor (2012)
For In the Woods...
  Winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best First Novel
Macavity Awards First Novel winner 2008
Barry Awards First Novel winner 2008
Anthony Awards First Novel winner 2008
For Broken Harbor...
  Irish Book Awards Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year winner 2012
Los Angeles Times Book Prizes shortlisted 2013
Strand Magazine Critics Awards shortlisted 2013
What the critics say
"Tana French's mysteries are like big old trees: the deeper their roots, the more luxurious the foliage they wave in your face." - New York Times Book Review
"French has written another winner… The Likeness has everything: memorable characters, crisp dialogue, shrewd psychological insight, mounting tension, a palpable sense of place, and wonderfully evocative, painterly prose." - Thomas Gaughan, Booklist
"Stunning... French cleverly subverts the conventions of the locked room mystery, ratcheting up the tension at every turn with her multidimensional characters. Readers looking for a new name in psychological suspense need look no further than this powerful new Irish voice." - Publishers Weekly
Ian Kern, manager of the Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan, called Ms. French’s writing “phenomenal — not just in mystery fiction but in fiction in general." - New York Times


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