Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Sharan Newman

Photohttp://www.sharannewman.com/

Biography
Sharan Newman was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1949. Her father was in the Air Force and her mother was a psychologist. She is married to physicist Paul Newman and they have one daughter. Educated as a medieval historian, Newman has a masters degree in medieval literature and did doctoral work in medieval studies, specializing in twelfth-century France. She currently lives in Oregon.

What she writes: Newman has written a series of ten mysteries set in twelfth-century France featuring Catherine Levendeur, an ex-nun; her Scottish husband, Edward; and her cousin, Solomon, a Jewish merchant. These stories are filled with details about medieval Paris, and focus on the life of the bourgeoisie and minor French nobility. The tensions between Christians and Jews at that time are also an integral part of each book. Newman’s attention to detail, great knowledge of medieval history, and her lively characterizations of Catherine and her family make for entertaining reading.

 

List of works
 
Catherine Levendeur Series
  Death Comes as Epiphany (1993) The Difficult Saint (1999)
  The Devil's Door (1994) To Wear the White Cloak (2000)
  The Wandering Arm (1995) Heresy (2002)
  Strong as Death (1996) The Outcast Dove (2003)
  Cursed in the Blood (1998) The Witch in the Well (2004)
     
Other works
  Newman has also written a series of three books about Guinevere and the knights of the Round Table; several nonfiction books, including a book about The Da Vinci Code; as well as her latest book, The Shanghai Tunnel, a mystery set in Portland, Oregon, in 1868.
   

Awards

The Catherine Levendeur mysteries have been nominated for many awards. Newman won the Macavity Award for best first mystery for Death Comes As Epiphany and the Herodotus Award for best historical mystery of 1998 for Cursed in the Blood. The most recent book in the series, The Witch in the Well, won the Bruce Alexander award for best historical mystery of 2004.

 
What the critics say
"Newman skillfully depicts historical figures and issues in a very different age, one in which piety and great beauty co-exist with cruelty." - Publishers Weekly
"The vibrant, often unexpected dynamics of Catherine's family give emotional punch to Newman's vivid depiction of medieval life." - Publishers Weekly

 

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