Baker, Deb 1953-

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Baker, Deb 1953-

PERSONAL:

Born March 4, 1953, in Escanaba, MI; married. Education: Earned a degree from the University of Wisconsin.

ADDRESSES:

Home—North Lake, WI. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writes mystery novels and short stories.

MEMBER:

Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Wisconsin Regional Writers Association.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Best of Show, Authorlink 2003 New Author Awards Competition, for Murder Passes the Buck: A Yooper Mystery.

WRITINGS:

"YOOPER MYSTERY" SERIES

Murder Passes the Buck: A Yooper Mystery, Midnight Ink (Woodbury, MN), 2006.

Murder Grins and Bears It, Midnight Ink (Woodbury, MN), 2007.

Murder Talks Turkey, Midnight Ink (Woodbury, MN), 2008.

"DOLLS TO DIE FOR MYSTERY" SERIES

Dolled Up for Murder, Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2006.

Goodbye Dolly, Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2007.

Dolly Departed, Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Mystery writer Deb Baker is a self-described "late bloomer," exploring a number of other professional interests before focusing on writing in her forties. She was born and raised in Michigan, which is the setting for many of her novels and short stories. The manuscript for her first novel, Murder Passes the Buck: A Yooper Mystery, won Best in Show in the Authorlink International First Novelist Contest.

Baker began her "Yooper Mystery" series in 2006. The books are set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and feature main character Gertie Johnson, a sixty-six-year-old whose son is the local sheriff. In the second book of the series, Murder Grins and Bears It, the local game warden is murdered on the opening day of bear hunting season, and Gertie's grandson Donny is a main suspect. Gertie, on the other hand, feels that Donny is innocent, so she wants to figure out who really killed the game warden and to find Donny, who has gone into hiding. With the help of friends Kitty and Cora Mae, Gertie is determined to discover the truth. Overall, readers enjoyed Murder Grins and Bears It, finding the story entertaining and the characters humorous. Baker has written a "mildly amusing mystery," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Others were more emphatic about how much they enjoyed the author's books. "I love this series," declared Dawn Dowdle in a review for the Sleuth Editing Web site.

Baker also began her "Dolls to Die For" series in 2006. Set near Phoenix, Arizona, the books in this series tell the tales of thirty-year-old doll restoration artist Gretchen Birch and her madcap family members. In the first book in the series, Dolled Up for Murder, a homeless woman who used to be a doll collector is murdered, and the authorities suspect Gretchen's mother, Caroline, might be involved. To complicate matters, Caroline cannot be found, and while Gretchen assumes she is out hunting for another antique doll, no one can know for sure what is going on. So Gretchen and her aunt Nina try to figure out what might have happened. Meanwhile, Caroline herself is trying to track down a mysterious doll peddler who is selling a doll from the murdered woman's collection on eBay. Local detective Matt Albright is also on the case, suspecting the worst of Caroline. Readers and critics responded positively to Dolled Up for Murder, finding it to be an exciting mystery with interesting characters and a captivating setting. Baker has written a "sharp and entertaining mystery," noted Brenda A. Snodgrass in a review for the Curled Up with a Good Book Web site. Others were drawn to the information about the lifestyle of doll collectors, which for many made the book stand out among other mysteries on the market. Dolled Up for Murder is a "fun book with a lot of doll lore," wrote Mystery Reader Web site contributor Jennifer Monahan Winberry.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2007, review of Murder Grins and Bears It.

ONLINE

Best Reviews,http://www.thebestreviews.com/ (September 26, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Dolled Up for Murder.

Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (January 15, 2008), Brenda A. Snodgrass, review of Dolled Up for Murder.

Deb Baker Home Page,http://www.debbakerbooks.com (January 15, 2008).

Front Street Reviews,http://www.frontstreetreviews.com/ (January 15, 2008), Diane Kasperski, review of Dolled Up for Murder.

Midnight Ink Books,http://www.midnightinkbooks.com/ (January 15, 2008), biography of Deb Baker.

Mystery Reader,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (January 15, 2008), Jennifer Monahan Winberry, review of Dolled Up for Murder.

Sisters in Crime Guppies,http://www.sinc-guppies.org/ (January 15, 2008), biography of Deb Baker.

Sleuth Editing,http://www.sleuthedit.com/ (January 15, 2008), Dawn Dowdle, review of Dolled Up for Murder, Murder Passes the Buck, and Murder Grins and Bears It.

Who Dunnit,http://www.who-dunnit.com/ (January 15, 2008), Alan Paul Curtis, biography of Deb Baker and review of Dolled Up for Murder.

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