ADDRESSES: Home—Northern CA. Agent—c/o HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Former antiques dealer in San Francisco, CA, area.
AWARDS, HONORS: Agatha nomination for best first novel, Gumshoe nomination for best first novel, Barry nomination for best original paperback, and Anthony nomination for best original paperback, all 2003, all for Dealing in Murder.
Dealing in Murder (mystery novel), Avon (New York, NY), 2003.
Tagged for Murder (mystery novel), Avon (New York, NY), 2004.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Deadly Collection, another mystery novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Former antiques dealer Elaine Flinn writes murder mysteries that draw on her own experiences in the California antiques trade. Her first novel, Dealing in Murder, was nominated for multiple awards in the genre of detective fiction. She has since continued the adventures of her antiques store owner, Molly Doyle, in Carmel, California, in the novel Tagged for Murder, and her future plans include further chronicles in the series.
Dealing in Murder begins with Molly Doyle's attempts to rebuild both her antiques business and her reputation. She had worked in the business in New York until a bit of notoriety forced her to relocate to the West Coast. "Her husband ruined her sterling reputation by selling fake antiques before leaving for parts unknown with his young bimbo," explained Hariet Klausner in her review of the novel on the Best Reviews Web site. Molly's encounter with a corpse—that of a woman who had sold her a desk—throws her back into the national limelight once again.
Noting that "Molly refuses to let the suspicion on her destroy her," ReadersRoom.com contributor Natalie R. Collins added that Dealing in Murder "introduces us to the world of antiques dealing, in an entertaining and very enjoyable way." Flinn's novel "starts with fast action that doesn't stop until the end," stated Mary Ann Smyth in BookLoons.com. "There's fraud, deception, murders and a wonderful look into the workings of the world of antiques."
Molly's adventures continue in Tagged for Murder. The novel begins with the death of a friend, fellow antiques dealer Trudy Collins, under suspicious circumstances. It soon becomes apparent that Collins was caught up in a smuggling operation involving the importation of illegal aliens—a scheme that relied on reproductions of antiques for camouflage. Molly's life is also complicated by the arrival of her estranged sister, Carrie, and Carrie's twelve-year-old daughter, Emma. Then Carrie suddenly disappears, leaving Emma in Molly's care. "Characters are believable," wrote Oline H. Cogdill in her review of the book for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "and Molly makes a formidable and appealing heroine. Her deepening relationship with a niece she didn't know she had is thoughtfully explored."
Tagged for Murder was praised as a "well-plotted, fast moving story with a fascinating insight into the world of antique trading," by Barbara Buhrer of MyShelf.com "The character of Molly is one to love, and her connection with her niece, Emma, is a delight to read." "As with her first book," stated a Mystery Ink reviewer, "Flinn again demonstrates herself to be an author with a strong sense of story and a deliciously sly wit." "Flinn is a fresh, innovative and charming new voice in the mystery genre that fans of cozies and amateur sleuth tales will value as a high-end author," concluded Klausner on the Best Reviews Web site.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, November 4, 2004, Oline H. Cogdill, review of Tagged for Murder.
Best Reviews Web site, http://thebestreviews.com/ (February 7, 2005), Dawn Dowdle, review of Dealing in Murder; Harriet Klausner, review of Dealing in Murder and Tagged for Murder.
Elaine Flinn Home Page, http://www.elaineflinn.com (February 7, 2005).