Gunning, Sally 1951–

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Gunning, Sally 1951–

(Sally Carlson Gunning)

PERSONAL: Born February 14, 1951, in Quincy, MA; daughter of Leonard (an administrator) and Nancy (a homemaker) Carlson; married Thomas M. Gunning (a clinical social worker), September 13, 1975. Education: University of Rhode Island, B.A., 1973.

ADDRESSES: Home—Brewster, MA.

CAREER: Writer. Worked as a museum tour guide, 1969–72, a cruise ship stewardess, 1973, and a bank accountant, 1974–79; office manager for a general practitioner, beginning 1979.

MEMBER: Mystery Writers of America (member of board of directors), Sisters in Crime.



Hot Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Under Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Ice Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Troubled Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Rough Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Still Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Deep Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Muddy Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Dirty Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1998.

Fire Water, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1999.


The Widow's War (novel), William Morrow (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor of the story "Water" to the Malice Domestic anthology, contributor of a story to Murder, They Wrote, 1997, and contributor of the story "Wiggins Wags His Tale" to Armchair Detective.

SIDELIGHTS: Sally Gunning is an American writer, the author of ten mystery novels published in the 1990s, and of the 2006 historical novel, The Widow's War. Gunning once told CA: "I live on Cape Cod, where my family's roots go back many generations. The 'Peter Bartholomew' mystery series is set on the fictional island of Nashtoba, a mix of Cape Cod past and present. The series features Peter Bartholomew, owner of an odd-job company called Factotum, who can't quite bring himself to avoid dead bodies (or his ex-wife)."

In her stand-alone novel, The Widow's War, Gunning takes readers back to eighteenth-century Cape Cod to tell the story of Lyddie Barry, who loses her husband in a whaling incident and must thereafter fight to maintain the life and property she and her husband had worked so hard to attain. Booklist critic Kaite Mediatore Stover found Lyddie a "strong-willed" protagonist, and further praised Gunning's "crisp prose" which, the critic thought, would have readers "swiftly turning the pages." Further praise came from a Publishers Weekly contributor who found The Widow's War a "provocative tale," and from a Kirkus Reviews critic who called the same work a "quietly compelling historical novel." Kenneth Jones, writing in the Daily Mississippian Online, called The Widow's War a "beautiful, impressive work," while Washington Post Book World critic and novelist Anita Shreve commended Gunning for "skillfully employing the language, imagination and character that literary fiction demands,… illuminat[ing] a fascinating moment in our past."



Booklist, February 15, 2006, Kaite Mediatore Stover, review of The Widow's War, p. 41.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2005, review of The Widow's War, p. 1291.

Library Journal, January 1, 2006, Eleanor J. Bader, review of The Widow's War, p. 96.

Publishers Weekly, December 7, 1992, review of Ice Water, p. 53; January 2, 2006, review of The Widow's War, p. 35.

Washington Post Book World, February 19, 2006, Anita Shreve, "Nothing Left to Lose," review of The Widow's War, p. 2.


Daily Mississippian Online, (February 22, 2006), Kenneth Jones, review of The Widow's War.

HarperCollins Web site, (September 22, 2006), "HarperCollins Authors: Sally Gunning."

Sally Gunning Home Page,∼a00038b1/ (September 22, 2006).