Logue, Mary 1952- (Mary Louise Logue)
Logue, Mary 1952- (Mary Louise Logue)
Born April 16, 1952, in MN; daughter of Robert P. (an auditor) and Ruthmary Logue; married Pete Hautman (a writer). Hobbies and other interests: Rug-hooking.
Agent—Jennifer Flannery, Flannery Literary, 1140 Wickfield Ct., Naperville, IL 60563 (for children's and young adult); Jane Chelius, 548 2nd St., Brooklyn, NY 11215 (for adult). E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, poet, novelist, editor, translator, educator, and author of children's books. Worked as an editor for Simon & Schuster, Graywolf Press, Mid-List Press, and the Creative Company; worked as an instructor at the Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis, MN, the University of Minnesota, and Hamline University, St. Paul, MN.
First Book of Poetry award, Mid-List Press, for Discriminating Evidence; Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Novel, for Dark Coulee; Edgar Award nomination, Mystery Writers of America, for Snatched.
FOR CHILDREN; FICTION
The Missing Statue of Minnehaha, illustrated by Duane Krych, Child's World (Mankato, MN), 1993.
The Haunting of Hunter House, illustrated by Duane Krych, Child's World (Plymouth, MN), 1993.
Dancing with an Alien, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.
(Translator) Christophe Gallaz, The Wolf Who Loved Music, Creative Editions (Mankato, MN), 2003.
FOR CHILDREN; NONFICTION
Forgiveness: The Story of Mahatma Gandhi, Child's World (Plymouth, MN), 1996.
A Life of Love: The Story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, illustrated by Peter Kavanagh, Child's World (Plymouth, MN), 1998.
Trust: The Story of Helen Keller, Child's World (Plymouth, MN), 1999.
Imagination: The Story of Walt Disney, Child's World (Plymouth, MN), 1999.
(Translator) Brigitte Gandiol-Coppin, Ancient Civilizations, adapted by Robert Neumiller, Creative Education (Mankato, MN), 2001.
Sea Jellies, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2005.
Sea Stars, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2005.
Sponges, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2005.
FOR ADULTS; MYSTERY NOVELS
Red Lake of the Heart, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.
Still Explosion, Seal Press (Seattle, WA), 1993.
"CLAIRE WATKINS" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS
Blood Country, Walker and Company (New York, NY), 1999.
Dark Coulee, Walker and Company (New York, NY), 2000.
Glare Ice, Walker and Company (New York, NY), 2001.
Bone Harvest, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Poison Heart, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Maiden Rock, Bleak House Books (Madison, WI), 2007.
"BLOODWATER" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS; WITH PETE HAUTMAN
Snatched, Sleuth/Putnam (New York, NY), 2006.
Skullduggery, Sleuth Putnam (New York, NY), 2007.
Doppelganger, G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2008.
FOR ADULTS; OTHER
(Editor) The Thief of Sadness/NorHaven Poetry Collective, illustrated by Marion Pinski and others, PLS Press (St. Paul, MN), 1979.
(Editor, with Lawrence Sutin) Believing Everything: An Anthology of New Writing, illustrated by Lynn Weaver, Holy Cow! Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1980.
Discriminating Evidence (poetry), Mid-List Press (Denver, CO), 1990.
Halfway Home: A Granddaughter's Biography, Minnesota Historical Society (St. Paul, MN), 1996.
Settling (poetry), Mid-List Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1997.
(Editor, with James C. Mitchell) Marianne Olson, Over the Waves, Rafter Five Press (Tucson, AZ), 1999.
Meticulous Attachment (poetry), Mid-List Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.
(Author of text) Courthouses of Minnesota, photography by Doug Ohman, Minnesota Historical Society Press (St. Paul, MN), 2006.
Village Voice, former editor.
Contributor to periodicals, including Hungry Mind Review, Village Voice, and the New York Times.
The versatile Mary Logue has established a multidimensional presence in the literary world as poet, editor of poetry anthologies, author of mystery novels for adults, and author of children's nonfiction and mystery fiction. Her first publications were anthologies that she edited or coedited. In 1979 she brought together The Thief of Sadness/NorHaven Poetry Collective, an anthology of the NorHaven Poetry Collective in the Twin Cities area, which brought to light several new voices of mentally handicapped women authors in that region. A second anthology came one year later: Believing Everything: An Anthology of New Writing, on which Logue worked with Lawrence Sutin. A poet herself, Logue has authored two volumes of verse, Discriminating Evidence, which won a First Book of Poetry award from Mid-List Press, and Settling.
Among Logue's books for children are biographies of Victorian British poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Indian independence icon and renowned pacifist of the early 1900s, Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi, Helen Keller, and Walt Disney. Logue has also written children's mysteries. The Haunting of Hunter House tells of Barb and her cousins Burr and Smidgen investigating a light in a vacant house. In The Missing Statue of Minnehaha, Barb and Burr are spending the summer at Camp Minnehaha, where a statuette that is the prize in the camp's annual contest disappears. In Dancing with an Alien, Logue departs from the standard mystery genre to tell the tale of Branko, a teenager from outer space who comes to Earth. He is on a mission to save his planet by finding a female and taking her back home. In the process, he falls in love with Tonia, an Earth girl.
Logue is also the author of Halfway Home: A Granddaughter's Biography, which deals with the life of Logue's grandmother, Mae McNally Kirwin (1894-1961), who lived in Chokio, Minnesota; it is also a study of family and social life in Minnesota during the earlier part of the twentieth century.
Logue began writing adult mystery novels in the late 1980s with Red Lake of the Heart. Still Explosion, which was published in 1993, is narrated by a female journalist and sleuth, Laura Malloy, who works for the Twin Cities Times. Only moments after Malloy has arrived at an abortion clinic to interview the director, a bomb goes off in the clinic, killing a young man who had been escorting his girlfriend to get an abortion. The young man himself is suspected of being the bomber, but Laura, doubting that story, investigates other suspects as well: the hard-line leader of an anti-abortion organization, his wife, his lesbian ex-wife, and the girlfriend and brother of the dead man. In the course of Malloy's investigation, Logue finds opportunities to sketch in a brief history of abortion and of the controversy surrounding that procedure. The plot, which includes the depositing of a dead fetus on the doorstep of the bombing victim's girlfriend, builds to what a Booklist reviewer called "an explosive ending."
A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that Malloy's investigation is "carefully constructed" so that neither Malloy nor the reader can "ascertain the balance of personal and political causes behind Bobby's [the bombing's victim] death." Assessing the novel's own political stance as "emphatically pro-choice," a Publishers Weekly critic predicted that readers' degree of satisfaction with the book would depend largely on the extent to which they shared that outlook. A reviewer for Library Journal, however, recommended the book because of its "workable prose, plot, and issue."
In 1999, Logue's first "Claire Watkins" mystery was published. Blood Country features police officer Claire Watkins, who takes her daughter, Meg, from Minneapolis to a small Wisconsin town to flee a tragic past and escape from life in the big city. The mystery arises when Watkins, a deputy sheriff in their new hometown, begins an investigation into the murder of an old gardener who happens to be her next-door neighbor. The plot thickens because Meg may be the object of a hunt by the hit-and-run driver who killed her father. Unknown to Watkins, Meg saw the accident and can identify the driver.
The next "Claire Watkins" mystery, Dark Coulee, finds Watkins still struggling to cope with her own personal demons while she investigates the death of a local widower, Spitzer, at a harvest moon dance. The story is complicated by family secrets, including Spitzer's wife's supposedly accidental death. Had she actually been murdered? Did Spitzer abuse his children? Watkins must also unravel these questions to get to the bottom of Spitzer's death.
"Claire is a bright, focused, determined, handsome woman who sometimes can't see the forest for the trees," Logue told Jon Jordan in an interview that appeared on the Books 'n' Bytes Web site. "She decided to go into law enforcement because she thought she would be doing good for society; she's stayed in law enforcement because it engrosses her."
In Glare Ice, Watkins investigates the murder of Buck, who was tied to the driver's seat of his truck when it fell through the ice of Lake Pepin. Buck's girlfriend Stephanie has been battered and is a prime suspect. However, when Stephanie is again battered after Buck's death, Watkins sets out on the trail of a new suspect, the person she believes killed Buck and is attacking Stephanie. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented on Logue's "powerful sense of place and good clean writing." The reviewer also praised Logue's characterization of Watkins, noting that "Claire Watkins is an appealing heroine who, in a refreshing break from the standard modern female protagonist, leaves her political agenda at home."
Bone Harvest pits Claire Watkins against a modern-day poisoner out to avenge a brutal unsolved murder from more than a half-century ago, when the German American Schuler family was slaughtered on their farm. A troubling theft of powerful pesticides from a farming cooperative justifies the apprehension when the deadly material is used to douse the garden outside the sheriff's office, killing all the plants. Then, the poison is used to kill all the chickens on the present-day farm at the Schuler homestead. Worst of all, the poison turns up in the lemonade served at the local Fourth of July festival, putting local resident Andy Lowman, son of the deputy who discovered the Schuler murders, into a coma. Macabre clues appear at each crime scene: finger bones that had been taken from the Schuler family's hands by the original killer. Since the public at large did not know about this grisly mutilation of Otto Schuler, his wife, and children, Claire knows the case involves someone with direct knowledge of the old crime. With the help of a local reporter who originally covered the crime, Claire reopens the very cold case and rushes to solve it before more trouble occurs. The story contains "ample suspense and swift turnings to keep readers up well past bedtime," commented David Wright in a Booklist review. "Fine writing, a charming setting and an attractive and intelligent heroine add up to a satisfying and pleasurable read," concluded a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
In Poison Heart, Claire is able to identify the crime culprit early on in the book. The suspense, however, derives from her struggle to prove the person's guilt in the close-knit community of Fort St. Antoine, Wisconsin. A classmate of Claire's daughter Meg is found dead in Maiden Rock, apparently the victim of a fall off a cliff at Maiden Rock. Meg is distraught over her perceived part in former friend Krista's death, since she argued with her at a Halloween party then spent the night with Krista's boyfriend. Elsewhere, local methamphetamine dealers cause trouble. When lab reports find meth in Krista's system, Claire becomes determined to bring the dealer to justice. Logue "provides an acutely rendered tale of addiction and the dangers of crystal meth," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic.
Logue inaugurates a new series for teen mystery readers with Snatched. This book, the first of the "Bloodwater" series, is written with her husband, Pete Hautman. Roni Delicata and Brian Bain are a mismatched pair of teenage sleuths whose detective work is as likely to earn them detention as accolades. Roni is a dedicated if too-intense reporter for the high-school paper, while Brian is an honor student, science geek, and all-around egghead. The two team up to investigate the disappearance and suspected abduction of Alicia Camden, a rich and arrogant local teen beauty. Suspects range from her stepfather to a local drifter to her vile ex-boyfriend. The story's "mixture of suspense and humor is effective," commented B. Allison Gray in School Library Journal. "Snappy repartee, a jaunty sense of humor, and lots of suspense" result in a book that's "a winner," remarked Kliatt reviewer Paula Rohrlick. In the second "Bloodwater" book, Skullduggery, Roni and Brian make a startling discovery during a school field trip: local archaeologist Andrew Dart, clubbed near unconsciousness, lying on a heap of human bones in a dank cave. Injured and possibly hallucinating, Dart tells how he was attacked by a ghost and implores Roni and Brian to keep the bluffs around the cave from being developed for housing and commerce. Before passing out, Dart gives Brian a stone-age tool he discovered, which proves the historical and scientific treasures that would be destroyed if the area was developed. The two young detectives soon find themselves embroiled in the complex case. Carolyn Phelan, writing in Booklist, called the story a "satisfying page-turner."
In her interview, Logue told Jordan, "The [‘Claire Watkins’] series is a police procedural with a cozy setting and depth of characters, but it definitely has an edge. I don't believe that bad things don't happen in the country."
While Logue plans to continue with the "Claire Watkins" mystery series, she has not give up writing poetry. "It takes me about five to ten years to write a book of poetry," she said to Jordan, "but poetry is a constant in my life—both reading and writing it."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklinks, January, 2007, Jeanette Larson, review of Snatched, p. 17; January, 2008, Jeanette Larson, review of Skullduggery, p. 28.
Booklist, April 1, 1993, Marie Kuda, review of Still Explosion, p. 1415; October 1, 1999, review of Blood Country, p. 346; March 15, 2001, review of Dancing with an Alien, p. 1384; April 1, 2004, David Wright, review of Bone Harvest, p. 1353; May 15, 2005, Jenny McLarin, review of Poison Heart, p. 1640; May 1, 2006, Connie Fletcher, review of Snatched, p. 42; May 1, 2007, Carolyn Phelan, review of Skullduggery, p. 44; October 1, 2007, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Maiden Rock, p. 37.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July 1, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of Snatched, p. 499.
Drood Review of Mystery, January, 2001, review of Blood Country, p. 20.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), January 6, 2001, review of Dark Coulee, p. D13.
Horn Book, July 1, 2006, Christine M. Heppermann, review of Snatched, p. 442.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 1999, review of Blood Country, p. 1686; April 1, 2004, review of Bone Harvest, p. 303; April 15, 2006, review of Snatched, p. 407; September 1, 2007, review of Maiden Rock.
Kliatt, March, 2002, Paula Rohrlick, review of Dancing with an Alien, p. 24; May, 2006, Paula Rohrlick, review of Snatched, p. 10; May, 2007, Paula Rohrlick, review of Skullduggery, p. 13.
Library Journal, April 1, 1993, Rex E. Klett, review of Still Explosion, p. 135; November 1, 1999, review of Blood Country, p. 126.
New York Times, November 25, 2001, Marilyn Stasio, review of Glare Ice, p. 21.
New York Times Book Review, November 25, 2001, Marilyn Stasio, review of Glare Ice, p. 21.
Prairie Schooner, winter, 1999, review of Settling, p. 176.
Publishers Weekly, April 5, 1993, review of Still Explosion, p. 68; October 25, 1999, review of Blood Country, p. 54; October 15, 2001, review of GlareIce, p. 48; November 24, 2003, review of The Wolf Who Loved Music, p. 64; May 24, 2004, review of Bone Harvest, p. 44; May 16, 2005, review of Poison Heart, p. 35; September 17, 2007, review of Maiden Rock, p. 41.
School Library Journal, April, 2001, review of Dark Coulee, p. 171; March, 2005, Patricia Manning, review of Sea Jellies, p. 196; March, 2005, Patricia Manning, review of Sea Stars, p. 196; June, 2006, B. Allison Gray, review of Snatched, p. 158; June, 2007, Michele Capozzella, review of Skullduggery, p. 146.
Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 2007, Rollie Welch, review of Skullduggery, p. 242.
AllReaders.com,http://www.allreaders.com/ (March 17, 2008), Harriet Klausner, review of Bone Harvest.
Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (July 24, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Poison Heart.
Books 'n' Bytes,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (March 17, 2008), Jon Jordan, "Interview with Mary Logue."
Fantastic Fiction,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (March 17, 2008), bibliography of Mary Logue.
Mary Logue Home Page,http://www.marylogue.com (March 17, 2008).
Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (March 17, 2008), Sheri Melnick, review of Poison Heart; Lorraine Gelly, review of Bone Harvest.