Museum curator and writer. Works in the children's department of the public library, Champaign, IL; previously curator of a history museum in Jonesborough, TN. Also ran a book store.
Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime.
Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction, 2000, for "More or Less."
(Editor) Humor, Rumor, and Romance in Old Jonesborough, Overmountain Press (Johnson City, TN), 1991.
Wilder Rumors: A Lewis Wilder Mystery, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2007.
Also author of mystery theater interactive dinner plays titled The Dead of Winter Murder Mystery, Daggers and Old Lace, and Murder in Little Chicago. Contributor of fiction and nonfiction to periodicals, including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Lulu, Hardluck Stories, Five Star Mysteries, Mystery Readers Journal, and Mystery Scene.
Molly MacRae wrote numerous short stories published in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and other periodicals before penning her first mystery novel, Wilder Rumors: A Lewis Wilder Mystery. MacRae's short stories are also mysteries, many featuring the bickering duo of Margaret and Bitsy. Margaret is a bookstore owner in Stonewall, Tennessee, who is forever becoming frustrated by her annoying older sister. The author is the recipient of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction in 2000 for her story titled "More or Less." In an interview with Sarah Wisseman on the Sarah Wisseman, Mystery Author Web site, the author commented on her approach to writing short stories versus novels. MacRae told Wisseman: "Short takes less pencil and time, but otherwise I approach short and long fiction pretty much the same way. You get an idea. You map it out, either in your head or on paper or screen."
Wilder Rumors was called "an intriguing debut that holds the reader's interest from start to finish" by a Kirkus Reviews contributor. The novel introduces readers to Lewis Wilder, who thinks he has found his dream job when becomes curator of the Nolichucky Jack History Museum. Wilder loves antiques and old documents, but he also may be the Fox, a cat burglar who specializes in stealing antiques. Many people in the Nolichucky, Tennessee, setting begin to suspect the very private Wilder because he is a newcomer and because of mysterious ongoing contributions to the museum in the form of 200-dollar cash payments, which many people think is money from the sale of the stolen antiques. The perfect life and dream job that Wilder had envisioned becomes even less ideal when Don Sherrill donates a Native American bird pipe to the museum and is promptly murdered. Once again, Wilder becomes a prime suspect, as he was seen having a loud argument with Sherrill just before the murder. In the end, Wilder's only allies are an estranged aunt and his girlfriend, Marilyn.
Some reviewers, such as Mystery Scene Web site contributor Sara Polsky, noted that the true identity of the Fox is "ostensibly" the mystery around which the novel revolves. However, "far more engrossing are the relationships between the characters," according to Polsky. Other reviewers also lauded MacRae's first mystery novel. "Fans of cozy, small-town mysteries will enjoy this debut novel," wrote a contributor to the Novel Ideas Web site. In a review on her Harriet Klausner's Review Archive Web site, Klausner wrote: "Fans of a fun Blue Ridge Mountains cozy will enjoy hiking along the Wilder side of the investigative trail."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2007, review of Wilder Rumors: A Lewis Wilder Mystery.
Harriet Klausner's Review Archive,http://harrietklausner.wwwi.com/ (January 8, 2008), Harriet Klausner, review of Wilder Rumors.
Molly MacRae Home Page,http://www.mollymacrae.com (January 12, 2008).
Mystery Scene,http://www.mysteryscenemag.com/ (January 12, 2008), Sara Polsky, review of Wilder Rumors.
Novel Ideas,http://www.stdl.org/novel_ideas.htm/ (January 12, 2008), review of Wilder Rumors.
Sarah Wisseman, Mystery Author,http://sarahwisseman.blogspot.com/ (July 10, 2007), Sarah Wisseman, "Interview with Molly MacRae."
Short Mystery Fiction Society,http://www.shortmystery.net/ (January 12, 2008), brief profile of author.