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Martin, Nancy 1953-

Martin, Nancy 1953-


Born 1953; married; children: two daughters. Education: Graduated from Westminster College.


Home—Pittsburgh, PA.


Author. During early career, was an English teacher in Williamsport, PA. Has also directed stage plays; conducts writing workshops.


Mystery Writers of America, Novelists Inc., Sisters in Crime (president of Mary Roberts Rinehart chapter), PennWriters.



Beyond the Dream, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1985.

Nightcap, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1986.

Black Diamonds, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988.

Sable and the Secrets, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988.

Hit Man, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988.

Unexpected Pleasure, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988.

A Living Legend, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

Showdown, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1990.

Ready, Willing and Abel, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1990.

Looking for Trouble, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1990.

Whirlwind, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992.

Monkey Wrench, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992.

Good Golly, Miss Molly, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1993.

Fortune's Cookie, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994.

Wish upon a Star, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994.

The Pauper and the Pregnant Princess, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1995.

The Cop and the Chorus Girl, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1995.

Vanilla Blood, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1996.

The Cowboy and the Calendar Girl, Harlequin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

(With Elaine Viets, Denise Swanson, and Victoria Laurie) Drop-Dead Blonde (stories; includes "Killer Blonde" by Martin), Signet (New York, NY), 2005.

Martin's fiction has been translated into nineteen languages.


How to Murder a Millionaire, Signet (New York, NY), 2002.

Dead Girls Don't Wear Diamonds, Signet (New York, NY), 2003.

Some Like It Lethal, New American Library (New York, NY), 2004.

Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.

Have Your Cake and Kill Him Too, New American Library (New York, NY), 2006.

A Crazy Little Thing Called Death, New American Library (New York, NY), 2007.


Producers are working on a television series adaptation of Martin's "Blackbird Sisters" books.


After working in her native Pennsylvania as an English teacher, Nancy Martin embarked on a successful career as a romance writer, publishing well over a dozen novels in the genre. More recently, however, she has turned to writing mysteries and has gained popularity for her "Blackbird Sisters" series. A longtime fan of mysteries, Martin first wrote romance novels because they earned her a healthy income as a stay-at-home mother. After her two daughters graduated, however, she thought she would risk a mystery series. "Murder mysteries have a very clear sense of right and wrong," she said on her Web site, explaining the genre's appeal. "The bad guys always get punished. The good guys come out on top. The books are little morality plays. But I tend to write funny, so my work is slightly offbeat. I like a light, breezy story with entertaining characters. I don't write noir. I write nutty. My reviewers say they laugh out loud, which is high praise indeed."

The "Blackbird Sisters" series features three sisters—Nora, Emma, and Libby—whose family inhabited the social circles of the rich until they wasted all their wealth. The sisters, therefore, must seek out new sources of income. Nora becomes a fashion writer's assistant; Libby sells lotions at erotic parties; and Emma promotes a bra for a former comedian turned entrepreneur. Still hobnobbing with the wealthy and privileged, the sisters manage to run across dead bodies and become amateur sleuths. Meanwhile, Martin throws in a dash of romance, and the various personal exploits of the sisters take just as much prominence as the mysteries themselves. For example, in a review of Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die, a Kirkus Reviews critic noted: "The mystery, by the way, is settled before the big question: How will Nora's New Year's Eve party go?" In a review of Have Your Cake and Kill Him Too, another Kirkus Reviews contributor suggested that readers think of Martin's series this way: "Instead of Tart Noir, think Slut Gris."



Booklist, January 1, 2005, Jenny McLarin, review of Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die, p. 827.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2005, review of Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die, p. 24; February 1, 2006, review of Have Your Cake and Kill Him Too, p. 114.

Library Journal, January 1, 2005, Rex E. Klett, review of Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die, p. 84.

Publishers Weekly, January 30, 2006, review of Have Your Cake and Kill Him Too, p. 44; February 14, 2005, review of Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die, p. 57.


Nancy Martin Home Page, (October 3, 2006).

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