PERSONAL: Born in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of Alvin (an engineer) and Alice (a homemaker; maiden name, Corwin) Nelson; married Roscoe Buckland (a university professor); children: three daughters. Education: University of California, Los Angeles, A.B.; Long Beach State College (now California State University, Long Beach, M.A.); University of Southern California, Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Home—931 High St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Agent—Mitchell J. Hamilburg, Mitchell J. Hamilburg Agency, 292 South La Cienega Blvd., Suite 212, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.
CAREER: California State University, Long Beach, CA, professor of English literature, 1966-86; writer, 1974—.
MEMBER: Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers Association of Great Britain.
An Unmourned Death (novel), Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2002.
"CLAIRE CAMDEN" MYSTERIES
The Nocturne Murder, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1987.
Death in Wessex, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Murder in Burgundy, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Deadly Rehearsal, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1990.
Elegy in a Country Graveyard, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1990.
Lament for Christabel, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1991.
"ANDREW QUENTIN AND JANE WINFIELD" MYSTERIES
Dartmoor Burial, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1992.
Death Too Soon, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.
Shroud for a Scholar, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Contributor to journals, including Victorian Newsletter, Victorian Studies, and Western American Literature.
SIDELIGHTS: Audrey Peterson once told CA that her mystery series sleuths "spend a lot of time in England and on the continent, places which I enjoy and visit often .... [They] inhabit the academic world with which I am familiar, and I make use of my lifelong pleasure in opera and concert-going to provide a musical background to my books." Peterson has written two series of mystery books. The first, which includes titles such as Dartmoor Burial, Death Too Soon, and Shroud for a Scholar, features lead character Claire Camden, a California English professor living in London. The second series is about music professor Andrew Quentin and his former student, Jane Winfield, a British-born journalist and music writer. The pair stars in Peterson's Nocturne Murder, Death in Wessex, Murder in Burgundy, Deadly Rehearsal, Elegy in a Country Graveyard, and Lament for Christabel.
In the historical mystery An Unmourned Death, Peterson reaches back to 1885 England to relate the tale of a female private eye. Jasmine Malloy, widowed at thirty and employed by a London firm, travels to upper-class Devon to investigate the disappearance of the Baron Renstone's teenage daughter. The plot thickens when the unpleasant Renstone himself is discovered murdered, with the Baron's son evidently framed for the crime. Pregnant maidservants, incest, and a new theory of evolution also enter into the puzzle. Meanwhile, Jasmine's sleuthing may result in a love interest for her in the form of James Keeler, a coworker. A Kirkus Reviews contributor praised An Unmourned Death as "an adroit novel in the 'Upstairs, Downstairs' tradition." GraceAnne A. DeCandido of Booklist, while finding the novel "slight and overstuffed at the same time," nonetheless decided that Peterson's book "still manages to be a page-turner." Peterson is also the author of a nonfiction guide, Victorian Masters of Mystery: From Wilkie Collins to Conan Doyle.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Armchair Detective, summer, 1993, review of Dartmoor Burial, p. 102; spring, 1996, review of Shroud for a Scholar, p. 232.
Booklist, April 1, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of An Unmourned Death, p. 1310.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2002, review of An Unmourned Death, p. 225.
Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide, January, 1993, review of Dartmoor Burial, p. 11; September, 1994, review of Death Too Soon, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times, September 27, 1987.*