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Roberts, Doreen 1934- (Kim Blake, Doreen Roberts Hight, Roberta Kent, Kate Kingsbury)

Roberts, Doreen 1934- (Kim Blake, Doreen Roberts Hight, Roberta Kent, Kate Kingsbury)

PERSONAL:

Born October 24, 1934, in London, England; daughter of Charles and Dorothy Chester; married Ron Roberts, March 19, 1960 (divorced August 26, 1993); married William H. Hight, Jr., November 27, 1994; children: Regan (son). Education: Attended private girls' school in London, England.

ADDRESSES:

Home and office—Tigard, OR. Agent—Paige Wheeler, Folio Literary Agency, 505 8th Ave., Ste. 603, New York, NY 10018. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, novelist, and performer. Worked on stage as a performer in a sister act; worked variously as a singer, receptionist, bookkeeper, restaurant worker, entrepreneur, corporate secretary and office manager.

MEMBER:

Romance Writers of America.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

Gambler's Gold, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

Forbidden Jade, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

Willing Accomplice, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1988.

Threat of Exposure, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1989.

Desert Heat, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1990.

Home for the Holidays, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1990.

In the Line of Duty, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1991.

Broken Wings, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1992.

Road to Freedom, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1992.

In a Stranger's Eyes, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

Only a Dream Away, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

Where There's Smoke, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1994.

So Little Time, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1995.

A Cowboy's Heart, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1996.

A Mom for Christmas, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1996.

In Love with the Boss, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1998.

A Forever Kind of Cowboy, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1999.

Home is Where the Cowboy Is, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1999.

The Marriage Beat, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1999.

The Maverick's Bride, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1999.

The Mercenary and the Marriage Vow, Silhouette Sensation (Richmond, Surrey, England), 2000.

A Very Pregnant New Year's, Silhouette (Richmond, Surrey, England), 2000.

Every Waking Moment, Silhouette (New York, NY), 2002.

One Bride: Baby Included, Silhouette (New York, NY), 2003.

Official Duty, Silhouette (Richmond, Surrey, England), 2004.

Happy New Year, Darling, Silhouette (Richmond, Surrey, England), 2006.

The English Wife, Silhouette (New York, NY), 2006.

UNDER PSEUDONYM KIM BLAKE

Burning Secrets, DimeNovels, 1991.

UNDER PSEUDONYM ROBERTA KENT

Hot Pursuit, DimeNovels, 1991.

UNDER PSEUDONYM KATE KINGSBURY; "PENNYFOOT HOTEL" SERIES

Room with a Clue, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1993.

Do Not Disturb, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1994.

Service for Two, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1994.

Eat, Drink, and Be Buried, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1994.

Check-Out Time, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1995.

Grounds for Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1995.

Pay the Piper, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1996.

Chivalry Is Dead, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1996.

Ring for Tomb Service, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1997.

Death with Reservations, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1998.

Dying Room Only, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1998.

Maid to Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 1999.

No Clue at the Inn, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2003.

Slay Bells, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2006.

Shrouds of Holly, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2007.

UNDER PSEUDONYM KATE KINGSBURY; "MANOR HOUSE" SERIES

A Bicycle Built for Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2001.

Death Is in the Air, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2001.

For Whom Death Tolls, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2002.

Dig Deep for Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2002.

Paint by Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2003.

Berried Alive, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2004.

Fire When Ready, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2004.

Wedding Rows, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2006.

An Unmentionable Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

British mystery and romance novelist Doreen Roberts traces her storyteller's origins to her youth in war-ravaged London during World War II. "When things got a little noisy outside the shelters, and everyone was too scared to sing, I'd get up and start telling a story, making it up as I went along," she related in an autobiography on her Home Page. "Before long word got around, and I was asked to entertain on a regular basis. Thus the storyteller was born." Some fifty years later, Roberts submitted and sold her first novel to Silhouette. Since then, she has sold many books, primarily romance novels under her own name and mystery novels under her pseudonym of Kate Kingsbury.

No Clue at the Inn, part of the "Pennyfoot Hotel" series—set in pre-World War I England—finds protagonist Cecily Baxter and her second husband Hugh summoned back to the Pennyfoot, which has expanded from a hotel to a country club. The previous manager of the Pennyfoot, Barry Wrotham, has met an unpleasant end, found dead in an abandoned well, the apparent victim of a fall. Cecily and Hugh are considered the only ones who can step in and take over the place on short notice, and with the Christmas holidays fast approaching, the place needs to be kept going with no downtime. As soon as they arrive, however, Cecily starts investigating the prior manager's death, and rapidly uncovers some disturbing information about Wrotham's background and demise. As more murders occur, Cecily pushes hard for answers, thereby putting herself in the path of danger. Kingsbury "delivers a delightful Christmas whodunit," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Library Journal reviewer Rex E. Klett summarized the novel as being "pretty cozy."

Slay Bells, another Christmas-themed mystery in the "Pennyfoot Hotel" series, puts Cecily and friends Phoebe Fortescue and Madeline Pengrath at the helm of holiday festivities destined to be interrupted by murder. While the trio holds a children's Christmas party, they wait for the appearance of Father Christmas, who will descend through the chimney and distribute presents. First, the footman who was supposed to assist is found dead, apparently because of a fall from the roof. Father Christmas is indeed in the chimney, but he is dead—or rather, Sid Porter, the local drunkard hired to portray the character, is dead. Cecily soon discovers that Porter was stabbed to death. As Cecily's investigation progresses, peculiar events occur, some with supernatural overtones. Large objects are found moved inexplicably around the hotel. The housekeeping staff is terrified by the appearance of a ghostly clown. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the novel "a pre-WWI whodunit in the classic style, furnished with amusing characters, stilted dialogue, and a simple mystery." Kingsbury creates a "charming but entirely predictable cozy delicately flavored with period details of pre-WWI rural England," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor.

Roberts once told CA: "I grew up in wartime London and attribute my love of danger and suspense to the many hours I spent listening to Nazi Fuhrer Adolf Hitler's bombs dropping all around me. I came to the United States thirty years ago with my British husband. My son, now an adult, was born in Oregon. Recently divorced, I relocated to the east coast, in order to be closer to the publishing industry in New York."

She later added: "I hope that I give hope to my readers, that no matter how tough the road looks ahead, there's a better world waiting at the end of it. That we are masters of our own destinies. That anything is possible if you give your all."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2003, review of No Clue at the Inn, p. 1158; October 1, 2006, review of Slay Bells, p. 991.

Library Journal, November 1, 2003, Rex E. Klett, review of No Clue at the Inn, p. 127.

Publishers Weekly, October 13, 2003, review of No Clue at the Inn, p. 61; September 25, 2006, review of Slay Bells, p. 49.

ONLINE

Doreen Roberts Home Page,http://www.doreenrobertshight.com (April 15, 2007).

Fantastic Fiction Web site,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (April 15, 2007).

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