Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Frances McNamara  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Mystery

Born: 1950 in Boston, MA

-- Website --
-- Frances McNamara on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Frances McNamara lives in Chicago and is a librarian at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Frances McNamara is the Director of Integrated Library Systems and Administrative and Desktop Systems, at the University of Chicago Library.Her father was an FBI agent and later the Police Commissioner of the city of Boston, which may have started her life long interest in mysteries.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Death at the Fair
ISBN: 143920618X

BookSurge Publishing. 2008

With pitch perfect prose, Death at the Fair is full of intelligent plot twists that will keep readers on the edge of their seats to the final page. Set during the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, an implacable murderer sets out to claim vengeance—or so it seems. It is 1893 and all eyes are on the Windy City where Emily Cabot, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, is touring with her family and friends. When one of those friends is found dead, all fingers point to Dr. Stephen Chapman, one-time fiancé of the dead man’s wife’s. Believing firmly in Dr. Chapman’s innocence, Emily begins to uncover evidence to the contrary with the help of Ida B. Wells, the famous anti-lynching crusader. Together the women must deal with thieves, gamblers, and dogmatists to uncover a truth, which is far more alarming and insidious than any reader will have imagined.

Death at Hull House
ISBN: 0984067604

Allium Press. 2009

In this well-plotted sequel to "Death at the Fair," Emily Cabot finds work at Hull House, the famous settlement established by Jane Addams. There she quickly becomes involved in the political and social problems of the immigrant community. But when a man who works for a sweatshop owner is murdered in the Hull House parlor, Emily must determine whether one of her colleagues is responsible, or whether the real reason for the murder is revenge for a past tragedy in her own family. As a smallpox epidemic spreads through the impoverished west side of Chicago, the very existence of the settlement is threatened and Emily finds herself in jeopardy from both the deadly disease and a killer.

Death at Pullman (Emily Cabot Mysteries)
ISBN: 0984067698

Allium Press. 2011

A model town at war with itself . . . George Pullman created an ideal community for his railroad car workers, complete with every amenity they could want or need. But when hard economic times hit in 1894, lay-offs follow and the workers can no longer pay their rent or buy food at the company store. Starving and desperate, they turn against their once benevolent employer. Emily Cabot and her friend Dr. Stephen Chapman bring much needed food and medical supplies to the town, hoping they can meet the immediate needs of the workers and keep them from resorting to violence. But when one young worker-suspected of being a spy-is murdered, and a bomb plot comes to light, Emily must race to discover the truth behind a tangled web of family and company alliances.

Death at Woods Hole (Emily Cabot Mysteries)
ISBN: 0983193835

Allium Press. 2012

Exhausted after the tumult of the Pullman Strike of 1894, Emily Cabot is looking forward to a restful summer visit to Cape Cod. She has plans to collect "beasties" for the Marine Biological Laboratory, alongside other visiting scientists from the University of Chicago. She also hopes to enjoy romantic clambakes with Dr. Stephen Chapman, although they must keep an important secret from their friends. But her summer takes a dramatic turn when she finds a dead man floating in a fish tank. In order to solve his murder she must first deal with dueling scientists, a testy local sheriff, the theft of a fortune, and uncooperative weather. This fourth book in the Emily Cabot Mysteries series will continue to delight history buffs and mystery lovers alike.

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