Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Susanna Calkins  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Fiction Mystery


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Illinois Connection

Susanna Calkins currently lives in Highland Park, IL, and has lived in the area for a number of years. Calkins holds a PhD in history and currently teaches at Northwestern University.

Biographical and Professional Information

Susanna Calkins, author of Murder Knocks Twice and award-winning Lucy Campion historical series, holds a PhD in history and teaches at the college level. Her historical mysteries have been nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha awards, among many others, and The Masque of a Murderer received a Macavity. Originally from Philadelphia, Calkins now lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons.


-- Macavity (Sue Feder Memorial for HIstorical Mystery), A Murder at Rosamunds Gate
-- the Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award, The Masque of a Murderer
-- Agatha Award (Best Historical), The Masque of a Murderer
-- Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery (Lefty), From the Charred Remains
-- Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award (Lefty), A Death Along the River Fleet

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes. Please contact Hannah Robertson, Publicist,, for any interest in Susanna Calkins for a speaking engagement.

Selected Titles At Your Library

A Death Along the River Fleet
ISBN: 125005737X. OCLC Number: 908085495

Minotaur/St Martins. .

Lucy Campion, a ladies' maid turned printer's apprentice in 17th-century London, is crossing Holborn Bridge over the most vile portion of the River Fleet one morning when she encounters a distraught young woman, barely able to speak and clad only in a blood-spattered nightdress. The woman has no memory of who she is or what's happened to her, and the townspeople believe she's possessed. But Lucy is concerned for the woman's well-being and takes her to a physician. When, shockingly, the woman is identified as the daughter of a nobleman, Lucy is asked to temporarily give up her bookselling duties to discreetly serve as the woman's companion while she remains under the physician's care. As the woman slowly recovers, she begins-with Lucy's help-to reconstruct the terrible events that led her to Holborn Bridge that morning. But when it becomes clear the woman's safety might still be at risk, Lucy becomes unwillingly privy to a plot with far-reaching social implications, and she'll have to decide how far she's willing to go to protect the young woman in her care--

A Murder at Rosamunds Gate
ISBN: 1250036992. OCLC Number: 829445839

Minotaur/St Martins. .

For Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone she loves is wrongly arrested for the crime. In a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren't permitted to defend their clients, and---if the plague doesn't kill them first--public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never see this person alive again. Unless, that is, she can identify the true murderer.

From the Charred Remains
ISBN: 1250060516. OCLC Number: 867024512

Minotaur/St Martins. .

It's 1666 and the Great Fire has just decimated an already plague-ridden London. Lady's maid Lucy Campion, along with pretty much everyone else left standing, is doing her part to help the city clean up and recover. But their efforts come to a standstill when a couple of local boys stumble across a dead body that should have been burned up in the fire but miraculously remained intact--the body of a man who died not from the plague or the fire, but from the knife plunged into his chest. Searching for a purpose now that there's no lady in the magistrate's household for her to wait on, Lucy has apprenticed herself to a printmaker. But she can't help but use her free time to help the local constable, and she quickly finds herself embroiled in the murder investigation. It will take all of her wits and charm, not to mention a strong stomach and a will of steel, if Lucy hopes to make it through alive herself, in From the Charred Remains by Susanna Calkins--

Murder Knocks Twice
ISBN: 1250190835. OCLC Number: 1083675364

Minotaur/St Martins. .

The first mystery in Susanna Calkins' captivating new series takes readers into the dark, dangerous, and glittering underworld of a 1920s Chicago speakeasy--

The Masque of a Murderer
ISBN: 1250057396. OCLC Number: 949280307

Minotaur/St Martins. .

Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies' maid in the local magistrate's household, has now found gainful employment as a printer's apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate's daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice in 17th century England. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man's last utterances, but she's unprepared for what he reveals to her--that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered. Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate's son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man's background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined. In The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins has once again combined finely wrought characters, a richly detailed historical atmosphere, and a tightly-plotted mystery into a compelling read--