Marcia Muller biography

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Marcia Muller
© Tom Graves

Marcia Muller

Marcia Muller Biography

A native of the Detroit area, Marcia Muller grew up in a house full of books and self-published three copies of her first novel at age twelve, a tale about her dog complete with primitive illustrations. The "reviews" were generally positive.

Muller earned her master’s degree in journalism after a creative writing instructor told her she would never be a writer because she had nothing to say. In the early 1970s, having moved to California, Muller found herself unemployable and began experimenting with mystery novels, because they were what she liked to read. After three manuscripts and five years of rejection, Edwin of the Iron Shoes, the first novel featuring San Francisco private investigator Sharon McCone, was published by David McKay Company, who then cancelled their mystery list. Four more years passed before St. Martin's Press accepted the second McCone novel, Ask the Cards a Question.

In the ensuing thirty-some years, Muller has authored over 35 novels--three of them in collaboration with husband Bill Pronzini--seven short-story collections, and numerous nonfiction articles. Together she and Pronzini have edited a dozen anthologies and a nonfiction book on the mystery genre. In 2005 Muller was named a Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest award. Pronzini was named Grand Master in 2008, making them the only living couple to share the award (the other being Margaret Millar ad Ross Macdonald). The Mulzinis, as friends call them, live in Sonoma County, California, in yet another house full of books.

From the author's website

Marcia Muller's website

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Interview

Marcia Muller talks about her heroine, Sharon McCone ... and so much more.

Since Sharon McCone works in San Francisco, was it hard to get the flavor of the city in the books?
It's extremely easy to get the flavor of the city because San Francisco is a place that lends itself to description. It's the city of many small enclaves; each with distinctive flavor. When I write about it, the city becomes a secondary character in the novel.

Did you read a lot of Dashiell Hammett before you wrote about a San Francisco detective?
I read the Maltese Falcon. The primary influence on my fiction was the Santa Barbara writer Ross Macdonald. There were interesting parallels between my life and his. We both have advanced degrees from the University of Michigan. Neither of us is a native Californian. He described the state beautifully and I felt he brought a fresh perception to it because of it being something new to him.

In 'Both Ends of the Night', Sharon went to a lot of places. Was it tough doing the research for so many locations?
It's a pleasure doing research. I travel to all the locations with camera and tape recorder in hand. When I'm there I talk ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Marcia Muller at BookBrowse
Coming Back jacket Locked In jacket Burn Out jacket Somewhere in the City jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Marcia Muller but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Nevada Barr

    Nevada Barr

    "Nevada Barr has carved out her own fictional fiefdom, creating a body of work like no other," the San Diego Union Tribune remarked in 1996 upon the publication of the fifth book in Barr’s acclaimed series featuring ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Point Deception

    Try:
    Blood Lure
    by Nevada Barr

  • Tony Hillerman

    Tony Hillerman

    Tony Hillerman, author of many novels including the Leaphorn/Chee mystery series, died in October 2008 at the age of 83.

    A past president of the Mystery Writers of America and recipient of their Edgar and Grand Master ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Point Deception

    Try:
    Hunting Badger
    by Tony Hillerman

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Editor's Choice

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    The narrators of the short story collection The Wrong Heaven are plagued by critical talking lawn ...
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  • Book Jacket: Tango Lessons
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    Meghan Flaherty's touching memoir, Tango Lessons, reveals some hard but important truths about ...

Book Discussion
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The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger.

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The story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter in a society where half the population is silenced.

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