Ellen Hart

Ellen Hart is the award-winning mystery author of the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenaway series. She was born in Minneapolis, MN in August 1949. A professional chef for 14 years, Hart's mysteries include culinary elements similar to those of Diane Mott Davidson.

The author says of her work, "I don't write about the Mean Streets. I don't live there .... I don't do lots of blood and gore. I don't do sex scenes in any great detail. I'd never kill a dog or a cat. I guess you could call my style, maximal suspense and minimal gore." Hart is openly lesbian. Her Jane Lawless series features a lesbian restaurateur and her smart mouth best friend, Cordelia Thorn. The Jane Lawless series began in 1989 and is an early Post-Stonewall example of the mystery genre in Lesbian literature. Hart's novels deal with GLBT issues and five of the Lawless series have won Lambda Literary Awards.

Dubbed the "lesbian answer to Agatha Christie," for her Jane Lawless series, Hart also pens the culinary Sophie Greenway mystery series. She frequently tours and lectures on the craft of mystery writing. She has contributed to numerous crime writer anthologies including Resort to Murder: Thirteen More Tales of Mystery by Minnesota's Premier Writers.

In 2005, Hart was inducted into the Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame, joining literary greats such as Dorothy Allison, Felice Picano, Katherine V. Forrest, and others. At the 2007 annual meeting of the Golden Crown Literary Society, Hart was the keynote speaker.

In 2010, Hart was awarded the coveted Trailblazer Award from the Golden Crown Literary Society, an award given to other lesbian luminaries such as Ann Bannon, Jane Rule, and Lee Lynch. She's a founding member of The Minnesota Crime Wave along with local Twin Cities crime fiction writers Carl Brookins and William Kent Krueger. The Minnesota Crime Wave's TV show about mysteries and writing airs on CTV-15 in the Twin Cities or episodes can be seen at MinnesotaCrimeWave.org.

Hart has taught introductory classes for mystery writers at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis for many years. She and Kathy, her partner of over thirty years, lived in Minneapolis until 2012 when they downsized and now live in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

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