Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Lori Rader-Day  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Mystery

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1973 in Lebanon, Indiana

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Illinois Connection

Rader-Day has lived in Chicago since 2001.

Biographical and Professional Information

Lori Rader-Day is a multi-award-winning writer from Chicago. With her debut novel published by Seventh Street Press just a few short years ago, she has catapulted to being a lead author with William Morrow/Harper Collins. Her collection of books - Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour - have garnered three Mary Higgins Clark Award nominations, multiple Indie Next Pick nominations (carefully selected by independent booksellers across the country) and an Anthony Award (chosen by her peers and genre readers alike.)

Her short fiction has appeared in ''Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine'', ''Time Out Chicago'', and ''Good Housekeeping''.

Her writing is breathtakingly suspenseful and always features a strong female lead character.

But more than a talented storyteller, she's an important part of the book industry, especially locally. She co-chairs the popular Chicago mystery conference Murder and Mayhem. She's an author's author - always helping others find their way, and has devoted her years to helping libraries and bookstores flourish. Originally from Indiana, Lori was recently honored with the prestigious Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award. Lori leads writing workshops across the country.

She is active in the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and International Association of Crime Writers.


The Black Hour

Anthony Award for Best First Novel, 2015

Finalist, Barry Award for Best Paperback, 2015

Finalist, Mary Higgins Clark Award, 2015

Finalist, Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award, 2015

Finalist, Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, 2015

Little Pretty Things

Mary Higgins Clark Award, 2016

Finalist, Anthony Award for Best Paperback, 2016

The Day I Died

Anthony Award for Best Paperback, 2018

Finalist, Barry Award for Best Paperback, 2018

Finalist, Mary Higgins Clark Award, 2018

Finalist, Thriller Award for Best Paperback, 2018

Under a Dark Sky

Anthony Award for Best Paperback, 2019

Finalist, Edgar Award for Best Paperback, 2019

Finalist, Lefty Award for Best Mystery, 2019

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Little pretty things :
ISBN: 9781633880054. OCLC Number: 893016855

. .

OLD RIVALRIES NEVER DIE. BUT SOME RIVALS DO. Juliet Townsend is used to losing. Back in high school, she lost every track team race to her best friend, Madeleine Bell. Ten years later, she's still running behind, stuck in a dead-end job cleaning rooms at the Mid-Night Inn, a one-star motel that attracts only the cheap or the desperate. But what life won't provide, Juliet takes. Then one night, Maddy checks in. Well-dressed, flashing a huge diamond ring, and as beautiful as ever, Maddy has it all. By the next morning, though, Juliet is no longer jealous of Maddy--she's the chief suspect in her murder. To protect herself, Juliet investigates the circumstances of her friend's death. But what she learns about Maddy's life might cost Juliet everything she didn't realize she had.--

The black hour /
ISBN: 1616148853. OCLC Number: 860879641

. .

"For Chicago sociology professor Amelia Emmet, violence was a research topic--until a student she'd never met shot her. He also shot himself. Now he's dead and she's back on campus, trying to keep up with her class schedule, a growing problem with painkillers, and a question she can't let go: Why? All she wants is for life to get back to normal, but normal is looking hard to come by. She's thirty-eight and hobbles with a cane. Her first student interaction ends in tears (hers). Her fellow faculty members seem uncomfortable with her, and her ex--whom she may or may not still love--has moved on. Enter Nathaniel Barber, a graduate student obsessed with Chicago's violent history. Nath is a serious scholar, but also a serious mess about his first heartbreak, his mother's death, and his father's disapproval. Assigned as Amelia's teaching assistant, Nath also takes on the investigative legwork that Amelia can't do. And meanwhile, he's hoping she'll approve his dissertation topic, the reason he came to grad school in the first place: the student attack on Amelia Emmet. Together and at cross-purposes, Amelia and Nathaniel stumble toward a truth that will explain the attack and take them both through the darkest hours of their lives"--

The day I died :
ISBN: 0062560298. OCLC Number: 981460165

. .

Using her skills as a handwriting analyst to assist a local murder and kidnapping investigation, Anna identifies disturbing parallels between the crimes and her own struggles to protect her troubled teen son from her abusive ex.

The Lucky One
ISBN: 0062938061. OCLC Number:

. .

From the author of the Edgar Award®-nominated Under A Dark Sky comes an unforgettable, chilling novel about a young woman who recognizes the man who kidnapped her as a child, setting off a search for justice, and into danger. Most people who go missing are never found. But Alice was the lucky one... As a child, Alice was stolen from her backyard in a tiny Indiana community, but against the odds, her policeman father tracked her down within twenty-four hours and rescued her from harm. In the aftermath of the crime, her family decided to move to Chicago and close the door on that horrible day. Yet Alice hasn’t forgotten. She devotes her spare time volunteering for a website called The Doe Pages scrolling through pages upon pages of unidentified people, searching for clues that could help reunite families with their missing loved ones. When a face appears on Alice’s screen that she recognizes, she’s stunned to realize it’s the same man who kidnapped her decades ago. The post is deleted as quickly as it appeared, leaving Alice with more questions than answers. Embarking on a search for the truth, she enlists the help of friends from The Doe Pages to connect the dots and find her kidnapper before he hurts someone else. Then Alice crosses paths with Merrily Cruz, another woman who’s been hunting for answers of her own. Together, they begin to unravel a dark, painful web of lies that will change what they thought they knew—and could cost them everything. Twisting and compulsively readable, The Lucky One explores the lies we tell ourselves to feel safe.

Under a dark sky :
ISBN: 9780062560308. OCLC Number: 1000049292

. .

From the critically-acclaimed author of The Day I Died comes a terrifying twist on a locked-room mystery that will keep readers guessing until the last page. Only in the dark can she find the truth. Since her husband died, Eden Wallace's life has diminished down to a tiny pinprick, like a far-off star in the night sky. She doesn't work, has given up on her love of photography, and is so plagued by night terrors that she can't sleep without the lights on. Everyone, including her family, has grown weary of her grief. So when she finds paperwork in her husband's effects indicating that he reserved a week at a dark sky park, she goes. She's ready to shed her fear and return to the living, even if it means facing her paralyzing phobia of the dark. But when she arrives at the park, the guest suite she thought was a private retreat is teeming with a group of twenty-somethings, all stuck in the orbit of their old college friendships. Horrified that her get-away has been taken over, Eden decides to head home the next day. But then a scream wakes the house in the middle of the night. One of the friends has been murdered. Now everyone--including Eden--is a suspect. Everyone is keeping secrets, but only one is a murderer. As mishaps continue to befall the group, Eden must make sense of the chaos and lies to evade a ruthless killer--and she'll have to do it before dark falls...--