Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Shelly Reuben  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1945 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Reuben was born in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

The ideas for many of Shelly Reuben's books come from the cases she investigates as a licensed private detective and certified fire investigator. Shelly also writes two newspaper columns and regularly contributes to ''The Forensic Examiner''. She currently resides in New York City.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Julian Solo
ISBN: 0966286804

Bernard Street Books.. 1988

10th Anniversary Edition of JULIAN SOLO.

In 1817, Mary Shelley looked beneath life's surface. What she saw were passionate people with unquenchable thirsts for knowledge, and tragic characters caught in the swirling momentum of a scientist who felt compelled to create. Mary Shelley gave us Dr. Frankenstein.

Now another Shelly peers into life's hidden depths to question and to probe.

JULIAN SOLO is a novel about a brilliant scientist who died...and yet lives, and who, having experienced this impossible transition, seeks to recreate the circumstances again and again.

Why cannot we use death to prolong life? Julian Solo asks. Why cannot death be made to serve, instead of to obliterate? Why cannot a man reach, with his hands and his heart, into that abyss from which there is no return, to defy death, overcome death, defeat death -- for the sake of the woman he loves?

Julian Solo is a man of integrity, an honorable scientist, a medical man on whom we can rely. He has given us his solemn promise that we can trust him.

His purpose is to conquer death and his journey is into the void. He wants us to come with him.

This is a book no reader will forget.

Origin & Cause
ISBN: 0786123109

Blackstone Pub. 2003

Cable-TV mogul Stanfield Standish wrote the book and broke the rules in the news and entertainment industry. When his charred body is found inside the burnt-out remains of his classic 1930 Duesenberg sedan, his family files a $52 million damage suit.They blame the fatal accident on Courtland Motor Company, the firm that restored the antique. That's when Courtland's attorney, Max Bramble—suspicious, sharp, and inquisitive—takes over. His first move: Hire private detective and ace arson investigator Wylie Nolan.As Nolan brilliantly dissects the fascinating anatomy of a fire, Bramble digs deep into the Standish empire, and discovers that the media tycoon scalded many on his way up the ladder. It's just possible that one of them paid him back with hot-blooded murder, cleverly plotted and fiery in its execution.

Spent Matches: A Crime Novel
ISBN: 0684801078

Scribner. 1996

Someone has set a fire at the Zigfield Art Museum in upper Manhattan. It's a "locked room" kind of fire that couldn't possibly have occurred. Or could it? Wylie Nolan, assisted by attorney Max Bramble, suddenly has to reconstruct one of the most puzzling fires of his career.

Meanwhile, at Wylie's office building, someone is setting fires in the ladies' room down the hall, trying to implicate Wylie's friend, attorney Miranda Yee.

And on City Island, a final, more devastating fire takes one life and threatens to destroy another.

Three fires: Where did they start and who caused them? When Wylie Nolan investigates a fire scene, he does so meticulously. He calls the facts as he sees them and he notices details that nobody else sees in spent matches, burn patterns, and ashes.

Come Home, Love Dad
ISBN: 0966286812

Bernard Street Books.. 2000

Come Home. Love, Dad warmly introduces us to magical mirrors of every color and shape, giant balls of string, brothers wearing Davy Crockett T-shirts, and stalwart lions who guard the entrance to the Art Institute. Shelly Reuben's description of her father's escapades in the kitchen, "if flour footprints aren't on the floors and carpets (it) doesn't taste as good," make you wish that you too, had been there to inhale the smell of his koochen baking in the oven. And interspersed throughout these recollections are the enchanting letters that Sam Reuben wrote to his daughter. Wonderful epistles imparting proverbs, reciting poetry, conveying wit, wisdom, whimsy ... and always ... always letting her know that he loved her, and that he wanted her to Come Home. Love, Dad.

Weeping (Fritillary Quilter Mysteries)
ISBN: 0786184205

Blackstone Audio Inc. 2004

"Weeping" is an arson investigator's terms, and also the state that befalls the grief-stricken survivors of a fire. So it's with a raised eyebrow and incipient suspicion that New York claims representative Fritillary Quilter encounters cool, calculating, and unemotional Faith Browning, whose sister Dorsey has just burned to death in their family home.

When Faith puts in a claim without first giving the insurance company a chance to conduct a fire investigation, Tilly is teamed with arson pro Isaac "Ike" Blessing. Tilly and Ike must sift through the ashes to find the truth.

Written by a real-life private eye and fire investigator, Weeping is fueled by technical authority, lively characters, and stylish prose.

Tabula Rasa
ISBN: 015101079X

Harcourt. 2005

Meet arson investigator Billy Nightingale and his brother-in-law, Officer Sebastian Bly, who are called in to investigate a house fire that killed two young children. Suspicious details at the fire scene-and the discovery of a baby hiding underneath the porch-put Billy and Sebastian on the trail of a murderous mother while Sebastian and his wife, Annie, raise baby Meredith without revealing her dangerous and frightening past.

Meredith grows up to be a promising young ballerina- her ambitions fueled in part by the fictional past that Sebastian and Annie have invented for her. But the truth threatens their charmed family circle as Merry's biological mother returns to finish what she started.
Tabula Rasa is not only a gripping and entertaining crime novel but also a sensitive, warm exploration of the deeper issues of what defines a family and an individual.

The Skirt Man: Library Edition
ISBN: 0786148748

Blackstone Audio Inc. 2006

The Man with the Glass Heart
ISBN: 098841810X

Bernard Street Books. 2012

The Man With The Glass Heart Not since The Little Prince fell in love with a rose has a book captured the magic of a world where love longs for what it cannot have, recovers what it has lost, and the unimaginable flutters with luminescent wings out of crystal caves. Panache, an exuberant road gypsy, is on her way to the mountains. Benjamin Pencil, The Man With The Glass Heart, has no use for mountains. But their paths cross, their lives intertwine, and Benjamin follows her up, up, up, to where hills are smothered in poppies and a man can reach out and write his name in the sky. As they travel, they first encounter the beautiful but predatory Woman with the Breeding, a collector of hearts who tries to add Benjamin's exquisite heart to her pitiable hoard the malicious Man who Laughs, who lives only to create fear and kill dreams and unpredictably Panache's iconoclastic, unreliable, and utterly irresistible father. Papa plays his saxophone with the same wild abandon with which he lives his life, and cautions Panache that if the mountains are in a man, he will go there ... and that mountains are in the man with the glass heart. It is in those mountains that they meet the melodious laughing bird. Melody, with her irresistible song and aquamarine eyes, lures Benjamin to an Arabian Nights world where hypnotizing creatures dance and sing late into the night. At what peril does Benjamin Pencil follow the melodious laughing bird? To what end? Can real hearts be broken? Is a shattered heart the end of all love? Or can it be a new beginning?

The Boys of Sabbath Street
ISBN: 0988418126

Bernard Street Books. 2014

When Artemus Ackerman, retired magician and mayor of Calendar, hears about the first fire on Sabbath Street, he sends his publicist, Maggie Wakeling, to the fire department to find out what caused it. Artemus, who still performs conjuring tricks for his constituents, has his heart set on turning the shabbily elegant Baldwin Theater into a museum of magic. All he has to do is convince wealthy widow Claudette Goodwin to donate the Baldwin to his beloved town. But the theater is located on Sabbath Street, where that first disastrous fire had occurred. Then there is a second fire on Sabbath Street. And a third. Certain that Claudette will never invest money in such an incendiary location, Artemus orders Maggie to follow the trail of char. First to Fire Marshal George Copeland. Then to The Boys of Sabbath Street, who had so valiantly saved occupants from two fires. And finally to...? Add to the mix Mayor Ackerman's romantic attraction to the Claudette Goodwin, Maggie's determination not to be attracted to Fire Marshal Copeland, and the idiosyncratic residents of Calendar. The result is a happy romp through the world of fire investigation and an introduction to people you will wish lived across the street, instead of only in the pages of this enchanting book.


''Julian Solo'' nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Award (best first novel)

and by the Libertarian Futurist Society for a Prometheus Award in 1988 ''Origin & Cause'' was nominated for a Falcon Award by the Maltese Falcon Society of Japan ''The Man With the Glass Heart'', was a Freedom Book Club selection.

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