Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Michelle Cox  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1967, in Fayetteville, NC

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-- Twitter -- http://www.twitter.commichellecox33
-- Website --

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Illinois Connection

Michelle (Bonnet) Cox was born in Fayetteville, NC at the Fort Bragg Army hospital while her father, Walter M. Bonnet, served in the US Army. When Michelle was just six months old, the Bonnets returned to their hometown of East Dubuque, Illinois, which is where several generations of Bonnets have lived, starting with Peter Bonnet, Michelle's great, great grandfather, who immigrated to the area from Alsace-Lorraine in the the 1800's. Michelle attended St. Mary Catholic Elementary School in East Dubuque and Wahlert Catholic High School in neighboring Dubuque, Iowa. She then went on to Mundelein College in Chicago and graduated, summa cum laude, in 1990. Currently, she is married with three children and lives in the northern Chicago suburb of Grayslake. She writes a historical mystery/romance series set in the 1930s Chicago, as well as a weekly blog, "Novel Notes of Local Lore," which is dedicated to ordinary Chicago residents of the 1930s and '40s, now long forgotten.

Biographical and Professional Information

Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as "Novel Notes of Local Lore," a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago's forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn't have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade.


A Girl Like You

Gold Historical Mystery Winner, Readers Favorite, 2017

Gold Mystery Winner, IPPY Awards, 2016

Gold Mystery Winner, Readers Favorite, 2016

Gold Mystery Winner, Foreword Indies, 2016

Finalist, Foreword Indies - Romance, 2016

Top 100 Notable Indie, Shelf Unbound, 2016

Mystery and Mayhem Winner, Chanticleer Awards, 2016

Fiction Romance Finalist, USA Best Book Awards, 2016

Winner, Beverly Hills Book Awards - Midwest Regional Fiction, 2016

Romance Finalist, Next Generation Indies, 2016

Historical Fiction Winner, Reader Views - Great Lakes Regional Winner, 2016

Historical Fiction Winner, Tyler Tichelaar Award, 2016

Starred Review, Kirkus, 2016

A Ring of Truth

Winner, Chanticleer Book Awards - Mystery, 2018

Finalist, Chanticleer Book Awards - Historical Fiction and Romance, 2018

Shortlisted for Indie Fiction Awards, Chicago Writers Association, 2018

Winner, Independent Press Award - Romantic Suspense, 2018

Finalist, Next Gen indies - Romance and Mystery, 2017

Honorable Mention, Readers Favorite - Mystery, 2017

Winner, Beverly Hills Book Award - Northeast Regional Fiction, 2017

Finalist, Beverly Hills Book Award - Cross-Genre, 2017

Finalist, Beverly Hills Book Award - Mystery, 2017

Finalist, Reader Views Literary Awards - Adult Fiction, 2017-2018

Finalist, National Indie Excellence Awards - Midwest Regional Fiction, 2018

A Promise Given

Finalist, Next Generation Indie Book Awards - Romance, 2018

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes.

Selected Titles At Your Library

A child lost /
ISBN: 163152836X. OCLC Number: 1142671794

. .

"A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl. . . When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta--much to Clive's dismay--begins to believe the spiritualist's strange rambling. Meanwhile, Elsie begs Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn't believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results."--Provided by publisher.

A girl like you /
ISBN: 1631520164. OCLC Number: 920452253

. .

"It's 1935, and ever since the big crash and her father's subsequent suicide, Henrietta Von Harmon has been left with the job of caring for her antagonistic mother and seven younger siblings. In desperation, Henrietta finally agrees to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall. Just as she's beginning to enjoy herself, however, the floor matron suddenly turns up dead. When the aloof Inspector Howard appears on the scene to investigate, he persuades Henrietta to go undercover for him, plunging even deeper into Chicago's gritty underworld."--

A promise given :
ISBN: 9781631523731. OCLC Number: 1030965403

. .

This third book in the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series provides a delightful romp through the English countryside and back. Anxious to be married, Henrietta and Clive push forward with their wedding plans despite their family differences, made worse now by Oldrich Exley's attempts to control the Von Harmons. When the long-awaited wedding day arrives, there is more unfolding than just Clive and Henrietta's vows of love. Stanley and Elsie's relationship is sorely tested by the presence of the dashing Lieutenant Harrison Barnes-Smith and by Henrietta's friend Rose --a situation that grows increasingly dark and confused as time goes on. As Clive and Henrietta begin their honeymoon at Castle Linley, the Howards' ancestral estate in England, they encounter a whole new host of characters, including the eccentric Lord and Lady Linley and Clive's mysterious cousin, Wallace. When a man is murdered in the village on the night of a house party at the Castle, Wallace comes under suspicion and Clive and Henrietta are reluctantly drawn into the case, despite Clive's anxiety at involving his new bride and Henrietta's distracting news from home. Delicately attempting to work together for the first time, Clive and Henrietta set out to prove Wallace's innocence, uncovering as they do so some rather shocking truths that will shake the Linley name and estate forever.--Page 4 of cover.

A ring of truth
ISBN: 9781631521966. OCLC Number: 958797084

. .

Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of meeting each other's family. Difficult because Clive has neglected to tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been hiding secrets about her past as well. When Clive brings Henrietta to the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs. Howard--and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly servant's ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a bigger, darker plot.--Page 4 of cover.

A veil removed /
ISBN: 1631525034. OCLC Number: 1097679630

. .

"In this fourth book of the series, Clive and Henrietta return to Highbury, where Clive discovers all is not as it should be. Increasingly convinced that his father's death was not an accident, Clive launches an investigation, despite his mother's belief that he has become 'mentally disturbed' with grief. Henrietta eventually joins forces with Clive on their first real case, which, as they unravel the truth behind Alcott's worrisome affairs, becomes darker--and deadlier--than they first imagined. Meanwhile, Henrietta's sister, Elsie, begins to take classes at a women's college in an attempt to evade her many troubles. When she meets a bookish German custodian, however, he challenges her to think for herself... even as she discovers some shocking secrets about his past life."--Page 4 of cover.