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Michelle Cox

Born: 1967, in Fayetteville, NC
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: 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.

Biography: 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

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Twitter: http://www.twitter.commichellecox33

Selected Titles

A Child Lost: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel, 5
ISBN: 163152836X OCLC: 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 ramblings. 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.

A Girl Like You (A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel, 1)
ISBN: 1631520164 OCLC: 920452253

Henrietta Von Harmon works as a 26 girl at a corner bar on Chicago’s northwest side. It’s 1935, but things still aren’t looking up since the big crash and her father’s subsequent suicide, leaving Henrietta to care for her antagonistic mother and younger siblings. Henrietta is eventually persuaded to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall―and just when she’s beginning to enjoy herself, the floor matron turns up dead. When aloof Inspector Clive Howard appears on the scene, Henrietta agrees to go undercover for him―and is plunged into Chicago’s grittier underworld. Meanwhile, she’s still busy playing mother hen to her younger siblings, as well as to pesky neighborhood boy Stanley, who believes himself in love with her and keeps popping up in the most unlikely places, determined to keep Henrietta safe―even from the Inspector, if need be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing up the Inspector’s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most unsuitable ways.

A Haunting at Linley: The Henrietta and Inspector Howard Series, 8
ISBN: 1647425980 OCLC:

She Writes Press 2023

In the vein of Agatha Christie's best whodunnits! In this seventh book of the series, Clive and Henrietta return to England to find Castle Linley in financial ruin. When Clive's cousin, Wallace, invites an estate agent in to assess the home's value, the agent is later found poisoned, throwing all of the Castle's guests into suspicion. Clive and Henrietta are soon drawn into an investigation, which is slowed by an incompetent local inspector and several unexplained phenomena--the cause of which many, especially the frail Lady Linley, believe to be the workings of the ghost of a hanged maid. Meanwhile, Gunther and Elsie have begun life on a farm in Omaha. Circumstances are difficult, but they are content--until Oldrich Exely appears, proposing an option Elsie finds difficult to ignore. Melody Merriweather, still masquerading as a nun to aid Elsie's escape, likewise finds it difficult to ignore a letter with tragic news from home, while Julia, on the other hand, receives a very different sort of letter from Glenn Forbes. Back in England, Clive is called away to London on suspicious business, leaving Henrietta to carry on with the investigation alone. When she is mysteriously locked in the study one night, however, things take on a more deadly, supernatural feel, leaving her to fear that Lady Linley's "ghost" might just be real after all...

A Promise Given: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Series, Book 3
ISBN: 9781631523731 OCLC: 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 (A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel, Book 2)
ISBN: 9781631521966 OCLC: 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 Spying Eye: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel, 6
ISBN: 164742500X OCLC:

She Writes Press 2022

In this sixth book of the series, Clive and Henrietta return to Europe in an attempt to resurrect their failed honeymoon. While in London, they are approached by their old friend, Inspector John Hartle, who convinces them to search for the missing panel of the Ghent Altarpiece, a famous Renaissance painting, of which Hitler’s top men are also in pursuit.

A Veil Removed (A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel, 4)
ISBN: 1631525034 OCLC: 1097679630

Murder is never far from this sexy couple . . . even during the holidays! Their honeymoon abruptly ended by the untimely death of Alcott Howard, 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 his own 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 becomes darker―and deadlier―than they imagined as they get closer to the truth behind Alcott’s troubled affairs. Meanwhile, Henrietta’s sister, Elsie, begins, at Henrietta’s orchestration, to take classes at a women’s college―an attempt to evade her troubles and prevent any further romantic temptations. When she meets a bookish German custodian at the school, however, he challenges her to think for herself . . . even as she discovers some shocking secrets about his past life.