Ohio Author Spotlight: Shelly Costa

Cleveland author Shelley Costa started out like many of us, with the world of Nancy Drew, where even clocks have secrets.  As a child, growing up in Garwood, New Jersey, Shelley spent time reading, writing in her room, and hanging out at rehearsals at her parents’ little theater group.

Shelly Costa

After graduating from Rutgers, she took a job at Holt, Rinehart and Winston in New York City, where she ended up in the Adult Trade Division.  From there, she moved on to graduate school and a PhD in English from Case Western Reserve University, with a dissertation on the nature of suspense.  And along the way, she started writing mysteries. When she is not writing her novels, she teaches creative writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

An Edgar nominee for Best Short Story, Shelley is the author of You Cannoli Die Once (Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel) and Basil Instinct, both part of her Italian Restaurant Series.  Practical Sins for Cold Climates is the first book in her new Val Cameron mystery series.  The second book in the series is entitled A Killer’s Guide to Good Works.  Shelley’s mystery stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Blood on Their Hands, The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, and Crimewave (UK).  She has also written The Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe.

On her website, Shelley says that anything she wants to read or write comes down to three words:  Good Person Struggling. With institutions that don’t make sense.  With relationships that strip the heart bare.  With wickedness we can never quite believe exists.  What she likes about traditional mysteries is their cockeyed belief in our ability as intrepid amateurs to solve crimes.  Murder becomes our business.

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