In memoriam


   Born: April 30, 1956
   Died: January 21, 2007

From Barbara Seranella’s webpage today comes some very sad news:

   Barbara Seranella, 50, bestselling mystery author and resident of Laguna Beach and PGA West in La Quinta, died peacefully on January 21, 2007, at 4:15 p.m. EST (1:15 p.m. PST) at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband Ron Seranella and her brother Dr. Larry Shore at her side. Barbara, who died of end-stage liver disease while awaiting a liver transplant, leaves behind her husband Ron, brothers Larry Shore of San Francisco and David Shore of Woodacre, parents Nate and Margie Shore of La Quinta, and stepdaughters Carrie Seranella and Shannon Howard.

   Private funeral arrangements are being made by the family. A celebration of Barbara’s life is being planned for February; details will be announced later.

From the “About Barbara” page of the same website:

   Seranella was born in Santa Monica, California and grew up in Pacific Palisades. After a restless childhood that included running away from home at 14, joining a hippie commune in the Haight, and riding with outlaw motorcycle clubs, she decided to settle down and do something normal so she became an auto mechanic.
   She worked at an Arco station in Sherman Oaks for five years and then a Texaco station in Brentwood for another twelve. At the Texaco station, she rose to the rank of service manager and then married her boss. Figuring she had taken her automotive career as far as it was going to carry her, she retired in 1993 to pursue the writing life.
   Seranella’s books have been hailed for their “gritty realism, smart plotting, taut suspense, and [their] highly original heroine.”

      Her first novel.


* No Human Involved. St. Martinís, 1997 [Miranda “Munch” Mancini; Los Angeles, CA; 1970s]
* No Offense Intended. Harper, 1999 [Munch Mancini; Los Angeles, CA; 1977]
* Unwanted Company. Harper, 2000 [Munch Mancini; California; 1984]
* Unfinished Business. Scribner, 2001 [Munch Mancini; California; mid-1980s]
* No Man Standing. Scribner, 2002 [Munch Mancini; California; 1980s]
* Unpaid Dues. Scribner, 2003 [Munch Mancini; California; 1980s]
* Unwilling Accomplice. Scribner, 2004 [Munch Mancini; California; 1985]
* An Acceptable Death. St. Martin’s, 2005 [Munch Mancini; Calfornia; 198–]
* Deadman’s Switch. St. Martin’s, 2007 [Charlotte Lyons]

“Misdirection,” which appears in the anthology, Greatest Hits: Original Stories of Hitmen, Hired Guns, and Private Eyes, edited by Robert Randisi, won the 2006 Anthony Award for Best Short Story.

Quoting from the Booklist [starred] review of An Acceptable Death:

    “Mancini herself has crawled up from the streets. As an ex-abuse victim, ex-prostitute, ex-biker old lady, ex-drug addict, she is both forever conscious of how lucky she is to be one of the few to escape and how unlucky the many others are who never do; this perspective, plus street smarts, enables her to go undercover convincingly. At this novel’s start, Mancini works as an auto mechanic in Santa Monica, has a nine-year-old daughter, and is involved in a relationship with an undercover narcotics detective.”

The book description for Deadman’s Switch, as taken from the Amazon website:

    “Charlotte Lyon can handle a crisis and has made that talent into a lucrative business. She describes it as crisis management, in which she supplies excellent and often unusual advice to suddenly troubled company heads about how to handle the press and the shareholders. And she goes beyond that, whenever she finds it necessary, to get to the bottom of the crisis itself. The job she has now is one of the latter; the derailment of a companys train that has killed both the engineer and a motion picture celebrity. Charlotte refuses to let her own demons — the recent death of her husband and a constantly nagging mother — keep her from going after who caused the accident.”