Monica Ferris spent the later part of her childhood and early adult life in Wisconsin, graduating from high school in Milwaukee. She was a journalist in the U.S. Navy for six and a half years (two in London), and later attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is married to a museum curator.
Monica sold her first short story, "Pass the Word," to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, in 1983, and has since sold two dozen short stories to anthologies and magazines, including some in Germany, England and France. She has two stories each in the anthologies, The Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives and The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits, and a story in Shakespearean Mysteries, Royal Whodunnits, and Unholy Orders.
Her first mystery novel, Murder at the War was nominated for an Anthony as Best First Novel. The Unforgiving Minutes and Ashes to Ashes followed in 1988; and in May of 1992 Original Sin and Show Stopper were sold.
Berkley published six medieval mysteries Monica wrote in collaboration with Margaret Frazer: The Novice's Tale, The Servant's Tale (nominated for an Edgar as Best Original Paperback of 1993), The Outlaw's Tale, The Bishop's Tale, The Boy's Tale, and The Murderer's Tale. Margaret Frazer presently continues the series alone.
In 1998 Monica began writing a new series for Berkley featuring a needleworking sleuth. Crewel World, now in its ninth printing, came out in March and was followed by Framed in Lace, A Stitch in Time, Unraveled Sleeve, A Murderous Yarn, and Hanging by A Thread. Cutwork is her seventh novel and she is working on a Christmas hardcover set at the Nashville Needlework Market. These light and traditional novels are set in her home state of Minnesota.
Monica has taught courses on mystery writing to children at North Hennepin Commnity College, gifted children in District #287, and adults at one-evening seminars at Hennepin and Ramsey County libraries. She does lectures and signings, and has appeared on panels at mystery and science fiction conventions. She has won a place on national and local best-seller lists, including USA Today and the independent mystery bookstore compilation. She is a member of Sisters in Crime (a national organization that promotes women who write mystery fiction), remains a paid speaker on the life of a mystery author, and is a volunteer at Westwood Nursing Home and in area public schools.
Monica studies the medieval period as an amateur, and does needlework. She is a lector and usher in The Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Minneapolis. She collects exuberant hats and is not afraid to wear them in public.
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