Meet the Author
Marion Moore Hill was born in Oklahoma and grew up primarily in Illinois and Kansas, changing schools often as the family followed her father's oil-field career. She holds the A.A. degree from El Dorado (Kansas) Junior College (now Butler County Community College), the B.S. in journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University and the M.A. in communications from Stanford University. Hill has worked as a newspaper reporter, college English and journalism teacher, legal secretary, and ad copywriter. For several years, she and husband Elbert owned and operated a small ethnic/gourmet grocery in Durant.
She writes two series of mystery novels: the Scrappy Librarian Mysteries and the Deadly Past Mysteries. In the former series, tough, funny Oklahoma librarian Juanita Wills solves mysteries using her research skills and knowledge of fellow townspeople in small-town Wyndham, Oklahoma. In BOOKMARKED FOR MURDER, published in 2002, Juanita runs afoul of a secret hate group operating in her community. In DEATH BOOKS A RETURN, published in 2008, she searches for the truth about an unsolved 50-year-old racist murder. In COOK THE BOOKS, to be published in April 2014, Juanita proves her adult-literacy tutee innocent of having murdered her husband.
Hill loves animals and gave her librarian heroine a canine sidekick, Rip, whom Juanita has ironically named for Jack the Ripper because he's timid around strangers. Juanita's significant other, Wyndham Police Lieutenant Wayne Cleary, tries to dissuade her from snooping into possibly dangerous situations, but her nosy nature sends her sleuthing anyway. Her reporter friend, Vivian Mathiesen, often aids and abets.
"Some of my readers ask if I'm Marion the librarian," Hill says. "I'm not a librarian myself, but I hang out in libraries a lot. Much of what I do revolves around reading." She was for 20 years an adult-literacy tutor for Durant Literacy Council, for a few years read stories weekly to residents of Caddo Nursing Home in Caddo, OK, and serves on the boards of both the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center and Library and the Friends of the Reynolds Library. She's a founder and discussion leader for Book Talk, an FOL-sponsored discussion group in Durant.
Hill is interested in history, particularly the American Revolutionary period. Her Deadly Past Mysteries are contemporary novels about American-history buff Millie Kirchner, who lives in Dallas TX but travels to history-related sites in the original 13 states, solving crimes relating to various Founding Fathers. In the debut novel DEADLY WILL, Millie finds herself an heir under the will of an ancestor she'd never heard of, a fictitious acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin named Nathan Henry, who patterned his legacy on an unusual bequest Benjamin Franklin actually made to the cities of Philadelphia and Boston. In DEADLY DESIGN, published in 2009, Millie helps investigate an old house near Lynchburg, Virginia, which may have been designed by Thomas Jefferson. Future novels in that series will be DEADLY KIN, with a plot related to John, Abigail, and Samuel Adams, and an as-yet-untitled novel related to George
Research for the Deadly Past novels has taken Hill to many historical sites, including Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia and Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania, where scenes in DEADLY WILL take place. When researching DEADLY DESIGN, she spent time at Thomas Jefferson's retreat home, Poplar Forest, near Lynchburg VA; at Monticello and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville; and at Colonial Williamsburg. Both WILL and DESIGN are sold at the Independence National Historical Park Visitors Center in Philadelphia, the only works of adult fiction approved for sale there.
She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc. Her novels and short stories have won prizes from ByLine magazine, Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc., Greater Dallas Writers' Association, Panhandle Professional Writers, and Johnson County Creative Writers.
Hill's first short story, "Mum's and Pansy's Greenhouse", was published in the premier edition of Whispering Willow Mystery Magazine as its Dagger Award winner in 1997. "Bear With Me" appears in ALMOSTLY MURDER…WITH PETS, an anthology of mystery stories with animal characters published in 2002. "Salty Ma's Diner" appears in the 2004 Red Dirt Anthology published by Red Dirt Book Festival. "An Able Defense" appears in the 2006 Red Dirt Anthology published by Red Dirt Book Festival.
Presently, she is working on a standalone mainstream novel titled NANETTE, about a woman in Dallas who finds herself homeless after an ugly divorce. Nanette originated as a secondary character in one of Hill's unpublished mysteries.
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