Jan Burke

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Jan Burke is an author of novels and short stories. She is a winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel.


Burke was born 1 August 1953 in Houston, Texas,[1] but has lived in Southern California most of her life. She comes from a close-knit family, and remains close to her parents, two sisters and a brother. Burke's husband is musician Tim Burke, whose bands include Downtight.[2] She attended California State University, Long Beach, and graduated with a degree in history.

She worked as a researcher on an oral history project interviewing "Rosie the Riveters." Later she became the manager of a manufacturing plant for a large corporation.

She completed her first novel, Goodnight, Irene in the evenings after work. It was sold unagented and unsolicited to Simon & Schuster. She received a surprising boost from a new fan when, during his first White House interview after taking office, President Bill Clinton said he was reading Goodnight, Irene.


Irene Kelly Mysteries:

Other novels[edit]


Burke edited the first edition of Breaking and Entering,[3] a Sisters in Crime's guide to getting published. She served as an Associate Editor on Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America,[4] edited by Sue Grafton. She is a longtime member of Sisters in Crime and has served on the national boards of Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League.

Burke is the founder and director of the Crime Lab Project, an organization working to raise awareness of the problems facing crime labs and the need to obtain better funding for forensic science. She is a past president of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and has served on MWA's National Board.

Burke's collection of short stories, Bones, appears in the television series Bones: Season 1, Ep. 17 - The Skull in the Desert. It is used as a prop on a table at minute 15:05.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Edgar Award

Edgar nomination [5]

Agatha Award [6]

Agatha Nominations [6]

Macavity Awards

Macavity nominations [7]

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Reader's Award.
Romantic Times's Career Achievement Award for Contemporary Suspense

Anthony Award nominations

Barry Nominations [8]


  1. ^ page 33, Great Women Mystery Writers, 2nd Ed. by Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, 2007, publ. Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33428-5
  2. ^ "Down Tight". Down Tight. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Inside The Cover Book Reviews". Mysteryreaders.com. Retrieved 2006-08-24. 
  4. ^ "Jan Burke, interviewed by T. Jefferson Parker". Absolutewrite.com. Retrieved 2006-08-24. 
  5. ^ "Edgar Award Winners and Nominees". ThrillingDetective.com. Retrieved 2006-08-30. 
  6. ^ a b "Past Award Winners & Nominees". Malice Domestic Ltd. Archived from the original on 2006-08-10. Retrieved 2006-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Macavity Award Winners & Nominees". Mystery Readers Interlational. Retrieved 2006-08-24. 
  8. ^ "The Barry Awards". DeadlyPleasures.com. Archived from the original on 2006-08-20. Retrieved 2006-08-30. 

External links[edit]