Saturday, February 16, 2008

Peterson Passes

Mystery*File’s Steve Lewis passes along the sorrowful news that educator and author Audrey C. Buckland, who--under the pseudonym “Audrey Peterson”--composed two academic mystery series set principally in England, died in her sleep on February 12. A resident of Southern California, she’d recently celebrated her 87th birthday.

Together with a plot synopsis of her most recent novel, 2005’s Murder in Stratford (which finds Anne Hathaway turning detective in order to save her playwright husband, William Shakespeare, from a fallacious charge of murder), the Alibris Web site explains that “Audrey Peterson fell in love with England when, as professor of English at California State University at Long Beach, she traveled there to pursue research for scholarly publication, so it is no surprise that all of her mystery novels are set in England.” Willetta L. Heising’s Detecting Women provides some more background on this respected novelist:
Her six-book series featuring music professor, Andrew Quentin, and his former graduate student, Jane Winfield, begins with The Nocturne Murder [1987]. The pair spends a lot of time in England and on the continent, places which Peterson often visits. She told Contemporary Authors that the music background allows her to incorporate a lifelong interest in opera and concert-going. Like her second series character, Claire Camden, Peterson has done academic research in England, but has yet to solve a murder. She has written a study of 19th century writers, Victorian Masters of Mystery: From Wilkie Collins to Conan Doyle (1984). A Los Angeles native, she earned a Ph.D. at the University of Southern California and taught English literature at California State University, Long Beach for 20 years.
At least at the time of Detecting Women’s third printing in 1999, it seems Buckland/Peterson was living in Bellingham, Washington. By 2005, though, she had relocated to Huntington Beach, California, “near her daughters and two grandchildren,” as Alibris points out. Fellow author Annette Meyers, in a note addressed yesterday to DorothyL readers, mentioned that not long before her death, “the amazing Audrey was planning one of her trips to New York and London. We loved Audrey and will miss her and miss seeing her when she zipped through New York to see opera.”

We offer our condolences to Buckland’s family.

No comments: