Barbara D'Amato's picture

Barbara D'Amato

USA flag (b.1938)
Mother of Brian D'Amato

aka Malacai Black

Barbara D'Amato has had a checkered career, working in the distant past as an assistant surgical orderly, carpenter for stage magic illusions, assistant tiger handler, stage manager, researcher for attorneys in criminal cases, and recently sometimes teaching mystery writing to Chicago police officers.

"Writing is the greatest job of all," D'Amato says. "I get to hang around with cops, go ask people questions about their jobs that I would be too chicken to ask without a reason, and walk around Chicago looking for good murder locales. Best of all, I get to read mystery and suspense novels and call it keeping up with the field."

She was the 1999-2000 president of Mystery Writers of America. D'Amato is also a past president of Sisters in Crime International.

D'Amato is a playwright, novelist, and crime researcher. Her research on the Dr. John Branion murder case formed the basis for a segment on "Unsolved Mysteries," and she appeared on the program. Her musical comedies, The Magic Man and children's musical The Magic of Young Houdini, written with husband Anthony D'Amato, played in Chicago and London. Their Prohibition-era musical comedy RSVP Broadway, which played in Chicago in 1980, was named an "event of particular interest" by Chicago magazine. A native of Michigan, she has been a resident of Chicago for many years.

Genres: Mystery
   On My Honor (1989) (as by Malacai Black)
   White Male Infant (2002)
   Foolproof (2009) (with Jeanne M Dams and Mark Zubro)
   Other Eyes (2011)
Non fiction
Anthologies containing stories by Barbara D'Amato
Short stories
I Vant to Be Alone (1995)

Barbara D'Amato recommends
Chosen for Death (1994)
(Thea Kozak, book 1)
Kate Flora
"I enjoyed CHOSEN FOR DEATH immensely. Kate Flora is a fine new talent."
The Salaryman's Wife (2000)
(Rei Shimura, book 1)
Sujata Massey
"When a wealthy tourist is murdered at a hotel in the Japanese Alps, Rei Shimura, an American whose father is Japanese, is drawn into the case. Rei is a wonderful character, sympathetic to both halves of her ancestry and a splendid addition to the world of fictional sleuths. The book is a magic carpet to the Japanese Alps, and serves up murder as well. Great reading!"
Quietly Dead (2001)
(Claudia Hershey Mystery, book 2)
Laura Belgrave
"Quietly Dead is a great read. Highly recommended."
Deadly Kin (2003)
(Will Buchanan, book 2)
Tom Eslick
"DEADLY KIN has it all -- a splendid and perilous setting in the White Mountains, a sympathetic protagonist, and evil emerging from buried family secrets."
Little Face (2006)
(Culver Valley Crime, book 1)
Sophie Hannah
"Little Face is a wonderful work, a brilliant use of mirrors and the writer's magic. Chilling, tantalizing, and ultimately fair and deeply satisfying."

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