Nancy Means Wright - Ruth Willmarth Series


New in April 2016
The Shady Sisters


New in 2014
Acts of Balance


New Historical Novel:
    Queens Never
    Make Bargains


    Questions for
    Midnight Fires


Walking into the Wild
Broken Strings


Nancy's Backstory


Ruth Willmarth


Nancy's Books:
Mad Season
Harvest of Bones
Poison Apples
Stolen Honey
Fire and Ice
Mad Cow     Nightmare
The above 5 novels in print, and now
e-books, Belgrave House.
The Losing


Nancy's Books for Children:
The Pea Soup

Agatha Award 2006
Best Children's/YA Novel
Down the Strings
The Great Circus
    Train Robbery

Agatha Finalist


Make Your Own
Vermonters at
    their Craft


Buy Books
Find an Agent
How I Write
An Interview with
Another Interview
    with Nancy
Brief Bio For Busy Librarians (and other readers)
Contact Nancy

Nancy Means Wright

Ruth Willmarth Series

Greetings from the land of milk, maples, and malice domestic. Or, as Ruth Willmarth, my single mother-dairy farmer sleuth, would deem it: the hardscrabble world of contrary cows, unpaid bills, and errant husbands.

Mad Season

Harvest of Bones

Poison Apples

Stolen Honey

Mad Cow Nightmare

Crimes of Passion

Ruth’s man has left her for an actress who played a bit part in a local film.  For good reason, Ruth names her cows after women like Marie Antoinette, Cleopatra, Zelda—the beheaded, the poisoned, the exploited. But Ruth is tough, she can handle adversity; one reviewer describes her as "earthy, funny, hot-tempered, and sexier than she knows." Moreover, as backup, she has Colm Hanna, her wannabe lover who triples as realtor, mortician, and parttime cop; the bumper sticker on Colm’s old blue Horizon reads: "Moonlight In Vermont ."

Photo of Nancy's cat, Amelia

Nancy Shares Her Workspace

How did Ruth come about? Well, one day back in the early 90’s a pair of elderly Vermont farmers who never banked their money—stashed it, rather, in rafter holes and torn pocket seams—were mugged, robbed, and left for dead. The villains were nabbed when they started throwing the wrinkled bills around in bars and Bingo parlors. Alas for them, the money reeked of barn!

Out of that true life story came MAD SEASON , the first in the series from St. Martin’s Press—"an admirably crafted first novel," according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Next came HARVEST OF BONES, in which "Wright melds setting and character with the skill of Stephen Dobyns in his Saratoga mysteries" (Booklist).

Then, POISON APPLES, in which a mysterious somebody plants terror in an apple orchard adjacent to Ruth’s farm. According to Boston Globe , "...Wright doesn't put a foot wrong in this well-wrought mystery".

Next STOLEN HONEY, the fourth in the Ruth Willmarth series. A male Branbury College student is found on a local bee farm in a patch of deadly nightshade—and then a female professor who has been researching a 30's eugenics experiment is discovered, strangled, in her apartment.

And take a look at my novella, "Fire and Ice," out in January, '02 in the Worldwide Library anthology, CRIMES OF PASSION. A severe ice storm strikes northern Vermont, and with it comes a conflagration of love and hate. Ruth Willmarth is drawn into the murder investigation of a young woman stabbed with a massive icicle in a mystery filled with the dark secrets.

And now MAD COW NIGHTMARE , out in hardcover in April, '05, the fifth in the Ruth Willmarth series. A pair of suspect calves and an Irish traveller woman who might be infected with fatal CJD, the human form of Mad Cow disease, turn Ruth's summer into a nightmare.

Nancy as a cow


© Copyright 2001 - 2014, Nancy Means Wright. All rights reserved.

This site maintained by
T.D. Bennett Group, Inc.