Barbara Fradkin (nee Currie) was born in Montreal and obtained her B.A. from McGill, M.A. from the University of Toronto, and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa. After more than twenty-five years as a child psychologist, she retired in order to devote more time to her first passion, writing.
Although she first appeared in print in 1995, Barbara has been writing since she was six. She is an active member of Canada's writing community as well as part of the notorious Ladies' Killing Circle, which edited anthologies of mystery short stories by Canadian women. She has three children and, currently, one dog, and splits her time between Ottawa and her cottage on Sharbot Lake, where she finds her best inspiration. In whatever spare time she can find, she loves outdoor activities like travelling, skiing and kayaking, as well as reading, of course.
Barbara's dark, compelling short stories have appeared in mystery magazines and anthologies such as the New Canadian Noir series and The Ladies Killing Circle series. She is a two-time winner in Storyteller Magazine's annual Great Canadian Short Story Contest, as well as a four-time nominee for the Crime Writers' of Canada Award for Excellence (formerly known as the Arthur Ellis Award) for Best Short Story.
Until recently, she has been best known for her award-winning police procedural series featuring the exasperating, quixotic Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green, published by Dundurn Press. There are eleven books in the series, with the latest, The Devil to Pay, released in October 2021. The series has garnered an impressive four Best Novel nominations from the Crime Writers of Canada, and both Fifth Son (2004) and Honour Among Men (2006) won the Best Novel Award in their respective years. The Whisper of Legends (2013) was also shortlisted for the Ottawa Book Award. The themes for the Inspector Green novels are often drawn from her own experiences as well as from issues that trouble her. She has explored topics ranging from war crimes to child sexual abuse to love gone awry.
More recently, Barbara has created a mystery/thriller series featuring Amanda Doucette, a passionate, adventurous international aid worker who has returned to Canada to find a new path after a traumatic ordeal on her last posting. Her natural instinct to help people and right wrongs often brings her face to face with trouble. The fourth in the series. The Ancient Dead, set in the Alberta badlands, was released in January 2021, and the fifth, Wreck Bay, in January 2023.
Barbara has always been concerned about social equality and literacy, and was therefore thrilled to become involved in the Rapid Reads initiative by Orca Books, creating the Cedric O'Toole series of short, easy-read, fast-paced books for reluctant and emerging readers. Cedric O'Toole is an unlikely and reluctant hero; a country handyman who barely scraped through high school and struggles with language but has an inventive mind and magic hands.
And in other news! A new Inspector Green novel!
Barbara is hard at work on the twelvth Inspector Green novel, to be published by Dundurn Press in January 2025. As soon as just the right title is found, she'll let you know.