Barbara Fradkin (nee Currie) was born in Montreal and obtained her B.A. at McGill University and M.A. at the University of Toronto, before moving to Ottawa to work and raise a family. A few years later she returned to the University of Ottawa for her PhD in clinical psychology, and 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 and has always had an affinity for the dark side. Her work as a child psychologist provides ample insight and inspiration for stories. 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 two dogs, and 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 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, including "Voices from the Deep" in 2007. Her latest short story, "The Lighthouse", was published in a 2015 anthology of chilling short stories inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and entitled nEvermore! Tales of Murder, Mystery, and the Macabre.
To date, 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 ten books in the series, the latest, None So Blind, having been released in the fall of 2014. 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.
However, Barbara has recently embarked on a new series featuring Amanda Doucette, a passionate, adventurous international aid worker who has returned to Canada after a traumatic ordeal on her last posting, and who launches a cross-country charity adventure tour to raise money for children overseas. However, her natural instinct to help people and right wrongs often brings her face to face with trouble. The first of the series, Fire in the Stars, is set in Newfoundland and came out in September 2016, to stellar reviews. The second, The Trickster's Lullaby, is scheduled for release in September 2017, and she is hard at work on the third, Prisoners of Hope, scheduled for 2018.
Barbara has always been concerned about social equality and literacy, and so was thrilled to become involved in the new Rapid Reads initiative by Orca Books, creating the Cedric O'Toole series of short, easy-read, fast-paced books for reluctant and emergent readers. The series is set in poor, hard-scrabble, Eastern Ontario farm country, loosely based on the Sharbot Lake area where she has a cottage. 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.
So far there are three books in this series, with a third, The Night Thief, released in the spring of 2015. Both The Night Thief and Evil Behind that Door were shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best Novella award. She has just begun work on the fourth, so stay tuned!