Holly West

Holly West

Photo by Mick West

Don’t let the smile fool you; Holly West has a dark side.

Originally from a small town in Northern California, Holly moved to the big city to attend Loyola Marymount University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Screenwriting. After shoving a few unproduced scripts in the proverbial desk drawer, she succumbed to her baser instincts and turned to writing crime fiction.

She’s the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Mistress of Fortune series, set in late 17th century London and featuring amateur sleuth Isabel Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II who secretly makes her living as a fortuneteller. The first in the series, Mistress of Fortune, was published by Harlequin’s Carina Press in February 2014 and was nominated for the Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award for Best First Novel in 2015.

Holly’s short stories also appear in Feeding Kate: A Crime Fiction Anthology, Needle: A Magazine of Noir and Shotgun Honey Presents: Both Barrels. Her Anthony Award-nominated short story, “Don’t Fear the Ripper,” originally published in Protectors 2: Heroes, appears in The Big Book of Jack the Ripper (Vintage Books), edited by Otto Penzler. Her most recent short story, “Queen of the Dogs,” is nominated for a 2017 Anthony Award and appears in 44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul, and Payback (Moonstone), edited by Gary Phillips and Robert Randisi.

Before devoting herself to writing fiction full-time, Holly was an accomplished jewelry designer. She also served as a contributor to About.com for four years, writing about a variety of topics. Prior to that, she worked as a foreign credentials analyst, specializing in Latin America, and published monographs on the educational systems of Sudan, Zambia, and Afghanistan.

Holly lives in Northern California with her husband, Mick, and dogs, Stella and Brando. She’s a member of the Mystery Writers of America, for which she edits the Southern California chapter’s newsletter, Sisters in Crime and the International Thriller Writers. She’s also the Wednesday contributor to the Do Some Damage blog.

Holly is represented by Elizabeth K. Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates.