Rhys Bowen’s mysteries have been nominated for every major mystery award, including the Edgar for best novel, and she has won seven of them. She writes three series, including the Constable Evans mysteries, set in the mountains of Wales, and the Molly Murphy Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring a feisty Irish immigrant woman. Summer 2007 marks the launch of a new and very different series, this one about a minor royal in 1930s England. It has been described as Bridget Jones meets "Charade" as told by Nancy Mitford.
Rhys was born in Bath, England, of a Welsh/English family, and educated at London University. Upon graduation she went to work for the BBC in London, specializing in drama and becoming a studio manager. She also started writing her own radio and TV plays. Needing to escape from the dreary London weather, she accepted an invitation to work for Australian Broadcasting in Sydney. While Down Under she met her future husband John, who was on his way to California. She married and settled in the San Francisco area, where she has lived ever since, raising four children.
Finding nothing like the BBC in California, Rhys started writing children’s books. Her first picture book was named a NY Times best book of the year. More picture books followed, then Rhys moved to young adult novels, writing many best selling titles. She also wrote some adult historical sagas and some TV tie-ins.
When she felt she had exhausted her enthusiasm for writing for teenagers, Rhys decided to write what she likes to read: mysteries with a great feel for time and place. Her childhood memories of her Welsh relatives were the inspiration for her Constable Evans novels. The stories were immediately well received. The second book, Evan Help Us, was called “a jewel of a story” by Publisher's Weekly and nominated for a Barry Award. Evan’s Gate received an Edgar nomination. The books are published in several other languages, in large print, book club and in audio form.
Wanting to try her hand at something different and edgier, Rhys conceived Molly Murphy—a brash, fearless Irishwoman who struggles to survive as an immigrant in New York City. The first book in this series, Murphy’s Law, won three awards including the Agatha. Every subsequent book has received starred reviews and award nominations. For the Love of Mike won the Anthony Award at the world mystery convention.
Rhys also enjoys writing short stories and has achieved much critical acclaim for them. Several of her stories have been Agatha and Anthony nominees. "Doppelganger" won the Anthony award and was included in The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: Fifth Annual Collection anthology (2004). More recently, her story "Voodoo," an Anthony nominee, was chosen to be part of Fifty Years of Crime and Suspense—the anthology of the best of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
Rhys is a past national board member of MWA. When not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, play her Celtic harp and entertain her grandchildren.