Radio Wolinsky

Shelley Singer (1939-2022), mystery author and KPFA book critic, 1986

Shelley Singer (1939-2022), mystery author of six Jake Samson mysteries and four Barrett Lake mysteries, and former book reviewer on KPFA, in conversation with Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff, recorded on November 19, 1986 at her East Bay home.

Mystery and suspense novelist Shelley Singer died of heart failure on November 10, 2022 at the age of 83. The author of six mysteries, two science fiction novels, one mainstream novel and several short stories, she was a key writer in the Sisters in Crime movement of the nineties. She also taught fiction writing and served as a manuscript consultant.

Richard Lupoff and Richard Wolinsky interviewed Shelley Singer at her home on November 19, 1986. At the time of the interview, she’d published three Jake Samson mysteries with a fourth on the way, along with an early science fiction novel.

A few months after the interview, she joined the two Richards for a monthly series of book review programs. Her participation lasted two or three years before she moved north and after a time chose to forgo the long commute to Berkeley.

Warm and welcoming, but not suffering fools, Shelley was a joy to work with, and her reviews were well-thought out and incisive. But it was her friendship at the time that was most important.

Over the course of the next decades of her life, Shelly continued to write Jake Samson mysteries, moved over to a new amateur detective, Barrett Lake, and began a three-volume science fiction series, of which the first volume, “Torch Song” was published in 2014.

“Torch Song” and the Jake Samson mysteries are available through Amazon. This interview was digitized and edited in December 2022 and has not been heard in over thirty years.