Wood and glass door on stone wall with vines


About Me

Author & Teacher

Authors Illuminate & Teachers Open Doors

Effective writers and teachers have one thing in common: a keen understanding of their audience.

Without it, we shout in the dark. With it, we connect on the most human level.


Jane K. Cleland writes a variety of crime fiction, including thrillers, middle grade, espionage, and the long-running Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series. All her novels have been published by St. Martin’s Minotaur. All her short stories (and a novella) have been published by Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Her books and stories have been IMBA-best-sellers, multiple award winners, and have received starred reviews from prestigious journals like Library Journal. The series has been reviewed as an Antiques Roadshow for mystery fans. Library Journal named Consigned to Death a “core title” for librarians looking to build a cozy collection, one of only 22 titles listed, along with books by Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers.

Jane also chairs the Black Orchid Novella Award, one of the Wolfe Pack’s literary awards, granted in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She is a past chapter president of the Mystery Writers of America/New York Chapter and served on the national board as well.

In addition, Jane writes about the craft of writing, including articles for Writer’s Digest Magazine, where she is a contributing editor. She’s also written the bestselling and Agatha Award-winning how-to books, Mastering Plot Twists and Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot, both published by Writer’s Digest Books. Other nonfiction titles include Business Writing for Results (McGraw Hill) and Putting First What Matters Most, (NAL/Penguin Putnam).

She also presents a free monthly series of webinars on the craft of writing as well as her small-group, virtual writing workshops—the Mystery Mastermind series.

Jane has both an MFA (in professional and creative writing) and an MBA (in marketing and management). She is a member of the fulltime faculty at Lehman College, part of the City University of New York, where she is also the director of the Program for Professional Communications. In addition, she mentors MFA students in Western Connecticut State University’s MFA in Creative & Professional Writing program.

Additionally, Jane has more than 25 years’ experience as a curriculum developer, workshop facilitator, and corporate trainer. She has developed content and facilitated workshops for scores of writing conferences, associations, libraries, corporations, non-profit organizations, universities, and government agencies throughout North America, as well as organizations in Europe and Asia. Jane also keynotes at writing conferences, association meetings, and universities.


Meet Jane

Awards & Nominations

Anthony Award Finalist: 2019 Best Nonfiction or Critical Work

Mastering Plot Twists

Agatha Award Winner: 2018 Best Non-Fiction

Mastering Plot Twists

Macavity Award Finalist: 2017 Best Nonfiction

Consigned to Death

Agatha Award Winner: 2016 Best Non-Fiction

Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot

David Award Finalist: 2016 Best Novel

Ornaments of Death

David Award Finalist: 2015 Best Novel

Blood Rubies

David Award Finalist: 2014 Best Novel

Lethal Treasure

David Award Winner: 2013 Best Novel

Dolled Up for Murder

David Award Finalist: 2010 Best Novel

Silent Auction

Agatha Award Finalist: 2009 Best Short Story

Killing Time (published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)

Anthony Award Finalist: 2009 Best Short Story

Killing Time (published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)

David Award Finalist: 2009 Best Novel

Antiques to Die For

David Award Winner: 2008 Best Novel

Deadly Appraisal

Macavity Award Finalist: 2007 Best First Novel

Consigned to Death

Agatha Award Finalist: 2006 Best First Novel

Consigned to Death

David Award Finalist: 2006 Best First Novel

Deadly Appraisal

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