Denise Hamilton writes the nationally best-selling Eve Diamond crime novels featuring a reporter who solves murders in contemporary multicultural Los Angeles.
In her latest Eve Diamond book, Prisoner of Memory, Hamilton plumbs her own family's Russian heritage to combine Cold War espionage and suspense. Read chapter one here.
Savage Garden was a finalist for the Southern California Booksellers Award for "Best Mystery of 2005." Her books have been finalists for this award for two years running.
Hamilton's books have been shortlisted for the Edgar, Macavity, Anthony and Willa Cather awards. Her debut The Jasmine Trade was also a finalist for the prestigious Creasey Dagger Award given by the UK Crime Writers Assn. Hamilton's books have been BookSense 76 picks and Mystery Guild alternate selections. They are also published in France, Japan and England.
The Los Angeles Times named Last Lullaby a "Best Book of 2004." Last Lullaby was also a USA Today Summer Pick and a finalist for the Southern California Booksellers Association 2004 Award for "best mystery." The Boston Globe called it a "suspenseful, rapid-paced winner" and the Los Angeles Times said it displayed "so much freshness and sass that comparisons with Raymond Chandler aren't too far out of line."
Hamilton's debut, national bestseller The Jasmine Trade (Scribner 2001) was shortlisted for a number of literary awards including the 2001 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, which is named after Edgar Allen Poe and voted on by the Mystery Writers of America. The Jasmine Trade was also a finalist for the WILLA Award in contemporary fiction, which is named after Willa Cather and honors women writing in the West, the Macavity Award and the Anthony Award.
Hamilton is also an award-winning journalist. Her work has appeared in Wired,Cosmopolitan, Der Spiegel and New Times. She has won first place awards from the Los Angeles Press Club for feature and business writing.
During 10 years on staff at the Los Angeles Times, she covered the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, the break-up of the Soviet Union and youth movements in Japan. But the bulk of her Times career was spent in the suburbs of Los Angeles, where she used her overseas experience to cover the city's multicultural communities that feature prominently in her series.
A Los Angeles native, Hamilton is also a Fulbright Scholar who lived and taught in former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War. In one of her many Balkan adventures, Hamilton hitchhiked into Albania with $200 in her backpack and relied on the kindness of strangers as she criss-crossed the most isolated and backward country in Europe.
The recipient of various grants and fellowships, Hamilton has done consulting for New York University's Institute for War, Peace Reporting and Washington, D.C.-based Search for Common Ground and speaks frequently at universities, libraries and literary festivals.
Hamilton lives in a Los Angeles suburb with her husband and two young children.