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Erin E. MacDonald


Erin E. MacDonald was born in Manitoba and lived there until she was 14, in a series of small towns to which her father, an RCMP officer, was posted. When he took a Chief of Police job in a mill town in Northwestern Ontario, the family, including Erin’s older sister, moved again. In her last year of high school, Erin’s parents divorced and her mother moved to Thunder Bay. Erin completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concurrent Bachelor of Education degree at Lakehead University, where she spent a lot of time reading Kerouac and Ginsberg, writing poetry, and publishing punk concert reviews in the school paper. 


In 1997, she headed south to Kitchener-Waterloo to be near her mother, who was diagnosed with renal cell cancer. At the University of Waterloo, she completed a Master’s Degree in English a few months after her mother passed away and stayed on to pursue a doctorate degree. After studying Victorian literature and queer theory, she turned her attention to mystery fiction, writing a dissertation on the 87th Precinct novels of police procedural author Ed McBain while teaching at the university.


In 2005, she was hired as a full-time professor at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario where she moved with her husband, singer and fellow English professor Rob Muhlbock. In the fall of that year, Erin received her Ph.D. in English and began working on her first book, a literary companion book on all of Ed McBain’s/Evan Hunter’s works. In 2007 and 2009 her daughter Emma and son Rory were born, slowing the completion of the book but bringing unlimited happiness to her life.


In 2012, Ed McBain/Evan Hunter was finally published, to good reviews. Instead of taking some time off from writing, Erin decided to immediately begin work on two other book projects: a literary companion book on Scottish mystery author Ian Rankin and a collection of essays on the films of actor Robert Downey Jr. Robert Downey Jr. from Brat to Icon was published by McFarland in October 2014, and Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction was published in June 2020 and was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Several fictional pieces are also in the works, including a young adult novel that deals with a teenaged girl’s grief over her mother’s illness.


Erin wrote her first story, about a dog who solves mysteries, in grade two. Practical from an early age, though, she decided she’d better get a real job. Teaching English has brought her much joy and a steady paycheck, but Erin refuses to give up her first love--writing--no matter how busy life gets.

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