Monday, December 12, 2016
Merecedes Lambert - A Forgotten Queen of Noir
Mercedes Lambert is Douglas Anne Munson.
Douglas Anne Munson is Mercedes Lambert.
Born in Crossville, Tennessee on February 17, 1948, Douglas Anne Munson's childhood was spent moving from town to town before her family finally settled in southern California in the 1960s. Douglas attended the University of New Mexico, where she majored in Latin American studies, and lived for a year in Ecuador. After attending law school at UCLA, Douglas became an attorney in the Los Angeles criminal courts. Most of her legal career was spent in dependency court, where children who have been removed from their parent's custody because of severe abuse, neglect or abandonment move through the legal system.
In 1990, Douglas published a novel called El Niño. The book was well received by critics and Douglas went on to publish two mystery novels under the name of Mercedes Lambert, Dogtown in 1991 and Soultown in 1996, which featured two women detectives. She completed a third novel in the series, Ghosttown, which remained unpublished during her lifetime.
After leaving the legal profession, Douglas taught creative writing and journaling at UCLA. She lived briefly in Washington State and San Francisco, and after completing a program to teach English as a second language, moved to the Czech Republic where she taught English to soldiers, missionaries, and mink farmers. After being diagnosed with cancer (she had successfully fought breast cancer while writing El Niño in the late 1980s), Douglas returned to the United States in 2001 and sought medical treatment in Connecticut. She was able to make one last visit to the Czech Republic in December of 2003 before dying on December 22, 2003 at a hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Her ashes were returned to southern California where they were scattered at sea.
Four years after her death, Ghosttown, the third and final Whitney Logan mystery, was published by Five Star Mystery; in the Spring of 2008, the first two Whitney Logan mysteries—Dogtown and Soultown—were reprinted in a single edition by Stark House. With the resurgence of interest of Douglas Anne Munson, her books have been translated and published in Japan and Italy.