Joanne Fluke is an American author who was born in Minnesota in 1943. She writes novels romance and mystery novels, and her most successful works are those classed as ‘cozy mysteries’. She is most well-known for the stories which involve Hannah Swensen, a small-town baker-turned-detective. These stories have been turned into feature-length productions for the Hallmark Channel. Fluke’s family have been bakers for several generations and she is a talented baker herself. She used this family heritage as the inspiration for her Hannah Swensen stories. This series was born out of Fluke’s desire to write a cookbook, but her editor told her that she should write a mystery series instead. Fluke compromised by including her own recipes in the novels themselves.
Joanne Fluke has written many different novels, novellas and short stories under a variety of different pseudonyms including Kathryn Kirkwood, Jo Gibson, Chris Hunter, RJ Fischer and Gina Jackson. She started to write professionally in the 1980s, publishing horror stories for young adults under the pen name Jo Gibson. This was after having spent many years working in a wide variety of different positions including as a teacher, an assistant to a private investigator, a musician, a party planner and a computer consultant. She now works as a writer full time.
Fluke is well-liked by her readers and is renowned for bringing home-baked cookies to talks and signings. Joanne Fluke is married, and she and her husband now live in the south of California along with their many children and pets.