BIO

A writer of things. An observer of life.

Who am I?

Rachel was born in Los Angeles, California fifteen days after Paul McCartney announced the split of the Beatles. As a child, she kept a pen in her hand, writing everywhere—in notebooks, on loose-leaf paper, in her big brother’s prep-school yearbook and on the back of church bulletins. But never on walls, buildings or freeway overpasses. That is graffiti.

For four years, she lived in the forest at UC Santa Cruz. There, she received a degree in English and American Literature, and helped to charter the Pi Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated.

She left Santa Cruz in 1992 and returned to Los Angeles. Since then, she has worked a variety of


jobs, including for incredible organizations like PEN Center USA West, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and City of Hope.

In 2002, her debut novel, A QUIET STORM, was published by Scribner to great notice, including reviews from O Magazine and Publishers Weekly, with a starred review from Library Journal and also chosen as a “Rory’s Book Club” selection, the must-read book list for fictional television character Rory Gilmore of The Gilmore Girls. She also published two e-novels: THE VIEW FROM HERE and NO ONE KNOWS YOU’RE HERE. In 2014, the first novel in the Detective Elouise Norton series was published, the critically acclaimed LAND OF SHADOWS, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and


included on LA Times’ ‘143 Books to Read This Summer’ and the UK Telegraph’s ‘Top Ten Crime Books for Summer.’ Rachel was also a featured writer on NPR Crime in the City.

The next novel in the Detective Elouise Norton series, SKIES OF ASH, will be published in May 2015.

She lives with her husband and daughter in Los Angeles, the land of exceptional drought.

  • ‘In the beginning was the word...”

    I write because I must. Because I can. Because someone has to tell you, yes you, that there's a dead body (real or imagined) in that alley over there because you need to know so that we can all stop the monster who's doing scary s*&t to other citizens.

  • You need the right weapons.

    Uniball Vision Needle Fine or Micro. Schaedtler F pencils, Sharpie highlighters. Legal pads. Each feel good in my hands. Not fancy but certainly writing indulgences.

  • All of writing is one big trespass.

    You can't write well and have manners. Writers offend, curse, gawk, giggle, poke, probe, ask too many questions. All the time.

SKIES OF ASH

A Detective Lou Norton Novel - Coming May 2015!

PRAISE

  • Lee Child

    “Detective Elouise Norton is the best new character you'll meet this year.”—Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author
  • Hank Phillippi Ryan

    “Spellbinding. Gritty. Original, complex, profound and riveting. This is a voice you have never heard—and will be unable to forget. Prepare to be blown away.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award winning author
  • Publishers Weekly

    “A racially explosive Los Angeles provides the backdrop for this exceptional crime novel from Hall (A Quiet Storm). Elouise “Lou” Norton, an LAPD homicide detective known on the street as “Lockjaw,” has solved 90% of the cases she’s led…Dead-on dialogue and atmospheric details help propel a tale full of tormenting moral issues.”
  • Mystery Scene

    “o Rachel Howzell Hall, a debut novelist, writes with skill and flair. Her first novel exhibits a keen sense of pace and place, and an equally keen sense of what makes her wide and varied cast of characters tick. While relying on familiar tropes and motifs (the bumbling partner, the past haunting the present, politics getting in the way of solving crimes, among others), Hall gives them a unique edge”

​​Los Angeles homicide detective Elouise "Lou" Norton and her partner, Colin Taggert, arrive at the scene of a tragic house fire. Juliet Chatman perished in the blaze, along with her two children. Left behind is grieving husband and father Christopher Chatman, hospitalized after trying to rescue his family. Chatman is devastated that he couldn't save them.

Unless, of course, he's the one who killed them.

Neighbors and family friends insist the Chatmans were living the dream. But Lou quickly discovers the reality was very different. The flames of adultery, jealousy, scandal, fraud, and disease had all but consumed the Chatmans' marriage before it went up in smoke.

Was the fire sparked by a serial arsonist known as The Burning Man? Or by the Chatmans' son, who regularly burned his father's property?

Searching for justice through the ashes of a picture-perfect family, Lou doesn't know if she will catch an arsonist or be burned in the process.

         

ADDITIONAL READS

"All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy
family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy

APPEARANCES

Here, there and everywhere.
I will be seeing you soon.

March 14
6:00 p.m.
Walnut Creek Library Foundation Authors Under the Stars Gala
Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
May 9
TBD
Litfest Pasadena
TBD
May 19
7:00 p.m.
The Last Bookstore
453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
May 21
7:00 p.m.
Eso Won Books
4327 Degnan Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 900081
May 27
7:30 p.m.
Mysterious Galaxy San Diego
5943 Balboa Ave #100, San Diego, CA 92111
May 30
2:00 p.m.
Poisoned Pen
4014 N Goldwater Blvd #101, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
May 31
6:30 p.m.
A Great Good Place for Books
6120 La Salle Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
June 7
TBD
El Segundo Author Fair
111 W Mariposa, El Segundo, CA 90245

INSPIRATION

If you are ever around a writer, know that you are being watched.
You inspire me.

ALL
AROUND TOWN
SIGN LANGUAGE
ARSENAL

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