The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Photograph of Karen Odden

Karen Odden

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Fellow 2021

About Karen Odden

Karen Odden earned her Ph.D. in English literature from New York University and taught literature and critical theory at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays to books and journals, including Studies in the Novel and the Journal of Victorian Culture; she wrote the introductions for novels by Dickens and Trollope for the Barnes & Noble Classics series; and for a decade, she served as assistant editor for the academic journal Victorian Literature and Culture. For her first novel, she built upon the research for her dissertation on Victorian railway disasters, and all three of her books are set in 1870s London and the English countryside. A Lady in the Smoke (2015, Random House/Alibi) was a USA Today bestseller and won the New Mexico-Arizona 2016 Book Award for e-Book Fiction. Her second novel, A Dangerous Duet (2018, William Morrow) won the New Mexico-Arizona 2019 Book Award for Historical Fiction. A Trace of Deceit (2019, William Morrow) is her third novel. She has conducted workshops for Desert Sleuths (the Phoenix chapter of Sisters in Crime) and other writing organizations and has mentored members of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Karen lives in Arizona with her family and a ridiculously cute rescue beagle named Rosy. She loves to hear from writers and readers, and you can reach her at, or on twitter @karen_odden, IG @Karen_M_Odden, or FB @KarenMOdden.