Amanda Cross wrote 14 murder mysteries that featured Kate Fansler as the protagonist. Some of these books include "In the Last Analysis," "The James Joyce Murder," "The Edge of Doom" and "Death of a Tenured Position," which won the Nero Award in 1981.
Amanda Cross is the pen name for the late Carolyn Gold Heilbrun, an English and literature professor at Columbia University. When Heilbrun started writing the Kate Fansler series, she decided to use a pen name to protect her academic career. She was discovered to be the author of the Fansler books after a fan researched copyright laws and outted Heilbrun to the public.
Heilbrun's main character was, like the writer, an English professor and a feminist. Heilbrun used these books, and the characters in them, to voice her feminist ideas and beliefs.
Heilbrun also penned numerous non-fiction and academic books, including "Writing a Woman's Life," "Reinventing Womanhood" and "The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty."
In 2003, at the age of 77, Heilbrun committed suicide, not because she was ill or depressed, but because she wanted to have control of her life and her death. According to her son, she felt that her life's journey had concluded.