Mystery Writer

Michelle Wan Photograph

"What do I want to give my readers? A gripping story and a transporting time away."

A book, whether electronic or on paper, draws on the realities and the imagination of both the writer and the reader. My realities? I was born in China; lived in India, the U.S., England, Brazil and France; earned degrees in anthropology and Geography; worked in many areas; and—of course—I write.

My writing reflects my experiences, colored by my imagination. As on the day in southwest France when I found my first wild orchid, and orchids and murder came together in the Death in the Dordogne series. Or when I worked for a time in debt collection, or saw my first mud-wrestling match, and these things fueled my creation of other books. And so it goes.

And what about you, the reader? You, too, arrive by the path your life has taken. You bring with you the universe of your experiences and the paint box of your imagination. So I invite you—walk with me for a time down the camino of the written word. Open one of my books. I write them to be read by you.

Michelle Wan lives in Guelph, Ontario, Canada with her husband Tim. Her books have been published in Canada, the U.S., Germany, Italy, Holland, and Japan.

Books by Michelle Wan

Deadly Slipper — 2005

The fate of a missing woman is tied to the hunt for a mysterious, unknown Slipper Orchid.

"Not since Nero Wolfe has such a fragrant combination of orchid lore and suspense found its way into a mystery novel." ~ Booklist

"Full of vicarious thrills, offering sensory indulgences of the floral and culinary kind, with a dash of romance as spice." ~ San Francisco Chronicle

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The Orchid Shroud — 2006

An embroidered representation of the mystery orchid reveals horrific things. Does a monster stalk the quiet forests of the Dordogne?

"Terrific...Wan's characters are well made and the story really clicks." ~ The Globe and Mail

"Wan carefully sets the stage, introducing her cast of characters and weaving plot details...until, voilà, there’s a full-blown, spellbinding mystery." ~ Library Journal

"[Wan] shows a mastery of mystery and an unmatched flair for the genre." ~ Edmonton Journal

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A Twist of Orchids — 2008

Orchids and drugs are linked to a murderous midnight apparition with a rhyming burglar thrown in for fun.

"The third novel in Wan’s delightful Death in the Dordogne series. Who knew that Guelph, Ont., could generate such Gallic glory?" ~ The Globe and Mail

"With its sensuous language and evocative imagery Wan’s story of its twist of orchids and twists of fate has action galore and sustenance aplenty to tickle the palates of even the most discriminating of...mystery lovers." ~ Mysterious Reviews

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Kill for an Orchid — 2010

A list of names hidden among a dead woman’s effects links to a killer. A pharmaceutical giant seeks to conceal its predatory dealings. Will the origin of the unknown Slipper Orchid prove to be rooted in blood? The fourth in the Death in the Dordogne series spans two hemispheres and three centuries to piece together a story of greed, obsession and deadly commercial interests.

"...increasingly adroit..." ~ More Magazine

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Rapid Reads Books by Michelle Wan

When I Kill You — 2012

Postal worker and aspiring mud wrestling champ Gina Lopez becomes an unwilling hit woman in this hilarious and sometimes slippery foray into mud wrestling, blackmail and assassination. Gina discovers that there is no "how to" primer for committing murder.

"...A good read, well written. Highly recommended." ~ CM Magazine

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I.O.U. DEAD — 2015

When you discover the identity of a serial killer you have three choices: Go to the cops. Profit from your knowledge. Run for your life. Keno is a debt collector who works the city’s mean streets. He and his partner Jaco catch "The Hammer" at the scene of his latest crime, and opportunistic Jaco sees a way to easy money. But the killer turns the tables on them. Now they're on the run — until Keno realizes that the killer's next target is someone he cares about.

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When I Kill You and IOU DEAD are fast-paced novels. They are part of the increasingly popular Rapid Reads series of short books targeting diverse audiences, including those simply wanting a quick, entertaining read.

Photo of Michelle Wan: Dave Carter, Guelph Mercury
Photos of Cypripedium wardii and Cypripedium farreri: Tim Johnson