Barbara D'Amato was the 1999-2000 president of Mystery Writers of America and is a past president of Sisters in Crime International. She writes a mystery series starring Chicago freelance investigative reporter Cat Marsala, a series starring Chicago patrol cops Suze Figueroa and Norm Bennis, and standalone novels. Her thriller Foolproof, co-written with Jeanne M. Dams and Mark Richard Zubro, was published in December 2009; she will also have a new novel, Other Eyes, out from Tor/Forge in January 2011.
D'Amato's Figueroa & Bennis novel, Authorized Personnel Only, won the first annual Mary Higgins Clark Award, presented at the Mystery Writers of America Agents and Editors Party during Edgar Week 2001.
D'Amato is a playwright, novelist, and crime researcher. Her research on the Dr. John Branion murder case formed the basis for a segment on Unsolved Mysteries, and she appeared on the program. Her musical comedies, The Magic Man and the children's musical The Magic of Young Houdini, written with husband Anthony D'Amato, played in Chicago and London. Their Prohibition-era musical comedy RSVP Broadway, which played in Chicago in 1980, was named "an event of particular interest" by Chicago magazine.
A native of Michigan, she has been a resident of Chicago for many years. D'Amato has been a columnist for the Sisters in Crime newsletter and Mystery Scene magazine. She has worked as an assistant surgical orderly, carpenter for stage magic illusions, assistant tiger handler, stage manager, researcher for attorneys in criminal cases, and occasionally teaches mystery writing to Chicago police officers.
This tense, psychological thriller set in the East Village punk scene during the early 1980s shadows a single evening shift of NYPD cop Filomena Buscarsela. When Filomena learns that the toxic leak may have been sabotage, and a key witness?an East Village artist?dies in a suspicious accident, she decides to pursue the case on her own by cruising the Alphabet City punk rock clubs for clues about the artist’s last days. But as she attempts to punish environmental criminals, Filomena finds the case, and her personal life, begin to crumble. A taut noir tempered with a cynical sense of humor, this mystery novel is a sociological snapshot of a working-class Latina in New York City.