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Saturday May 15th, 2021 7:48PM

Bloodhound mystery writer dies in south Georgia

By The Associated Press
<p>Award-winning mystery writer Virginia Lanier, author of the Bloodhound mystery series, has died at her home in south Georgia after a long illness. She was 72.</p><p>Lanier died Monday, less than three months after the release of the sixth book in the series, A Bloodhound To Die For.</p><p>She can tell story after story and never tell the same one twice, said longtime friend Lisa Padgett.</p><p>Lanier didnt start writing until she was 63 years old when she threw a book she didnt like across the room and told her husband she could do better.</p><p>Her husband, Robert Hoss Lanier, challenged her to back up her words by writing her own novel.</p><p>I had no education, no typewriter, no place to write, Lanier said in a 1997 interview. If its got more than four letters in it, I dont know how to spell.</p><p>Laniers first book, Death in Bloodhound Red, was published in 1995. It won the Anthony award for best mystery novel in that year.</p><p>She followed her debut novel up with The House on Bloodhound Lane, A Brace of Bloodhounds, Blind Bloodhound Justice, Ten Little Bloodhounds and A Bloodhound To Die For.</p><p>The books main character is Jo Beth Sidden, a young woman who raises and trains bloodhounds. The dogs help her chase down escaped convicts and other criminals along the Okefenokee Swamp.</p><p>Lanier made sure Sidden, a character who is hassled by an abusive husband, was a devout feminist.</p><p>I had to keep my feminism in the closet for 45 years because Im married to a good ol boy _ a rompin, stompin, beer-drinking macho man, Lanier said in 1997.</p><p>Lanier worked as a bookkeeper, a laundry mat attendant, a store credit manager and a clothing store manager before becoming a writer.</p><p>In 1978, she was diagnosed with Crohns disease, which causes inflammation in the small intestine.</p><p>She is survived by one son, three stepsons, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her husband died in November 2001.</p><p>Following her wishes, her remains will be cremated without any services.</p>
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