Libby Fischer Hellmann


Crime fiction author Libby Fischer Hellmann claims she’s “writing her way around the genre.” With nine novels and twenty short stories published, she has written thrillers, suspense mysteries, historicals, PI novels, amateur sleuth, police procedurals, and even a cozy. At the core of all her stories, however, is a crime or the possibility of one.

She is a transplant from Washington, D.C., where, she says, “When you’re sitting around the dinner table gossiping about the neighbors, you’re talking politics.” Armed with a Masters Degree in Film Production from New York University, and a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania, she started her career in broadcast news. She began as an assistant film editor at NBC News in New York, but moved back to DC where she worked with Robin McNeil and Jim Lehrer at N-PACT, the public affairs production arm of PBS. When Watergate broke, she was re-trained as an assistant director and helped produce PBS’s night-time broadcasts of the hearings.

In 1978, Hellmann moved to Chicago to work at Burson-Marsteller, the large public relations firm, staying until 1985 when she founded Fischer Hellmann Communications. Currently, when not writing, she conducts speaker training programs in platform speaking, presentation skills, media training, and crisis communications. Additionally, Libby also writes and produces videos.
Her first novel, AN EYE FOR MURDER, which features Ellie Foreman, a video producer and single mother, was released in 2002. Publishers Weekly called it a “masterful blend of politics, history, and suspense,” and it was nominated for several awards. That was followed by three more entries in the Ellie Foreman series, which Libby describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24.”

A few years later, Libby introduced her second series featuring hard-boiled Chicago PI Georgia Davis, which Chicago Tribune describes as, “a new no-nonsense detective …. tough and smart enough to give even the legendary V.I. Warshawski a run for her money.” There are three books in that series so far: EASY INNOCENCE (2008) and DOUBLEBACK (2009), which was selected as a Great Lakes Booksellers’ Association “2009 Great Read,” and TOXICITY (2011), a police procedural ebook thriller that became the prequel to the Georgia Davis series.

Her 7th novel, SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE, (December, 2010) was a standalone thriller that goes back, in part, to the late Sixties in Chicago and marked a new direction for Libby. Publishers Weekly describes it as “top-rate” and says, “A jazzy fusion of past and present, Hellman's insightful, politically charged whodunit explores a fascinating period in American history.” It was short-listed for ForeWord Magazine’s Book of 2010 in the suspense/thriller category. A BITTER VEIL, a political thriller set in revolutionary Iran was released in April, 2012. That was followed by HAVANA LOST in 2013, and the 4th installment in the Georgia Davis PI Series, NOBODY'S CHILD in 2014. Her historical novella, THE INCIDENTAL SPY, came out in 2015, and 2016 will see the 5th Ellie Foreman mystery, JUMP CUT.

Libby has also edited a highly acclaimed crime fiction anthology, CHICAGO BLUES (October, 2007). In May, 2010, she published a collection of her own short stories called NICE GIRL DOES NOIR. In 2005-2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 3,400 plus member organization committed to strengthening the voice of female mystery writers.

Where to find Libby Fischer Hellmann online

Where to buy in print


Jump Cut
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 70,840. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
Hired to produce a video of aviation giant Delcroft, Ellie is dismayed when VP Charlotte Hollander cancels the project. Ellie thinks Hollander was spooked by shots of a specific man in the footage. But when Ellie arranges to meet the man, he is killed by a subway train. Flash drives, encryption, Chinese spies, and hackers ensue until Ellie realizes she's in way over her head. And in mortal danger.
Capital Partners: A Short Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,060. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2015. Categories: Screenplays » Mystery, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
The story is about two women at a posh ski resort who discover their husbands are caught in a Ponzi scheme. They take matters into their own hands in order to survive. It was originally published in the Writes of Spring Anthology, Nodin Press, 2012, edited by Pat Frovarp and Gary Shulze. "A fine story..." Publishers Weekly
War Secrets: A Short Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,350. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
This short story takes place in the 1930s in Leipzig, Germany. The Nazis are in power, but the war has not yet begun. A young physics student and an older German scientist must work together to find a way to split the atom. But both men have secrets that could put the other in mortal danger. Originally published in the 2013 MWA Anthology THE MYSTERY BOX, edited by Brad Meltzer.
La Habana Perdida
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 112,610. Language: Spanish. Published: April 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
Un thriller en gran parte ambientado en Cuba, que se extiende por tres generaciones de la misma familia de Mafia.
The Murder of Katie Boyle
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,870. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
I'm often asked how Ellie Foreman and Georgia Davis, my two series protagonists originally met. That's explained in this short story, written and published in 2009. It takes place prior to AN EYE FOR MURDER when Georgia was still a cop. The story was published in a limited numbered edition. It can also be found in NICE GIRL DOES NOIR, in print, audio and electronic formats.
Inocenia Fåcil (Spanish Version of Easy Innocence)
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 103,620. Language: Spanish. Published: October 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Cuando encuentran a la bella e inteligente Sara Long apaleada a muerte, es facil inculpar al hombre con el bate. Pero Georgia Davis, expolicia y recientemente convertida en investigadora privada, es contratada para indagar el incidente por peticion de la hermana del acusado, y lo que ella encuentra hace alusion a una respuesta diferente y mucho mas sombria.
The Ellie Foreman Mysteries -- Boxed Set
Price: $12.99 USD. Words: 348,540. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Ellie Foreman is a different kind of amateur sleuth. Now, for the first time, the first four books in this award-winning series are available in a boxed set at a very attractive price! Don’t miss these novels, which the author describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24” But there’s so much more: history, humor, complex characters, and, of course, bone-chilling suspense.
A Shot to Die For
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 88,420. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Returning from a video shoot at the Lodge, a newly renovated, upscale resort, Ellie befriends a woman who claims her ride abandoned her at a highway rest stop. But Ellie's kindness is brutally cut short when a pickup truck pulls up, the rear window opens, and the woman is shot dead. When the second shooting occurs, Ellie is drawn into the secrets and danger of a prominent family in Lake Geneva, WI
An Image of Death
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 87,680. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Who knew that a career in video documentaries could lead to crime? A mysterious video arrives at Ellie Foreman's door. When she screens it she sees the murder of a young woman. Who was she? The cops shunt her aside, but a little digging reveals reveals dark happenings in Chicago, sex trafficking, money laundering, and the deadly price of dealing in diamonds during the collapse of the Soviet Union.
A Picture of Guilt
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 87,190. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
The big news story in Chicago is the murder trial of Johnny Santoro, a dock worker whose girlfriend has been killed. Most Chicagoans are betting on a quick guilty verdict, but Ellie Foreman finds evidence that could save Santoro from a lifetime behind bars. Almost immediately, a suspicious vehicle follows her, the Chicago mob shows up, and the FBI wants to question her. A real thriller ending.
An Eye For Murder
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 87,780. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
August, 1944, Prague is where the story begins with the casual exchange of information. Decades later, documentary filmmaker Ellie Foreman gets a letter from Ben Sinclair prompted by the success of her show "Celebrate Chicago. When she tries to find him, she is told he suddenly died. When the woman with whom Sinclair suddenly dies also, Ellie knows something is wrong.
The Day Miriam Hirsch Disappeared
Price: $1.09 USD. Words: 4,880. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
In 1938, teenage Jake Foreman spends time in Lawndale, a prosperous Jewish community on Chicago’s near west side where he develops a crush on Miriam Hirsch, an actress in the Yiddish theater. But Miriam only has eyes for Skull, who might or might not be a gangster. This short story became the prequel to the Ellie Foreman Mystery Series, which itself is the prequel to the Georgia Davis PI series.
Easy Innocence
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 93,930. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
When pretty, smart Sara Long is discovered bludgeoned to death, it’s easy to blame the man with the bat. But when Georgia Davis — former cop and newly-minted PI — is hired to look into the incident, she discovers that some teen girls on Chicago’s North Shore have learned just how much their innocence is worth to hot under the collar businessmen.

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