Eleanor Taylor Bland, of Waukegan, Illinois is best known as the award winning author of the Marti MacAlister series. In this series, African American heroine Marti MacAlister (a widow) and her partner Matthew "Vik" Jessenovik solve murder cases throughout the Chicagoland area. Fatal Remains (2003) is the latest eleventh title published, with A Cold and Silent Dying forthcoming. Most recently Ms. Bland edited Shades of Black (2004), an anthology of short crime and mystery stories by African-American authors. She has received the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award, the Chester A. Himes Mystery Fiction Award, and the Most Influential African American of Lake County Award. Ms. Bland is a member of The Mystery Writers of America, a charter member of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of Outreach to Authors of Color.