Kate Flora grew up on a chicken farm in Maine where the Friday afternoon trip to the library was the high point of her week. She dreamed of being able to create the kind of compelling, enchanting worlds of the books she disappeared into every week, but growing up in the era when “help wanted” ads were still sex-segregated, she felt her calling was to go to law school and get the job they told her she couldn’t have.
After law school, Flora worked in the Maine attorney general’s office, protecting battered kids, chasing deadbeat dads, and representing the Human Rights Commission. Those years taught her all a crime writer needs to know about the human propensity to commit horrible acts. She decided to give writing a serious try when she quit the law to stay at home with her young sons. Ten tenacious and hellacious years in the unpublished writer’s corner later, she sold her Thea Kozak series. Flora’s fifteen books include seven Thea Kozak mysteries, four gritty Joe Burgess police procedurals, a suspense thriller (written as Katharine Clark), and two true crime books, Death Dealer and Finding Amy (co-written with Joseph Loughlin, a Portland, Maine Deputy Police Chief). Finding Amy was a 2007 Edgar nominee, a Maine Literary Award finalist, and has been optioned for a movie. Death Dealer was an Agatha and Anthony finalist and won the Public Safety Writers Association 2015 award for nonfiction. Kate’s award-winning short stories have been widely anthologized. And Grant You Peace, her fourth Joe Burgess mystery, won the 2015 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. In April, 2016, she published the co-written memoir of retired Maine game warden Roger Guay, A Good Man with a Dog: A Retired Warden’s 25 Years in the Maine Woods. In the fall of 2016, she will publish the 5th book in her Joe Burgess police procedural series, Led Astray. With luck, the 8th Thea Kozak, Death Warmed Over, will follow.
She is a founding member of the New England Crime Bake, the region's annual mystery conference, and the Maine Crime Wave. With two other crime writers, she started Level Best Books, where she worked as an editor and publisher for seven years. She served as international president of Sisters in Crime.