Mary Vermillion is the author of three lesbian mystery novels—all set in Iowa and all featuring the plucky and neurotic radio personality, Mara Gilgannon. Mary's third novel, Seminal Murder features a murder in a sperm bank, and explores the differences between lesbians who want to parent and lesbians who don't. Her first novel, Death by Discount, a finalist for two Lambda awards, portrays Walmart's impact on small-town America. Her second, Murder by Mascot, provides a darkly comic look at homophobia and sexual violence in the world of Division I basketball. She and her husband, Benjamin Thiel, just finished writing a dual memoir about his gender transition. Mary is a Professor of English at Mount Mercy University. She and Ben live in Iowa City with their two cats and four guinea pigs.


Mary and her husband, Benjamin Thiel, just finished writing a dual memoir about his gender transition. It is tentatively titled All the Changes: A Marriage Transitions.

Mary and Ben read from their memoir during Pride 2016 at First Methodist Church in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Watch on YouTube.
They also  discussed their memoir during a 2014 Pride Special. Listen here.
Mary discussed all three of her lesbian mystery novels on The Liz McMullen Show. Listen here.

On Lizzie's Bedtime Stories, Mary read two essays, one about coming out and one about her partner's gender transition. She also read from Seminal Murder. Listen here.

Mary read at Creighton University in February 2013. See part of this event on YouTube.

Seminal Murder was granted The Rainbow Reader Special Award for Ballsiest Use of Semen as a Main Character in Lesbian Fiction.

coverWhen Dr. Grace Everest is murdered in her own sperm bank, Mara Gilgannon attempts to find the killer and to protect a beloved ex who is desperately seeking motherhood. So what if Mara herself has 858 reasons (and counting) never to have children? She didn't let that stop her when she and Grace launched a radio series on artificial insemination. And she won't let anyone stop her from completing the series and discovering the truth about her friend's murder. Not the thief who trashes her office. Not her flamboyant housemate who invites a top suspect to crash with them. Not the 15-year-old who wants Mara to help find her donor dad. And especially not conservative Christian activist Reverend Leo Spires. As he heightens his campaign against the radio station where Mara works and the sperm bank where the murder occurred, Mara discovers a new mystery at the bank itself—an unusually low pregnancy rate for lesbians.


Mary's first two novels, Death by Discount and Murder by Mascot, are now available as eBooks.


© Mary Vermillion. Web site by interbridge.