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 (Regal Crest 2012) 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, are currently writing a joint memoir about his gender transition. Mary is a Professor of English at Mount Mercy University. She and her partner live in Iowa City with their two cats, and three guinea pigs.


At New Bo Books, Thursday, March 13 at 7:00 P.M., Mary and her husband, Benjamin Thiel, will read from their in-progress memoir about how his gender transition changed each of them and their relationship. They will be joined by fellow local memoirist, Kim Flugga-Ciha, who will read from her own in-progress memoir about the aftermath of her husband's catastrophic motorcycle accident. The event is part of New Bo Books month-long series, March is for Memoirs.

Mary recently 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 has been 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.