Biography

Ellen Count

Ellen Count stumbled on crime writing. She was mugged! In her native New York City at that time, the experience wasn’t that unusual. The real surprise came less than a half hour later, when scruffy-looking plainclothes NYPD cops scooped up the bad guys. A longtime fashion- and occasional travel-writer, she found herself in another world, indeed — the sort of shock to the creative system that sets off second careers. Not that it happened overnight. A year after the mugging incident, Count was “riding along” in radio cars with cops in the Manhattan precinct where she lived. They drove right into a high profile murder. Only ten years after that, in 1990, Warner Books published a novel, The Hundred Percent Squad, under the pen name, E.W. Count. Four years later, Simon & Schuster Pocket Books brought out COP TALK: True Detective Stories from the NYPD. Both titles also were published in paperback editions and enjoyed warm critical praise.

Count originated NYC’s only detective column, “From the Squad Room,” in neighborhood weeklies. Before becoming a crime writer, she wrote Looking Thin, with the late Coty Award-winning fashion designer, Bonnie August. She also has published in New York magazine, The New York Times, Mystery Writers of America Annual, online publications, national women’s and fashion magazines, and several police publications.