Biography

Donald Bain is the author or ghost/​author of more than 120 books, many of them bestsellers. They encompass both fiction and non-fiction, and include such categories as murder mysteries, westerns, comedies, investigative journalism, food, business, psychology and historical dramatizations. His autobiography, Murder HE Wrote: A Successful Writer's Life, published by Purdue University Press, is available everywhere.(And is now an e-book through the publishing company, Hyphenates Books.)

His novel, LIGHTS OUT!, a thriller with comic overtones, was published in the UK in February 2014, and in the U.S. in May of the same year. It's the tale of a man unhappily married into a wealthy family who goes through a monumental male mid-life crisis that leads him into an affair with a beautiful Argentinean woman. In order to finance his escape into her waiting arms, this hapless former electrical engineer becomes an unlikely criminal that brings him into the world of organized crime, a scheme that quickly unravels and finds him being sought around the world by the authorities, the Mafia, and a private investigator hired by his wife and domineering mother-in-law. NY Times bestselling author Michael Palmer said of LIGHTS OUT! "Donald Bain has a wit and sense of fiction that I have encountered only in Elmore Leonard's best stuff." And multiple award winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan commented, "Stylish, wry, droll and surprising."

He worked closely with bestselling author Margaret Truman for many years on her bestselling series of thrillers set in Washington, D.C., and continues to write novels in Margaret Truman's Capital Crime series after her death. In 2011 MONUMENT TO MURDER was published, followed in 2012 by EXPERIMENT IN MURDER, which carries his byline. UNDIPLOMATIC MURDER, also bylined by him, will be published in July of 2014, and INTERNSHIP IN MURDER will be released in 2015.

Among his books, the airline comedy, Coffee Tea or Me?, published more than 40 years ago, together with its sequels sold more than 5-million copies worldwide and was the basis of a television movie-of-the-week. In 2003, Penguin Books republished it as a "Penguin Comedy Classic."

Caviar, Caviar, Caviar, a coffee table book, is considered the definitive work on caviar. The Case Against Private Aviation brought about needed rules changes in commercial aviation.

Veronica was the autobiography of Hollywood film legend Veronica Lake. He is currently involved in a motion picture based upon the famed actresses' career and tragic downfall.

Charlie and the Shawneetown Dame, a dramatization of a true story from the Prohibition era, and Bain's favorite of all the books he's written, has been in print for more than 30 years. Purdue University Press has published a new edition, available everywhere.

The World's Best Bartenders' Guide, written with Joseph Scott, was published in October 1998. Now out-of-print, a new edition from a different publisher is expected soon.

He currently writes a series of 43 original novels (hard and softcover) based upon the television series, Murder, She Wrote. They're published by Obsidian, an imprint from Penguin (NAL/​​Dutton), and are written “in collaboration" with TV's most famous mystery writer, Jessica Fletcher of "Murder, She Wrote," who exists only as a fictitious character.

Early Career


Earlier in his career, Bain was a writer/​director for Peckham Productions, where he created films for such clients as Avon, American Airlines, Pan Am, IBM, Union Carbide and USIA, and wrote and produced two daily radio series: "Around the House," and "Jackie Douglas Reports." He also wrote a nationally syndicated health series, "House Call," and wrote and hosted another nationally syndicated series, "The Media Watch."

A public relations executive for McCann-Erickson and American Airlines, Bain also was a consultant to Pan Am for the introduction of the 747, the takeover of National Airlines, and a national campaign to promote air travel. Two of these projects earned Silver Anvil awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). In 1985, with his wife, he co-founded Hyphenates, Ltd., which provides editorial services to a wide variety of companies.

Bain is a graduate of Purdue University and received its highest award for his work in educational radio and television. (He was designated a Purdue "Distinguished Alumni" in 2003.) He went on to work professionally in broadcasting in Texas and Indiana, and co-hosted more than 200 shows in New York with Long John Nebel, then king of late-night talk-radio. Bain wrote a biography of Nebel, Long John Nebel, as well as a book about Nebel's wife, the famed model Candy Jones, and her experiences with the CIA and mind control, The Control of Candy Jones (performing rights to 20th Century Fox). The book was reissued in the fall of 2003 by Barricade Books, as The CIA’s Control of Candy Jones.

In Addition


Bain has worked for over 50 years as a professional jazz musician (vibraphone and drums); has taught at the college level; and has written myriad magazine articles on such diverse subjects as travel, music (he was jazz columnist and critic for Boulevard Magazine) and fly fishing. He is a member of Sigma Delta Chi, the Writer's Guild of America, the Authors Guild, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, and the Private Eye Writers of America.

In 2006 he was designated "Grand Master" by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), and in 2014 was the recipient of the first annual "John Seigenthaler Legends Award" named for the pioneering editor and publisher of The Tennessean, a man revered for championing the First Amendment, and for fighting for the rights of the next generation of writers or those who have been neglected.

Don Bain is married to Renée Paley-Bain, also a writer, and who collaborates with him on the “Murder, She Wrote” series. He has two grown daughters (Laurie, a fine writer and editor; and Pamela, the professor in the family) and four grandsons.

Click on "My Works" for a list of books by Donald Bain

Selected Works

For anyone who aspires to a writer's career, this book is a must-read.
Available Now
"With shades of The Manchurian Candidate hanging over the entire story, Experiment in Murder takes on the subject of hypnosis and creating unknowing murderers. "
Murder, She Wrote
When competing restaurants open in Cabot Cove, Jessica must track down who killed one of the chefs.
Jessica Fletcher is invited to ring in the New Year with British aristocracy. Too bad someone’s about to end the life of the party....
Jessica investigates a cast and crew of suspects when someone is found dead on a movie set.
My Favorite Book
Madness and mayhem during Prohibition.
Republished
My book of 35 years ago, "Coffee, Tea or Me? was reissued spring 2003, with a new foreword.
Remarkable Tale
A Cold War cult classic, once again available to the reading public.