Eleanor Taylor Bland Biography


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Eleanor Taylor Bland was nearly fifty before she published her first novel. Born Eleanor Taylor in Boston on New Year’s Eve, 1944, into lower-middle-class circumstances, Bland learned from her cab-driver father and her stay-at-home mother the virtue of stoic patience, the importance of love, a lifelong respect for family, and the importance of a Christian-centered morality. Bland married a sailor when she was only fourteen. When his tour of duty ended, they were stationed in Illinois along Lake Michigan, and they decided to stay. During the mid-1970’s, Bland was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors initially gave her little chance of survival, and she endured a rigorous regimen to combat the disease, an experience that encouraged her to return to school. Although she loved reading and considered English, Bland completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Southern Illinois University in 1981 and, after relocating to Waukegan, enjoyed a successful career (1981-1999) as a cost accountant for Abbott Laboratories, the pharmaceutical and health care giant.

In the early 1990’s, Bland, divorced and helping to raise an infant grandson while working full-time, began to read mysteries in her spare time. She was intrigued by police procedurals, finding in their meticulous investigative protocols a parallel to the accounting field. It occurred to her to try writing a procedural centered on the kind of character she knew best: a single African American working mom...

(The entire section is 483 words.)