Welcome to the Beautiful Carolina Coast, Home of Magnolia Mysteries
& Author Ellen Elizabeth Hunter
Meet Ellen

Welcome to my website -

I live on the beautiful North Carolina Coast, a setting that inspires my mysteries. In 2001, I created Magnolia Mysteries, featuring Historic Preservationist, Ashley Wilkes, who restores old houses in the historic port city of Wilmington. My experiences while restoring two of my own homes inspired the series. Every old house has a secret, and unraveling them often gets Ashley into some pretty hairy and scary predicaments.

I have also authored two tense standalone suspense thrillers, DEAD RINGER and LADY JUSTICE, both real departures from the cozy Magnolia series. And both published by Harlequin.

I majored in American Literature and Creative Writing at New York University; seems like a hundred years ago but Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edith Wharton are still my favorite authors.  

Helping others gives me a lot of pleasure and I use book sales to raise funds for worthy causes. If you look at my Photo Gallery page you will see some of those events.

With four ancestors who were Patriots in our Revolutionary War, I am a member of Daughters of the American Revolution. I am confirmed in the Episcopal Church.

My favorite place to write is my front porch, with my assistant Chloe wagging me on. There she is on the swing.


To listen to my interview with Jemila Ericson on WHQR's Mid-Day Cafe, click here.




Best mystery series portraying Wilmington NC –Spirit, Southwest Airlines Magazine

“Hunter’s fascination with historic Wilmington is evident in the rich descriptions, and her list of murder suspects will keep the reader guessing until the end. –Our State Magazine

“Hunter sets her historic preservationist sleuth Ashley Wilkes on another agreeably diverting mission in Murder on the ICW.” –Raleigh News & Observer

“Crumbling bricks and rotting floorboards are the least of Ashley’s problems. Corpses turn up in the most inconvenient places.” –Our State Magazine
“Having fun with murder and mayhem is exactly what best-selling North Carolina author Ellen Elizabeth Hunter does best. Often considered a prized souvenir of the South, she highlights mounds of history within each tale.” Encore Magazine


“I just wanted to let you know how very much I enjoy your work. I'm buying my mother a set of your books for Christmas and trying to talk everyone I know into trying them. I'm sure they'll enjoy them as much as I have. Thank you so much for the hours of reading pleasure.” --Sincerely, Lila Allen

“Love this whole series. She keeps the main characters moving along and the story line steady. I was kept guessing til the end.“ –Sandy

“Hi Ellen, I am the owner of cozy-mysteries-unlimited.com. I just added your Magnolia Mystery series to my website.  I am wondering if you are going to be writing any more books for this series. Thanks so much.” --Linda Ricker http://cozy-mysteries-unlimited.com

“Wanted to share with you that I absolutely love the "Magnolia Mystery Series." My son gave me a kindle for Christmas and since then I have read "7"of the series and starting on "#8" tonight. I can't put them down, I use to have a problem sleeping but now I read so late that I can hardly hold my eyes open. I am getting sad that I only have two more to read. I am going to read Dead Ringer and Lady Justice next. Just wanted to say "thank you" for these wonderful books. Please keep writing!!!!” --Rhonda Wilkins

“I would sincerely like to thank you for the Magnolia Mysteries. I have read the first 6 so far, and am about to embark on number 7. I really enjoy everything about these books, but specially the historical background in each book. Ashley Wilkes is a thoroughly likeable character, surrounded by a collection of people one would like to meet. The stories are well written and there's never a dull moment. I read Cape Fear in one go. I couldn't put it down....and so I didn't, until I'd finished it!
Once more, thank you for the reading pleasure you have given me.” --Valerie Zalewski

“I had to write to tell you how much I am enjoying your series on the Wilkes sisters. I cannot put them down. It is so nice to read a mystery series where the main women characters have some back bone & are not surrounded by "pushy relatives." I truly enjoy all your main characters & their stories. Plus I have to add you really make me want to visit Wilmington, NC. What a beautiful picture you paint of that region of the country. I normally would not contact an author but I truly wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your books. Hopefully you plan to continue the series. It would be so disappointing to have it end.” --Sincerely, Jane Kiniry

“I love this series. When is book 11 coming out. Can't wait.” –Anita

“I have read all of your books and have enjoyed them tremendously.  They make me want to revisit the beaches.  Please keep me updated on any new books.” --Dianna Daw

“I am a North Carolinian, and I love the way she takes you to places in Wilmington that are really there. The streets, all the restaurants she mentions and especially the old homes on the river walk. I found myself following her around town on google maps. I've actually been to Wilmington and drove over the bridge and down Oleander Dr to my doctor appointment. Now I wish I'd taken time to explore the old streets she describes so thoroughly. I will read all of these books for sure.” –Judith Wilson

“Great reading- the mystery and murders keep you guessing. I enjoy her writing style. This is a new author for me but I intend to read all her books in this series.” –Joan Davis

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