New Book!

The Vanishing of Carolyn Wells: Investigations into a Forgotten Mystery Author is out!

HOW TO ORDER: Visit my Linktree for a variety of order links, including how to buy an inscribed or signed copy directly from me.

🎧 Listen to the Lost Ladies of Lit podcast about Carolyn Wells, released on pub day, Feb. 13, 2024.

And, if you’re so inclined, follow me on X, Instagram, and/or Goodreads.


Reviews/News for The Vanishing of Carolyn Wells:

Library Journal (starred review): “Two tenacious women are featured in this literary study: one is the subject, multifaceted author Carolyn Wells (1862–1942) and the other is the book’s author, Barry, who searches worldwide for information about Wells to create this work…. Recommended for literature and women’s history collections as an excellent example of determined and focused accomplishment.”

Publishers Weekly: Op/Ed on Carolyn and the Erasure of Women in Literary History

Washington Post: Agatha Christie she was not, but Carolyn Wells was a Mystery Phenom: Creator of a detective named Fleming Stone, this early-20th-century writer was a prolific pulp novelist — and now the subject of a biography, The Vanishing of Carolyn Wells: “A useful corrective to our often male-dominated literary and cultural histories.”

New York Sun: “Rebecca Rego Barry has written what might be called a process biography….it is a pleasure to watch Ms. Barry at work, creating her own detective story and much suspense as she writes to booksellers, examines the inscriptions in Wells’s books strewn around the country, draws on the research of scholars like Margaret Stetz at the University of Delaware, and interviews a few Wells family members who have remnants of her possessions and a few dim memories of her.”

Saturday Evening Post: “An engrossing journey into Wells’s life and work and a thoughtful examination of why and how bestselling writers like Wells can vanish from our memories.” 

Kirkus Reviews: “Engaging” and “indispensable”

Washington Independent Review of Books: “Equally key to this book’s success is the fact that its author is an interesting person and an entertaining writer. Barry has made the unusual decision to center the book not only on what she learned about Wells but also on how she went about learning it.”

The American Scholar featured Carolyn in its “Read Me a Poem” column.

The CrossExaminingCrime blog and The Passing Tramp both offer wonderful and thoughtful coverage of the book.

Book Tour Info:

*February 6, 6:00-7:30 pm at the Grolier Club, NYC. A talk about Carolyn Wells, vintage mysteries, and book collecting + early signed copies available. 

*February 15, 2:00 pm. Virtual talk about Wells and OSU’s collection for Ohio State University Libraries.

*February 15, 6-7:30 pm: Book Lover’s Soirée: pub party + book signing at the Emerson Resort (“Great Room”) Mt. Tremper, NY, with The Golden Notebook.

*March 5, 6-7 pm. Landmark West: Virtual talk. Tickets here.  

*March 6, 7-8 pm. Starr Public Library, Rhinebeck NY. A talk about Carolyn’s life & books + book signing. Details at this link.

*March 13, 6-7 pm. Rahway Public Library, Rahway, NJ.  A talk about Carolyn’s life & books + book signing. 

*March 14, 7-8 pm. Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, Rahway, NJ. Virtual “Fireside Chat.” Details and link TBA. 

*April 6: NY International Antiquarian Book Fair program, NYC. Details TBA.

*April 11, 11:00 am. Boston area.

*May 13, 11:00 am. Boston area.