Sarah Wisseman
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Sarah Wisseman's Page

Profile Information

Champaign, Illinois
About Me:
Sarah Wisseman writes the Lisa Donahue archaeological mysteries. She hadn’t a clue that she wanted to be an archaeologist until she traveled to Israel right after her freshman year in college. There she ate felafel, fell in love with Jerusalem, camped illegally on Masada, and spent a month at the excavation of biblical Beersheba. Once hooked by archaeology, she returned for her Junior Year Abroad at Tel Aviv University, an experience that eventually inspired The Dead Sea Codex (Hard Shell Word Factory 2006).
Sarah didn’t catch on that she wanted to write fiction right away, either. For twenty-five years, she has worked in museums, on excavations, and at the University of Illinois writing nothing but technical articles and non-fiction about mummies, ancient ceramics, and archaeological science. It was while she was preparing the non-fiction account of a mummy project, The Virtual Mummy (University of Illinois Press 2003) that the idea of a mystery set in her former museum (a creepy old attic) grew into her first novel, Bound for Eternity (iUniverse 2005).

Since then, Sarah has written another novel, The House of the Sphinx currently submitted but not published, and several short stories including Safari (Echelon Press 2006) and Let There Be Light (Amazon Shorts 2006). Her non-fiction article on archaeological mysteries appeared in the summer 2006 issue of Mystery Scene.
Visit her website at
Books And Authors I Like:
Barbara D'Amato, Dorothy Sayers, Josephine Tey, Margery Allingham and many others

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Sarah Wisseman's Blog

Turning Points

Exactly seven years ago, my husband Charlie and I set off on a safari

of Kenya and Tanzania to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We quickly

discovered that a trip in a safari vehicle--one with a top that comes

off so tourists can take pictures without getting eaten by animals--is

a kind of confinement. You're not allowed to walk around, you have to

have an iron bladder, and you'd better like your fellow passengers,

including the tse tse flies.

The first part… Continue

Posted on February 6, 2008 at 12:14pm — 1 Comment


When I began to write “The Dead Sea Codex,” I realized that I didn’t really want to go back to Israel and risk being blown up by a suicide bomber. So I cheated; I stayed home in Illinois. I used today’s

virtual magic carpet, the Internet. Lucky me—I avoided the purgatory of crowded

airports and multiple gas-powered vehicles to traverse oceans and time zones

only to arrive sleep-deprived, sweat-stained,…


Posted on July 5, 2007 at 2:34am

The Archaeology of Mystery Writing

Since I'm new to the world of blogging, I'm going to explore it in

layers. That's appropriate, since I'm an archaeologist in my "day job"

at the University of Illinois.

My other job is mystery writing. Gradually I'm excavating my own life to

unearth situations and characters that will make good mysteries. Creepy

old attic museums--digs in Israel, Italy, and Nevada--peculiar academic

characters who… Continue

Posted on June 8, 2007 at 1:18pm — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (14 comments)

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At 8:25am on December 26, 2009, LC Fraser said…
Hi Sarah! I got your new book for Christmas - looking forward to reading it.
At 2:38pm on August 25, 2007, Maryann Mercer said…
I'd love to get to Magna Cum Murder but we're merging the bank about that before pleasure. Not sure yet about Malice. A lot depends on what I've got done. Thanks for accepting the invitation.
At 6:35am on August 25, 2007, Sarah Wisseman said…
Not sure yet, Maryann. i'm going to Magna cum Murder in Muncie, IN this fall, and probably Malice Domestic in the spring.
At 12:07am on August 19, 2007, Maryann Mercer said…
Hi Sarah, just checking in from down the road. Will you be at LIM? And is there a third in the series that I should be looking for?
At 2:27am on July 5, 2007, Sarah Wisseman said…
I'm pleased to announce a new short story in the summer issue of Mystericale, a free ezine!
It's based on a fascinating visit to Biosphere--imaging living cooped up in a glass dome for two years.
At 5:45am on June 20, 2007, LC Fraser said…
Have your books on my side table finally. Now I just have to find time!

Rumours abound of a new Vicky Bliss and perhaps a new Amelia Peabody in the future - apparently news in MPM's newsletter that just went up. Lots of reading to look forward to!
At 1:15pm on June 8, 2007, Sarah Wisseman said…
Hello, everyone. I finally started a blog. It's at
and will be a place to discuss things related to archaeology and mystery writing.
At 7:32am on June 2, 2007, LC Fraser said…
Hi Sarah - Sleuth has gotten your books for me to try. I am looking forward to it.
At 1:30pm on May 2, 2007, Sarah Wisseman said…
thanks, everyone who wrote in! I'm a little slow about this (my day job takes too much time). I'll try to be more regular about checking in.
At 8:25am on May 2, 2007, Morgan Mandel said…
Hi Sarah,
Come on over to my new network called Book Place.
Its for sharing and promoting all genres of books.
You'll see some familiar faces there.
Morgan Mandel

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