|Linda Barnes first received critical praise in 1986, when she introduced her most popular crime solver, Carlotta Carlyle. A tall, guitar-playing, taxi-driving ex-cop and private investigator, Carlyle first appeared in a short story called "Bad Penny". Carlyle, like many of Barnes's characters, is known for her vivacious sense of humor and her wry, ironic outlook on life. Barnes graduated from Boston University with a B.F.A., taught theater in Massachusetts from 1971 to 1978, and married computer expert Richard Barnes. Among many awards she has received throughout her career, she won an Anthony Award for best short stories, and an American Mystery Award for best private eye novel.