July 8, 2004 by

Winona Sullivan


Categories: Government, Writers/Editors

Before she became a mystery writer, Winona Yahn Sullivan was a fashion model and a spy.
The New York native earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Manhattanville College and a master’s degree in education from New York University. She did some modeling in Manhattan and studied Russian at the University of Leningrad, then decided to launch a career in espionage.
In 1965, Sullivan wrote a letter to the Central Intelligence Agency, asking to become a government spy. Impressed with her language skills, the Agency hired her as a Russian intelligence analyst. She spent the next two years tracking suspected Russian agents and interpreting intelligence.
Sullivan later mastered the balancing act of raising seven children and writing cozy mystery novels. She penned half a dozen books, including the popular Sister Cecile series about a nun who moonlights as a private investigator. The first book in the series, “A Sudden Death at the Norfolk Cafe,” won the 1991 Best First Private Eye Novel Contest, sponsored by the Private Eye Writers of America and St. Martin’s Press. In recent years, she also taught at the University of Miami and Florida International University.
Sullivan died on June 24 of lung cancer. She was 61.

2 Responses to Winona Sullivan

  1. KATHERINE Dowling

    Was friend from college days, very sorry to hear of her death albeit several years late…she sent me some of her books since we both wrote books and both had seven kids. Hope all her kids are doing well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *