Though Toni L.P. Kelner/Leigh Perry loves writing mysteries, she also dabbles in urban fantasy, and her most recent series features an ambulatory skeleton.
As Kelner, she wrote the Laura Fleming series about a Southerner solving mysteries involving her eccentric extended family. Death of a Damn Yankee (Kensington, 1999) was a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award finalist, and the series earned a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award. Kelner also wrote the “Where Are They Now?” series about a freelance entertainment reporter who tracks down the formerly famous. With Charlaine Harris, she edited seven urban fantasy anthologies.
Kelner's stories have won or been finalists for numerous awards: "The Death of Erik the Redneck" (Malice Domestic 5, ed. Whitney; Pocket, 1996) was an Agatha finalist; "Bible Belt" (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, 2002) an Anthony and Macavity finalist; "Sleeping with the Plush" (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, 2006) an Agatha winner and an Anthony finalist; "How Stella Got Her Grave Back" (Many Bloody Returns, eds. Harris and Kelner; Ace Books, 2007) an Anthony finalis; "Skull and Cross-Examinations" (Ellery Queen, 2008) an Agatha and Anthony finalist; "Keeping Watch Over His Flock" (Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, eds. Harris and Kelner; Ace Books, 2008) a Macavity finalist; "The Pirate's Debt" (Ellery Queen, 2009) a Derringer finalist; "In Brightest Day" (Home Improvement: Undead Edition, eds. Harris and Kelner; Ace, 2011) a Derringer finalist; and "Pirate Dave and the Captain's Ghost" (An Apple for the Creature, eds. Harris and Kelner; Ace, 2012) a Derringer finalist.
Other short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. The most recent was in Shattering Glass (ed. Graham; Nasty Woman Press 2020).
As Perry, she writes the Family Skeleton mysteries about an adjunct professor and single mom who solves mysteries with her best friend Sid, a walking, talking skeleton. The series started with A Skeleton in the Family (Berkley Prime Crime, 2013), and the seventh book is in progress. A Family Skeleton short story is forthcoming from Ellery Queen.