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.

Kelner lives in Massachusetts with her husband, writer Stephen P. Kelner, Jr., their two daughters, and many skeletons. Visit her online at and