M. K. Wren

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M. K. Wren
BornMartha Kay Renfroe
(1938-06-05)June 5, 1938
DiedAugust 20, 2016(2016-08-20) (aged 78)
Lincoln City, Oregon
Pen nameM.K. Wren
GenreMystery, Science fiction
Notable worksThe Phoenix Legacy
PartnerRuth Dennis Grover

Martha Kay Renfroe (June 5, 1938 – August 20, 2016) was an American writer of mystery and science fiction.[1] Renfroe, who published her works under the pseudonym M.K. Wren, was best known for her mystery series featuring the character Conan Flagg.[2]

Early life[edit]

Renfroe was born in Texas.


Using the nom de plume M. K. Wren, her works included the Conan Flagg Mystery series, the Phoenix Legacy, a space opera trilogy, and A Gift Upon the Shore (1990),[3] a post-apocalyptic novel. Publishers Weekly in its review of A Gift Upon the Shore described Wren's descriptions of "the subsistence-level daily life – the triumphs, the losses and the desperation" – as "compelling depictions."[4] A Los Angeles Times review called Wren’s writing of the same book as "clear and concise for the most part, though bordering on the mystic when it comes to her descriptions of the woods, and especially the ocean in its many moods."[5] The New York Times included it in its overview of recently released crime/suspense novels in its "Criminal At Large" column, describing Wren's A Multitude of Sins as "an artificial and pretentious formula mystery about an heiress who is a pianistic genius."[6]

The Conan Flagg mysteries were translated into German and released by München Goldmann publisher in the late 1970s in Germany.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Renfroe was a longtime resident of Lincoln City, Oregon.[3] She was also an artist whose artwork showed in galleries and at juried and invitational shows.[2]


Title Publisher Date ISBN
A Gift Upon the Shore Ballantine Books February 3, 1990 0-345-36341-8
Neely Jones: The Medusa Pool Minotaur Books October 13, 1999 0-312-24223-9
The Shadow of Light (unpublished)

A Conan Flagg Mystery (1973–1994)[edit]

No. Title Publisher Date ISBN
1 Curiosity Didn't Kill the Cat Doubleday January 1973 0-385-06478-0
2 A Multitude of Sins January 1975 0-385-06720-8
3 Oh, Bury Me Not January 1976 0-385-12078-8
4 Nothing's Certain but Death January 1978 0-385-13283-2
5 Seasons of Death April 1981 0-385-17413-6
6 Wake Up, Darlin' Corey January 1984 0-385-19292-4
7 Dead Matter Fawcett May 29, 1993 0-345-37821-0
8 King of the Mountain November 30, 1994 0-345-39019-9

Phoenix Legacy (1981)[edit]

No. Title Publisher Date ISBN
1 Sword of the Lamb Berkley February 1981 0-425-04746-6
2 Shadow of the Swan July 1981 0-425-04747-4
3 House of the Wolf October 1981 0-425-05058-0


  1. ^ Wang, Amy (October 14, 2016). "RIP, science fiction author MK Wren". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2019-09-10 – via BoingBoing.net.
  2. ^ a b Bennett, Brit (September 26, 2016). "Obituary Note - Martha Kay Renfroe (scroll down)". Shelf Awareness. Ingram Publisher Services. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Remembering M K Wren". News Lincoln County. October 17, 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  4. ^ "A Gift Upon the Shore - M. K. Wren, Author Ballantine Books". Publishers Weekly. January 30, 1990. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  5. ^ Martin, Sue (April 29, 1990). "The Stuff of Nightmares : A GIFT UPON THE SHORE by M. K. Wren (Ballantine: $18.95; 375 pp.)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  6. ^ Callendar, Newgate (Aug 3, 1975). "Criminals At Large". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  7. ^ Curiosity Didn't Kill the Cat. OCLC. OCLC 74371411.

External links[edit]