Alafair S. Burke is an American author, professor of law and legal commentator, born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is the author of two series of crime novels, one featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher, the other featuring Portland prosecutor Samantha Kincaid. She received her B.A. in psychology from Reed College, completing the senior thesis "Emotion's effects on memory: spatial narrowing of attention". Burke is a graduate of Stanford Law School, served as a deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon and is now teaching law at Hofstra Law School. She is the daughter of fellow mystery novelist James Lee Burke.