Joanne Dobson teaches English at Fordham University. Her first Professor Karen Pelletier academic mystery, Quieter Than Sleep (1997), was an Agatha nominee, of which Publisher's Weekly said: "Deftly balancing its literary and mystery elements, Dobson's debut sparkles with wit and insight." It was followed by The Northbury Papers (1998), The Raven and the Nightingale (1999), and Cold and Pure and Very Dead (2000).
In her scholarly work, Professor Dobson has concentrated on the recovery of the neglected literature of nineteenth-century American women writers. Professor Dobson is a founding editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers and a general editor of the Rutgers American Women Writers reprint series.
She and her husband live in the New York City area and have three grown children.