Saturday, July 29, 2006

B. Comfort: Vermont's Grand Dame of Mystery - Just a Quick Tale

You've seen those classic little Vermont paperbacks with the bold titles and mysterious author: B. Comfort. They come in two character series: one with 33-year-old Liz Bell and her newly built home on the mountain above the Vermont ski town of Lofton (The Vermont Village Murder; Green Mountain Murder), the other with 65-year-old artist Tish McWhinney (Phoebe's Knee; Grave Consequences; Elusive Quarry; Cashmere Kid; and the latest, in 2001, At Loggerheads).

B. Comfort is artist and author Barbara Comfort, known as Bobby to her friends, and about to turn 90 this autumn. Her real-life Vermont town of residence since World War II, Landgrove, mounted an exhibit of her portraits and landscapes, books, and inventions (yes!) at the Town Hall for this season.

We'll post a page of material on Ms. Comfort at our web page as her birthday (September 4) gets closer. Meanwhile, here's one small anecdote from her pre-writing life, when she was a Greenwich Village artist.

One of her good friends was Bob (Robert) McCloskey, who was working on what would become his most famous children's book, MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS. To do the drawings for his book, McCloskey kept (live) ducklings in his bathtub for weeks! And Barbara Comfort, on the way home from work, would stop to visit and play with the little yellow fulffballs in the tub.

Small wonder that she painted the outside of her Vermont carport with McCloskey's other famous critters, the bears from BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL.


Jade Spencer said...

I just found your post and wanted to know more about the author. She doesn't have a website of her own and thought I would create one for her. I am a fan of Dorothy Gilman and created her fansite in 1997 and have kept it updated since then at If you have any pictures of her I can use and any more information I would greatly appreciate it! A new fan:

Jolene said...

I have finally finished with the Barbara Comfort Fan Blog. Check it out at: Barbara Comfort Fan Blog

Beth Kanell said...

Great fan site, Jolene! What a good way to celebrate B. Comfort and her Vermont mysteries.