Betsy Thornton lived in England, France, Greece, Italy, New York City, and Venice, Calif. before settling in Bisbee, Arizona. In Bisbee she worked various jobs including director of the Cochise Fine Arts, a non-profit arts organization, and as a crime victim advocate for the Cochise Attorney's office
Thorntons first publication was a chapbook of poems, On Davis Road in 1984. She is a recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She turned to writing mystery fiction in the 1980s and her first mystery novel, The Cowboy Rides Away was published in 1996. The book introduces readers to her main character, Chloe Newcombe, who works as a victim advocate in Cochise County, Arizona, the same position that Thornton worked at the Cochise Attorney's office for fifteen years. Thornton has published seven mystery novels including: The Cowboy Rides Away (1996), High Lonesome Road (2001), Ghost Towns (2002), Dead for the Winter (2004), A Whole New Life (2006), A Song for You (2008), and Dream Queen (2010). Her book, A Song For You, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark award in 2008.
This collection is comprised of the papers of Betsy Thornton. Items include published and unpublished writings including, manuscripts, poetry in published anthology, news articles, Thornton's reviews of works by others, and book reviews of Thornton's works by others. Printed materials include book manuscripts, news and magazine clippings and correspondence. One 29-minute interview, circa 2004, by Steven Nestor for WHUS radio show, Poets of the Tabloid Murder, is included on CD-ROM.