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Novelist L. R. (Bunny) Wright, best known for the Karl Alberg mystery series, died Sunday of breast cancer.

The Vancouver writer was 61.

Ms. Wright wrote 16 novels, including Menace, which is to be released this fall.

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Her career as a novelist came after working for several daily newspapers, including The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, The Calgary Albertan and The Calgary Herald, where she became a columnist and assistant city editor.

She went on leave from the Herald in 1977 to attend the Banff School of Creative Writing where she studied under W. O. Mitchell.

Published in 1979, her first novel, Neighbours, won the search for a new Alberta novelist competition.

She won numerous other awards, including the Edgar Allan Poe award for best mystery novel ( The Suspect, 1985), the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis award for best novel ( A Chill Rain in January, 1999 and Mother Love, 1995) and the Canadian Authors' Association award for fiction for Mother Love in 1995.

Ms. Wright was born Laurali Rose Appleby in Saskatoon and grew up in Abbotsford, B.C.

She married John Wright in 1962. They separated in 1985, divorced in 1995 and remarried last Christmas Day.

Ms. Wright was the first graduate from Simon Fraser University's graduate liberal-studies program, receiving her degree in 1995, the year she was diagnosed with cancer.

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She leaves her husband, two daughters and an unpublished novel entitled Mabel.

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